The following is an excerpt taken from the book ‘The Pre-Trib Rapture: A Bucket Full of Holes!’ by Paul Benson. It is available for download at no charge in PDF, E-PUB, or Kindle format. This is a very thorough look at the various facets of the pre-trib theory, and proves conclusively it is not correct doctrine.
Who are God’s elect in Matthew 24?
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Matthew 24:22
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. 31 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 the other. Matthew 24:30-31
If read in context and honest consideration the words of Christ in Matthew 24 present a very clear picture of the ‘catching away’ of the believers at the Second Coming of Christ after the great tribulation. In their efforts to obfuscate this truth and distract you from this assault on their doctrine there has been some wild notions, and even blatant lies, thrown at us from those espousing the pre-trib rapture theory. You will frequently hear nonsense like:
Jesus was speaking here only to the Jews, and these words do not apply to us the Church.
The ‘Elect’ spoken of here are Jews. not the Body of Christ.
Some of the references to his Coming in this chapter refer to the Rapture and some to his Second Coming; and God has in this modern age given special revelation to some people to distinguish between the two; and without these enlightened ones guiding us we, the unenlightened laity, can’t get a proper understanding of the order of end-time events. We need them to teach us. (Big Smile!)
Lets take a look first at the notion that: Jesus was speaking only to the Jews in Matthew 24; and it’s not for us. I don’t know who dreamed this one up, but all it takes to debunk that falsehood is a little common sense. What made this teaching session of Christ any different from all his others? Of course he was addressing the Jews, he did so all the time. There was no gentile Church yet; and I doubt that too many of the Romans were interested.
He was addressing his apostles and disciples; the very foundation of his Church. The same group to which he gave the Great Commission; should we disregard those words also? Jesus was always teaching the Jews; it was to them he was sent. If you apply their criteria for disregarding this chapter to all his other teaching sessions what would we have left? The few times he addressed the heathen? Come on!
Jesus said we are to ‘keep his sayings’ (John 14). He didn’t say, “Keep my sayings unless I was speaking to the Jews.” Matthew 24 is sayings we are to keep. Mark ends his record of the Olivet discourse with Jesus saying, “what I say unto you I say unto all…” (Mark 13:37). Now how could that possibly be interpreted to mean, “Today’s sermon is for national Israel and no one else!”?
One of the keys we receive from the Word of God about discerning false teachers is that they will steal God’s Words away from his people and replace them with smooth words that cause you to err from the truth (Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 13). Rapture theory teachers denying Matthew 24 is for us is truly a theft in progress.
Let’s look at the second part of the deceiving distraction they inject into Matthew 24. How many times have we heard a rapture teacher try to convince us that: “Matthew 24:30-31 is not the Resurrection of the Just because it says ‘the elect’ and we all know that the Jews are Gods elect; so that cannot be our Resurrection, right?” WRONG! To say we as Christians are NOT the elect of God is another falsehood they push to keep these Scriptures from exposing their error. To ‘prove’ their point they will quote a couple of Old Testament verses that call Israel Gods ‘elect’, (and they were at that time!) and then some will go to Romans and twist a passage to try to garner a New Testament confirmation. But it’s all a lie.
If we are going to get to the truth here first we should establish one thing. Israel was (and is called to return to being) Gods elect; chosen and favored. But the Bible teaches us they (unbelieving Israel rejecting Christ) were cut off; and the believing Gentiles (Christians) were grafted in to join all the believing Jews (Christians) as one elect body in a New Covenant with God. And when the day comes where a Jewish remnant turns their hearts to embrace faith in Jesus they (as Christians) will be grafted back in. God does not have two elections, or two Brides as some mistakenly say; just one elect body in Christ sanctified by his Sacrifice. We have not ‘replaced’ God’s elect, but joined the believing Jews IN their election. If these things are not clear to you please prayerfully study Romans 11. It’s stated pretty plainly. And those of you rapture theorists who try to twist verse 28 and say, “See they are Gods elect it says so right here.” I suggest you back up to verse 7 and read it all in context for a change. This chapter in context plainly states unbelieving Israel is not in a state of election, but definitely called to repent and regain that status.
Undeniable Witness From God’s Word
Something that I did to clear this matter up for me was to do a search and study on the usage of the word ‘elect’ in the New Testament. It left no doubt in my mind those in Christ are the elect of God; and Matthew 24:30-31 is our resurrection/catching away!
The word elect is used 16 times in the N.T. (KJV). The underlying Greek word eklektos is used 23 times and is always translated ‘elect’ or ‘chosen’. It is also enlightening to search the word ‘election’. A thorough look at all these passages shows NOT ONE reference to national Israel NOW being the elect. The fact the believer is now the elect of God is undeniable as you look through the verses in question. Examine each verse and ask yourself if this is a reference to national Israel or those who are in Christ. Here are a few:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Colossians 3:12
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: … 1 Peter 1:2
The children of thy elect sister greet thee… 2 John 1:13
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Romans 8:33
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; Titus 1:1
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:5
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 2 Peter 1:10
The Word of God clearly teaches we the followers of Christ are ‘the elect’ of God; and therefor we are the ones being gathered unto Christ in Matthew 30:31. If you are still up in the air on this I suggest you take time to study this out completely; reading each verse that uses these terms in its context. If you can find one verse teaching that national Israel is at this time the elect of God and those in Christ are not please let me know, will ya?
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Isaiah 42:1
If you want to look at this spiritually we are God’s elect because we are in Christ, and Christ is God’s elect. Christ is God’s rlect, and therefor his Body is also God’s elect! It’s all about our identification with him. He in us, us in him; making us the elect.
The third misguided statement from our list above is so hyper-spiritual it is not even worthy of comment other than to say it seems like this ‘rapture’ stuff is getting weirder and weirder as it progresses. I think old number three just kind of rebukes itself. We’ll leave it at that.
To sum it up, saying the Body of Christ is not God’s ‘elect’ is quite clearly a lie against the multiple witnesses we have in the N.T. writings declaring that we most certainly are. And to say we should not consider the words of the Olivet discourse as written to us carries no clout whatsoever. Reading Matthew chapter 24 (and the corresponding accounts in Mark and Luke) with the understanding that the body of Christ is God’s elect leaves no doubt our Resurrection and catching away to meet Christ takes place at his Second Coming after the tribulation. The claim of an earlier event is a man-made ear-tickling fable.
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of Heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in Heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of Heaven. Mark 13:24-27
The Accountability Factor
Anyone who says this passage from Mark isn’t describing our gathering together unto Christ is a false teacher, and is in danger of standing before God as one. Truth sanctifies, but error defiles. If you have embraced the error of the pre-trib rapture theory you have allowed yourself to be defiled by a lie; and the Holy Spirit is speaking to you now. The Lord desires to cleanse you from that error, and is calling you to repent, and turn from it today. Please don’t harden your heart against his voice. This rapture hoax has brought great schism into the Bride of Christ, and is one of the spots, wrinkles, and blemishes the events of the near future are going to remove from her garment. Why not remove that blemish now so God is not forced to?
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 1Corinthians 11:31-32
Blessings upon all who love our Christ;
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