As it was in the days of Noah
When Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah,” what was He telling us? Clearly, He was revealing something about the time of His Second Coming. He was also describing how the people of the world would be at that time. However, we must not lose sight of His primary goal which is to prepare His Church.
Read these next passages and carefully observe the activities of the believers (Noah and Lot) in contrast with those of the unbelieving world (Jesus refers to the world as: people, they and them).
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come (Matthew 24:37-42).
The following is an excerpt from Genesis in which Noah’s activities are described.
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. … Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. … Then the LORD shut him in. … Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals … Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days (Genesis 6:22-7:23).
So it was in the days of Lot
For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:24-35).
The unbelieving world did not know that judgment was coming and it surprised them. In contrast, Noah and Lot did know and they took action as directed by the Lord. Noah was prepared and entered the ark, so he and his family were protected. Lot left Sodom, and he and his daughters were protected. When Jesus says, “as it was in the days of Noah,” One thing He is telling believers is that they must be ready to take action, or suffer the consequences.
The Church’s preparedness can also be seen in the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is God’s final feast, when Christ returns for the harvest He will tabernacle (live) with His people. The Jewish people were to build booths each year as a reminder of God's deliverance and also in anticipation of the final harvest.
Celebrate this as a festival to Yahweh for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.'" So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of Yahweh (Leviticus 23:41-44).
They found written in the Law, which Yahweh had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: "Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths"--as it is written. So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them (Nehemiah 8:14-17).
God, through Isaiah, gives us a specific prophecy about the things His people are to do at the Second Coming.
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, Yahweh is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer. In that day, Yahweh will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day-- "Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, Yahweh, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it (Isaiah 26:20-27:3).
In the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly warned the believers to, “keep watch” and “be ready.”
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions (Matthew 24:42-47).
"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out. "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:1-13).
"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (Luke 12:35-40).
That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows (Luke 12:47).
So, keep watch and be ready!
Ready to do what? To enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you, so that when He comes and knocks you can immediately open the door for Him.
Richard H Perry