What are all the Bible verses about the rapture and second coming of Christ?
There are forty-four significant Bible verses about the rapture and the second coming of Christ. These passages are listed in this article, and a brief explanation of each passage is provided. The Bible teaches that the next major event in God’s plan for the future is the rapture of the church.The rapture is the removal of Christians from this earth. Then the tribulation will follow. At the end of the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon will occur and during that battle, the second coming of Christ will occur. After Christ victoriously defeats the armies of the world that seek to destroy Israel, Christ will establish His millennial kingdom. So, the passages we are focusing on are those Bible verses about the rapture and second coming of Christ.
Bible Verses About the Rapture
The most significant and clearest passage about the rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. It states,
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NASB)
Here we learn that Christ will descend from heaven with a shout. The shout will sound like a trumpet of God. The implication is that the sound will be very unique. When this occurs, the Christians who have already died will be resurrected first and then every living Christian will rise next and meet Christ in the air. This does not describe the second coming.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 is another passage about the rapture.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NASB)
This passage refers to the same trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. This trumpet announces the end of the church age. These two verses state that at the rapture the mortal bodies of Christians will become immortal. The rapture will occur in a twinkling of an eye. Various calculations indicate that is an incredibly small fraction of a second. Christians will not notice what has happened.
1 John 3:2 also describes this transformation. It is a promise that when Christ comes at the rapture, every believer will be instantly changed and become like Christ. It happens in a twinkling of an eye
We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2b (NASB)
John 14:1-3 is another important passage about the rapture. In verse 3, Jesus told the disciples,
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3 (NASB)
Here Jesus promised that He would come again and receive the disciples to Himself. Jesus referred to the rapture. At the second coming of Christ, He does not receive believers to Himself. Instead, He brings the saints in heaven back with Him to the earth.
Philippians 1:6 is a wonderful promise that promises that God the Father began sanctifying believers from the first day they had saving faith and will continue doing that until the day of Christ Jesus. That is, until the rapture occurs.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
In the New Testament the phrases “day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6; 2:16) “day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10), and “in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8) all refer to the rapture.
Philippians 1:10 is another passage that refers to the rapture. It encourages believers to be sincere and blameless.
. . . to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10 (NASB)
This refers to our practice.
1 Corinthians 1:8 also refers to the rapture. It reminds us that God will consider believers to be positionally blameless, that is without sin, when the rapture occurs.
Confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8 (NASB)
Because believers are positionally blameless or holy, they will go to heaven at the rapture.
In the verses before Philippians 2:16, Paul commands the believers to “prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent,
Holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. Philippians 2:16 (NASB)
In this passage Paul says that if they persevere in the faith, then Paul will know at the rapture that he “did not run in vain.”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Paul declares that the believers in Thessalonica will be his hope or joy or crown of exultation at the rapture.
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NASB)
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, Paul begins correcting false teaching about the rapture. Here is Paul’s opening statement.
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (NASB)
Then Hebrews 10:37 the writer of the book promises that Christ is coming. This is another passage about the rapture.
FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
Hebrews 10:37 (NASB)
Revelation 3:10 is the final significant passage about the rapture. In that passage, Jesus promises that He will keep the church from the seven-year tribulation,
Because you have kept the Word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10 (NASB)
These passages are the prominent or significant passages about the rapture.
Bible Verses About the Second Coming of Christ
There are thirty significant passages in the Bible about the second coming of Christ. The most important one is given to us by Jesus Christ. It is Matthew 24:30-31. This is significant because Christ Himself gave this to the disciples.
“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Matthew 24:30-31 (NASB)
Here Jesus states that the Son of Man will appear in the sky. This verse and Luke 21:27 both teach us that when Jesus comes, He will be sitting on clouds.
In Acts 1:9-11 records a statement from the angels who spoke to the disciples at the time that Jesus ascended to heaven.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11 (NASB)
The angels stated that just as Jesus ascended He will return. The disciples were able to watch Jesus ascend, and people will be able to see Jesus when He returns again.
This will be the first time anyone in modern history will see Him. When He does appear, the earth will mourn. The people on the earth will be extremely unhappy. Why? Because He will return during the battle of Armageddon when the nations of the world are trying to defeat and destroy the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem. But it is important that when Jesus appears we are told that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn.” That is, everyone will see Him. This is very different from the rapture.
Jesus Will Sit on His Glorious Throne
Another statement about Christ at His second coming is found in Mathew 25:31. In this passage Jesus adds that He will be sitting on His glorious throne. Also, once again He states that all the angels will be with Him.
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Mathew 25:31 (NASB)
Mathew 26:64 also teaches us that Jesus will be sitting on a throne, but at the right hand of power. This verse is important because Jesus made this statement to the Sanhedrin Council in Jerusalem just before He was crucified. Jesus was condemned to death and crucified because He made this statement.
Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Mathew 26:64 (NASB)
Second Coming Occurs at the Battle of Armageddon
Zechariah 12 describes events that will occur during the tribulation in Israel. It focuses on the conversion of the people in Israel. Zechariah 12:9-11 is a highlight of the chapter. Verse 10 indicates that at the time of the second coming of Christ, Israel will mourn when they see Christ, whom “they have pierced.” Verse 11 indicates that this occurs at the time of Armageddon.
