Who Will Be Left at the Second Coming of Christ?


Who will be left at the Second Coming of Christ after the Tribulation period?

We previously looked at some of the passages with regard to the Rapture, so we have al­ready seen from the Scriptures that the believers who are removed at the Rapture. But what about passages that are talking about who will be removed.

For example, in Matthew 13 where Jesus taught some parables concerning the Kingdom, one of those parables has been called the Parable of the Tares. Jesus taught about a man who had sowed good grain or wheat in a field. Later on his enemy came along and sowed tares in that same field. As time passed, the wheat and the tares sprang up together; they were growing together during the growing season.

The farmer’s servants noted what had happened and they came and reported to him. They asked him, “What do you want us to do? Should we go out during the growing season and root out the tares from among the good grain or the wheat?” And he said, “No. Don’t do that.”

Look at Matthew 13:29-30: “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares—that word “first” is very critical here— Gather together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Now, when you look at verse 36, we are told, “Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house and his disciples came unto him saying, ‘Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.’” In other words, they said, “Explain to us; give us the interpretation of that parable.” “He answered and said unto them, ‘He that sows the good seed is the Son of man.’—So He is saying that the farmer that sowed the wheat represented Himself, Jesus, the Son of man.—‘The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom.’” In other words, righteous human beings, those who have gotten saved, they’re believers in the Lord Jesus who will even­tually go into the future Millennial Kingdom.

Then He says, “But the tares are the children of the wicked one.” Now, in the Bible the wicked one is Satan and the Bible identifies the children of Satan as unbelievers. John, for example, in 1 John 3 drew a contrast between believers and unbelievers and indicated that the believers are children of God, but the unbelievers are children of Satan. The Bible makes that very clear. So the children of the wicked one here are the unbelievers who are in the world. They are repre­sented by the tares. Verse 39 continues, “The enemy—God’s enemy—that sowed them [the tares] is the devil.

“The harvest is the end of the world,” literally the end of the age, not when this world comes to an end but when this present age comes to an end. “And the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age. 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. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

What Jesus is saying on the basis of this parable is this: that at His glorious Second Coming, at the end of the age, which will be immediately after the future seven-year Tribulation period, He will send forth His angels into the world and they will gather out of the world the tares—the unbelievers, the children of Satan—and will cast them into a horrible place of fire where there will be gnashing of teeth and wailing. So the unbelievers, He’s teaching, all the unbelievers who are alive on the earth at the glorious Second Coming of Christ after the seven-year Tribulation period, are going to be removed from the earth in judgment by God’s angels.

And then He says, the righteous, those are the believers, the saved, “will shine forth in the Kingdom.” In other words, the believers who are alive on the earth at the Second Coming of Christ will go into the next period of world history, namely, the Millennial Kingdom age of world history.

That’s the order of the Second Coming. All the unbelievers removed from the earth in judg­ment at the Second Coming of Christ and the believers who are alive at that time left here to go into the next period, namely, the Kingdom.

Go Deeper

This article was written for The John Ankerberg Show by: Dr. Renald Showers, ©2005.


  1. Patty on January 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    There will still be unbelievers during the millennium, because they will join with Satan when he is loosed at the end of the 1000 yrs.

  2. Deward on January 27, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the article, but a questions arise. If all the unbelievers are removed from the earth what does that say about the nations of Ezekiel 14 that have to keep the feast of Tabernacles each year. And if they don’t they will be punished. It doesn’t seem like they can be called “believers” if they are capable of rebelling against the word of the King. Also, how does the sheep and goat judgement of Matthew 25:31 thru 46 fit into this picture If all nations/peoples (except the Israelites) are gathered before the King and judged, some going into life eternal and some into everlasting fire/punishment it seems there would be no one left to keep the feast of Tabernacles except the Israelites. I hope someone can shed some light on this mystery. Thank You

    • Jon on January 18, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Those who enter the Millennial Kingdom will be mortals, and will have children. All of these mortal children will have free will, and will have to either accept or reject Jesus, same as all believers have had to do. They are the ones that will be vulnerable to Satan’s deception when he is released at the end of the thousand years.

  3. Darlene Brandenburg on June 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I loved this article, I I find it very interesting because we believers will reign here for 3 years, but where I get confused is, it also says, that there will be those that want Satan back? And I believe that is after the Two men (Enoch and Elijah) have come back alive in the center of the city?

  4. Kathy on June 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve sat listening to preachers since I was 17 that the dead in Christ will rise first then we who are believers will be caught up in the air. This was explained as before the tribulation and as the rapture. My husband and I was discussing this recently and he said he was taught that we live through the tribulation. When the star falls from the sky in Revelations and unlocks the pit, the locust are ordered not to harm those with the mark of Adonai on them. He grew up Baptist, I grew up Pentecostal. Today’s preachers do nothing but preach tithe, tithe, tithe. I got a Hebrew Bible to go along with my NIV because I want to KNOW THE TRUTH. Yeshua is the truth but I fear too many people don’t get that anymore. I’m of Ashkenazi Jew ancestry and know there is more out there. I also know no man understands the bible as a whole. So, do we live thru the tribulation?

  5. Tina Marie on June 23, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    The Catching Up Comes First!!
    1 Thess.4:13-17!!

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