Q. I thank the Lord for your ministry, keep up the good work in Him. I have always read the Olivet Discourse understanding it according to the three questions asked by the disciples to Jesus, taking it not chronologically but like as question followed by its answer. I believe all 3 questions and relative answers focus on Israel. The Church is not “really” in view there. However, when we come to Mathew 24:36-42, I believe we are talking about the rapture of the Church as a sign to Israel and if not to Israel as a whole, to the 144,000 Jews involved in evangelizing people during the Tribulation. Where am I going wrong?
A. Where you’re going wrong is that beginning in Matt. 24:30 the 2nd coming is in view. A careful reading shows that in Matt. 24:37-39 the Lord compared events that took place before the flood with events that will take place at the 2nd Coming. In the King James Matt. 24:40 begins with “then”. The Greek word means “at that time”, the time of the 2nd Coming. Therefore it can’t be a reference to the rapture.
Also the examples of one taken and one left in Matt. 24:40-42 don’t fit the rapture. The Greek word for taken means to receive unto oneself, and the Greek word for left means to send away, as in a divorce. At the rapture believers are received unto the Lord, but the rest are not sent away, they’re simply left in place. Matt. 24:40-42 is a summary of the judgments that will come upon tribulation survivors at the time of the 2nd Coming. Surviving believers will be received into the Kingdom to help re-populate the planet while unbelievers will be sent away for judgment.