Q. I am confused about some of the teachings you’ve been sharing with us regarding the men in the field and the women at the mill in Mt. 24:40-41. Is this regarding the rapture or the 2nd coming? Can you explain it again?
A. Matt. 24:40-41 reads, Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
Understanding these verses requires that we understand where they fit in the order of the Lord’s description. Throughout Matt. 24 the flow of His teaching is chronological, so that’s the way we should read it.
Matt. 24:29 starts us off by saying, “Immediately after the distress (tribulation) of those days …” Then Matt. 24:30 follows with “at that time … they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky”. This is obviously the 2nd Coming, which will happen after the end of the Great Tribulation. Matt. 24:36-39 continues with, “No one knows about that day or hour” and gives references to Noah and the flood ending with, “That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man”. From all this we can see that verses 40-41 describe events following the 2nd Coming.
Now let’s consider the words “taken” and “left” in Matt. 24:40-41. The Greek word translated “taken” literally means to receive unto oneself, and the one translated “left” means to send away.
In the rapture believers will be received unto the Lord but unbelievers will not be sent away at the same time. Therefore the rapture doesn’t fit the intent of Matt. 24:40-41. These verses must be about the disposition of people who will have survived the Great Tribulation and are still alive at the 2nd Coming. Those who’ve become believers will be received into the Kingdom on Earth, and those who haven’t will be sent away to judgment. The Parable of the Servant in Matt. 24:45-51 confirms this.
I believe these verses are a preview of the Sheep and Goat judgment (Matt. 25:31-46) where the sheep will be received into the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) and the goats will be sent away to judgment (Matt. 25:41). That being the case, Matt. 24:40-41 describes the time just after the 2nd Coming, not the rapture of the Church.