We have seen that Jesus forewarned that the time of His coming again to Planet Earth will be “as it was in the days of Noah.” That is, the characteristics of the endtime generation will be like in the days presented in Genesis, chapter 6. When we look at that chapter, we conclude that it must have been a terrifying time. This must have been true especially for Noah and his seven family members while the time just before the Flood surrounded them. But, the whole generation of earth-dwellers must have lived under threat of violence. Violence filled the whole earth, God’s Word reports (Gen. 6: 11, 13). Even though business was moving along at a good, even accelerated pace, violence–terroristic activity–filled the earth.
Does this sound familiar? What did President Bush call the war declared upon an almost unidentifiable enemy following the 9/11 attacks? That’s correct,he called it “the war on terrorism.” And now the whole international community continues to be uptight about the possibility of ramifications of the terror–the violence—that threatens to ignite war in the Middle East.
Every time such sparks begin to fly, members of the media begin to contact writers and teachers of Bible prophecy, as well as others who have studied and expounded upon Armageddon and the “end of days,” as media like to frame the endtime. Violence of the deadliest sort fills the world with terror, and the cry for peace and safety from media and government diplomatic types proves it.
Jesus also said in His Luke 17 prophecies that things of society and economy would be pretty much business as usual at the time of His return at the end of days. People will be eating and drinking. Men and women will be marrying, divorcing, just like nothing fearful was going on in their world. Daniel the prophet said in Daniel chapter 12 that great progress would be made in technology, travel, and communications at the time of the end.
Again, does any of this sound familiar? As we can see from the position of the American economy relative to the rest of the world, things continue to go along pretty much as always, despite the fact that we are now a debtor nation at an unprecedented level. The United States is inarguably the most materially blessed nation-state in the history of the world. The greatest king of Bible times lived at nowhere near the level of luxury and comfort as do even lower middle-class Americans today.
So, in that sense, business is going along, in this country at least, better than merely business as usual. It is just at such time as described that Jesus will step out on the clouds of glory and shout “Come up hither!”
Bible prophecy tells us that the day of the Lord will come (will begin) as a thief in the night. A thief suddenly breaks in. He doesn’t say “Hey! I’m coming to break in!” That is how we can know that the thief-in-the-night-coming analogy is for another coming, not for the second advent –the time when Jesus’ foot will touch down on the Mount of Olives, which will then cleave in half and create a rift all the way to the Mediterranean. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will have perished in God’s full-blown wrath by the time of that Revelation 19:11 coming back to Planet Earth. Everyone on the planet still alive will see Christ’s coming to the earth’s surface.
The coming as a thief reference is to the rapture. It will be sudden, it will be stunning, it will be catastrophic.
Let us look at the potential calamitous things that will likely immediately follow the twinkling-of-an-eye intervention into this humanistic, last-days world of earth-dwellers.
In the United States, a young mother, pregnant with her second, and with a small daughter riding in the basket, will be walking down an aisle in a supermarket. A truck driver will be steering a semi-tractor/trailer rig onto a superhighway in order to merge with the heavy traffic flow. A 757 captain will push the throttles to full power, headed down a runway at JFK in New York. A surgeon at a major hospital in Minnesota will begin to make the initial scalpel cut that will open a heart patient’s chest for a bypass procedure. A funeral director will straighten a collar of the starched white shirt worn by a corpse, w hose funeral is next on the services schedule.
In less than the time it takes for a neuroelectrical synapse firing in the brain to take place, the young mother’s womb is empty. She sees her little girl vanish as she, herself, starts her fall to the floor from the shock of the physiological changes that are taking place in her body. The 18-wheeler is careening into the traffic, driverless, out of control, crushing and demolishing vehicles and their passengers, while raging ahead in its ungoverned course.
The 757 on the JFK runway is at full take-off speed, but the pilot and co-pilot are not at the controls, while the right wingtip dips toward the runway and catastrophe. The surgeon in Minnesota finds the scalpel cutting air, rather than flesh, because the patient is gone. The funeral director staggers backwards, astonished, because the burial apparel he has been making just right for presentation has collapsed, and the corpse is no longer in the casket.
We will have to leave, until next time, those scenario snippets as still-frame snapshots of the paradigm-changing dynamics of the rapture. Those will geometrically burgeon from the instant this stunning event takes place. It will be the most powerful occurrence of human history since Christ’s first advent intervened into the affairs of mankind.