Many may be resistant to the idea that the catching-up event and the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week will be ushered in by a worldwide catastrophe that would likely cause the deaths of many people. Yet, that is exactly what both Jesus and Paul stated would be the case. According to Paul, the day of the Lord will be introduced with "sudden destruction":
I The 5:2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.
I The 5:3 Now when they are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden [aiphnidios] destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape [ekphugosin].
In the natural, a thief in the night comes when the people are sleeping, unaware of the sudden destruction coming on them. In the spiritual, those who are not prepared for the coming of the Lord will be caught in an unprepared state, unable to escape what comes upon them. The Greek words used by Paul in explaining the quick destructive power that introduces the day of the Lord are the same used by Jesus when he was explaining the day of the Lord to his disciples:
Luk 21:34 "But be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap [aiphnidios].
Luk 21:35 For it will overtake [pagis] all who live on the face of the whole earth.
Luk 21:36 But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape [ekphugein] all these things that must happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Unlike those upon whom the day of the Lord comes like a thief, Jesus stated there will be those who will escape the catastrophic events which introduce the day of the Lord. The same Greek word is used to describe the escape, ekpheugo, which was used by Paul in describing the fate of those who will be caught by surprise by the sudden destruction. In addition, both of the passages use aiphnidios to describe the swift and severe manner in which the destruction will come. The Greek pagis is a noun which means a trap set for animals resulting in their destruction and capture. This noun was used to describe the fate of all those who are not ready at his coming.
Most popular books and movies, based on traditional prophetic models, feature a world in basically the same physical condition after the resurrection and catching-up event as before it. But, if there is any further doubt about whether the time of the coming of the Lord will be a time of catastrophe on the earth, as presented in this chapter, one need only examine Luke chapter 17.
Jesus himself warned that the time of his apokalupsis, or revealing, would feature destructive events patterned after those in the days of Noah and Lot. As recorded in Luke chapter 17, Jesus began the warning to his disciples with an explanation of what his appearance in the sky would be like:
Luk 17:23 Then people will say to you, ‘Look, there he is!’ or ‘Look, here he is!’ Do not go out or chase after them.
Luk 17:24 For just like the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.
In contrast to those who will be looking for the Lord to first appear on the earth, Jesus stated that he will appear in the sky just as quickly as the lightning flashes through the sky. This description is in agreement with Paul’s description of the resurrection and transformation event taking place in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, in which Jesus will return in the sky to catch up all believers who are resurrected and transformed. Jesus continued the discussion by providing two dramatic, historic examples of what will take place on the earth at the time of this lightning-flash appearance:
Luk 17:26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man.
Luk 17:27 People were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage—right up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
First, he compared the time of his coming to the days of Noah. Up until the day Noah entered the ark, the world went on as usual, and there was no reason for panic. However, on the day the flood began, the inhabitants of the earth quickly realized their predicament. The violent changes that took place on the earth destroyed all of them. The day overtook them as a thief, and the planet underwent legendary changes which no living creature survived. Jesus stated it would be the same when he returns in the sky. He next reminded the disciples of the days of Lot:
Luk 17:28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot, people were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building;
Luk 17:29 but on the day Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 It will be the same on the day the Son of Man is revealed [apokaluptetai].
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as chronicled in Genesis chapter 19, resulted from the cities being pelted with supernatural fire and sulfur from the sky. Jesus then stated it will be "the same" when he returns; some type of destruction will take place on the earth at his lightning-quick revelation.
It should be very clear: in this portion of scripture, Jesus told his listeners that, when he appears in the sky like a lightning flash, the appearance will be followed by natural disasters on the earth similar to the flood and the destruction of Sodom by fire and sulfur from heaven. He clearly stated that the same conditions would be found on the earth when his appearance took place, and went into a fair amount of detail in the description. One should expect, therefore, that when the Son of Man is revealed in the future, and appears like lightning in the sky, the earth will experience similar types of destruction.
Both Noah’s family and Lot and his two daughters escaped the destruction of their day, representing a righteous remnant that will completely escape the destruction that will take place on the earth at the time of the future three-stage event. On that day, the earth will experience incredible changes, and earth’s surviving inhabitants who do not escape via the catching-up event will be left behind: trapped in the midst of the devastation.
* * *
The preceding was an excerpt from the 7th chapter of Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe by David W. Lowe. The book features a unique prophetic model involving a pattern with earthquakes and resurrections which sheds new and intriguing light on the future resurrection in connection with a global catastrophe. If you have comments or questions about this excerpt or the book, you may