It seems I just can’t turn loose of the prophecy I believe to be perhaps the most immediately pertinent to Christ calling His Church to be with Him. And, at any rate, I wouldn’t want to turn loose of it if I could bring myself about to do so.
The words are from the very mouth of God, and they speak directly to the most desired prophecy for our day from the standpoint of what we ,as pre-Trib believers, look to be imminently fulfilled. I believe He is talking about the Rapture.
Jesus, while teaching about the same time frame He spoke of during the Matthew 24:36–42 Olivet Discourse prophecy, said the following.
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)
He was foretelling the characteristics that would be starkly observable before and during His next intervention into this earthly wickedness. That time will, as I study things surrounding the Rapture in context, look much like the very times we’re enduring now.
We have, of course, considered this many times before. However, there is one specific angle that might pull into a little sharper focus just how much our darkening moments of history might be likened to Lot’s time in Sodom.
To begin, we must first consider God’s words to Lot’s uncle, Abraham.
The Lord said He would tell Abraham things to come, because He knew Abraham would do righteously. God wanted him to know His plan to deal with Sodom’s wickedness, once He determined that it was necessary. The Lord, Himself, stood with Lot, then, and discussed Sodom’s fate, while the Lord’s angel-representatives headed down toward Sodom and Gomorrah.
And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? (Genesis 18:20–23)
We remember that there was then a profound back-and-forth discussion between the Lord God and a lowly human being—Abraham. God answered each of Abraham’s questions as the old man asked them. Abraham was appealing to God to have those in the wicked cities spared from destruction. He asked if God would relent if 50 were found to be righteous—then 40, then 30, then 20.
Finally, after Abraham asked if God would spare the cities if the Lord could find even 10 righteous, and 10 couldn’t be found, Sodom and Gomorrah’s fate was sealed.
God had said to Abraham before the countdown began—following Abraham’s initial question about the possibility of the cities being spared:
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25)
It was almost as if the Lord was mildly indignant to have it thought of Himself as so unjust as to condemn the righteous with the unrighteous.
Alas, there were not 10 righteous left in the city of Sodom. There were only Lot and his small family. God’s Word calls Lot “righteous,” even though Lot dwelt among perhaps the worst culture and society biblically recorded in such detail. The detail was so graphic as to make the fact of the level of unrighteousness unmistakable.
While it was business as usual during daylight hours, with the cities being apparently prosperous, buying, selling, building, planting, etc., when the sun went down it became a habitation of every sort of evil—particularly of debauchery, with homosexual rapaciousness leading the wickedness. The lustful males came even against the angels who visited Lot.
The raging men of the city threatened Lot with the worst possible attack if he didn’t go along with them and send out his visitors. They were just on the verge of tearing down the door to get at their would-be victims. The only ones God considered righteous in the city at that moment were hated and threatened by the rest, who were the unrighteous in God’s holy view.
And this is the angle I would like us to consider for now.
Jesus foretold in Luke 17:28–30 that it will be for those alive at His next revealing or intervention like it was at that time for Lot when he was hated and threatened by the wickedness of that society and culture.
We have covered many times the God-rejecting, hate-filled actions and activities of our own troubled times. Is there any question of how the evil and wickedness have increased exponentially?
The following brief excerpt tells of one pastor’s story who has endured such assaults by the unrighteous against the righteous. He was imprisoned in Turkey for preaching of Jesus as the only way of salvation. He was finally released after the Trump administration and others pressured Turkey to release him after that government had sentenced him for the crime of preaching the gospel.
He tells that he sees in the United States the same sort of Sodom-like actions coming against believers.
Andrew Brunson’s message is straightforward, but it is far from simple: The Church needs to brace for a dark wave of persecution that is coming…
“Most of the institutions of society are supporting things that a faithful follower of Jesus cannot embrace… and that’s how they will justify persecuting us,” Brunson said.
Believers who stand for this truth will be marginalized in schools, jobs, banks and more, he added. Testing believers’ resolve, the pressure to conform will manifest socially and eventually financially.
“What has emerged as the main flashpoint is gender identity and LGBT. And wherever that is intersecting with religious freedom, LGBT is winning,” he said. “Now there is a requirement that people not only tolerate, but that we embrace and celebrate this ideology. And if you don’t, you are seen as someone who is hateful.” (“American pastor delivers sobering message of coming ‘dark wave’ of persecution, All Israel News, October 19, 2022)
The days (and nights) of Lot are gathering around those who hold to biblical Christianity. At the center of the threats is the same spirit of Antichrist that infected the rapacious hordes of ancient Sodom.
Jesus promised He will catastrophically intervene and execute judgment and wrath against the unrighteous when these conditions become undeniably evident at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age).
You want to escape with those God considers righteous. You want to be removed from the gathering wickedness and the judgment that must destroy it the same as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Here, again, is how to escape the coming judgment and wrath—through the Rapture promised by our Blessed Hope, the Lord Jesus Christ.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)