Does Matthew 24:40 speak of a secret rapture?


By BibleAsk Team

Proponents of the secret rapture theory use Matthew 24:40 to support their teaching. “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:40).

The secret rapture theory claims that believers will suddenly disappear leaving their loved ones behind as in the Left Behind movie. And all who are “left behind” must then endure the “seven years of Tribulation” and the rise of the Antichrist but will have a “second chance” to be saved.

The secret rapture theory is not Biblical for the Scriptures teach that the second coming will not be a secret event. It clearly describes Christ’s Second Coming as visible and ultra-glorious. “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” (Matthew 24:27).

“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” (Mathew 24:30,31).

No one would have to be told that Christ had come back to earth, for “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” (Revelation 1:7). There would be nothing secret or mysterious about the return of Jesus.

The “token” that will distinguish Christ’s return from the deceptions of the false christs is the cloud of glory with which He will return to this earth. For He will “come in his Father’s glory” (Matthew 16:27). There would be no mistaking the event for Christ will be seen “sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).

These verses don’t speak of the sudden disappearance of millions of Christians before a seven-year period of tribulation, as is taught in Left Behind. According to the preceding verses of Matthew 24:27, 30, 31, 36, 37-39, “one shall be taken” and “one shall be left” at the visible (verse 27), audible (verse 31), glorious (verses 30) flood-like (verses 37-39) Second Coming of Jesus Christ! And as in the days of Noah, when that time finally comes, there will be no second chances for the wicked.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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