Q. I constantly hear different interpretations regarding the following verse, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24:36)) and “As in the days of Noah”. I’ve gone back and forth on this way too may times. Won’t tribulation believers know when the Lord is coming? And how could people be carrying on as usual when the world is being destroyed around them? Also the examples of the men in the field and the women grinding in the mill sound a lot more like the rapture to me than the 2nd Coming. Please help!
A. I agree. There are several opinions about this, but if you follow the sequence of events as the Lord gave them, I think you’ll gain a better understanding. Look at these verses.
Matt. 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
Matt. 24:30 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.
Matt. 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour (the day and hour of His coming).
Matt. 24:42 Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
Matt. 24:44 The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.
Matt. 25:1 At that time (the time of the 2nd Coming) the Kingdom of Heaven will be like 10 virgins
Matt. 25:13 Therefore keep watch because you do not know the day or hour.
All these are clearly references to the time of the 2nd Coming. The Lord does not come to us in the rapture, we go to him.
Regarding the days of Noah, history shows that as times become more chaotic people become more desperate for the appearance of normality. It’s not that the world will be calm but people will not know it’s about to end and will be trying to restore some order to things and get on with their lives.
As for the men in the field and the women grinding at the mill the key to understanding these examples lies in the words taken and left. The Greek word for taken means to take unto oneself, or receive. The word for left means to send away. It’s used to describe a divorcing husband sending his wife away. In the rapture believers will be received unto the Lord, but unbelievers will be left in place, not sent away.