Jesus said when He returns to earth it will occur at a time similar to what it was like in the days of Noah and Lot. ‘
26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— ‘ [Luke 7:26-29]
People in those days were living as if things were going along as normal – they were eating, drinking, getting married, buying, selling, building and planting for the future. They had no idea that Noah’s warnings of a disastrous destruction were going to come to pass. They had no inkling that Lot, who lived in the middle of Sodom yet advocated righteousness, could have been correct.
This sounds to me quite a lot like the way people have lived throughout most of history. They live their lives in such a way that they think there are no eternal issues they should be dealing with. But there are a couple of big differences:
1. The people of Noah’s day could not have envisaged the destruction of the whole earth and of all mankind with it. Only in the nuclear age has it been possible for mankind to destroy the planet and only since the 20th century has it been understood that a series of asteroid strikes, astronomical ‘accidents’ or planetary upheavals would have the capacity to rapidly turn this planet into rubble. This is not to say that God could not have done this at any time in the past – it is just the widespread understanding I am discussing at this point.
2. The days of Noah that Jesus spoke about are described in Genesis 6:9-13:
‘11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’
An earth corrupt in God’s sight is linked with ‘all flesh had corrupted their way’ and with the proliferation of violence. I believe this refers not to the global warming, or carbon dioxide emissions as the green pseudo-Christians may have us believe, but to the actual spiritual and moral condition of people’s characters. Today we don’t just have to look at the corrupt politicians but just around us in our own towns, not just the morally bankrupt union leaders or the paedophile priests or the money-grubbing leaders of the mega-Churches.
Today we should see this corruption in our own hearts. The differences today with the days of Noah may not be much worse, except that now there are seven billion of us inhabiting the planet, mostly ignoring God’s will and His ways and doing our own thing. What does make these times much worse of course, is the foul violence being done to innocent unborn children – abortion rates have never been higher than now.
3. Another way in which we see truth in Jesus’ warning is His reference to the days of Lot. Those days are widely known about and the rampant, violent and widespread perversion of homosexuality that was part of daily living in Sodom and Gomorrah, has rapidly come upon the western countries of the world since about the 1960’s. True, homosexuality has always been an abomination in God’s sight, and has always been a feature of human society. But never until now has it been regarded as normal. Never had it been legalised until the late twentieth century. Never in the history of the world has homosexual marriage been proposed as a state-approved union until now. These are just like the days of Lot as Jesus warned. His coming is ‘at the door.’