DUNCAN/Just like the days of Noah
Please turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 24:36-41. In this passage, Jesus compares the final Judgment to the Days of Noah and the flood. Jesus is teaching us to be prepared for the judgement, for it will be a day of salvation for those in Christ. He is also teaching that the unbelievers will not be expecting this day. Are you prepared for this day? In this passage I would like to show you three things. First, that Christians must be watchful. Second, that unbelievers will not be expecting that day. Third, that the second coming will bring about a final and eternal separation between believers and unbelievers. Let’s look at the passage together.
I. Christians Must be Watchful
In verse 36, Jesus tells us that His coming, the time of His coming is unknown. Because He wants to exhort us against the tendency of our nature to be sleepy. To be idle, to be lazy in preparation for His coming. Jesus makes it very clear that the second coming is not going to a happy day for those who are unprepared. But precisely because He wants it to be a glorious day for us. He tells us that He wants us to be prepared. And as we are prepared, it will be a glorious day of triumph for us. Not something that we look forward to with dread, but something with which we join our prayers in with the saints of all ages, come Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen, becomes our prayer.
Are we looking and longing for the coming of Christ? Is that something that is really a part of our Christian experience, is it ever a part of our prayer? That God would build our desires for His coming. Do we ever actually pray that the Lord would come? Is our preparation of the coming of Christ something that we only think of every once in a while, every few months, maybe every few years? Or is it something that is part of our daily regimen as Christians? That is what Jesus was saying to His disciples, be prepared. Be waiting, be expectant, be watchful for my coming. That is the first thing that we learn today.
II. Unbelievers Will Not Look for The Second Coming of Christ
In verses 37-39, we will see a second thing. Here Jesus tells us that the second coming is going to be unlooked for by unbelievers. Unbelievers aren’t going to be expecting this. Christ’s coming is going to be surprising to those who are unprepared by faith. And again, we learn another lesson by this. If it is going to be surprising for those who are unprepared by faith, then we must be prepared for that coming by faith. That is how you prepare for the coming of the Lord, in a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
In this passage, Jesus explains Himself further by a comparison. He compares the days of His coming, to the days of Noah. And this is to highlight the sudden and unexpected nature of His second coming. People, He says are going to wrapped up in their own affairs. They are going to be eating and drinking. Marrying and giving in marriage, business as usual. They are going to be wrapped up in their own affairs, to the extent that they are blind to the greater realities all around them. And interestingly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything that Jesus gives in this list. Jesus doesn’t say, and when I come again, there are going to thieving and murdering, and pillaging, and lusting. You see, the problem will be worldliness. They will be trapped by worldliness. You see, more radical opposition to Christ’s word, might shake some from their slumber. When we hear someone openly and boldly oppose God, and oppose Christ, and oppose Christianity, we are all shaken from our slumber. But you know there is something more dangerous than all of that. It is worldliness. It is being so wrapped up into the routine of daily life, that God is pushed to the periphery and forgotten. Neglect of God, you see, is a far more dangerous symptom of spiritual sickness. It is far more dangerous to our souls than the particular instances of daring open rejection of God that we may see. Are Jesus’ words a wakeup call to you today?
III. The Second Coming Will Bring About a Final and Eternal Distinction Between Believers and Unbelievers
One last thing, verses 40 and 41. Jesus says here, that the second coming is going to bring about a final and eternal distinction between believers and unbelievers. That is why He tells this story here. Christ’s coming, in other words, is going to be a separating event. His coming is going to finally divide belief and unbelief, the just and the unjust. He promised His disciples this all through His earthly ministry, but it only seemed to confuse them, you remember He would say things like, I didn’t come to bring peace, I came to bring a sword. And He would say things such as, I came to set parents against their children and children against their parents. And the disciples, no doubt, scratched their heads, what in the world are you talking about. Because at the same time he would say things like he came to bring peace, and He came to bring rest and they couldn’t put those two things together. Here is what Jesus is saying. For all those who will rest in Me, all those who will trust in Me, they will find peace. But those who do not trust in me, they will be eternally at war with those who love me. And they will never be joined either here or in the hereafter. Those who reject me will be rejected of my Father. Those who embrace me, will be embraced by my Father who is in heaven.
Are you ready for that judgment. The first way we prepare for this judgment is through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are not now trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are not ready for this judgment. And I do not want to stand before God not having plead with you to do business with Him today. To embrace the Lord Jesus Christ. All those who have embraced Jesus Christ, have no need to fear this judgment. Their judgment has occurred already in Christ. He has absorbed the judgment and wrath of God for them. For them, the second coming is going to be a day of victory. It is those who have not trusted in Him, who are not trusting in Him, who are unprepared and who face a day of woe and grief. And an eternity of woe and grief. May God impress this word upon our hearts and may we be prepared for this day in Christ.