The Harmony of Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4 

Both passages are describing the rapture. 

The Bible tells us that the rapture will occur AFTER the tribulation, but before God’s wrath.

In an effort to deny the post-trib, pre-wrath position and come up with a convenient excuse to sidestep Matthew 24:29, the pre-trib crowd have deceived themselves into believing Jesus was NOT talking about the rapture in his sermon on the Mount of Olives.

This can easily be refuted by comparing 1 Thessalonians 4 (the famous rapture passage) and Matthew 24. When lined up side by side, you’ll notice several attributes shared between both chapters. 

 

Both Describe the COMING of the Lord

 

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 

1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 

This expression also appears in Mark 14

Mar 14:62  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 

It’s obvious that Jesus is coming back one day to gather together his elect from the four winds. We see similar verbiage used to describe this happening in both 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24, because the chapters are describing the same event.

 

Both describe Jesus as coming in the CLOUDS

 

Which leads me to my next point: Both Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4 describe Jesus coming in the clouds.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 

Mat 24:30  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. 

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

One of the attributes of the rapture is that Christ will return with clouds and that all eyes shall see him.

Jesus ascended back up to Heaven in clouds following his earthly ministry and he intends on returning in a similar fashion. 

 

Both describe believers being GATHERED or CAUGHT UP together

 

Notice how 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is STRIKINGLY similar to Matthew 24:31.

Mat 24:31  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. 

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

The Bible says believers will be gathered together at the second coming of Christ and meet him in the air.

 

Both passages describe a TRUMPET sound

 

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

Mat 24:31  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. 

One of the main attributes of the rapture is that a trumpet will sound (I believe this will be a literal, audible trumpet) on the day Christ returns to send his angels to gather together his elect.

We also read about a trumpet sounding in 1 Corinthians 15:

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

Notice: A TRUMPET will sound when the dead are raised incorruptible. This is EXACTLY what Jesus said in his sermon on the Mount of Olives.

 

Both passages align perfectly with the RAPTURE in Revelation

 

If Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4 were describing completely separate events, you wouldn’t be able to compare them to other scriptures dealing with the rapture. You definitely wouldn’t be able to compare them to the rapture described in Revelation.

But you can:

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 

This aligns perfectly with:

1 Th 4:16 …caught up together with them in the clouds…

Matt 24:30 …they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven…

We also see that elements of the rapture described in the Olivet Discourse are present in Revelation 6, when the sixth seal is opened:

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 

Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 

Matthew 24 ALSO tells us that the sun is darkened and the stars fall from heaven:

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

If you want FURTHER PROOF the sixth seal is describing the rapture, take a look at  THE VERY NEXT CHAPTER:

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 

Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

Revelation 7 says there are many multitudes in Heaven and they came out of great tribulation! Where is the pre-trib rapture? Nowhere to be found.

In conclusion, we see that 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24 are clearly describing the same event and the Olivet Discourse is NOT about the Battle of Armageddon.

Both describe the COMING of the Lord.

Both describe Jesus as coming in the CLOUDS.

Both describe believers being GATHERED or CAUGHT UP together.

Both passages describe a TRUMPET sound.

Both passages align perfectly with the RAPTURE in Revelation.

 

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