Here is an interesting question, “Is the return of Christ described in Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4 the same?”
Passage #1: Paul Describes Return of Jesus in I Thessalonians 4
“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Passage #2: Jesus Describes the Return of Jesus in Matthew 24
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky… They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
Here are similarities I see between the two passages:
- Both say Jesus comes down from heaven
- Both say Jesus appears in the sky
- Both refer to Jesus coming with angel(s)
- Both refer to a trumpet call
- Both refer to a gathering of Believers
- Paul says Christians both dead and living will be “caught up”
- Jesus more generally says “the elect” are gathered
- Both refer to meeting in the atmosphere
- Paul says “caught up in the air”
- Jesus says “gathered his elect from the four winds”
- Neither passage teach Jesus coming down all the way to earth, only coming in the sky to gather believers
- At the beginning of the Thessalonian passage Paul states what he’s about to write next is based on Jesus’ words. This gives futher credence to the two passages referring to the same event.