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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2002

The Opening Event In The Day Of The Lord

    Millions today imagine that a secret pretribulation Rapture of the Church is what happens first, or is the opening event in the Day of the Lord. This is the teaching of Darbyism.

    The Bible nowhere attaches a "time frame" to the description of the Rapture, that, in relation to which time frame the Rapture may be judge to be "pre-." Instead, Scripture has something very different to say about what really comes up front.

    Peter said that what is up front as the first event in the arrival of the Day of the Lord is the destruction of the earth by fire (II Peter 3:10, 12). Jesus called it a catastrophe comparable in scope and magnitude to the flood that happened in Noah's day (Matthew 24:36-39). John described it as the fall of Babylon, the great society of wealth and wickedness (Revelation 18: 8-9; 16).

    The suddenness and unexpectedness of the coming great conflagration that precedes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is agreed by all New Testament writers. Jesus likened it to the sudden and unexpected arrival of the flood—they knew not until the death waters came and swept them all away (Matthew 24:39ff.). When they shall say peace and safety then "sudden destruction" comes upon them is the way Paul put it (I Thessalonians 5:3). Peter said this great conflagration would come suddenly and unexpectedly "as a thief in the night" (II Peter 3:10). John said four times that in "one hour" Babylon would be destroyed (Revelation 18:8, 10, 17, and 19).
   
    All agree with Jesus that when the last days Sodomites are taken suddenly and unexpectedly to the end-time judgment no time will be left for anyone to effect an escape (Matthew 24:40-42).

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