After some 30 years of agonising and wrestling over the nuances of meaning in Matthew 24, I must conclude that this is one of the MOST DIFFICULT passages - in my view - in the whole of scripture.

I admit, I have "chopped and changed" between the various opinions on this passage several times without ever losing sight of the CENTRAL FACT that Christ will come "to judge the quick and the dead" as the Apostles' Creed puts it.

However, I have FINALLY REJECTED the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church as a tenable position. I maintain that this concept is only implied by the scriptures but NOWHERE exegetically asserted. I now hold to an Amillennial Futurist position as the teaching of the Bible.

I believe the ONE Second Coming of Christ is PRECEDED by:

1 The worldwide preaching of the Gospel Mt 24:14

2 The Salvation of "All Israel" Romans 11:25-26

3 The preaching of the Two Witnesses during the Great Tribulation Rev 11

4 A great Apostasy in the Church 2 Thessalonians 2:3

5 The Reign of Antichrist 2 Thessalonians 2:3

6 Extraordinary disturbances of nature Mt 24:29

7 The Universal Conflagration of nature Mt 24:29

8 The voice of the archangel to awaken the dead to resurrection 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:15; John 5:28

9 The Sign of the son of Man appearing in the Heavens Mt 24:30

Also, there is one more thing that has FINALLY settled my mind on this issue. The following passages of scripture describe the SAME COMING (parousia) of Christ which takes place "immediately after the tribulation of those days". There is only ONE Second Coming of Christ and it described in these verses:

Mt 24:27-31 1 Thess 4:15-17 1 Cor 15:52

I am persuaded, now, that the Amillennial Futurist position is the teaching and the EXPRESS dogmatic assertion of the inspired scriptures.

Do these shared comments invite your thoughts, opinions and responses?

To God be the Glory!

In Christ, Craig