And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. Zechariah 12:9-11 (NASB)
Revelation 1:7 quotes Zechariah 12:10 and expands on the prophecy.
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NASB)
Then Zechariah 14:1-8 describes military events that will occur at the time of the second coming of Christ. It focuses on events at the battle of Armageddon. It provides new details not given in Matthew 24:30-31. Notice that we are told “a day is coming for the LORD.” In verse 5 the “holy ones” come with Him. This occurs at the second coming and not at the rapture. Then in verses 7-8 the stars are affected.
Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. Zechariah 14:1-8 (NASB)
These passages help us understand that the second coming occurs during the battle of Armageddon at the end of the tribulation.
Millennial Kingdom Occurs after the Second Coming
After the battle of Armageddon, the millennial kingdom will occur. Luke 17:22 tells us that in a conversation with His disciples, Jesus told them that they will long to see His kingdom, but it will not occur in their lifetime.
And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Luke 17:22 (NASB)
So that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NASB)
1 Thessalonians 3:13 describes the encouragement that awaits every believer that will occur at the second coming. Immediately after the second coming, believers will be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom. Non-believers will be sent to hell and await final judgment.
In Peter’s second sermon, Acts 3:19-21, Peter tells us that God the Father would send Jesus so that the “times of refreshing,” also called “the period of restoration,” would occur.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Acts 3:19-21
That is, the second coming must occur so that the millennial kingdom can be established.
Judgment At the Second Coming
Jude 14-15 describes more than the defeat of the nations at the battle of Armageddon. It primarily describes the results of the Sheep and Goat Judgment, also called the Judgment of the Nations. At that time believers will be sent into the millennial kingdom, and unbelievers will be sent to hell to await the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11).
Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. Jude 14b-15 (NASB)
This is a sad reality. It should motivate believers to share the gospel with every unbeliever.
Waiting For the Second Coming of Christ
There are a number of passages that speak of believers waiting for the Second Coming of Christ. Here are five passages:
Awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also . . .. 1 Corinthians 1:7b (NASB)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (NASB)
and to await for His Son from heaven. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NASB)
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. Titus 2:13 (NASB)
so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Hebrews 9:28 (NASB)
Hebrews 9:28 is especially important since it specifically refers to Christ coming a second time, but not for the purpose of salvation, but to reign as king in the millennial kingdom.
Day of the Second Coming Is a Mystery
Several passages state that the day and time of the second coming of Christ is a mystery. Matthew 24:36-37 is a surprising verse because Jesus said that He does not know when He will return. Only God the Father knows the day and hour that He has chosen for Jesus to return.
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. Matthew 24:36-37 (NASB)
Mark 13:32-33 records the same statement.
Matthew 24:42 also indicates that we will not know the day of His second coming, Here is another statement from Jesus.
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42 (NASB)
Matthew 24:44 says that we will not know the day of His second coming, This time Jesus once again says that we must be ready because we do not know the hour He will return.
For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Matthew 24:44 (NASB)
Luke 12:40 is another passage that reveals the timing of the second coming of Christ is a mystery.
General Statements About the Second Coming
Two passages about the second coming of Christ urge believers to pursue holiness and know that the proof of our faith will result in the believer’s praise, glory, and honor when Christ appears.
. . . without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ . . . 1 Peter 1:7 (NASB)
Three more passages also affirm that Christ will return when they indicate that believers will love and look forward to His second coming. These verses encourage us to not be discouraged but to be patient and confident that He is coming.
. . . but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 (NASB)
You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. James 5:8 (NASB)
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . 2 Peter 3:12a (NASB)
In 2 Corinthians 1:14, Paul affirms his friendship with the believers in Corinth when he says,
. . . we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:14 (NASB)
He declared that when Christ appears, he would be proud of them, as they are of himself.
2 Timothy 4.1 -2 refers to Christ as the one who will judge the living and the dead at His second coming of Christ which is followed by the millennial kingdom.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NASB)
1 Timothy 6:14 refers back to verses 12-13. There Paul commands believers to fight the good fight. In this verse, Paul commands believers to keep that commandment until the second coming of Christ.
that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 6:14 (NASB)
Jesus Promises He Is Coming
The final two passages are promises made by Christ Himself.
We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2 (NASB)
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20 (NASB)
Jesus promises that He is coming! However, the Greek word for “quickly” does not mean that He is coming shortly, time-wise, but that when He comes, He comes very fast.
So, we have answered the question, “What Bible verses teach the rapture and second coming of Christ?” There are forty-four significant Old and New Testament passages that refer to the rapture and second coming. We are now waiting of the rapture of the church from the earth to occur. As Revelation 22:20 says,”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Suggested Links:Searching for God — In Search of God — Go To Heaven
God’s Timeline For The Future
The Rapture of the Church
Are the Old Testament saints resurrected at the rapture?
Seven Signs of Christ’s Second Coming
Is Matthew 24:30-31 about the rapture or second coming?
God’s Plan For The Future — What does the Bible say about the future?
Armageddon Is Coming
Did Jesus’ Second Coming occur in 70 A.D.?
Sheep and Goat Judgment