Q. Matthew 24:31 says, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This verse states that the “elect” will be gathered from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other – heaven, not earth. Is this proof we are already in heaven before the tribulation? That we have been raptured?
A. You could be right because we will have been raptured by that time. But we have to remember that in the Olivet Discourse Jesus was speaking to Israel in the end times. The Greek word translated elect also means chosen, so the logical assumption is that the Jews are God’s elect. This is also true in Matt. 24:22 where the Lord promised to bring the Great Tribulation to a close “for the sake of the elect”. Although He intends to completely destroy the nations among which His people have been scattered, He will not destroy Israel but will only discipline them (Jeremiah 30:11).
Since the first resurrection of Israel takes place at the time of the 2nd Coming (Daniel 12:1-2) the elect who accompany the Lord could be the Old Testament saints of Israel.