Friday, March 26, 2010

¿Who is Taken?

Matt 24:40
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.


Interesting verse. So, who is taken and who is left? Commentaries on this particular subject disagree.

Chuck Smith Commentary
Now, again two divergent interpretations. One says: they are taken away to judgment, and those who are taken away are the unfortunate ones because they are taken away for judgment. And those that are left are the fortunate ones. The other is that this is a reference to the rapture of the church. Those that are taken away are blessed, and those that remain stay for the judgment. And there are arguments on both sides. Whichever fits your scheme.

David Guzik says it's the good, as in the rapture of the Church.
David Guzik Commentary
a. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left: Jesus here points to curious disappearances; to a catching away of some at the coming of the Son of Man (as also described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Matthew Henry agrees with this idea.

Matthew Henry Commentary
Here it is applied to them who shall be found alive. Christ will come unlooked for, will find people busy at their usual occupations, in the field, at the mill; and then, according as they are vessels of mercy prepared for glory, or vessels of wrath prepared for ruin, accordingly it will be with them; the one taken to meet the Lord and his angels in the air, to be for ever with him and them; the other left to the devil and his angels, who, when Christ has gathered out his own, will sweep up the residue.

However, John MacArthur sees it differently. He says that it is the wicked who are taken away and the good are left.

Another good indepth commentary on this issue can be found at CARM.org

Here is just a short piece of it, but I would suggest going to the link and reading the whole thing, if you're interested in this particular study.

Of related interest is a passage in Matt. 13:24-30 where Jesus gives the parable of the sower who sows good seed in his field and someone sows tares. The servants asked if they should go immediately and gather up the wheat. But, in verse 30, Jesus says, "Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn."

The point worth noting here is that the first ones gathered are the weeds, not the wheat. This is most interesting since Jesus explains the parable in Matt. 13:36-43 and states that they will be cast into the furnace.

Additionally, when we turn to Luke 17:1, which is the parallel passage of Matt. 24, we discover that the disciples ask Jesus a question in response to Jesus’ statement that "two will be in the field and one will be taken." In verse 37 they ask, "Where, Lord?" they asked. He [Jesus] replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."

They are taken to a place of death.

This seems to make sense. The mentioning of a dead body and vultures doesn't seem like a good thing, does it?

There is a lot of info out there on this issue, from great theologians on each side, but here's a related question.

If it is the wicked that are taken, how does that work with the pretribulation rapture view? It would almost seem to be contradictory.

Any thoughts?

4 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I've read most of those views you quoted and it's my opinion that "I Don't Know!"
I think we'll all find out very soon! Keep looking up!

He Is Risen!

AL said...

He is risen indeed!

It is a complicated issue and interesting study while we wait.

Anonymous said...

I invite you to Google "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy" and "Pretrib Rapture Politics." Jim

Robert Herndon said...

Either way, if you have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it's good news for you (John 3:16). If you have not, it's bad news (Revelations 20: 15).
Trust God. He will take care of the details the way He intended it, regardless of how we interrupt it.
Robert Herndon
www.faithbasedbooks.com