Q. Would you please comment on LK 21:23/MT 24:19? It is a common belief that children under the age of accountability will be raptured. The same for the pre-born. Are the children and pre-born referred to in these passages conceived after the rapture? Or is this something specific concerning the nation Israel?
A. Both Passages refer primarily to pregnant and nursing mothers of the Jews who are being warned to flee from Judea (Israel) into the mountains. In Matt. 24:19 the timing is the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Temple (Matt. 24:15) so the warning is to women who will have conceived sometime between the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Great Tribulation, a period of time at least 3.5 years long.
In Luke 21 the Lord didn’t mention the Abomination, but instead referred to the siege of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20). That means he was having Luke warn people in Israel about the siege of Jerusalem in 68-70 AD. Therefore although the wording is almost identical, Matthew and Luke were referring to two different events. For more detail on the differences in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse, click here.