Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Days of Noah

bolt For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:37-39

Jesus' clear teaching in Matthew 24 is one of expectation. His ministry would leave some "unfinished business" that would require His return again as the Son of Man. The times described in Matthew 24 are future to Jesus and His disciples as He describes them. And it is clear (even for those who see primarily the 70 AD destruction of the temple in this chapter) that the events described here are foremost in the future for us to consider today.

Of particular note is Jesus' insistence that His return in judgment will take the world by surprise. The Father knows when this will occur. The Son will be told. And the days before that will find the world spinning further and further into its daily grind of iniquity. The metaphor fitting this according to Jesus is the description of the pre-deluge world of Noah. There the earth had become
"corrupt", "filled with violence", and "all flesh had corrupted their way" (Genesis 6:11-12). If anything, Jesus' description is a little more descriptive, because this corrupt bunch of violent people had become casual partiers, eating, drinking, and celebrating marriage banquets even as Noah built his ark and prepared for the flood.

So is my generation. We have our parties. We celebrate our perversity and unwillingness to confront sin as sin and call it "diversity" and "tolerance". And even as the economy tumbles we simply spend ourselves into a party of poverty. And this will continue right up to the return of the Son of Man. So in the din of celebration, I wonder if anyone hears the rumbling thunder.

The gospel confronts this. There is still time as long as the Lord delays. And in these days especially, I am duty-bound to proclaim the gospel at EVERY opportunity for the glory of God and the salvation of souls that He died to redeem.

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