In many prophecy books on this subject, unbelieving spouses are described as waking
up in the morning only to discover that their believing husbands or wives have been
“taken” or raptured to heaven. All who are “left behind” must then endure the “seven
years of Tribulation” and the rise of the Antichrist. But it is said they have a
“second chance” to be saved..
MYTH BUSTER 1
Is such an interpretation, popular as though it may be, the real rapture truth?
Is this really what Jesus meant in Matthew 24:40? Let’s look closely at the context
to find out.
* Matthew 24:27 - Jesus said, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines
even to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” This verse is clearly
describing Christ’s visible and ultra-glorious Second Coming. Very few disagree here.
* Matthew 24:30, 31 - Jesus continued, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son
of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall
see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 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 another.” Once
again, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is clearly described. This coming will be
literal, visible, loud and glorious. All the world will see and hear it.
* Matthew 24:36 - “But of that day [the day of the Second Coming] and hour knoweth
no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My father only.” Once again, the context
is clearly the Second Coming.
* Matthew 24:37-39 - “But as the days of Noah 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 Noah 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.” Jesus clearly compares His Second Coming with Noah’s
flood. This flood came suddenly upon the lost “and took them all away.” In other
words, they were lost - with no second chances. Christ said, “...so shall the coming
of the Son of man be.”
* Matthew 24:40 - “THEN [capitols added] shall two be in the field; the one shall
be taken and the other left.” The all-important question is: When is “then”? Does
this verse describe the sudden disappearance of millions of Christians before a seven-year
period of tribulation, as is taught in Left Behind? Or is it talking about the salvation
of one and the destruction of another at the Second Coming of Jesus - at the end
of the world? For those seeking truth and are willing to closely examine the context,
the answer is clear. According to the preceding verses of Matthew 24:27, 30-31, 36,
37-39, the answer is - “one shall be taken” and “one shall be left” at the visible
(vs. 27), audible (vs. 31), glorious (vs. 30) flood-like (verses 37-39) Second Coming
of Jesus Christ! And just like in Noah’s day, when that time finally comes there
will be no second chances. Everyone will be in one of only two groups. They will
either be in the group that“will be caught up together....in the clouds to meet
the Lord in the air.” (1 Thes 4.17), or in the group that are”.... killed with the
sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged
themselves on their flesh” (Rev 19.21). Those “taken” aren’t secretly raptured away
to heaven. In this context, referring back to the Noah’s day, they are taken by the
“flood” and destroyed. The ones left behind meet the Lord in the air - the complete
opposite to what is taught in the “Left Behind” fictional novel.