A fellow by the name of Arnold Fruchtenbaum wrote a book The Footsteps of the Messiah Ariel Ministries P. O. Box 3723, Tustin CA 92681.
He has written a Luke-type discourse putting the End Times all in chronological order and his comments concerning Matt 24:36-42 makes so much sense to me. Ya know how when you hear an interpretation that "rings true" and you look at it from all angles and there just aren't any warning bells clanging? That's how I feel about this one particular interpretation. He says:
"Concerning the issue of the Rapture, Christ makes three main points: First, as to the question of when, this is known only by one person and that is God the Father (verse 36). It is not known by the angels nor was it known by the Son in His humanity, but only by God the Father. So if the timing of the Rapture has been hidden from both the angels and the humanity of Jesus, how much more so is it hidden from mankind in general! For that reason, the only clue given concerning the timing of the Rapture is that it will occur sometime before the tribulation, and it may not occur just before the tribulation. It might easily occur ten or twenty years before that time. This is not true of the Second Coming which must come seven years after the signing of the seven year covenant or three-and-a-half years after the abomination of desolation.
"Secondly, verses 37-39 clearly reveal there are no signs preceding the Rapture. 'Watch therefore: for ye know not what day your Lord cometh.' Which leads to the third point: there is a supplication to watch for the purpose of escaping the tribulation. Throughout the Olivet Discourse, to watch means to be ready. Watching is the equivalent of readiness and readiness equivalent to salvation. So the means of escaping the tribulation is by means of salvation. Only those who accept Christ before the Rapture of the church can be ready and watching.
Luke 21:36 states it beautifully: 36 watch ye, then, in every season, praying that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are about to come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.' Young's Literal Translation
What do you think about this interpretation?