I stumbled across an excellent blog today. One of the better articles was on how modern Christians misinterpret Matthew 24 to mean the exact opposite of what it means. The text in context:
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Now Christians tend to say that this “one shall be taken” is a supernatural teleportation to be with Jesus. Post-tribulation advocates seem to just grant them this point without argument, but the text does not support that interpretation.
See verse 39. Who is the “they”? Where are “they” being taken? From verse 38, we see the “they” refers to the wicked. Obviously, “they” were drowned to death and perished. The following verses talk more about a coming apocalypse than a rapture.
Two women are standing at a mill, one is killed and one is spared. Two men are in a field, one is killed and one is spared.
This also ties in nicely to the subsequent verses. Watch. Don’t eat and drink like those who perished. If you do well, you will be given gifts. If you do bad, you will be punished. This fits Jesus’ gospel of a coming earthly Kingdom of God.