Question: Does the Bible teach that the rapture of the saints and the glorious appearing of Christ are two different events, or all the same event?
Answer: There is no text in the Bible which says that the rapture of the saints occurs at a separate time from the glorious coming of Jesus. They are always presented as the same event:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:30, 31.
"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.
Question: Does the Bible teach that those who are not taken up with Christ when He returns will have a second chance, or that they will be forever lost?
Answer: There is no text in the Bible which offers a second chance to those who are unprepared for Christ's return. Jesus compared that day to the days of Noah. Only eight people responded to the invitation to enter the ark. Once the door was shut, there was no second chance. In the story of the ten virgins, "they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us." But no second chance was given them. Matthew 25:10-12.
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
Question: Does the Bible teach that the return of Christ will be secret, or that, though unexpected, it will be a globally cataclysmic event?
Answer: Nowhere does the Bible teach a secret rapture. The only verse in which the word "secret" appears in connection with the return of Jesus is Matthew 24:26, "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." Jesus made it clear that His coming will not be secretive.
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming the Son of man be." Matthew 24:27.
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Psalm 50:3-5.
Question: Does the Bible teach that believers will be raptured away before the "Mark of the Beast" goes into effect, or that they will remain on earth until after the wicked are all destroyed?
Answer: Nowhere does the Bible say that God's people will be spared from going through the final crisis, unless it be by death.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the householder said, "Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them." Matthew 13:30. Explaining that, Jesus said, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. . . . Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Verses 41-43. So, the righteous do not receive their reward until all the wicked are first dealt with.
Revelation pictures in heaven those who were triumphant over the beast and his image and mark, those who went through great tribulation in the last days and were victorious. Revelation 7:13, 14; 15:2; 20:4.