1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
1. Both have the Lord appearing in clouds. 1 Thess 4:17 vs Matthew 24:30; Luke 21:27; Rev 11:19, 14:14
2. Both have righteous people being raised from the dead. 1 Thess 4:16-17 vs Rev 20:4
3. Both are described in the language of Jesus “coming”. John 14:3, 1 Thess 4:13 vs Matt 24:42; Lk 21:27
4. Both have an uncertainty as to when they will begin. 1 Cor 15:52, 2 Thess 2:1-3 vs Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32
5. Both will affect the entire world. 2 Thess 2:7 vs 2 Thess 2:8
6. Both mark the end of things, the rapture will conclude the church age and 2nd advent will mark the end of the tribulation.
How a post-tribulationalist may regard the above similarities
Premise#1 The rapture and 2nd advent have similar characteristics, meaning they're one event
Premise #2 The second advent will occur at the end of the tribulation period
Therefore: The rapture will occur at the end of the tribulation period.
A Pre-tribulationalist counter-response and alternative explanation of the above similarities
The problem with the above reasoning is in how I defined the word "similar". Without going into long technicalities, the mistake I made was in saying "similar" means the "same". For instance, being from Pennsylvania, I can tell you first hand that though the Pittsburg Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles might be "similar" in that they are football teams, who are in the NFL and who are stationed in PA, nonetheless their similarities cease and the differences are far more numerous (ask any of their respective fans!) Similarity does not mean "sameness". Apples and oranges might very well be fruit, however they must be distinguished, since an apple is not an orange nor an orange an apple.
Pre-tribulationalists readily acknowledge that there are similarities between the rapture and 2nd advent, citing among other reasons that the rapture represents a "first stage" and the 2nd advent represents a "second stage" of Christ's raising of righteous saints (church-age saints in the rapture, Old Testament saints and tribulation martyrs in the 2nd advent).
The reader is invited to come back tomorrow, where will look more at the differences between these two events, and how such comparisons aid in understanding the Bible's teaching on end-time events.