“As the days of Noah were so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”
One thing I noticed about the days of Noah was that, after it began to rain, no one was pounding on the door of the Ark wanting to get in. Maybe you thought there were. I did. A preacher or a teacher may have planted that idea in my head or I may have extrapolated it from another biblical account (cf Luke 13:25; Matthew 25:10). But I went back and looked in the Genesis record of Noah and the Ark. No. No one suddenly woke up to what was happening and realized that Noah had a means of escape.
As a matter of fact, earthlings in Noah’s day didn’t even know what rain was. It had never rained before (Genesis 2:5, 6). They literally didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. They had no idea that the rain wouldn’t stop and that the heavens would produce enough water to cause a flood. They didn’t know what a flood was. They had no concept of a flood and no word to describe it. Flood wasn’t in their vocabulary until God spoke the word to Noah (6:17).
“In the days before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and having babies, until the day that Noah entered into the Ark. They knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away” (Matthew 24:38, 39). “As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26, 27).
During that relentless rain, did anyone think anything about Noah and his Ark? Probably not a thought. They didn’t know what a boat was or that the Ark would float. Boat(s) doesn’t occur in the Bible until 2 Samuel 19:18, and ship(s) doesn’t occur until Genesis 49:13. Not even Noah knew about a boat until God told him specifically how to make one (Genesis 6:14-16). When the Ark lifted off the earth (7:17, 18), the people didn’t think anything of it. Everything was lifting off the earth and riding on the water. A new phenomenon. They were taken up with the Flood. Who cared about the Ark?
Did anyone miss Noah? Not a one. Because there was no survivor (7:21, 22).
“Likewise, also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).
Two angels came to Sodom, and Lot took them in as his houseguests (Genesis 19:1-3). The angels told Lot what was going to happen and instructed him to get his family out (19:12, 13). Lot went to his married daughters, but his sons-in-law would not hear him. To them “he seemed as one that mocked” (19:14).
When morning came, Lot, his wife, and his two unmarried daughters were the only family ready to leave. While Lot lingered, the angels laid hold on the four of them, brought them forth, and set them outside the city: literally airlifted them out, then told them, “Escape for your life. Look not behind you. Escape to the mountain lest you be consumed” (19:17). When Lot was studying on it, the angels prodded him. “Make haste. Escape. I cannot do anything until you’re out of here” (19:22). Then the Lord rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24).
Did anyone miss Lot and his family? Not a one. Because there was no survivor (19:27-29).
When people today imagine the Rapture, they imagine a daily existence still continuing as it is now. They think we will be airlifted out of here, and that those left behind will be wondering where we are and that newspapers will be screaming headlines about missing people.
Jesus Himself likened the Rapture to the days of Noah and the days of Lot. I didn’t make that comparison. He did.
What happened in both those instances?
A catastrophe. A never-before-known cataclysmic event.
Will those left behind miss us when we’re gone? No. They will be too caught up in their own nightmare even to notice we’re not here anymore. Because the Rapture will coincide with another world-altering event comparable to the Flood and to Sodom and Gomorrah. God will take His people out just as the planet is experiencing a terrific crisis: the worst of its entire existence.
What will be that precipitating event heralding the Rapture and the seven-year Tribulation? Probably a nuclear explosion or a supervolcanic eruption. Possibly an all-out thermonuclear war: mutally assured destruction (MAD). It will happen so suddenly that no one will see it coming except the most astute seers. I equate it with the Battle of Gog and Magog War (Ezekiel 38; 39) when the forces of Russia, Iran, North Africa, and former satellites of the USSR (the Muslim world) come against Israel. Israel will win that war and salvage fuel enough to last seven years (39:9).
Arthur M Katz, author of Life After Nuclear War (1982), and Sima R Osdoby wrote a paper on the effects of limited nuclear war and concluded that many farmers would end up dead or out of business and the world would be hurting for food. Alan Robock, professor at Rutgers University, did a study on the effect of a regional nuclear war, between, say, India and Pakistan, and concluded that nuclear weapons were a more urgent environmental hazard than global warming.
Sometime ago PBS-TV did a study of how an all-out thermonuclear war might progress and how it would affect the planet. The picture they painted was close to events described in the Book of Revelation or what the Bible portrays as the seven-year Tribulation. They determined that the Northern Hemisphere would last three and a half years; the Southern Hemisphere would last another three and a half years: seven years. Then all life on Planet Earth would be gone.
The Bible says. “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). “The heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (Revelation 6:14). “There shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved. But for the Elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21, 22; cf Mark 13:19, 20).
“I’ve told environmentalists that if they think humanity is wrecking the planet, wait until they see what Jesus does to it.” ~John MacArthur
We can watch for the Rapture. I do. But Israel is God’s timepiece. The thing to watch is how things are progressing in the Middle East. There will be war. Probably thermonuclear war. In the nick of time God will rapture the Church. Because earthlings will immediately be caught up in their own fight for survival, they won’t notice we are gone. They won’t even miss us.
“When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).
Copyright © 2013 Alexandra Lee