Q & A
I have heard that the second coming of Christ is divided
into two stages. Is this true and, if so, what are they?
The second coming of Christ in evangelical theology is often
divided into two phases: (1) the Second Coming for the Church (the Rapture) and
(2) the Second Coming to reign.
The Blessed Hope of the Church is clearly the Rapture (see
Titus 2:13). Assemblies of God theologians see this as the first phase of the
Second Coming. The Assemblies of God perspective is presented in this excerpt
from Bible Doctrines by William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton:
The definition of the term “Second Coming” is broad, used in
at least two different ways. Sometimes this term is used of the total end-time
drama, encompassing both the rapture of the Church and the revelation of Christ
in triumphant glory (2 Thessalonians 1:7), when He will stand on the Mount of
Olives (Zechariah 14:4). Sometimes the term is used specifically of the
revelation of Christ, in distinction to the Rapture, which precedes it. The
first phase of the Second Coming, then, used in this broader sense, refers to
the rapture of the Church.
— William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton, Bible
Doctrines (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1993), p. 216.
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