Dr. John Walvoord at the pretribulation rapture prophecy conference in Dallas in December, 2000 said that "there is no rapture in Matt 24".  I asked him about the "taken and left" verses, said that some say this is the rapture, and that I agree, and so I asked what he thought about that, and sat down.  Here is his answer he gave as to the "taken and left" verses.

Those taken are taken to destruction.  If you look at the end of Luke 17, you see the parallel account, and there are three verses describe the "taken".  And in Luke, we are told where.  "Where the body is, the eagles will be gathered".  So, they are taken to their deaths.

And in Matthew, these verses are preceeded by the Noah account.  Those taken were taken away in the flood to their deaths.  He rested his case.

Dr. Dave Hunt asked, the word for "taken" in Matt 24 is paralambano, which is not the word used to describe those taken in the flood in the preceeding verse, which is "airo".  And paralambano means to be received, and is used in John 14:1-3, which is our rapture verse, which tells us Jesus will paralambano, or take us or received us, to be with him.

Dr. John Walvoord countered, well, paralambano is also used to describe how Jesus was arrested, so it's not always a good thing, it has bad connotations, so it doesn't mean the rapture.

And the discussion ended.

Of course, I will point out that Jesus being arrested as a definition of paralambano is EXTREMELY SIMILAR to harpazo, the word for rapture in 1 Thess 4 & Rev 12, which means to sieze with force.  Therefore, Dr. John Walvoord's final point fails completely, and is actually reversed.  Paralambano is a strong rapture word, is proved by it's use in context of Jesus' arrest.

Next, paralambano means to receive and join together.  And in the rapture, or marriage, two are joined as one.  See Gen 2, Eph 5, and Matthew 19:5,6, Mark 10:8, 1 Corinthians 6:16

Eph 5
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

So, the use of the different word airo to describe those taken in the flood vs. paralambano, actually supports the view of "taken" as rapture.

Finally, what about where the eagles gather around the dead bodies of unbelievers?

Actually, it does not say bodies, it says "body".  The singular is not consistent with the idea of many people taken to destruction to be feasted upon, although the imagry of the parable is fitting to Rev 19, the destruction of the wicked.  The singular, as Paul noted with "Abraham's seed" meant Christ.  Others feel the same in this case.  The body is Christ.

Furthermore, Isaiah 40 says believers "will mount up with eagles wings".

And John 6:34-61 says that we must eat the flesh of Jesus to enter the kingdom.

And in Revelation, Jesus is the "slain Lamb" in three verses, Rev 5:6,12 Rev 13:8.

Do you really think Matthew, who quotes from Isaiah about 16 other times, was ignorant of Isaiah chapter 40?  Or that Jesus was ignorant and simply forgot that Isaiah 40 and the communion would explain this parable?  Please give God more credit than that; he is not that sloppy nor inconsistent.

Yes, the parable also fits the end of Rev 19, which is the second coming.  Therefore, I believe this parable has this "duel fulfillment" referring to both the start and end of the tribulation.  Thus giving the reader a sense that Matt 24:29-31, which follows right on the heel of verse 28, our body/eagle parable, also has a double before/after tribulation meaning.

Finally, one final point about Luke 17 and Matt 24, the "taken and left" verses.  In the Textus Receptus, from which the King James was translated, the Greek words are slightly different between Luke and Matthew.  And the accounts are not exactly parallel because Luke 17 is NOT a part of the Olivet Discourse, but is spoken in a different speech by Jesus altogether.  The word differences carry slighly different meanings, and you can see it in the Darby and the Young's literal translations.  In Luke 17, the connotations may point slightly that you would NOT want to be taken, but in Matt 24, it looks like you would like to be taken to be received by Jesus.  In each case, Darby and Young made a distinction as to how they translated each verse compared to the other, Matt 24 vs. Luke 17, to keep the word meanings slightly in tact. This gives additional support to both interpretations.

Darby:
Luke 17:
34 I say to you, In that night there shall be two [men] upon one bed; one shall be seized and the other shall be let go.
35 Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be seized and the other shall be let go.
36 [Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be seized and the other let go.]
Matt 24:
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Young's
Luke 17:
34 `I say to you, In that night, there shall be two men on one couch, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left;
35 two women shall be grinding at the same place together, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left;
36 two men shall be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left.'
Matt 24:
40 Then two men shall be in the field, the one is received, and the one is left;
41 two women shall be grinding in the mill, one is received, and one is left.

Finally, even the word use of "body" is different.

Matt 24:28 carcase
4430 ptoma {pto'-mah}
                 from the alternate of 4098; TDNT - 6:166,846; n n
                 AV - dead body 3, carcase 1, corpse 1; 5
                 1) a fall, downfall
                 1a) metaph. a failure, defeat, calamity
                 1b) an error, lapse into sin
                 2) that which has fallen
                 2a) the fallen body of one dead or slain, a corpse, a carcase

Luk 17:37 body
4983 soma {so'-mah}
                 from 4982; TDNT - 7:1024,1140; n n
                 AV - body 144, bodily 1, slave 1; 146
                 1) the body both of men or animals
                 1a) a dead body or corpse
                 1b) the living body
                 1b1) of animals
                 2) the bodies of planets and of stars (heavenly bodies)
                 3) is used of a (large or small) number of men closely united into one
                 society, or family as it were; a social, ethical, mystical body
                 3a) so in the NT of the church
                 4) that which casts a shadow as distinguished from the shadow itself