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Some say that Matt 24:40-41 is referring to a Rapture with the righteous Church removed first. But Jesus said very plainly that in the end time after the tribulations the angels will come and gather the Tares from the wheat first. So if you are taken first you are a Tare and will be cast into Hell to be burned. Tares are church goers who are not saved but of the evil one. Only then are the righteous people dealt with.

I can't see how people could still interpret Matthew 24:40-41 with the Rapture idea? What am I missing? How do they interpret these passages in a consistent manner?

Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. (Matthew 24:40-41)

As therefore the tares are gather and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the End of this World...Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:40-43)

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  • @ Breck - I took the liberty to edit this awesome question for clarity so it would not be Closed by the monitors. I hope it finds satisfaction with you, and is what you were noticing in the discrepancy of interpretation between the two verses by those who believe in the Rapture. Keep studying the Bible, it's great for the soul! You're on the right track.
    – ray grant
    Commented Feb 27 at 21:31
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    Thank you I am new here.
    – Breck
    Commented Feb 28 at 18:26
  • @ray sorry I didn't notice you pinging me - there was a space between the @ sign and my name
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Feb 28 at 22:11
  • @raygrant You need to edit questions in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the original question asker. And questions can't be edited in a both-sides way.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 28 at 23:13
  • @Breck - A few days ago I edited your question for clarification thinking your insight about the contradiction posed by Jesus's mentioning the "tares" are taken out first, not the righteous, contrary to the Rapture scenario, was important...and you asked Why people still believed it. I gave a historical Answer presented in the book by Hummel, but was deleted by the moderators. Did you mean to get an Answer from only pro-Rapture advocates? If so I heartily go along with deleting, since we aim to please and go with "original intent" of the Question. Keep asking questions on SE! Blessings.
    – ray grant
    Commented Mar 2 at 19:02

3 Answers 3

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In order to address your question I believe it's important to go to the person who explained it, and that would be Jesus Christ Himself.

At Matthew 24:3 the disciples came to Jesus privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age/world."

From verses 4-14 Jesus explain what to expect regarding the condition of the world. Wars and rumors of wars. Nations against nations. Earthquakes and famines. This is just for starters.

Vs8, "But these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs." Vs9, "Then they will deliver you to be afflicted/tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name."

Many will fall away or stumble and deliver up one another. Many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. Vs13, "But the one who endures/perseveres to the end, he shall be saved." (Notice endures/perseveres to the END).

Vs14, "And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the END shall come."

Now, here is where I like to say, "Here comes the tip off. Verse 15, "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand, or comprehend what is meant by these words.

Starting at vs16-28 Jesus explains what you should do? Which is "Get out of Dodge." Now for verse 29, "But immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days The Sun will be darkened, and the Moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Vs30, "and the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Vs31, "And He will He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."

Starting at Matthew 24:32-51 Jesus expands on the disciples initial question at vs3 as it relates to the end of the world/age. Like you, I don't see any "rapture" before the end and like you, I don't think your missing anything. I shall also like to say that I know this topic can get very contentious between Christians, so let us remember to be civil to one another and rejoice that Jesus IS coming back for His church.

When I say I don't see the rapture/that is the second coming I mean I don't see it happening until after the tribulation of the church. I base this on a number of reasons but mostly on Hebrews 9:28, "so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation/deliverance without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Does this make clear my position?

I find it necessary to add a couple of points in favor of the post-tribulation view as opposed to the rapture before the great tribulation.

One point is taken from 2 Thessalonians chapter 1. Please read the context and take not of vs7. "and to give REST/RELIEF to you who are afflicted and to us as well "WHEN?" the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire."

Vs10, "WHEN" He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed."

Point #2 is taken from 1 John 2:18. "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist (singular) is coming, even now there are many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour." Vs28, "And now, little children abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming."

So here's the question? If there is a pre-tribulation rapture, why would the Apostle John inform us to expect the antichrist if no one is here because we have been raptured?

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  • Thanks for the edit. The question really needs to be more specific about whether it's asking about pre- or post-tribulation rapture. I think the first paragraph does look mostly like it's asking about pre-trib though... maybe they'll clarify in the future.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 29 at 1:37
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What is written in Matthew is prophetic to Israel future. It has nothing to do with today's called out body of believers which is the church, the body of Christ.

Matthew 10:5-6

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 15:24

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Acts 11:19

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

The church, the body of Christ, was one of God's hidden secrets (Roman's 16:25) that was never before mentioned until revealed only to Paul from Christ ascended (Ephesians 1:22-23). The actual "rapture" of the church, the body of Christ is addressed by Paul in 1 Thessalonians (not Matthew):

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This being a pre-tribulation event makes sense as the church, the body of Christ is not appointed to the wrath of God...unlike Israel being required to "endure unto the end" of their tribulation (Matthew 24:13), or 70th week of Daniel.

1 Thessalonians 5:1

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

Paul continues...

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

There would be no comfort knowing the church, the body of Christ had the future tribulation to look forward to. It makes zero sense for believing members who are protected in Christ NOW and for eternity to be pulled out of His protection to only be forced to "endure unto the end".

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  • Why would you cherry pick Acts 11:19 when the beginning of the chapter is Peter's report of how God sent him to the Gentiles in Acts 10? So, your answer is that the Matthew 13 and 24 passages refer to a time after the rapture of the Church? Commented Mar 1 at 12:38
  • @MikeBorden I added Acts to show that even up in chapter 11 we see they are still going to "Jews only". Cornelius was a Gentile, but he was God's way of introducing and preparing Peter for what was about to come through Paul. Also yes, that Matt 13 and 24 are referring to what Israel will experience prior to their promised earthly kingdom of heaven coming. The church, the body of Christ has no part in Israel's 'earthly' promises. Our hope is in "heaven" and with "all spiritual blessings" (not of earth with carnal blessings). The contradictions disappear when we "rightly divide" (2 Tim 2:15). Commented Mar 1 at 15:04
  • @MikeBorden 490 years (70 weeks) were determined to Israel in Daniel 9. 483 years had passed when Christ rode into Jerusalem. These are prophetic years that the prophets were allowed to see. There remains 7 "prophetic" years that Israel must "endure unto the end". The prophets did not see our current age of God's grace (Eph 3:2) that has gone nearly 2,000 years and was "hidden in God since the world began", that separates Israel's 483rd year from their remaining 7 years to come. They knew nothing of the church, the body of Christ and its role of being God's "heavenly" body of believers. Commented Mar 1 at 15:20
  • @MikeBorden The believing remnant of Israel and the church, the body, are both "in Christ", but serve different purposes for God. Ephesians 1:10 "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:" Commented Mar 1 at 15:37
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    They're certainly seem to be quite a few members of the church, who are protected now in Christ, and yet who are being killed for their faith; sometimes in quite torturous and gruesome fashion. Why should I assume that God wants to protect me from the tribulation that is to come when my brothers and sisters around me are being tortured and killed? It seems like they endure to the end and I'm hoping for a pass. Commented Mar 2 at 19:08
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There are two distinct general resurrections of the dead. One should be careful not to conflate them.

Matthew 24:40–41 is talking about what happens when Jesus returns: the gathering of the first-fruits in the First Resurrection, as later described by Paul:

1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Mattew 13:40–43 is talking about what happens at "the End of this World" when the rest of humanity is harvested and those that are incorrigible sinners are destroyed, which follows the White Throne Judgement, which follows the Second Resurrection, which follows the Millennium, as described by John:

Rev 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The two events occur more than a thousand years apart.

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