Matthew 24:36-39, 2 Peter 3:3-4
Our Bible reading for today is taken from Matthew Chapter 24 beginning with verse 36. And Jesus is describing for us the end of time.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 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, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:36-39)
Back in 1889 out in Pennsylvania and Indiana, there was a dam that broke on the Allegheny River. A fishing club had built a dam to try to make their fishing better and that dam finally burst and 20 million tons of water came rushing through a town. It killed 2209 people. Ten feet high, it came through on the streets, trapping people in their homes. Piles of burning debris came flying through those streets as well. It became known as the great Johnstown Flood.
There are reminders like this for us that we see every once in a while with great tsunamis or floods that take place reminding us of Jesus’ words here in the text I just read. The great flood that had taken all the life on the Earth except for those God spared in the ark. Jesus uses these words to target the skepticism, the unbelief, that the world might have about the end of time, about his return in judgment.
And it’s something that’s not only out there in the unbelieving world, but that same skepticism can be in our hearts as well too. This is what Saint Peter said
In the last days scoffers will come… they will say where is this coming he promised? (2 Peter 3:3-4)
How often warnings are not listened to. We see that with hurricanes and tornadoes. Quite often there’s somebody that just doesn’t pay attention to a warning and then they end up getting trapped and hurt. Sometimes they often die. Jesus says no one knows the day or the hour not even the Son of Man not even the angels.
I always think how challenging it must have been for Noah and his family who were building that ark. It took 120 years to build the ark, pouring their entire life and their commitment into this vessel. And yet there was no rain that yet came. In the meantime they watched all of their worldly friends around them just going on with their day to day life. Eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, the Bible says. But I think the most challenging time for Noah and his family would have been seven days before the rain started. We’re told they went into the ark and sat there and there was no rain for one week.
They sat inside for 40 days until the ark finally started to lift off of the ground. I bet they were tempted to feel kind of foolish sitting in there. Probably wondering has this all been a big waste of time? It’s kind of a picture for us who are believers in Jesus who are members of his church. It’s easy for us to sometimes wonder Has my whole life, waiting for Jesus to come back, building my whole life around this, has it been kind of a waste of time? Maybe I could have been doing something better with my life. But just like in the days of Noah, when the rains finally came, they suddenly realized how this was all worthwhile. Noah’s family was safe inside of that ark.
We’re told that for 150 days the water prevailed on the earth. And finally after things dried out they were able to exit the ark. I bet as they walk past that Ark afterwards and realized all the destruction they’d been spared from, they were very grateful for that big boat.
Think about us as well as Christians. All the things that right now we might be tempted to think is this a waste of my time, believing in Jesus as my Savior who paid for my sins? But someday when we’re finally in heaven, think what a wonderful blessing it will be. We’ll look back on those things and be so grateful that God gave us that faith. Amen.