Matthew 24:38 “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (24:39) and *they knew nothing about what would happen* until the flood came and took them all away. *That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man* . (24:40) Two men will be in the field; *one will be taken and the other left* . (24:41) Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; *one will be taken and the other left* .”
This text has been used to support the false teaching of secret rapture. A teaching suggesting that Christ return will be a secret disappearance of believers to heaven. We even have movies supporting the lie. No doctrine can be accepted if it’s only based on one text. Secret rapture as a doctrine is only based on this text, hence it’s rejection as unbiblical.
This text refers to end of time. We therefore must relate it to other texts and teachings on end of time.
The nature of the events surrounding the return of Jesus in Revelation 1:7, Revelation 15&16, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and even 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 does not envision the secrecy purported, nor the very time of being taken to heaven to be a time when anyone would be in the field or grinding the mill. Activities of that nature would have ceased because of the impact of the 7 last plagues. The 7 last plagues will bring life and it’s activities as we know it to an end, before the actual appearance of Christ in the sky.
Therefore the text does not refer to the time people will be taken to heaven. It must be a reference to another event around Christ’s return. What is key in the event is that people will be separated from each other for salvation and damnation while at work, or as life runs as usual. While life goes on as usual like the time of Noah. It will happen but unknown to the taken and left, as it was prior to the flood.
The only related event where people while pursuing their daily duties will be separated albeit not physically, is judgment time. Daniel 7:9-13 teaches that there is a judgment that will be based on records of heaven. 1 Peter 4:17 teaches that judgment will be systematic, beginning with God’s house and progressing to others over time. This judgment will precede the declaration of Revelation 22:11, a declaration of end of an opportunity to accept salvation. This judgment will precede the return of Christ when actual separation will take place. This judgment based on heavenly records separates people as life goes on as usual.
This text therefore can be inferred to describe the consequence of the judgment based on heavenly records. That while Christ has not yet returned. While life is going on normally at the field and grinding mill. The judgment based on heavenly records will be separating people into two groups…one saved…the other lost! That is why it clearly states that while together at the field or grinding mill together, they will be separated. Separation is not physical yet, it is heaven listing one as saved and another one as doomed. Therefore while still together and unknown to each other…they have been separated eternally. One has been taken and one has been left, as the work at the field and grinding mill goes on.
Therefore, let us know that we live in the times of judgment based on heavenly records. That judgment goes on even now. Those who have committed their lives to Christ will be saved. I pray that you and I will be saved by Jesus by His grace! Amen.
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Pastor Rei Kesis