“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)
But this is preceded in the 13th Chapter, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:41-43)
This seems to be a contradiction on one hand, but on the other it could just be the separation of the sheep and the goats. The righteous, from the unrighteous. The Angels are God’s messengers, and will carry out Christ’s commands.
And here we see two different commands being carried out. One is to remove the tares, from the wheat. And burn them. The other is to put the righteous in safe keeping.
“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41, 42)
The wicked, and the disobedient are removed from the harvest and burned.
But in Matthew 24, there seems to be a completely different task for the angels.
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)
Here it seems that the gathering of the elect, the saved, is the task at hand for the angels, does it not?
But we must look carefully and not insert or conject into the Word things that are not said.
So, what is being said here? In order to understand the intent behind this gathering, I believe we would be wise to look at the 13th Chapter of Matthew again.
Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
The good fruit is gathered into His shelter, a place that He has selected to keep them. And I believe that will be Jerusalem.
In any case I have to say that this is not about rapture but simple about securing what is His, at the time of His 1000-year reign.
Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Shalom my friends,