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I responded to the pretribulational claim that the gathering of the elect in Matthew 24:31 refers to the salvation of Israel. For example, Thomas Ice thinks the term “elect” in Matthew’s Olivet Discourse refers to Jews who will be gathered. He links v. 31 to Deuteronomy 30:4.
I gave three reasons why he is wrong on this interpretation.
First, I explained that one cannot merely link words or expressions simply because they are similar. This is the similarity=identify fallacy. Context determines meaning.
Then I mentioned that the salvation of Israel happens at the end of the seven-year period, while the context of the arrival of Jesus in the clouds in Matthew 24:30–31 happens before God’s wrath, not after God’s wrath as pretribs would have us believe. In other words, the burden of proof is on the prettribber to demonstrate that God’s wrath has already begun before v. 31. It is Antichrist’s great tribulation that occurs before v. 31, not God’s wrath.
Second, I listed several reasons why the gathering of the elect in Matthew 24:31 refers to the rapture and resurrection. These are outlined in my book Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord.
Third, and what I wanted to highlight on today’s program, is that the context of events in Matthew 24 line up perfectly with the events in Revelation 6–8: persecution of God’s people, celestial disturbances, the deliverance of God’s elect, and the day of the Lord. Revelation 7:14 says that the “innumerable multitude” of resurrected believers have “come out of the tribulation.” This corresponds with Matthew 24:31. Here is the main point: the book of Revelation unpacks the description of the reference to “elect” describing them as “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” Thus, the elect in Matthew 24:31 is not referring exclusively to believing Jews, but all believers from all nations of all times who are resurrected and raptured when Jesus returns at this second parousia.
Links mentioned in program:
Center for Learning Biblical Greek
Listen to the radio debate I had today with Dr. Tommy Ice on Moody Radio’s UP FOR DEBATE with Julie Roys.
Review of My Radio Debate on Eschatology with Tommy Ice – Ep. 55