“When you see all these things, you know that it (His coming) is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Matthew 24:33-34
Jesus does not say His coming will be in their generation; He says it will be “at the door” in their generation. He says the sign of His coming will appear “immediately after the distress of those days…” (Matthew 24:29) Immediately, on God’s calendar, means imminently; His coming is the next prophetic event and has been since the fall of Jerusalem.
While the first rescue and judgment event was preceded by an abundance of signs so that God’s people would be prepared for the distress of their generation, the second rescue and judgment event will come unexpectedly.
While first century Christians were warned not to be trapped in Jerusalem, Jesus warns us not to be trapped in the things of this world before His coming in the clouds: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34-35) We need to live ready for His coming!
The rescue in the first century required Christians to leave Jerusalem. The rescue at the Lord’s coming won’t require anyone to leave, we’ll be taken. “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” (Matthew 24:40-41) The word translated “taken” is “paralambano” in the Greek and means: “to receive near to one’s self in any intimate act.” (Strong’s, 55) It is used in Matthew 1:24 when Joseph “took Mary home as his wife.”
It is used of the rapture again in John 14:3 where Jesus makes this promise to His disciples: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take (paralambano) you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Jesus is coming for His beloved bride. If He came today would you be ready?