The best selling author in world history is our God. That is correct, the Bible has sold more books than any other book in history so from this fact we can deduce that our God knows how to write. Furthermore we can conclude that when the Lord wants to paint a word picture for us, He knows how to do it. With this in mind please consider the picture painted for us by the following:
Matt 24:36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For 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, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
The Lord is clearly talking about the unknown coming, not His known coming. And how does He paint the picture of the days of the unknown coming? Like this:
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, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
According to the Word of the Lord, what characteristics should we expect in the days when the unexpected coming of the Lord takes place?
1. Eating and drinking
2. Marrying and giving in marriage
3. They know not until after the flood took them all away
This ^^ clearly paints a pre-tribulation picture.
What does Matt 24:36 not say?
No green grass burned up
No trees burned up
No poisoned water killing people
No mass death
Nobody trying to hide themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains
No third of the sea turned to blood
No third of the sea creatures dead
No third of the ships destroyed
No demonic locusts flying around making men wish for death
I think you get the point. The same God who told us about the list above also painted the picture in Matt 24:36 and the pictures are radically different. Clearly the time of the unknown coming of the Lord is a day like today. It will be a 'normal' day. With this in mind we would be well served to take the Lord's Word seriously that He will indeed be coming back for us on a day and hour we do not know. We were told to watch for His coming, repeatedly. We were warned so many times in fact that there will be no excuse for those who know what they are supposed to be doing but refuse to do it.
We know we are supposed to watch, how do we do it? The first and most obvious is to use the eyes the Lord gave us to watch. The second less obvious method is to watch through prayer:
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
You can pray "Lord in obedience to your command to watch, I pray that you will open my eyes to be able to watch as you commanded me to. I respect and tremble at your Word. I expect you to do precisely what you said you would do which is to show up on an unexpected day and hour. I pray for all the brothers and sisters, for my family and for myself that our sins will be forgiven and we all may be counted worthy to escape all that is about to happen and stand before you."
The words of your prayer are up to you, you get the idea. The important thing is that while those who belong to this world mock, we take the Word seriously. We prepare accordingly so we will not be caught unprepared and 'sleeping' when the Lord arrives for us.
When He arrives, and someday He will, we want to fall down at His feet and say "Lord, we've been expecting you!"
grace and peace