The following is taken from Chapter Four: Outright Lies of the Rapture Teachers from the book ‘The Pre-Trib Rapture: A Bucket Full of Holes!’ by Paul Benson
Outright Lie: The story of Lot is given to us as a type/shadow of a ‘Pre-tribulation Rapture’.
A bald faced lie I have heard stated by many rapture theory teachers is that the story of Lot is a type/shadow of the ‘rapture’ before the time of great tribulation. Their reasoning is that because God took Lot out of Sodom before he destroyed it this testifies of the rapture theory. But in reality the story of Lot is one of the strongest rebukes of this myth found in the Bible. Most of us know the story of Lot but I would encourage a refresher if you think it paints any picture of the rapture.
When Abraham and Lot became so increased with herds and flocks that the land could not bear it they decided to split up. Lot chose to dwell in the plain of Jordan.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Genesis 13:10
It’s helpful here to pick up a little understanding of the geography of this area. I also found it very interesting to study not just the history, but also the findings of the extensive digs and studies archaeologists have done in this area.
The plain of Jordan was a basin at the southern end of what we now call the Dead Sea. It was a very fruitful valley irrigated (well watered) using the water of five tributaries running into the plain from the surrounding mountains. But, although providing water for the massive irrigation systems of these people, the bitter mountainous wilderness penned in this prosperous area and somewhat isolated them from the rest of the world. (I wonder if this isolation contributed to an introverted culture that led to their descent into debauchery?)
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. Genesis 13:12
In this isolated valley were five cities stretched out in a line down through the plain. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the upper area. The two cities of Admah And Zeboim in the lower region; and in the central plain was the city of Bela also known as Zoar. They were known as ‘the cities of the plain’ with each having a king or governor ruling over them. Lot chose to dwell with his herds and servants in the upper end of the valley at Sodom.
When God decided to destroy the wicked people of that valley he sent angels to escort Lot and his family out of danger. Here’s where many people get the story wrong. Lot did not GO UP into the mountains at this time.
And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of Heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. Genesis 19:17-25
And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: Deuteronomy 29:23
God did not just destroy Sodom and Gomorrah as most think, but the entire plain of Jordan and four of its five cities. And where was Lot when God rained down fire and brimstone upon the wicked? Taken UP to the mountains (a picture of the rapture) like so many have suggested? No, I’m afraid there is no rapture picture here in the story of Lot. He was hunkered down right in the center of the valley in a little town called Zoar which had been slated for destruction but was spared, and became a sanctuary of safety, because of the presence and intercessions of one righteous man.
The wrath of an angry God poured down all around them and destroyed the entire plain of Jordan with its cities, its peoples, all their livestock, and all their crops in a hellish firestorm while Lot, what remained of his family, and the inhabitants of Zoar were divinely protected. Kept from God’s wrath while in the midst of an outpouring of God’s wrath. (maybe they were claiming Rev. 3:10? just kidding.)
The extensive archaeological digs and studies of the plain of Jordan have uncovered clear evidence of the fiery destruction of the entire region, but remarkably a little village in the central area showed none. It had been exempt from whatever destroyed the rest of the valley by fire. Also quite interestingly they found evidence of prior devastation of another sort that had necessitated much reconstruction. Some sections of the cities’ walls were rebuilt upon foundations of broken rubble and burnt pieces of wooden beams.
They found this evidence of ruin and rebuilding about 20 layers (years) earlier than the devastation by fire and brimstone. This matches the biblical record of the band of four kings looting and ransacking that area and hauling off Lot and all his goods. But God, using his friend Abraham, delivered Lot and got him back home. I wonder if this invasion of the cities of the plain was a warning from God of what was to come? If it was, sadly that warning went unheeded.
I think it is pretty evident after looking at the story of Lot that to say his experience is ‘proof’ for the pre-trib rapture theory is nothing short of an OUTRIGHT LIE! It very clearly shows God’s ability, and his willingness, to delay or curtail an outpouring of his wrath on behalf of the Righteous. Even if the great tribulation in its entirety were the wrath of God (and it is not. see this post) that does not mean God has to take the Church out first. God is able to keep what is his. He is all powerful! Heaven is not going to suffer a power outage during the final 3½ years. Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds (Psalms 68:34). Let’s preach this thing like God has some power, shall we?
In a similar fashion the story of Noah does not paint a picture of a rapture away to Heaven. The day the door of the ark closed the wrath began to fall (that does not fit the rapture picture). The righteous man Noah never left planet earth but floated above the waters of God’s outpouring of wrath, and then descended to a purified world cleansed by God’s judgment.
I expect our experience at Christ’s Second Coming to mirror that of Noah’s. We will be quite safe from the wrath Jesus pours out at his Return; safe under the wing of the Most High. If you’re looking for a pre-trib rapture you have embraced a false hope. If you are teaching this myth to others the deceived has now become a deceiver. You might want to give some thought to the issue of accountability.
Blessings to those who love our Christ;