Genesis and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture :: By Angel Torres

If you read through the New Testament, you’ll quickly notice how its various authors point their readers back to the first Book of the Bible: Genesis. Peter, Paul, and the Lord Jesus Christ all interpreted Genesis 1-11 as real, literal history. In fact, the Lord Jesus draws a fascinating parallel between the calling up of the Church from this world (the pre-tribulation Rapture) and the dramatic events that occurred during Noah’s life.

Consider how Jesus used the historical backdrop of Genesis 6-9 to illustrate an important truth about the pre-tribulation Rapture: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:37-39 KJV).

There are a number of details that we can unpack from Jesus’ statement(s) here, but I’d like to begin by pointing out the context of what was going on during Noah’s day. According to Genesis 6:5, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth.” This was a time of immense wickedness and moral depravity. Demonic activity was interfering with the created order (Gen. 6:1-2), and the hearts of men were dead set on doing evil continually in the sight of God, demonstrating a full-scale rejection of the Creator and His laws.

In the words of Martyn Iles, “We crave the status of Creator. We want to redefine what he has already defined. We have forgotten that we are dust.”

Certainly, the men and women of Noah’s day were content with living as they saw fit, choosing to forge their own way in this world and forgetting that it was God who set the standard for how human beings are to live.

Interestingly, Jesus shares some details of what people were occupying themselves with in the days that led up to the Deluge: they were eating, drinking, and partaking in marriage. We know that God’s perfect design for marriage had already been corrupted and compromised by man (refer to Gen. 4:23) by the time Noah had been born, so it’s likely that many people were participating in polygamy and other perversions of God’s pattern for the one-man and one-woman union that He instituted in the Garden of Eden.

I think Jesus’ point, however, is that people were doing their usual routine when the waters of judgment suddenly fell upon them. They were so caught up in their normal, day-to-day affairs that they were unaware of the times in which they were living. It’s likely that their hearts had been so hardened from years of unrepentant, rampant sin that they were completely ignorant of eternity and the things of God.

This kind of ignorance was not an excusable ignorance, either, because we know from Scripture that all people are aware of God’s existence (Rom. 1:20) and possess a conscience that is capable of differentiating right from wrong. This kind of ignorance was a willing, intentional one brought about by constant rebellion against God and His Word. As a result, Noah’s generation was blindsided by the onset of the Flood and the ensuing cataclysm.

Sadly, it seems as though many in our world today have also neglected the things of eternity in favor of what’s temporary and material. The Scriptures plainly teach that Christians should be on high alert for the coming of our Lord Jesus in the air (Lk. 21:34-36), especially since we do not know when this wonderful event might occur. It very well could be tonight, or it could be a few months from now. The reality is that we don’t know! Nevertheless, we can (and should) learn from Noah’s example so that we will be ready when our Lord comes back.

While the majority of people were busy in their routines, Noah was busy working on the Ark that God had commanded him to build. He was resolute in carrying out the task that God had given him to do, understanding the gravity of the situation (even though there hadn’t ever been a global Flood before). At the same time, Noah was also busy preaching the truth!

Peter referred to Noah as “a preacher of righteousness.” What an amazing testimony to have! There’s even an ancient Jewish tradition that purportedly reveals the contents of Noah’s preaching: “Be ye turned from your evil ways and works, lest the waters of the flood come upon you, and cut off all the seed of the children of men.” If there’s any truth to this statement, we can see that our forefather in the faith was preaching a message of repentance to his brothers and sisters in Adam. Noah was pleading with them to turn from their wickedness and kneel before God while there was still time.

I want us to ask ourselves this question now: are we encouraging people today to do just that? To turn from wickedness and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation while there is still time?

This should be the very heart of our evangelism efforts and outreach. Jesus is our ark of salvation, and He has invited all people to lean upon Him in true faith and repentance!

If perchance you are reading this article and the Rapture has already occurred, there is still hope for you yet. Flee to Christ for salvation as the very name of God is a strong tower and a place of refuge from danger (Prov. 18:10). Though the coming days will be difficult, you can rejoice and take comfort in knowing that your eternal destiny is secure with Christ, just as Noah and his family were secured by God aboard the ark.

As we wait for the coming of our Lord in the air, may we learn from His teaching and take His Word as He has written it. Genesis 1-11 is the historical foundation for the rest of the Bible, and it was Jesus who has given us a valuable lesson about our way out from the coming destruction by referring to the life of Noah and the events of the Flood. Jesus was not bringing up a fictional fable to articulate a real, eschatological event. He was pointing back to real history so as to warn those with ears to hear about the danger of missing the real Blessed Hope.

As soon as we start to spiritualize or allegorize elements of the Bible that are clearly literal events, this unlocks the door of compromise. Instead, a good understanding of God’s Word from beginning to end will allow us to better comprehend “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and point others to the Creator.