In warning us about what the state of the culture would be like before His Second Coming, Jesus gave us two examples of judgment during a time of unrestrained evil on earth; one in a local area, and one that was worldwide. In both cases given, life was going on seemingly as normal; people were eating and drinking, they were planning long term, as in planting for harvest, building homes, weddings planned, etc. But all of a sudden, for those not living in relationship with the Lord, a day came when Lot and his family disappeared with a couple of angels, and Noah and his family got into his boat, and the door was shut. As soon as the righteous were safe, on the same day for each of them in our two examples, the judgment of God fell on those who had not turned from ungodly deeds. There was no time gap in between Noah entering the ark and the judgment of God falling. Here’s what Jesus warned:
26“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30 emphasis mine).
Some say that Noah entered the ark sometime before the rain came, but this is not correct. Let’s look at what God’s Word says:
11In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark (Genesis 7:11-13).
16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in (Genesis 17:16).
Similarly, in Christ’s second example, too, there was no time gap between Lot leaving Sodom and the judgment on the city. In fact, the angels had to hurry up those God set apart as righteous (Genesis 19:15-17). The Lord did not tell those left behind to come back later to get in. No, my dear friends, there is no biblical truth in the Left Behind series of books, it is entirely fiction. In the passage at the top of the page, Jesus told us that the rapture of God’s people and the wrath of God falling is a back-to-back event. As soon as the catching up of God’s people (the rapture) happens, the judgment and wrath of God will fall.
The wrath of God is poured out only after the true Church has gone through the time Jesus warned us about, the time He called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:30-31), a time of persecution on those who will not go along with the Antichrist’s one-world economic system of taking a mark on the wrist or forehead (Revelation 13:16). We are not to compromise our faith, but stay close to Christ during the unrestrained evil poured out on our planet by the evil one. We are to live our lives uncontaminated by the world system.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).
There will come a day when our God will intervene, and what an awesome day that will be for every one of us who has chosen to walk with Christ. Keith Thomas
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To study this topic in more depth, click the All Studies box on the Home Page, then the series called The End Times. The study is number 5, The Rapture and Day of the Lord. There are also 21 studies in the Book of Revelation.