Life as Normal during the Coronavirus Pandemic
—Could the same be true during the Tribulation?
I remember watching the news on television in 1983 about the bombardment of Lebanon, with depictions of "life as normal" in the cities and markets, and thinking "This same thing could be true about this passage below during the Great Tribulation,
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:26-30)
Most prophecy studies on Luke 17:26-30 reject out of hand the idea of "Life as Normal" during the Great Tribulation. How could there be any semblance of "Life as Normal" during the greatest-ever global pandemic—the Great Tribulation?
Yet, the on-going, seemingly normal, daily life while the world around one is falling apart is something we observe today. The global pandemic of the Coronavirus is our latest example. Of course, nothing about it is completely NORMAL — mask, hand washing, social distancing, flattened curves followed by verticle spikes depicting overwhelmed hospitals and deaths on a massive global scale. But still, it seemed like THE NEW NORMAL — look at the buying-selling, eating-drinking, planting-building, meetings, celebrations, sports events, and so on. And still, we can recall other such times — FOR EXAMPLE...
While the whole world watched the immense firepower and destruction of the 1991 Desert Storm war, daily life in Iraq continued!
We have seen daily life carry on in other small micro-settings during Tribulation-scale catasrophes.
In Asia after the 2004 Indonesia tsunami—documented as “one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history”—everyday life carried on.
Or how about when day to day life continued during the 2011 Japan earthquake-tsunami, or when Superstorm Sandy hit about 33% of the continental United States in 2012?
Some sense of normal life continued in each location. Also, when half-a-million Syrians were killed in the 2016 Syrian Civil War, "eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage, planting and building" continued in Damascus and other Syrian cities.
The fore-light of Prophecy gives us a glimpse of how functions of daily life can continue during the Great Tribulation...
—IF Scripture will support it. And it DOES... let's revisit Luke chapter 17...
In Revelation 18's End-Time Babylon, unsaved people will be
eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
buying and selling
planting and building
until the very day Babylon is destroyed--"in one day"--at the very End of the Tribulation.
in Luke 17's End-Time generation, unsaved people will be
eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
buying and selling
planting and building
until the very day they are destroyed--"on the day that the Son of Man is revealed"--at the very End of the Tribulation.
Jesus gave the prophecy of Luke 17. Revelation 18 gives a prophecy of the coming fulfillment of Luke 17. This conclusion is based on these 3 Facts,
1) The activities harmonize
2) The times correlate
3) The results are the same in both passages.
Let's look at them in that order.
BELOW: According to both Luke 17 and Revelation 18, at the very End of the Tribulation people somehow, somewhere in the world will be involved in the necessities of making a living and pursuing life apart from God.
1. The ACTIVITIES HARMONIZE
In Luke 17 and Revelation 18, the activities ARE THE SAME. Revelation 18 says that in Babylon people are eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, buying and selling, and planting and building right up until the very End of the Tribulation. Luke 17:24-37 says the same things will be occurring at that very same time, where we read,
Preoccupation with Daily Life During the Great Tribulation in Luke 17
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were EATING, they were DRINKING, they were MARRYING, they were being GIVEN IN MARRIAGE, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were EATING, they were DRINKING, they were BUYING, they were SELLING, they were PLANTING, they were BUILDING; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. "It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed." Luke 17:26-30 #1 (#refers to Reference Notes at end)
Preoccupation with Daily Life During the Great Tribulation in Revelation 18
Note the activities carried on in that end-day mega-city up to the very moment of its destruction.
1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.
2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
3 ...the merchants [BUYING AND SELLING] of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
11 "And the merchants [BUYING AND SELLING]...no one buys their cargoes any more...
12 ...cargoes [BUYING AND SELLING] of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble [BUILDING Materials]...
13 ...and cinnamon and spice [PLANTING; EATING AND DRINKING] and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat [PLANTING; EATING AND DRINKING] and cattle and sheep [EATING AND DRINKING], and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves [BUILDING] and human lives.
15 "The merchants [BUYING AND SELLING] of these things, who became rich from her...
17 ...for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living [BUYING AND SELLING] by the sea...
