Question- It is my understanding that you believe in a pre-trib rapture. How do you reconcile Matthew 24:29-31 with the pre-trib rapture view?
Answer- This is an excellent question. First of all,let me say that I hold my pre-trib rapture views with a grain of salt. I'll be the first to tell you that if I see a man standing in a rebuilt Jewish temple proclaiming himself to be God,I'd reconsider my position very quickly! (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) And then, after I build my nuclear fall-out shelter, I would then be able to calculate the exact day of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. How is this possible? It is possible because, according to Daniel 12:11, "from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up (which is the same event described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and is an event that Jesus Himself said was a future event according to Matthew 24:15-16), there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days." So from the time that the Antichrist desecrates the temple, one could calculate to the exact day the return of Jesus Christ. You may be thinking, "But wait! I thought that no one knows the day or the hour of the Lord's return and that Christians are supposed to be expecting Jesus to come back at any moment." That's exactly right. Check out these references and you will see that the early followers of Jesus believed that Jesus could come back at any moment- (John 14:1-3,I Corinthians 15:51-53, I Thessalonians 1:9-10,4:16-17,Philippians 3:20,Titus 2:13, Hebrews 9:28, I Peter 1:4-5).
So how do we resolve this dilemma? How is it that the early Apostles expected that Jesus could come back at any moment and, yet, according to the prophecies, the return of Jesus to the earth can be calculated to the exact day after the middle of Daniel's 70th week? (See Daniel 9:24-27) The short answer to this question is that there are two separate stages to the second coming of Christ. The first stage is where Jesus comes for His Church to take them to heaven (John 14:1-3) and to deliver them from the coming wrath (I Thessalonians 1:9-10). This is an event that could happen at any moment and is something that Christians should eagerly anticipate (Hebrews 9:28). At some time after this point, Daniel's 70th week begins, which is a 7 year period in which God turns his attention back toward the Jewish people to restore them as His covenant people (see Daniel 9:24) and to purge the world from wickedness (hence the judgments in the Book of Revelation). At the end of this period, Jesus will come back and establish His kingdom on earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6). It is the second phase of His coming that Jesus is referring to in Matthew 24:29-31.
There is much more that could be said about this, but I hope this helps.