Matthew 24:41 Matthew 24:41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
American King James Version×says, "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left." This verse links with a similar illustration in Matthew 24:40 Matthew 24:40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
American King James Version×. A key to understanding the Bible is to examine a verse in its context. The full context begins in Matthew 24:36 Matthew 24:36But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
American King James Version×with, "But of that day and hour [of Jesus Christ's second coming] no one knows." It ends in Matthew 24:44 Matthew 24:44Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×with, "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Clearly, the topic is preparedness for Christ's second coming.
In the immediate context, Christ makes plain the fact that no one knows the timing of His coming, not of His "near approach," as the rapture theory would suggest. His advice to Christians, in light of this fact, is that we need to be constantly alert, always in a state of spiritual preparedness—"Watch therefore" (Matthew 24:42 Matthew 24:42Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.
American King James Version×). The suddenness of His coming will catch people who are not prepared off guard. His return will surprise some living or working side-by-side with Christians who are ready.
But was Jesus even talking about people being caught up in the air to Him, or was He saying one would be taken and another left? Note that the people of Noah’s day “did not know until the flood came and took them all away” (verse 39). So being taken here was a bad thing—being taken in calamity and death. Likewise it would seem that those who are “taken” in the end time are those who are swept away by the swirl of catastrophic events. Those who are “left” are spared. In any case, this has nothing to do with the rapture.