Dear Dr. Naismith:
In regard to the question asked by one of your correspondents in the May-June number of Focus, numerous salient points must be taken into consideration.
His statement in full reads: “In a recent publication reference is made to the Lord’s coming secretly for His own and Matthew 24:41, is cited. Does not the whole context of this verse deal with the Lord’s return to earth? If this is not so, then verse 51 must teach not only a partial rapture but the possibility of a believer losing his salvation some day. God forbid!”
One does not wish to be dogmatic, but certain particulars require examination.
First: This statement, “One shall be taken, and the other left,” is made, according to the passage, in regard to the coming of the Son of Man. The Lord used this title of Himself frequently, not only because it implies His humanity but because it always has been God’s intention that a man be governor of the earth. Adam lost his kingship over the earth when he sinned. A usurper has this place today. He is called “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11 ) . Nevertheless, God’s original purpose will be fulfilled. The prophet Daniel says, “Behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).
This, of course, refers to the second stage of the Lord’s return. He comes as the Morning Star for the Church, and then as the Sun of Righteousness to Israel. He comes as the Bridegroom for the Church, but as Son of Man to the whole earth. In this the second stage of His advent, He will be King of Kings in His glory and will establish His kingdom of justice and equity over the entire world.
Second: Attention should be given to the words of the Lord regarding “the days of Noe”. Through the flood the majority were taken away in judgment, and only a few were left after the deluge to enter the renovated earth, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Third: The happenings in the days of Noah are used by the Lord to illustrate what will transpire when the Lord again punishes humanity. “Behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many” (Isaiah 66: 15-16). The impenitent, the ungodly, will be taken away by judgment, and only a minority will be left to enter into the Millennium, Christ’s reign of glory and righteousness for one thousand years.
Fourth: The parable that closes this chapter deals with profession in the days of the coming of the Son of Man, the seventieth week of Daniel. All in the parable profess to be servants: “By their fruits shall ye know them.” Some are faithful and wise in nature as well as in name, therefore, they will be recompensed when the Lord returns to establish His kingdom. Whereas, the evil ones, servants in name but not in nature, will perish in the outpouring of judgment.