One of the questions people ask about the second coming of Jesus is, “when will Jesus come and how are we going to know when he comes?” People also ask for the difference between the rapture and the second coming. These questions are not new questions that came up this recent time. In the Bible, we could see that the disciples of Jesus asked the same question even when Jesus was with them. Luke 21:7 “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” The reason why most people want to know when Jesus will come or what will be the signs of his second coming is that they want to adjust and change the way they live before Jesus comes.
The truth is that even with all these signs that were given by Jesus for us to know when his second coming is close, no one can know when he will come. About two thousand years ago, Jesus promised that he would be back and the second coming is to judge the world and to rule with the saints. That is what we the believers are waiting for, to reign with Christ.
When people hear about the second coming of Jesus, what they think about is the rapture. I have heard many people describe the rapture to be the second coming of Jesus. Is this true? Is the second coming of Jesus the same as the rapture? There had been a lot of misconceptions about these two and people don’t seem to know the difference between the two. Rapture is different from the second coming of Christ. I must make clear that both are coming of Jesus Christ but in different forms. The simple explanation I will give to differentiate the two is that rapture which is the first part of the second coming is the word that is used to describe the time when the believers will be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. They will be taken away from the earth so they don’t face the great tribulation that will come after (1 Thessalonians 4:17). On the other hand, the second coming is the time when Jesus will come back to the earth with the saints that were caught up in the air earlier. It is the time when the enemies of God would be wiped away from the earth. Micah 5:9. In the second part of the second coming, the form Jesus will take is the form of a warrior because he will come to make justice. Revelation 19:11-16.
Jesus gave the things that must happen before the rapture comes, these things are called signs of the end time. These are to happen before the rapture. In Matthew 24, Jesus mentioned the signs of the end time. There will be deception, people deceiving people, calling themselves Jesus. There will also be wars and rumors of wars. During this time, nations will rise against nations and kingdom against kingdom. All of these are to take place before the rapture.
The second is the one called the second coming of Jesus. There are no signs for this but there are things mentioned that will happen exactly when Jesus comes after the great tribulation. We must have heard different things from different people about the signs of the second coming of Jesus. We have heard about the trumpet that would be blown, we read or heard about the sky changing, we have heard so many things but are these all the signs? What is the thing that will happen at the second coming of Christ?
1. There would be strong lightening.
Maybe we must have heard about the darkening of the sun during this time of the second coming but it is not only that, but there will also be great lighting. Matthew 24:27 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
2. There would be a great earthquake.
We have been recording earthquakes in some places but when Jesus comes, the earth will experience the greatest earthquake ever. It is not something that anyone should witness it will shake the earth. Revelation 16:18 “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” Anytime I read this part of the scripture, I try to imagine the intensity or how huge it would be – it is always scary even in my imagination.
3. He will come with rewards.
Jesus will not just come back to the earth for people to see, He will come back with rewards. Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
4. Jesus will not come alone.
When Jesus was born, he came alone as a baby and he began to grow. The second coming will be different from this. Jesus will come will the mighty Angels in heaven, he will come with his crown and everyone will see him in his glory. Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”
5. All the eyes will see Jesus.
When Jesus will come in his glory and to judge the world, everyone will see him. It would show in his physical body, not spiritual. Revelation 1:7.