THE RAPTURE IN MATTHEW 24:31
Jesus said that there will come a DAY when the world will see
"the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,
and He will send forth His angels and THEY will gather together (episunagō)
HIS elect ones (that is CHRIST'S elect ones)
OUT FROM (ek) the 4 winds,
FROM (apo) farthest end (akros) of the earth
UNTO (heōs) the farthest end (akros) of heaven (ouranos)."
Mat. 24:30-31 with Mark 13:27.
This is describing a SKY-gathering, not an earth gathering.
Notice that "coming" and "gathering" is mentioned kind of as a single unit.
Jesus also said "now of THAT (ekeinos) day and hour no one knows, not even
the angels of heaven, or the Son, but the Father only."
THAT day is the day of His coming that was just mentioned.
He explained this later as like a thief who comes at a time when no one
knows. Mat. 24:43.
He said more about THAT day at verse 40. "THEN (tote) there shall be two men
in the field; one will be taken (paralambanō)
and one will be left (aphiāmi)."
Paralambanō means to take someone to your side. No judgment is involved in
all 49 of its occurrences.
The one "taken to the side" is not the same one as who was "taken away" in
the flood. The word there is AIRŌ, not paralambanō.
Luke uses the word "destroyed them" to explain taken away. Luke 17:27.
A couple of days later, Jesus amplified "taken to the side" when He said, "I
will come again and TAKE (paralambanō) you to Myself
so that where I am there you will be also," which location of course refers
to the dwellings in My Father's house.
The gospel accounts give only a general summary of what Jesus taught, not
all the details.
IF the disciples did not understand what He was talking about, that factor
is not recorded in the gospels.
It was left then to the disciples + Paul to teach others what Jesus was
The word, episunagō at Mat. 24:31 refers to a gathering together.
Paul used the same word group (noun), episunagōgā, at 2Thes. 2:1, "our
gathering together to Him."
Also the single UNIT of "coming" and "gathering" seen at Mat. 24:31, is
preserved by Paul at 2Thes. 2:1.
"the coming of the Lord AND our gathering together to Him."
Paul also used the image of the thief coming at an unknown day and hour at
"the DAY of the Lord will come like a thief in thief in the night."
Peter also used that image at 2Peter 3:10.
"The DAY of the Lord will come like a thief."
Peter was talking about the DAY that we believers should be looking for and
working toward. Verse 12.
It seems that what Jesus was talking about with the phrases, "gathering
together His elect" (Mat. 24:31) and "taking believers to be with Him" (John
14), is what Paul described at 1Thes. 4:16-17, "Then we who are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for a meeting
with the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord."