I have been blogging a lot about the return of the Lord in the Rapture of His Church. It would seem that this is a major field of interest for me as of late, especially in light of what is happening in and around the world. While I don’t want this blog site to be about politics and opinions about how or when the world may end, or get better, I do want it to be about building the faith in men of God. Brothers who are as concerned about what is happening as they are their faith in God and the leadership He has commissioned for them when it comes to their marriages and families. I also understand that there are a lot of younger people, single people, students and such who are old enough to be my grandkids who are also subscribed to this blog site. This blog topic is geared for them, and more specifically, how they are to interpret what is happening in the world in light of their future, whatever that might or might not look like. The truth be told, there are fewer days ahead than are behind for this world, are more importantly, the Church. We’re almost home. What we are seeing right now in the world is what Jesus said we would see just before His return for us.
Luke recorded the words of Jesus this way, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” – Luke 17:26-30
- We can see that Luke records more than Matthew or Mark when it comes to the description of the world just prior to the Rapture of the Church. We are familiar with the activity of eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage’ occurring ‘up until the day’ that Noah entered the ark. This communicates a sort of ‘business as usual’ reality, even though many other weather related and military events are occurring.
Jesus continues by describing the days just prior to the Rapture as being similar to the days of Lot. ‘They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.’ The idea of a pre-tribulation Rapture is conveyed strongly here. The phrase’ in the day when the Son of Man is revealed references the Rapture and the Lord’s revelation is to His Church, both living and dead. This is not referencing the Second Coming because we know that the world will be anything but ‘business as usual’ when Jesus returns to the earth with His Church to retake the planet and set up His millennial kingdom; just after the seven-year tribulation is completed.
A closer look at the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah reveals more rich truths about God’s plan of redemption as it relates to His judgment.
Moses recorded it this way in Genesis 19, “Then the men (angels) said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” – Genesis 19:12,13
- We can see the premise of God’s plan of redemption for Lot and his family, but His plan to judge the people of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels asked if Lot had any relatives who needed to be saved from this coming judgment because God was going to judge, and they need to leave.
“So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.” – (vs.14)
- Here we can see the type of relationship Lot had with his sons-in-law and how they didn’t take Lot seriously when he tried to warn them according to what the angels had said.
“When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” – (vs.15-17)
- Lot lingered while the angels pressed him to leave with his family. It would seem that he didn’t want to go, even though to stay would mean certain death. The angels had to forcibly remove Lot and his wife and their two daughters, taking them by their hands, and walking them out of the city.
“Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” 21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar (little or insignificant).” – (vs.18-22)
- Here Lot is pleading with the angels for a closer, safer place for him to flee to, the city of Zoar. The angels agree and hold off judgment until Lot and his family were safe.
The phrase, ‘I cannot do anything until you arrive there’ is an indicator that God stayed the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot and his family (two daughters) were safe in Zoar. Another indicator of a pre-tribulation Rapture.
“The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” – (vs.23-26)
- Here we can see how God did rain fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed the cities and the plain, killing everyone and the vegetation as well. We also see how Lot’s wife ‘looked back’ and became a pillar of salt.’ The idea here was not so much that she look back, but began to go back, and was struck. Even though they were rescued from the destruction, she still wanted to go back.
“And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.” – (vs.27-29)
- From Abraham’s perspective, he was looking at what we would equate to a nuclear explosion, except without the radioactive fallout. God’s judgment was final and Sodom and Gomorrah was not more, permanently. Billy Graham once said, ‘If God doesn’t judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’ How true a statement for America as we stand on the edge of this impending judgment. In all of this, Lot’s plight was that he was spared from this judgment.
The Church will be spared from the judgment of God upon this world. It is my thought that in the not too distant future America will be decimated with a barrage of nuclear ICMB’s being launched from enemy nations or their submarines just off our three coasts. It was those same oceans that have helped to protect the continental United States for that past 250 years, but now they will be cover for enemy subs with stealth tech to launch their missiles on our major cities. The vision that we have been given my more than one source is that when the missiles come down, we go up.
This exchange of warfare, coupled with other global events; military, weather related or otherwise, will help to mask the global disappearances and provide an adequate deception for the instant removal of millions of people, including children, toddlers, infants, and even the unborn, from all over the planet, all at once. This world will be childless for at least nine months. This will be the first time in history when a King went to war with a nation, in this case, the world, and no children will suffer as a result.
Lot’s plight is the plight of the NT Church, as undeserving as Lot may have been, God saw Him worthy to escape. In like manner God sees the Church, His Church, His Bride, worthy to escape and to be rescued from the calamity that the world will know as the seven-year tribulation. Jesus has made us worthy to escape and to stand before Him at the Bema Seat Judgment (aka the Judgment Seat of Christ). As true believers in Jesus, we need to be both discerning and ready to be caught away into the air at the moment the Lord calls us home.
Luke records it this way, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing (dissipation), drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy (have strength) to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21:34-36
- Lot was semi-ready, but his wife and sons-in-law were not. Based on the actions of his two daughters a few chapters later, some might believe that they wouldn’t have escaped if those angels hadn’t forcibly removed them from Sodom. We need angels to get us from here to there; but only Jesus can make us worthy to escape.
The takeaway lesson for us is this blog is that God will use His angels to catch us away from this planet and into His presence in heaven. We are not ‘worthy to escape’ in of ourselves, but Christ makes us worthy, He redeems us, He forgives us, He makes us eligible to be in His presence by His grace and through our faith in Him. If you’re feeling a little like Lot lately, I encourage you to strengthen your faith and get closer with the Lord. The Lord has us, He has you if you have placed your faith in Him. I encourage you today man (or lady) of God to be aware of what is happening in the world and just like Lot, learn to discern those divine moments when the Lord shows us to prepare you for His return. He wants you to know that He is close, but He also wants you to keep on building, planting, and working in the vineyard He has purposed for you; whatever that looks like. It may seem like a lesson in futility, but I assure you, it only seems that way. Remember, Lot survived, as did his daughters because God saw him worthy to escape. In like manner, we too will survive what’s coming, but not in this life or on this planet. We have to leave the danger zone (as it were) and get on home to the Master. He has provided the only ride out of here, angel power!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northwest Missouri. He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry.