It is my intent to give the Scriptural answer to this article on this site: https://www.thoughtco.com/rapture-vs-the-second-coming-700630
One visitor here posted this site as a response and support for her belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture on one of my posts. So I will try to respond to their points. The site has 4 points and supporting scriptures for each point. Remember these 4 points are his points not mine. Now to his first point.
1) Meeting in the Air – Versus – Returning with Him
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Answer: The first thing to notice is that this Scripture describing the Rapture and Resurrection as well as 1 Cor. chapter 15 which also describes the Rapture and the Resurrection will not give us a timing relative to the Tribulation. Therefore we need to search elsewhere in scripture for the timing. And yes the Rapture is a catching up so it’s a meeting in the air.
His next point as part of his #1) point is:
In the Second Coming, believers return with the Lord:
Revelation 19:14. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
Answer: This is easy to answer but it is more complicated than this answer so I’ll elaborate after the answer. But the answer is easy because no matter when the Rapture would occur Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib or Post -Trib the Lord will return with His bride. This passage does not answer which is the correct timing for the rapture, nor does it really answer who is returning with the Lord. We have to study other passages for this part of the answer.
This is really not a proof text for any of the Rapture positions.
I’ve already answered this in detail on a couple of my other posts; so will list them here at the end if you are interested in digging deeper.
2) Before Tribulation – Versus – After Tribulation
The Rapture will happen before the Tribulation:
1 Thessalonians 5:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the promise to the church of Philadelphia to escape from the Hour of testing.
Answer: I have listed posted articles below that deal with this wrath. But I do want to say that there is still no scripture listed here to support his claim that the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation. It is just stated as though there is no question. So what about the hour of testing — will we escape that? Yes. The message to each church is to be read and heard by all. So what is the hour of testing? It is the only hour (or period of time) where Orge (Greek word for wrath that we will escape) is poured out. It occurs during Armageddon when men are hiding from the Wrath (Orge) of the Lamb. We are Raptured just before that outpouring.
3) Deliverance – Versus – Judgment
In the Rapture believers are taken from the earth by God as an act of deliverance:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17Answer: These verses were already used earlier, and yes I agree the Rapture can be considered a deliverance.
Answer: this is nothing new it states that we are not appointed for God’s wrath.
In the Second Coming unbelievers are removed from the earth by God as an act of judgment:
Answer: this is nothing new see answer above to Rev 3:10.
Answer: this passage is the picture of Jesus Second Coming with His Armies to pour out Orge Wrath which we are promised to escape. No matter which Rapture you believe in it must already have taken place before this wrath is unleashed.
4) Hidden – Versus – Seen by All
The Rapture, according to Scripture, will be an instantaneous, hidden event:
New International Version (NIV)
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Answer: first of all there is nothing stated here that requires this to be hidden not from the world and certainly not from us. And even if it did state that it is hidden it would not matter, because the Rapture must occur before the Lord actually Sets foot on the earth, it will be so sudden that possibly no one on earth will actually see it. In the twinkling of an eye we will go from earth into the sky.
The Second Coming, according to Scripture, will be seen by everyone:
Answer: this is true and proves nothing. The Rapture even considering a post-Trib position preceded the Second Coming.
5) At Any Moment – Verses – Only After Certain Events
The Rapture could happen at any moment:
Answer: if you believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture as I once did, and if you really want to be honest you will admit that something that happens in the twinkling of an eye does not mean at any moment. In fact Paul says — But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
1 Thessalonians 5:4. This certainly does not imply an any moment return. What it could mean however is that the entire church throughout its history has had the opportunity to know when the Lord is taught in scripture to return in relation to end time events. Which of the three Rapture positions would that be true of? It’s not true of a pre-Trib position, and the mid-Trib is even newer than the pre-Trib position. The post-Trib position is, in fact, the only position on the Rapture that has been taught throughout the Church’s history.
The Second Coming won’t happen until certain events take place:
As is common in Christian theology, there are conflicting views regarding the Rapture and the Second Coming. One source of confusion over these two end times events stems from verses found in Matthew chapter 24. While speaking broadly about the end of the age, it’s likely this chapter references both the Rapture and the Second Coming. It’s important to note, the purpose of Christ’s teaching here was to prepare believers for the end.
He wanted his followers to be watchful, living each day as though his return was imminent. The message was simply, “Be Ready.”
Answer: Obviously I agree that the Second Coming is with signs. And since we will not be taken by surprise by the Rapture when it comes I also believe that these same signs point to the Rapture. Therefore what Jesus asked us to watch for are the signs; otherwise we would be looking up all the time for His return rather than studying scripture and winning souls.
When we see these things begin to happen then we can get anxious to see Him. The only time that there is a time placed on the Rapture in scripture is in The Olivet Discourse. Listen: 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
This is the only place we see the timing of this gathering stated in scripture. It is not called the Rapture, but neither is it called the Rapture in either of Paul’s descriptions. It is obvious that it accompanied the Second Coming in its timing, and yet Jesus did not describe it in chapter 19 of the Revelation, but He did tell us when the Bride is finally ready, and it is just before He returns.
There are several articles of mine posted on this site that speak further to these teachings:
If Wrath Was Paid for by Jesus for ALL Believers; THEN WHY ARE BELIEVERS PRESENT IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION If The Tribulation Is THAT WRATH? Feb 8, 2018.
The BIGGEST Problem for the World IS That JESUS IS COMING BACK — The Biggest Problem for Many Believers Is just When He will Come. Jan 15, 2018.
Messiah Stains His Garment. Isaiah 63. Sept 25, 2017. (This is a must read.)
The Truth contained in the Olive Tree. Sept 23, 2017
Is The Great Tribulation Really God’s Wrath — is it really the wrath that we will not see? Aug 11, 2017.