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Just as in the Days of Noah

Tribulation then Rescue then Wrath – – Part ONE

“what will be the signs of your coming and of the end of the age?”


          The old joke of a ragged prophet holding a sign proclaiming “THE END IS NEAR” is no longer a joke for some people who are now saying “the end is HERE.” If a ship is sinking, it would be a good thing to find clearly marked signs to the lifeboats. Where are the clearly marked signs pointing out a rescue (or rapture as it is commonly called)  at the end of this perilous age?

 Pre-trib? Mid-trib? Post-trib? Pre-wrath? Confusing isn't it?

    Confusion is of the enemy but Jesus promised that His Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth so there IS hope (John 16:13).

    So many  rapture theories are out there but only one can be the right one. What was the key sign Jesus told his disciples when they asked “what will be the signs of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus listed several warning signs: spiritual deception, false Christs and many other important signs including “… just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man…” (Luke 17:26-27 NASB). Jesus gave an emphasis: it was not simply “as” in the days of Noah but “just as it happened” in the days of Noah which means that keen attention should be given to every detail of how it happened in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:29-30). There’s a lot happening: “eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (preoccupation with temporal activities), violence and sexual depravity – all of which are relevant – but for the purpose of this study, the pattern of tribulation, rescue and wrath need careful attention. A careful and prayerful reading of the Noah/Lot Bible narratives will show that this order of events holds true because our unchanging God has held it true from creation until now and in the future when he will snatch His faithful ones away from danger “immediately after the tribulation of those days… ” (Matthew 24:29-30; Matthew 24:31). Study the chart below and watch for the pattern of tribulation, rescue and wrath as it keeps repeating itself all through history.


thlipsis1

PRE-EXODUS: sons of Jacob (children of Israel) were afflicted with heavy burdens (Exodus 1:12).

RESCUE: By the power of God, the children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground

 (Exodus 14:21).

WRATH of God: Just after rescue, the Red Sea swallowed Pharaoh's army. (Exodus 14:28-29).

BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY:  Brutally afflicted by the Babylonians by the sword, by fire and destruction.

(2 Chronicles 36:17-21).

RESCUE where God sent a warning  to His people through Jeremiah to get out of Babylon before it is destroyed (Jeremiah 51:6).

WRATH of God on Babylon who severely afflicted God's people

(Daniel 5:27-28).

ESTHER: Distress among the persecuted  Jews .. "great mourning ...fasting, weeping and wailing ..."
(Esther 3:6).

RESCUE where king  Ahasuerus gave Jews the right to defend themselves (Esther 4:3).

WRATH: "... Jews struck all their enemies with the sword..." Haman's family hung on the gallows.

(Esther 9:5-16).

DANIEL: under pressure in the lion's den while his king is "deeply distressed" and "troubled."

(Daniel 6:14-23).

RESCUE where God sent his angel to shut the lion's mouths until morning when Darius freed Daniel.

(Daniel 6:22).

WRATH:  Those who accused Daniel  along with their children and wives are killed in the lion's den.

(Daniel 6:24).

NOAH: - "violence filled the earth" ... only 8 souls are saved.

(Genesis 6:11).

RESCUE where God told Noah to build an ark for him and his family to be saved from the flood.
(Genesis 7:1).

WRATH where the flood began the "very same day" Noah and his family entered the ark (Genesis 7:11;12;13).

LOT: Oppressed by the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.

(2 Peter 2:7).

RESCUE where the angels snatched Lot and his family to safety just in time.  

(Genesis 19:16).

WRATH:  fiery judgement on God's enemies even while the rescue is still underway 

(Luke 17:29).

 

thlipsis2

JUST AS IT HAPPENED

 In the days of Noah: “… violence filled the earth” (Genesis 6:11-12) and God rescued (raptured) Noah with his family just in time while the wrath of God was already beginning to pour out on the whole earth (Genesis 7:12-16). In the days of Lot: “He rescued (raptured) righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men” (2Peter 2:7). It was rescue when the angels firmly took Lot’s family by the hand and snatched them to safety just in time, then wrath while Lot’s wife looked back to see that fire and brimstone was already pouring down on Sodom and Gomorrah.

 
JUST IN TIME RESCUE

 The future rescue (rapture from the Greek word harpazo) of God’s people will be just in time before His wrath is fully poured out on His enemies. This is clearly seen in the Noah/Lot examples and is prefigured in many types and shadows from Genesis to Revelation. For example the prophet Daniel speaks of “a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued” (Daniel 12:1). Collectively, all these biblical examples bear witness to the following two verses where Jesus explicitly stated that “… In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NASB) and where Paul the Apostle stated that “… God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NIV). In plain language, God’s people can expect tribulation but His people will not suffer His wrath.

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*“Strong’s Concordance #2347: thlipsis (pronounced thlip’-sis) from 2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): — afflicted (tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.”

“Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: thlipsis — 1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure; 2) metaphorically oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits. Part of Speech: noun feminine – Relation: from G2346 – Citing TDNT: 3:139,334.”




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