MATTHEW 24:36-42: “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.” NLT
OBSERVATION: When Jesus returns – will you be surprised? When you hear someone speak about the end of the world – do you simply write them off as another crackpot? Do you believe in the Bible and yet find it hard to believe Jesus’ words about the end of the age and His return?
I wonder what it was like to live in Noah’s day. Can you imagine walking to town each day and passing by this crazy old man who was building a boat in the middle of a dry piece of land? I imagine groups met to drink at the end of the day and tell the latest Noah jokes. If Facebook would have been available the Noah memes would be filling everyone’s page!
When Jesus spoke to His disciples about His return and the coming of the Kingdom, He chose to use the days of Noah as an example. It is interesting to note these words.
- “People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away.”
Why didn’t the people know what was going to happen? Is it possible that Noah never spoke to them? Can you imagine that no one ever asked Noah why he was building the Ark? Rest assured, over the years it took Noah to build the Ark, they heard of the coming judgment. Yet, just like today, they ignored it and wrote it off as a story of a crazy fanatic – until that dreadful day.
This account of Jesus’ return is not an account of the rapture of the Church. The rapture of the Church is outlined in I Thessalonians chapter 4. It is when Jesus calls His Church to heaven and the beginning of the Great Tribulation unfolds. Jesus was speaking to His disciples about this period and His triumphant return, at the end of the Great Tribulation, when He comes again to set up His Millenial Kingdom.
How many politicians do you think believe these words of Jesus? How many business owners do you think understand the consequences of these words. How many individuals are living a life awaiting His Kingdom? The answer is – not many!
- “In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.”
The world will explain away the rapture of the Church. They will continue to dismiss the claims of Jesus Christ. Only the elect will be kept to enter into His Millenial Kingdom, just as only the faithful entered into the Ark to escape the judgment that came upon the earth. In light of this, Jesus told His disciples…
- “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Matthew 24:42-44 NLT
As believers, we keep watching for our call to heaven. We await the glorious day when we will meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air and will forever be with the Lord. Yet, we also need to watch the signs of the time. We need to be aware that a storm is coming for those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This awareness needs to motivate us to get out of our seats and into the streets with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to reach as many for Jesus Christ as we can in these last days.
A child of God is never to live in fear. We are to live in anticipation and purpose. We are to look up knowing our redemption is drawing nigh. And, we are to warn all that the day is coming when Jesus Christ will return to judge the world. He will separate the elect from those left behind during the Great Tribulation and will judge and remove those who failed to watch. He will bring justice to this earth and usher in His everlasting Kingdom.
- “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:40-42 NLT
Lord, as I watch for Your return, let me shine the light of Your love so that as many as possible may escape the coming day of judgment and hear Your trumpet call when You return to call Your Church into Your glorious presence.
In Jesus Name!