Will the Rapture Occur after Everyone has Heard the Gospel?

Will the Rapture Occur after Everyone has Heard the Gospel?

I used to think that the rapture could not possibly happen until everyone had a chance to hear the gospel. This was based on two verses:

Firstly Matthew 24:14 which states “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

And secondly 2 Peter 3:9 (Message version) “Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”

However I have since learned a few things…

Matthew 24 (up until about verse 31/32) was not talking about. the end of the world, but the end of the Old Covenant, an the destruction of Jerusalem. The word translated world in verse 14 is ge which is not normally translated as ‘world’, it is better translated as ‘land’. We usually get the word ‘world’ from the greek word cosmos, which is not present here. Because of the assumptions of translators they assume it is about the final end, so they translate world instead of land, and they translate nations instead of tribes. Rather that verse should say somethign like this….. “the gospel will be preached through the whole land as a testimony to all the tribes, and then the end will come.”

Matthew 24:14 is saying that before Jerusaalem is destrooyed, the gospel emssage was to be preached to aall the tribes of Israel. The needed to know that Christ was teh messiaah, becauase the mosaaic form of Judaism wasa going aaway. The temple would be destroyed and they were being called into following their messiah, Jesus Christ. This was also the precisely the reason why Jesus said earlier to his disciples this in Matthew 10:23 “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

I have since come to see that Christ will not return to secretly rapture believers, leaving all the unbelievers alone, and then later return again. There is only one return of Christ, not two.

What has become more and more apparent is that Christ IS a very patient God, just as 2 Peter says, and he delays his return so that the world can be saved. He isn’t going to come back quickly and send billions of people to Hell. But at the same time, he isn’t coming back twice either – with a secret return, and then a visible return. There is only one second coming of Christ, and “every eye shall see him.”