- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Bible Prophecy and the End Times
- Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 19:52
“ONE SHALL BE TAKEN”
What is the meaning of Matthew 24:40?
When our Lord uttered His great prophetic discourse as recorded in Mark 13, Luke 21 and here in Matthew 24, He was addressing the disciples, not as members of the church, which did not then exist, but as representing the godly remnant of Israel, “the people made ready prepared for the Lord” by John the Baptist. The disciples had not ceased to be Jews by receiving Christ; that would have been a strange result of receiving the National Messiah. They were better Jews than ever, in fact, the only true Jews. Now, the first coming of Messiah, in humiliation and the second in glory—”the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow”—formed the staple theme of the Old Testament prophets (see Isaiah 10; Isaiah 11; Isaiah 25 and Isaiah 25:9; Daniel 7:9-14; Zechariah 14:1-8). In all these places, except Isaiah 53, it is the coming in power and great glory of the Son of Man to the earth in connection with the deliverance of Israel that is in view, not His coming to take them away from this scene, but to set up His Kingdom for their blessing under His own beneficent sway. In 1 Thessalonians 4 quite another character of deliverance is in view—a preliminary stage of the Second Coming—not revealed in the Old Testament, but a mystery displayed in the New, which provides for a deliverance of a large number of saints by resurrection, transformation and translation from this scene, in view of the judgment and tribulation about to occur on the earth. These will be “caught up to meet the Lord in the air” (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). To anyone who will carefully read the synoptic chapters referred to above, with the Old Testament passages quoted there and also i Thess, 4, there ought not to be much difficulty in settling to which stage of His Second Coming our Lord was referring in His prophetic discourse. There it is the “Son of Man” (6 times repeated) Who is coming, as in Daniel; it will be a coming in an evil day, as in the days of Noah, see Isaiah 10 and 11; in connection with Israel, as in Zechariah 14. The answers to the three questions asked seem very clear. The two will be in the field at the coming of the Son of Man in glory; one shall be taken away from this world in judgment, the other left in this scene for Millennial blessing.