TEXT: Luke 17:26-33
26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Living in the Days of Noah and Lot, Part 1 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #35)
It is often said among Christians — and even non-Christians — that we are living in the last days. Numerous wars, increased violence and criminal activity, and devastating natural disasters are often pointed to as evidence that we are near the end of days. But, in Luke 17, Jesus presents what is perhaps a surprising marker of the end times. It is not more natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, or cataclysmic and earthshaking events. Rather, He gives us signs of normalcy. He compares the last days to the days of Noah and Lot — days when things will seemingly continue as they have always continued. People will be eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. Warren Wiersbe states that “in both examples, the people of the world were caught unprepared as they engaged in their everyday activities.”
As we consider Jesus’ words, we see an example of a wise man, an example of a worldly man, and a warning for all believers. This warning is depicted in the classic tale called Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. The story reads:
Now I saw that the pilgrims came to a place where an old monument stood, right next to the highway. At the sight of this they were both concerned because of the strangeness of its shape, for it seemed to them as if it had been a woman who was transformed into a pillar. Therefore they stood intently looking at it, but for a time they did not know what to conclude.
Eventually Hopeful noticed an inscription on the head, though in an unusual style of writing; so being no scholar, he called upon Christian, on account of his learning, to see if he could interpret the meaning. So after some study of the letters, he found the meaning to be this, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Then he read it to his companion, and after this they both concluded that it was the pillar of salt into which Lot’s wife had been turned; this happened when, fleeing from Sodom for safety, she looked back with a covetous heart.
Those words — “remember Lot’s wife” — are a direct quotation from Jesus Christ. Although Jesus’ words are preceded by a question from the Pharisees about the coming of the Kingdom of God, these words are spoken to His disciples indicating that it has implications for believers as well. Before we get to Jesus’ warning — remember Lot’s wife — let’s look at the example of the wise man.
Jesus calls to our memory the story of Noah. He says, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” In the last days, we will see similar conditions to those in the days of Noah. Warren Wiersbe states: “Both Noah and Lot lived in days of religious compromise and moral declension, not unlike our present time. During ‘the days of Noah,’ population growth was significant, lawlessness was on the increase, and the earth was given over to violence.” Just listen to the news today and you will find evidence of these things happening.
While these bad things are happening, normal things are happening as well. Jesus states that people are ‘eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage.’ How does this compare to our world today? Even as ISIS is slaughtering hundreds including many Christians each week in the Middle East, the majority of us on this side of the world barely notice. Earthquakes and tsunamis hit various parts of the globe, and most of us, when we hear about it on the news, just shake our heads, possibly mutter a prayer for “those poor people”, and continue on about our daily routine. We hear about murder, mass shootings, rape, identity theft, and other violent acts, yet most of us walk out our front door each morning without taking any precautions whatsoever. People in our country talk about legalizing homosexual marriage nationwide, and most Christians just lay low and continue as if nothing is out of the ordinary.
Jesus is telling us that this is how it was in Noah’s day and this is how it will be in the last days! With all of the violence and decadence in Noah’s society, most people just went on with their daily lives as though nothing was wrong. They went on like this “until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
We cannot consider our look at the “days of Noah” complete until we look at the man Noah himself. Genesis 6:8-9 tell us that Noah was a man who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord… Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” God said that Noah was a man who was ‘righteous in his generation.’ We are also told that he did ‘all that God commanded him.’ Unlike others of his day, Noah was obedient to God.
However, Noah’s lifestyle did not end there. He was not just a quiet believer. Second Peter 2:5 tells us that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness.” As he built the ark, Noah was preaching about the coming judgment of God. He was warning his generation of the wrath to come. He let them know that their sins would bring down the wrath of God. He tried to get people to repent of their wicked ways, turn from their sins, and believe God so they could be saved from God’s judgment. John Gill writes that Noah was “moved with an awful sense of the judgments of God upon the wicked… By his works, as well as by his words, he reproved, and condemned them.”
Noah was a wise believer. He obeyed God, made sure his family was obeying God, and tried to get others to obey God in order to save them from judgement. He did not get caught up in the spirit of his day. He did not succumb to his culture rushing down the slippery slope of moral decline. He did not go along just to get along. He did not mind being the voice crying in the wilderness.
The key question for the disciples (who thought they were living in the last days), and for us today (who may very well be living in the last days) is this: Are we being Noahs to our generation? We know from the Bible and from past experience that God will not tolerate sin for long. One day — and I believe one day soon — judgment will come. J.A. Martin says that “by bringing up these two events — the flood of Noah’s day and the judgment on Sodom — Jesus was stressing the judgmental aspect of the kingdom… Jesus reminded His disciples that people in Noah’s day were not prepared for the Flood, and therefore they were completely destroyed. The same problem will exist when the kingdom comes — people will not be ready.”
The story is told of a pastor who was returning home with his wife and son one day. As they were driving, a storm arose and grew stronger as they neared their house. By the time they got home, the wind was blowing fiercely and lightning bolts were coming down all around them. Once inside, they locked down the windows and tucked their son in bed. A few minutes later, the power went out. Shortly after that, they got a phone call from their neighbor who informed them that a tornado warning had been issued for the area and that a funnel cloud had been spotted. The pastor asked why the tornado sirens were not sounding, and he was told that they could not sound because of the power outage. The neighbor had heard the warning on his police scanner and felt the need to call everyone he knew in the area to tell them about what was happening. Later that night, as he lay in the darkness, the pastor thought about his neighbor’s concern for his safety and he reflected upon his own concern, or lack thereof, for his neighbors. Should not we — the Christians of the world who know that judgment is coming — be the ones informing our neighbors of how they can avoid it?
How soon will Jesus return to take His church to Heaven? How soon will it be until judgment falls on our nation — and on the whole world? We don’t know. Noah waited one hundred years from the time God called him until the time God sent the Flood. We must ask ourselves if we are doing the work Noah did in the interim. While we have a chance, are we being obedient to God? Are we speaking out against the evil of our day? Are we warning people of the wrath to come? Are we working to see souls saved and lives changed so that more people will escape the coming judgment and be ready for Rapture and the coming kingdom of God?
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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.