(Matthew 24 & The Rapture)
There are many misconceptions that occur in bible studies due to a failure to “rightly divide the word of truth”. When we “rightly divide the word of truth” we give to Israel what belongs to Israel and we give to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ.
In denominational circles Matthew chapter 24:37 & ff. is taught as being the same as 1Thessalonians chapter 4:13 & ff. when they are not. It is alleged that Matthew 24 is talking about the “rapture or catching away” of the body of Christ. In this lesson we will look at why this is not so.
THE VERSES FOR CONSIDERATION:
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
VS 37 – The conditions of Christ return are compared with the days of Noah. A few righteous people in the midst of unbelief. The term “son of man” is a term associated with Christ and the nation of Israel at the second coming set forth in type in the book of Ezekiel – not the body of Christ and the rapture.
VS 38 – All things continue as they have from the beginning. The status quo is “don’t bother me with that judgement stuff I am too busy right now.”
VS 39 – Now here is where you have to begin to pay attention to the wording in the verses. The key to this verse is “took them all away”. Several questions must be asked and answered here so as not to confuse this passage with others (like 1Thes.4).
Question: Who was taken away believers or unbelievers?
Answer: According to the context unbelievers not believers. The believers were in the ark!
Question: Where were those who were taken away taken away to heaven or judgement?
Answer: Unbelievers are taken to judgement, not to heaven.
Question: Can this passage then be talking about Christ returning to “take or catch away” the church the body of Christ in any context?
Answer: No. This passage is a second coming passage directed to the nation of Israel. When he comes back to set up his literal, visible, physical, earthly, Davidic kingdom unbelievers will be taken away in judgement. Those who are saved will “walk” into the kingdom.
VS 40 – One taken to judgement just like in Noah’s day the other left to go into the kingdom.
VS 41 – Same as above.
VS 42 – Just as those in Noah’s day “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” – so it will be when Christ returns to set up his kingdom.
The second coming of Christ to and for the nation of Israel is in view here. Not the rapture of the Church the body of Christ. Lets give to Israel what belongs to Israel and to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ. As we do so we will be following God’s approved plan of bible study – 2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.