Riding The Storm Out :: By Daniel Payne

Things are getting quite stormy on the earth right now. Many signs are sweeping over our planet like a dark fog, pointing to the season of Judgment about to rain down, sparing no domain.

Many who hold firm in the hope of the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church also hold firm to the teachings of Christ, concerning the activities and complacency of humankind, while lounging in the shadow of looming judgment:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:36-39).

“For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made” (Genesis 7:4).

Some critics of the Pre-tribulation Rapture say that it’s nonsense to compare the Rapture of the Church and the Tribulation judgment to Noah and the judgment of the Flood. Some might say, “Noah and his family didn’t go to heaven during God’s judgment but stayed on the earth. You can’t compare the Rapture to the Flood.”

Yes, Noah and his family did stay within the earth’s atmosphere during the Flood and, as the Bible says, “the floodgates of the sky were opened” (Genesis 7:11). However, the majority of God’s fearful judgment against humankind took place below the ark:

“Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters” (Genesis 7:17-18).

Then, the ark came to “rest” back upon the surface of the earth:

“In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).

Speaking of “rest,” God has a lot to say about His “rest” that will take place during His millennial reign.

“As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:11 & Psalm 95:11).

There are many Bible teachers and students who believe that God has divided Earth’s history into a total of seven thousand years. The last one thousand of those years is known as the Millennial Kingdom.

“By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:3).

“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

“For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,’ although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works;’ and again in this passage, ‘They shall not enter My rest'” (Hebrews 4:3-5).

Notice how God describes His “rest” in the Book of Isaiah as His “holy mountain:”

“They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

Once again, the ark came to “rest” upon the mountains of Ararat after God’s judgment of the Flood, after the earth was covered in water:

“In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).

It is the glory of the Lord that He can parallel events from times past to demonstrate and foreshadow future events.

Jesus describes His return to Earth for His Church in the Gospel of John:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions [rooms]; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

Where is the location that Jesus says He is preparing a place for His Church? He’s preparing a place for His Bride in His Father’s house, in heaven. “There” in heaven, we will be with Him. While Jesus judges His enemies on Earth during the Tribulation, He will judge His Bride in heaven:

“If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he will receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14).

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:7-8).

At the Rapture, Jesus will not lift His Bride up from the earth only to immediately descend with her back to the earth’s surface. We will ascend into heaven with Jesus at the Rapture:

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17).

Then, after we are “made ready” at the judgment seat of Christ, we will attend the Marriage of the Lamb as the Bride of Christ.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

The true Church will ride out the storm of the Tribulation judgment while in heaven. Then we will return with Jesus back to the earth from heaven:

“And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses” (Revelation 19:14).

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).