What goes around, comes around. History repeats itself. God works in patterns, teaching us what to expect as Old Testament shadows, types and symbols are fulfilled in Christ and the New Testament era.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
It is interesting to note that Jesus mentioned this phenomenon when He was asked what signs to look for at the end of the age. He connected two ancient incidents to future attitudes that will occur shortly before His return:
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. Luke 27:26,27
The sin, violence and corruption in Noah’s day reached such levels that God saw no other way to deal with it than to destroy everything, including all sinners.
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7
There can be no doubt that the wickedness of today far exceeds the sins of Noah’s day. The almost miraculous technological advancement of the modern age brought us some great benefits, but it also contributed greatly to the wickedness that we now see. Much can be said about the passage above, and how the wickedness in all the forms that it mentions evolved since then. However, Jesus didn’t even mention those sins. Instead, He pointed to the callousness of the people at a crucial time in history that will resurface as a sign of the last days.
Noah preached a message of repentance for 120 years, but not a single soul responded. They were all too busy living their lives to consider Noah and his strange warnings about judgment that was about to come upon them; it all seemed too unlikely to happen. All the while, the ark was taking on shape before their eyes, a sign of Noah’s seriousness, but they looked the other way.
The other incident that Jesus mentioned happened in the days of Lot. Lot was a righteous man who lived in a godless city where sexual immorality was an accepted way of life. The people of his day had exactly the same attitude as those of Noah’s day. You would think they would have learned a lesson from the destruction that happened with the flood, but that was not the case. Like those at the time of Noah, they lived their lives and had no time for anything else, and that is the attitude that Jesus said we will see again at the end of the age.
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. Luke 17:28-30
Fast forward to today, and we see how corrupt the world has become in a single generation. It is hard to imagine that the sin that brought God’s wrath down in the days of Noah and Lot, was worse than that of today. Once again the world is testing God’s patience, without taking into account that He always judges sin. Life goes on; everybody is busy living their lives. In the midst of this the gospel is going out in ways and in intensity as never before. The internet in its many platforms alone offers so many opportunities to hear the message of salvation. Add to that the many Christian programs that air around the clock on television, books, videos, churches everywhere, the wide distribution of Bibles, air travel that takes missionaries to all corners of the globe, etc. — the message goes out loud and clear.
As it was in ancient times, today’s warnings are met with stunning complacency. Our world is burning; there are riots everywhere, and we see the signs of His coming — far too numerous to mention here — all around us. It is clear that things are heading toward a certain destruction; the escalation of corruption and violence around the globe is reaching a breaking point.
Most alarming of all is the silence in our pulpits. The warning signs can hardly be missed, yet the watchmen that God posted on the wall don’t warn and prepare those entrusted to them. There can be no doubt that we live in the days of Noah and Lot!
What do we do about it? Do we stop because it seems futile to speak about these things? No. We are responsible for preaching the gospel — and how we do it — but not for how people respond to it. There has always been sin, but not the hardness of heart that we see today. Even so, let us continue to offer the hope that is in the gospel until the last day. Let us use every opportunity to sound the alarm of what is about to come. Talk to those who will listen, and those who will not listen. See your social media accounts as your personal mission field. Respond to the Lord’s call — not to the deaf ears that we encounter.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
In these days of hardened hearts, let us be Noah, the preacher of righteousness, even if no one listens. Let us be Lot, and live an upright life in a wicked generation, knowing that it speaks much louder than our words. Let it never be said of us that we failed to offer opportunities to reconcile with God.
Also, pray for open doors. May the Lord send a hunger and thirst in the hearts of sinners that will send them seeking for the truth that can set them free.
We live in unusual times; no one knows what to expect next in our fast changing world. Unrest, riots, virus infections, fires everywhere — the list goes on and on — have become quite common scenes. What do we do when disaster strikes? Listen to this podcast here.