(This is one of the best explanations of this passage that I have ever read and a lot of people get confused about this one. The article below is from Rapture Ready and written by Daymond Duck) —S.T. Lloyd
Not the Rapture
By Daymond Duck
The writer of a recent e-mail asked, “Is Matt. 24:36-44 about the Rapture? He thought the verses might be about the Rapture because He was not aware of any Scriptures about the lost being removed from the earth. Before I give my opinion, here are the verses in question.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 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, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:36-44).
Some say these verses are about the Second Coming and some say they are about the Rapture. I believe they are about the Second Coming and here are five reasons why:
First, the verses leading up to Matt. 24:36-44 are about the Tribulation period so it seems logical to me that Matt. 24:36-44 continues to be about the Tribulation period. The gospel will go all over the world (verse 14) during the Tribulation period (Rev. 7:4-8; 11:3-12; 14:6). The Temple will be defiled by the Antichrist (verse 15) during the Tribulation period (Dan. 9:27).
Those in Judea (verse 16) will flee into the mountains during the Tribulation period (Rev. 12:14). The Great Tribulation (verse 21) refers to the last half of the Tribulation period. The feast of the eagles (verse 28) will be at the end of the Tribulation period (Rev. 19:17-18). The sun turning dark(verse 29) will be at the end of the Tribulation period. I believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture so I believe Matt. 24:36-44 refers to the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation period.
Second, Matt. 24 is about Israel not the church. The “holy place” (verse 15) refers to the Temple in Israel. “Those in Judea” (verse 16) refers to people on the West Bank in Israel. The “Sabbath” (verse 20) refers to the day of rest and worship in Israel. The gathering of the “eagles” (vultures; verse 28) refers to the Battle of Armageddon in Israel (Job 39:27-30; Rev. 19:17-18).
The “Fig Tree” (verses 32-33) refers to Israel (Jer. 24:1-10; Hos. 9:10). The “elect” (verses 22, 24 and 31) refers to Israel (Isa. 45:4). So because Matt. 24 is about Israel and not the church verses 36-44 are about the Second Coming not the Rapture. The Tribulation period is about Israel (Dan. 9:24). The Second Coming is about rescuing Israel (Zech. 14:1-5; Rev. 19:11-21). The Rapture is about the dead in Christ (church not Israel) being caught up into heaven (1 Thess. 4:1-13).
Third, the Rapture is about the removal of the saved (dead in Christ) from the earth (1 Thess. 4:13-18). But Matt. 24:36-44 ties the coming of the Lord to the days of Noah (verse 37). In the days of Noah, the lost were removed from the earth. Those “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (verse 38) refers to the lost being removed by the Flood.
Fourth, in Jesus’ interpretation of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matt. 13:36-43) the tares (the lost) will be gathered out of the world by God’s angels and cast into a furnace of fire at the end of the age (NKJV). And, in the Parable of the Dragnet (Matt. 13:47-50) the bad fish (the lost) will be taken away by God’s angels at the end of the age (NKJV). These parables clearly teach the removal of the lost at the Second Coming.
Fifth, the admonition to “Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (verse 42) is significant. There are no signs of the Rapture so there is nothing to watch for. But there are many signs of the Second Coming and people can watch for them. We cannot know the day or hour of His Coming (Matt: 24:36), but those who watch, can see the Second Coming approaching (Heb. 10:25) and know when it is getting close (Luke 21:28)
In conclusion, Matt. 24:36-44 refers to the Second Coming not the Rapture.
Prophecy Plus Ministries Daymond & Rachel Duck email@example.com