Why Matthew 24:31 is about the Believers' Harvest

Ten reasons why we know Jesus will return for believers after the Tribulation.

Matthew 24:15-31
NKJV  The Coming of the Son of Man
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”… 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be… 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened 29Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1.   Matthew 24:31 is about the elect. The Bible refers to Christians and Old Testament Saints as the “elect.” Both receive righteousness through faith in God expressed in trust and obedience. Before the cross, they only had hints of the salvation that would come by the Lamb of God. Whereas today our faith is in what Jesus, the Lamb, did on the cross. Ultimately, all salvation comes through faith by the grace of God.  •   Romans 11:7  NKJV Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, ...   •   Isaiah 65:22 NKJV  so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.   

2.   Jesus sends the angels to gather the elect (Vs. 31). The parable of the weeds says that the angels are the harvesters.    Matthew 13:38 NIV The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
3.   The angels gather the elect  (Vs. 31).  In the parable of the weeds, Jesus tells the harvesters to gather the wheat (elect) and bring it into the barn.    Matthew 13:30 NIV  Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” 

4.   The gathering comes from both Heaven and earth (four winds) (Vs. 31). This is the believers’ Harvest/rapture when Jesus comes in the clouds from Heaven with the souls of the dead to meet both those who are resurrected and those who are still alive from every part of the earth.    1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 NIV. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 

5.   After great tribulation, the gathering occurs immediately after the Tribulation  (Vs. 29).

6.   There is a great sound of a trumpet   (Vs. 31).    This can’t be Jesus returning to Armageddon because no trumpet sounds at that time. The Harvest/rapture occurs after the Tribulation when the “last trumpet” sounds. This is the last of the seven trumpets in Revelation The Harvest/rapture occurs after the Tribulation when the “last trumpet” sounds. This is the last of the seven trumpets in Revelation.    1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

7.   All the verses that use the phraseSon of Man coming on a cloud” refer to Jesus coming for the Harvest/rapture.    Luke 21:25-28 NIV. “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  •  Mark 13:25-27 NKJV   And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. •. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 

8.   Daniel tells us that everyone whose name is written in the book of life will be resurrected after a time of distress (Tribulation).  Since Daniel 11:31-12:2 match the description of the Harvest resurrection in Matthew 24, we know that both the Old and New Testament Saints will be resurrected after the Tribulation.  This confirms that the elect are Saints from the Old and New Testament.    Daniel 11:31 and 12:1-2 NIV  31“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 1“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life...

9.   Matthew 24:31 cannot be Jesus coming to Armageddon because Jesus comes in a blazing fire when He returns to Armageddon. In contrast, Jesus always comes in the clouds for the Harvest/rapture.  2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 NIV All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

10.  Armageddon is God’s wrath upon the Antichrist (the evil one) and all who follow him. Therefore, Matthew 24:31 cannot be about Jesus coming to Armageddon. The only gathering at Armageddon is the gathering of the nations to receive God’s wrath. In The Great Harvest Hijack, you will clearly see that the end of the age occurs after the Tribulation is complete.  •   Matthew 13:38-39 NKJV The Parable of the Weeds: The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.


Matthew 24:29-31 describes the gathering of the Old and New Testament elect who have died and the believers who are still alive when the Tribulation is over. Jesus returns for believers after the Tribulation, not before or during the Tribulation.

The Great Harvest Hijack 2023 UPDATE  has a wealth of evidence with complete explanations supporting a post-tribulation Harvest/rapture. It also reveals why the Tribulation is not God’s wrath and provides the Scriptures that say God’s wrath is directed toward the Antichrist, those who take the Mark of the Beast and the Beast System for the destruction upon the earth, for the martyring of Christians, and for killing one third of mankind.

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Why Matthew 24:31 is the Believers' Harvest

Jesus Returns For The Elect

Jesus Comes For Believers On A Cloud

The End Of The Age

Everyone Will See Jesus At The Harvest

The Day Of The Lord