The Differences and Similarities of the Rapture and the Second Coming


Two prophetic biblical events hold much awe and wonder, as well as confusion, among Christians. In this article, we’ll look at the differences and similarities between these two future events.

Eschatology is an area of study in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim theology that deals with End Times or Last Days events and the death, final judgment, and final destiny of human souls.

The Rapture and the Second Coming in Christianity are both eschatological events that concern the return of Jesus Christ as the Savior.

What is the Rapture?

“For the Lord, himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

– 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The most referenced Bible verses said to refer to the Rapture are the above, but there are nearly two dozen groupings of other verses believed to refer to the Rapture.

Most Christians believe in the concept of the Rapture, although some there is no reference to it by that specific name, that the word Rapture does not appear in the Bible.

However, according to Dr. Chuck Missler, the word from which we derive the term Rapture comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible in the late 4th century. The word is rapiemur, the proper tense of rapio, and are English words rapt and Rapture come from the past participle of rapio. So the word Rapture, is derived from that Latin verb.

For an in-depth study of the Rapture, an informative video series on YouTube entitled: The Rapture – Chuck Missler – Session 1” and “The Rapture – Chuck Missler – Session 2” will give you insight on both the Rapture and the Second Coming.

What is the second coming?

“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the Earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”

– Revelation 1:7

The Second Coming is an event that will occur after the Rapture when Jesus Christ returns to Earth. After another End Times event known as the “day of wrath” or “great tribulation” or “time of Jacob’s trouble,” a time of great and unprecedented difficulties on the Earth, Jesus Christ will return with the heavenly host, the Christians saved from the Rapture, to establish His Kingdom on Earth for a thousand years (Millennium). Satan will be bound, and the Antichrist will be thrown into the lake of fire. All nations will be judged, according to the Moody Bible Institute.

Comparison of the Rapture and second coming

Here is a comparison between events of the Rapture and events of the Second Coming, according to Dr. Chuck Missler.

(Note*: Translated means changed by God from a mortal human being to an immortal human being.)


Translation of believers.

Translated saints go to heaven.

Earth not judged.

Imminent, any moment, no signs.

Not in the Old Testament.

Believers only.

Before the day of wrath.

No reference to Satan.

He comes for His own.

He comes in the air.

He claims His Bride (the Christian church).

Only His can see Him.

Great Tribulation begins.

Church believers only.

Second Coming:

No translation involved.

Translated saints return to Earth.

Earth judged.

Follows definite predicted signs.

Predicted in the Old Testament.

Affects all men on the Earth.

Concludes the day of wrath.

Satan bound.

He comes with his own.

He comes to the Earth.

He comes with His Bride (the Christian church).

Every eye shall see Him.

The Millennium begins.

Old Testament saved raised later?