The First Coming of Christ—sometimes referred to the First Advent—was when that which [was] conceived in [Mary was] of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:20b). JESUS, being fully God and fully Man, was actually present here on this earth for thirty-three years.
Therefore, the Second Coming—or the Second Advent—will happen when the Lord Jesus returns and will actually be present here on this earth for the second time. This will happen at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period—a time appointed by God to begin after the Rapture.
The Second Coming is not to be confused with the soon coming Rapture. The Rapture, defined, is not an advent; rather it is an event. Jesus Christ will rapidly transport—a violent but pleasing event—snatch away—take up into the air—all believers of His universal Church. In this “taking up” the Lord Jesus does not come back to this earth. Instead, He gathers all the believers of the Church Age (Pentecost to time of Rapture) in the air.
Since the Rapture will occur first, in order to maintain chronological order, let’s see how God’s Word explains:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13But I do not want you to be ignorant [unknowing], brethren [brothers and sisters in Christ], concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others [unbelievers] who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep [believers of the Church Age who’ve died] in Jesus. 15For this we [the Apostles] say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [dead]. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise [be resurrected in the air] first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord [not in the seven-year Tribulation which will follow (Revelation 4:1; 5:9-11; chapters 6-22)]. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words. …
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
5:1But concerning the times and the seasons, you have no need that I should write to you [Matthew 24:36; 25:13]. 2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night [in this case, for the Rapture…and seven years later for the Second Coming]. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” [just as those in Noah’s time (Matthew 24:37-39)] then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman [Revelation 12:1-6 speaks of Israel being born again—after the Rapture in Revelation 4:1 and coinciding with Revelation 7]. And they shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as others do [the way others do], but let us watch and be sober [alert, with reasoning ability, self-controlled, pleasing to God, not drunk]. 7For those who sleep [for reasonable rest], sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God did not appoint us to wrath [the seven-year Tribulation], but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep [when the Rapture occurs as stated above in 4:16-17], we should live together with Him. 11Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Much more then [since Christ died for us while we were still sinners (v. 8)], having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath [the seven-year Tribulation] through Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:10
wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
The Second Coming will come when the Lord Jesus returns to this earth to defeat the Antichrist in the battle of Armageddon which ends the seven-year Tribulation:
14For they [unclean spirits coming out of the mouths of the Antichrist and false prophet (v.13)] are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15“Behold, I [Jesus] am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
And I [John the apostle] saw the beast [Antichrist man], the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [Almighty God Lord Jesus] who sat on the horse and against His army [His Church who shall be always with the Lord upon being raptured (1 Thessalonians 4:18)]. 20Then the beast [Antichrist] was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And the birds [condors, vultures] were filled with their flesh.
“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn [Antichrist] was speaking; I watched till the beast [Antichrist] was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.”
All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.