As In The Days of Noah AND Lot
"And as it was in the days of NOAH,
so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
They ate, they drank, they married wives,
they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise as it was also in the days of LOT:
They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold,
they planted, they built;
but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom
it rained fire and brimstone from heaven
and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day
when the Son of Man is revealed."
Noah wasn't put into the ark halfway through the flood. He went into the ark a week before the first drop of rain fell.
"So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives,
went into the ark because of the waters of the flood...
And it came to pass after seven days
that the waters of the flood were on the earth."
Furthermore, it wasn't during threatening times that he went into the ark. At the time, people were going about life as usual, buying, selling, marrying, giving in marriage. The flood came when they were just enjoying life. There was no warning except the words of Noah as he preached to that generation throughout the time it took him to build the ark.
"Noah, one of eight people, a PREACHER of righteousness..."
2nd Peter 2:5
He PREACHED and he was SCORNED for his warnings ...and they all perished.
Just as today, as it is written, "knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days..." (2nd Peter 3:3). And as we bring the message, we are scorned. Scorners will suffer the same fate.
And also as when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah...
"When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry,
saying, 'Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here,
lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.'
And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand,
and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him,
and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said,
'Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain.
Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.'''
Lot wasn't moving fast enough so the angel prevailed on him to hurry, because he couldn't bring the judgment UNTIL LOT WAS OUT OF THERE:
"Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there."
Jesus said of the time of the Tribulation of the last days, that this time it will be worse than anything mankind has ever seen upon the earth, including the flood of Noah's day and including the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
"For then there will be great tribulation,
such as has not been since the beginning
of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Many believe that the first half of the Tribulation will be relatively calm, and some are even stocking up in preparation for it. No, the entire seven-year period will be times of increasingly terrible judgments beginning from the opening of the first seal of judgments that will be poured upon the earth. We are not to prepare ourselves to outwit the Tribulation. We are not to be looking for the Antichrist intending to escape him, we are looking for Jesus Christ. Those who are looking for him, he will take from this earth before his wrath upon the earth begins.
Take a look at the very first judgments that fall. They are the seven seals.
1. The Antichrist goes forth conquering, he takes control over the world
2. Great warfare breaks out
3. There is great famine
4. 1/4 of the earth's population is killed by famine, plague, and wild beasts
5. Martyrdom. The Antichrist beheads all who won't take his mark
6. Devastating earthquake, sun turns black, moon as blood, "the heavens recede as a scroll," possibly the result of nuclear war. Every mountain and island removed from its place. Survivors are so horrified that they cry out to the mountains and rocks to fall upon them.
7. An angel takes a censer fills it with fire from the altar, and hurls it on the earth;
and there comes peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake...”
These are only the SEALS, the very FIRST judgments. Who could survive it? Some of the judgments sound like nuclear war. I wouldn't want to survive that even if I could.
Next come the Trumpets, then the Vials, in increasing severity, if you can imagine that.
The entire seven years are called "the wrath of God almighty." There is no place in which the wrath begins other than in the Seals, at the very beginning.
The Rapture precedes all of the tribulation of the last seven years. Born-again believers who eagerly watch for him will be taken, those who aren't trying to prepare themselves to survive the Tribulation but who are watching for Jesus's coming in the Rapture:
"TO THOSE WHO EAGERLY WAIT FOR HIM
he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation."
If you understand this, it will become clear that no part of the first judgments are mild enough that anyone could prepare for them. The 7-year period STARTS with unbearable suffering and death.
Those who understand this realize that there is no way anyone could "comfort one another with these words," (1 Thessalonians 4:18).