The rapture and the second coming of Christ are often confused. Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a scripture verse is referring to the rapture or the second coming. However, in studying end-times Bible prophecy, it is very important to differentiate the two.
The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church (believers in Christ) from the earth. The rapture is best described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and, along with believers who are still living, will meet the Lord in the air. This will all occur in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. The rapture is imminent; it could take place at any moment. (Titus 2:13, 1 Thes. 4:13-16, 1 Cor. 15:50-54)
The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist, destroy evil, and establish His millennial kingdom. The second coming is described in Revelation 19:11-16. The second coming includes the removal of unbelievers as an act of judgment. (Matt. 24:40-41)
While we don't know when Jesus is coming back, we can be sure that God's plan will come to completion. In the meantime, we love as Jesus loves, serve as Jesus serves, and follow Him.