19 ... the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth [BUYING AND SELLING]...
22 "And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters [MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE; EATING AND DRINKING]... heard in you ... craftsman [BUILDING] of any craft ... and the sound of a mill [PLANTING]
23 ...and the light of a lamp ... and the voice of the bridegroom and bride [MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE] for your merchants [BUYING AND SELLING] were the great men of the earth...
The Chart Below shows the Harmony of the Activities in both Revelation 18 and Luke 17.
2. The TIMES CORRELATE
Luke 17 and Revelation 18 both occur at the END of the Tribulation
1. The TIMING of Luke 17
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, ... until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, ... but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
"It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30 (See Reference Note #1, Double Reference Prophecy)
The “DAYS of NOAH/LOT” in LUKE 17 come at the END of the TRIBULATION
●Note the BOLD-singular "the day" in the Luke 17 passage above. The "the day" of the deliverance of Noah and Lot is compared to the "the day" when Christ "is revealed." Christ is "revealed" at His Second Coming to the earth, when every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7), not at the Rapture. There was a particular "day" that "buying and selling" was not just interrupted, but STOPPED "on the [very] same day that Noah entered the Ark [and] that Lot went out" of Sodom and Gomorrah." "Buying and selling" does not STOP at the Rapture. #2
●Christs’ coming is like “LIGHTNING,” v.24, is a SECOND COMING OF CHRIST passage according to Matthew 24:27-30 .#3
●It is the Second Coming, NOT the Rapture.” Verses 31 & 32, is a warning given to BELIEVERS and, as such, it CONTRADICTS a Rapture, because the Rapture, according to 1 Corinthians 15:52, will happen "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." The Rapture does not wait for a person to make a decision on whether to go back into the house for his suitcase and goods. #4
●The ones “TAKEN” are taken where Vultures & Death are, which is END of Tribulation Judgment, v.37.#5
Therefore, LUKE 17 will come at the END of the TRIBULATION
Another clear End-of-Tribulation passage is Revelation chapter 18.
2. The TIMING of Revelation 18
BABYLON FALLS at the
END of the TRIBULATION
●A clear time-sequence is given to the Bowl Judgments, said to be “seven plagues, which are the LAST,” Rev. 15:1
●Again, a clear time-sequence is given to the Bowl Judgments,“..because in them the wrath of God is FINISHED.” Rev. 15:1
●The END of the Tribulation occurs when “the seventh angel poured out his bowl… 'It is DONE.' ” Rev. 16:17
● It is in that "LAST-FINISHED-DONE" seventh and final Bowl judgment that Babylon is destroyed in one hour and ALL of her "buying and selling" activities are destroyed with her in that same hour. That means that those activities all CONTINUED UNTIL THAT VERY HOUR—that is, until the End of the Tribulation. "Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' "And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more (Rev. 18:10-11; The statement "any more/any longer" occurs 8 times relating to the sudden halt of all "eating and drinking buying-selling" activities at the very hour of the destruction of Babylon.
●This destruction of Babylon and ALL of her "EATING-DRINKING, BUYING-SELLING" activities occurs “AFTER” the "kings of the whole world" are "gathered" to Armageddon. This happens at the VERY END of the Tribulation. Rev. 16:16-16
Therefore, REVELATION 18 will come at the END of the TRIBULATION
BELOW: The "days of Noah and Lot" from Luke 17:24-37 occur when Christ comes "like lightning" at the End of the Tribulation. The same event is also depicted in Revelation 18.
3. The RESULTS are the SAME
In both Luke 17 and Revelation 18
1. Some people manage to live "life as usual"during the Tribulation. (Luke 17:28; Rev. 18:11-15; 22-23)
2. The saints are rescued at the End of the Tribulation. (Luke 17:27,29; Rev. 18:4)
3. The lost are destroyed at the End of the Tribulation. (Luke 17:27,29; Rev. 18:5-8)
IN CONCLUSION: Both Luke 17:24-37 and Revelation chapter 18 prophesy of these "life-as-usual" events #8, continuing during the Tribulation in some places until they are climactically CUT SHORT on a single day at the End of the Tribulation. #9