Question: Does [Matthew 24:] teach that all those terrible things will have to happen before the Lord comes to rapture the Christians from the earth?
Answer: There is much taught from this
chapter which is not right. Many teach that the gospel must be preached
to all the world before the Lord comes for His people, because of this
verse: "And this gospel OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world
for a witness unto all the nations; and then shall the end come." Matt.
24:14. The background of this chapter is Jewish, as is the entire Gospel
of Matthew. It is presenting Christ as King of the Jews, and all the
world [Ch. 2:2]. In [Ch. 23:], He denounces Israel's leaders with eight
"woes" which are judgments. In [Ch. 24:], He is answering three questions
relative to Israel about their temple, His coming, and the end of this
present age. The church is not in view anywhere in this chapter, it is
only mentioned twice in the book of Matthew. He is speaking to the
disciples who represent a believing remnant in a future day of great
tribulation that is to come on the earth [V. 21]. The gospel will be
proclaimed at that time and will be the message of a kingdom that is at