Summary: When is the Lord coming back? Are there any signs that let us know it is near?
THE GHOST OF NOAH Matthew 24:36-39
When is the Lord coming back? Are there any signs that let us know it is near?
Strictly speaking, there are no “signs” connected with the rapture of believers, which is the first phase of the return of Christ; the coming of the Lord into the air for His saints is always proposed as the imminent hope of the Church (Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10). “Signs” only have to do with His return in power and glory, to reign as the Son of Man; but seeing that the coming of the Lord for His people must precede His coming with His people, it follows that if the signs of His return in glory are shaping themselves visibly before our eyes and tell us that His return is not far off, the rapture must be that much nearer.
I heard about a little boy who was out playing, having a great time. Right in the middle of his play he stopped and asked, "What time is it?" Somebody said, "It’s 4 o’clock."
The little boy said, "It can’t be. Momma told me to be home by 4 o’clock and I’m not at home." He had lost track of time; and so have many of us!
The Lord declared in our text that conditions on the earth at the time of His return will parallel conditions on earth in the days of Noah. Luke 17: 28-32 indicates that the days before the Lord’s return will also parallel the day of Lot. Noah lived in a pornographic society; lot lived in a perverted society. Both are hallmarks of our day.
A young boy was playing in his grandmother’s house near a large grandfather clock. Noontime was approaching, and when both hands of the old timepiece reached 12, the chimes began to ring.
As he always liked to do, the boy counted each gong as it sounded. This time, however, something went wrong with the clock’s inner mechanism. Instead of stopping at 12, it kept right on chiming--13, 14, 15, 16 times.
The boy couldn’t believe his ears! He jumped to his feet and ran into the kitchen, shouting, "Grandma! Grandma! It’s later than it’s ever been before!" In his excitement, the youngster expressed a truth we all would do well to consider.
It is later than it’s ever been before--in the history of the world. With each passing hour, the words of James 5:8 take on added significance - “…the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
His coming is both comforting and sobering. It is reassuring to know that the day our Savior will come for us may be near. But at the same time, we must honestly ask ourselves, "Am I living in a way that will bring His commendation?"
The Disciples had asked Jesus, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?" (Matthew 24:3). Their question was very plain: "How can we know when you are coming again?" Christ had plainly told them that He would come again. He said, "I will come again" (John 14:3).
But how could they tell when He was coming? They wanted to know. They wanted a sign. Christ gave them many signs. But the greatest sign that His coming is drawing near was given when He said, "But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).
Dr. M. R. DeHaan wrote this: “Jesus says, if you want to know the signs of my coming, study the days of Noah before the flood. When conditions which existed before the flood are repeated, then know that it is near.”
Let us examine the days of Noah as mentioned in our text, and let us see how near the Lord’s coming is.
“As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
I. It was a time of SELFISH DEVOTION
“eating and drinking” - men were living for the flesh. They were living to satisfy their fleshly appetites.
Men were lovers of their own selves! Men were so full of self that they had no room for God.
They were so busy with activities that they had no time for God. Today our minds are so crowded with activities that God has been crowded out. We have little or no time for God in our schedule.
We are so concerned about where or what we are going to eat and drink. Some of you this morning have already given thought to what you are going are where you are going to eat after church.
We have let earthly concerns deaden us to spiritual things.
Mark 4:19, “ And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”