This morning we continued on in our study of Matthew 24, what is known as the Olivet Discourse. It is the second longest recorded sermon of Jesus, delivered to His disciples during His final week before going to the cross. I want to draw you attention to one small piece of what He said....
Matthew 24:36-42 NKJV 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Noah was a man of God. He preached a message of repentance, pleading with those around him to turn from their wicked ways and turn toward God. You can read more about "the days of Noah" in Genesis 6. At first people may have listened, been curious about what the old man was saying. Warning others to avoid the destruction of God. Building a boat, actually an Ark, because God was going to send rain and flood the entire earth. Wait a minute....rain? What in the world is that!?! See if you read the record, they had never had rain. The entire world was covered with water canopy, vegetation would be irrigated by a midst. Kind of a scary message, what if the old guy is right? Noah was a respected man. But then time went on. Days turned into weeks, then to months, and years upon years. In fact, from the Biblical record, Noah continued working on the ark for 100-120 years!
As time passed, people doubted. Fear subsided, and life went on as it had always been...."eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,.....in other words eating, drinking, and being merry, with no fear of God, no reverence of God, no love for God. Busy about their own business until that first raindrop struck their forehead! Have you ever considered how sobering that moment must have been for the people? This guy we mocked. This guy that tried to warn, invited us to join Him as we continued to ignore his message, drip, drip, drip, as the rain began to soak their hair, it's not that I didn't believe him, I just thought I had more time! The flood waters rose, and the judgement of God removed them from this earth.
In our passage this morning Jesus warns us to be ready! To be prepared for his eminent return that could happen at any moment. He gives a grave warning at the end of the chapter for those that blow this off.....Matthew 24:50-51 NKJV - 50 "the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 "and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
By His grace and mercy He has given you an opportunity to turn to Him.
John 14:6 NKJV - 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 3:16-18, 36 NKJV - 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ... 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
So, the question to the reader is are you ready for His return? The biggest lie of Satan is not that there is no God, it's that you have plenty of time. That you can sow your oats, ask forgiveness on your deathbed, that there is no hurry. Just as in the days of Noah as the rain drops began to fall, there will be a time in all of our lives that we will answer to God. Are you ready?