Well, here we are. It is now the year 2010. We are living in the Last Days. Is it what you thought it would be? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Do you still believe that Christ will return in the near future? Are you weeping and crying inside everyday hoping that the Kingdom will come soon? Do you believe in the coming Day of the Lord?
We are living in the time of scoffers. The scoffer doesn’t deny the existence of God. What the scoffer denies is the promise of the coming. They doubt the return of Christ. This country is filled with churches and people who claim to believe in God, but very few of these same people actually believe in the coming Kingdom of God on earth.
Instead of living each day in hope of that coming, the world spends its time and energy on the things around us. And even members of the ecclesia of God become so wrapped up in this present life that the Kingdom takes second place, and it becomes more of a dream than a reality.
Efforts to preach the coming Kingdom are usually met with disinterest. The world expects its citizens to live for today. Those who live for a future promise are considered to be foolish and just wasting their time.
But…it is the past ….it is the past….that the scoffer is most ignorant of. So absorbed in their own desires, so absorbed in their jobs, families, friends, education, that they willingly ignore that at one time this same earth on which we live and walk, this same earth that we wake up to each day was once completely covered with water and all the people of that time perished. The scoffer will even go so far as to deny that there even was a flood. But the evidence of that great destruction is all around us. Make no mistake about it. The educated of the world mistakenly take all the geological evidence of this massive destruction and they choose to attribute it to some other event. Yet only the flood can really explain the physical scares that were left behind by that tragedy.
The only one to survive the destruction was the one that the whole world called foolish, the one that the whole world looked down on. Noah was criticized constantly. He spent many years of his life building an ark, and was laughed at for not taking the time to enjoy all the pleasures of life. They put him down because he did not spend his time building and selling homes, buying and selling possessions, going to movies and sport events. Noah did not fit in.
The people called him a fool. And Noah looked like a fool. Certainly for the world at that time to see a man spending his years and all of his money building a boat in the middle of a nowhere must have been something to laugh at. He would warn them of a coming flood, but they mocked the warnings. They were sure that the God that they knew would never think of destroying His own creation. They were sure that the God they knew was loving and kind and never think of flooding the earth. They agreed that the world had it problems, but it was not the great evil place of violence that Noah made it sound like. There were actually a lot of good things happening in the world.
So it went on for years. Noah building the ark. The people not really paying much attention to him, but getting a good chuckle out of it when they did. It went on until one day – a day that started like any other day. Babies woke up and cried to be fed. Grandparents gathered together to play with their grand children. Couples made plans for their marriages. People planted their gardens and built their homes. Mothers prepared food for the family. Fathers went out hunting. Young people played games in the street.
And then it started… the rain began. And the earth shook violently. Mothers called out for their children and huddled together with them. Fathers tried to build barriers to keep the increasing water from flooding into their houses, but the rain just poured down heavier and heavier. Babies cried, children saw fear in their parent’s eyes. Men and women alike began to pray. But still the rain fell and then the buildings started to fall. People ran to the hills seeking shelter. But there was none. Some even pounded on the walls of the ark, but the door was closed and could not be opened. And still, the rain fell and people were caught up in the waters. Parents tried to hold on to the children but the force of the wind and the water just swept them away. They could only listen as they heard them crying somewhere out there lost in the flood. Men fought with each other to get up the highest trees. Many ended up falling down into the waters exhausted.
And the rain just continued. After a while the screaming stopped. Those who remained could only hear silence as they looked around and saw nothing of the world that they spent their whole lives on. The homes, the schools, the cars, the banks, the places to eat, the stadiums were all gone. As they hung on, the wind blew, the waters rose and soon they to were swallowed up by the flood.
The bible says that “all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.”
And with these words, the world that once was, perished. So completely was the destruction that we have little record from that time. Hardly anything remains which tells us anything of significance about the people or the great age they lived in. Surely there must have been many inventions, many wonders, many arts and music. Surely there must have been great buildings and famous men and women. Surely there must have been shops and stores and homes and modes of transportation. With so many people through out the earth speaking the same tongue and living six times as long as we live today, the knowledge and wealth of wisdom of that age must have been amazing. But all that knowledge and all that wealth is forever gone, and for all its glory - nothing, absolutely nothing remains of that world.
Jesus spoke of the people of that day and said that they “knew not”. They could have known but they chose to be ignorant. They didn’t know because they didn’t want to know. They enjoyed their life to much. They had opportunities and were busy with the things of life. Taking care of their own families, taking care of their own self. They ignored all the violence and ungodly things that were going on around them. They ignored the suffering and pain that many in that world were going through. They ignored their own short comings. Each day they woke up and just went on with their every day lives. They ignored all the warnings from God.
And today, the world is in the exact same state. With billions of people on the face of the earth all beginning to speak the same language and with all the wisdom and all the wealth of the wise of the world, even today many lives can be described as just eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building, marrying – all the while everyone willingly ignores the promise of His coming. Even those who know about the second coming, even those who may believe in it, by their own life style they ignore it.
One thing is certain. Regardless on what our thinking is, the day of the Lord will come.
Peter calls it a day reserved unto fire, a Day of Judgment and destruction. David writes that “fire shall devour them”. Paul writes of a “everlasting destruction”. Isaiah prophesies “by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many”. Jesus teaches that the wicked will go away to “everlasting punishment”. The writer of Hebrews writes “judgment and fiery indignation…shall devour the adversaries”. Jude speaks of the “judgment of the great day”. John prophesies that the wicked “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone”. Zephaniah writes “all the earth shall be devoured in fire”.
What all these prophets are teaching is the end of this age as we know it.
No, that is not true. That is just not true the scoffer will say. The world will not end and things will pretty much continue as they are now. We will get older and have children and our children will have children. We will plant our fields and build and sell homes and live long lives.
But this they choose to ignore. There are evil forces at work in the earth today. These forces have one goal in mind. To destroy the world we know. They have tried several times to attack, and they have already caused terror and pain. And as each year passes they get closer to obtaining what they really want. That is to cause massive destruction. It is by their evil intentions that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. At a time the world feels secure, sudden destruction will come.
The fact is that the world is not a very safe place. There are a lot of places on the earth where none of us can even travel to. If we do, there are many people out there that we have never even met that would love to get their hands on us, torture us and even cut off our heads while we are still alive.
Regardless of what the scoffer wants to believe everything is not fine. Right now people are dying, right now people are starving, and right now people are killing. The earth is filled with violence and men are corrupting the way of God. We can not begin to imagine how a God feels about the things happening around us. He has witnessed all the generations since the flood and has seen that men repeatedly seek their own interests and will think of nothing about hurting and destroying those around them. And today the world is filled with proud and boastful people who have no problem openly speaking against the God of heaven and living lifestyles contrary to the commandments and will not let anything stop their desire to change times and laws.
If we were to go to Jesus and ask him to tell us what shall be the sign of his coming and of the end of the world. If we were to ask him this same question his disciples did, perhaps this would be what he would say:
Take heed that no one leads you astray. For there will be many false religions in the world. They will draw in millions of people who will think that they are being taught truth. Many will be deceived through their money, their power and their music.
Know also that the times will be very troubling. Men will become so absorbed with their own self, spending their time buying and selling, having very little self control and they will learn to tolerate and evil and love the things of the world much more than the things of God.
And the world will be filled with unrest. Nation rising against nations and countries will be divided by civil wars and conflicts. There will be many battles and rumors of great battles to come. In every corner of the earth will be conflict. Men will fear nuclear war and other instruments of destruction.
There will also be famines in Africa and earthquakes in Armenia and other various places. Volcanoes will erupt in the Philippines and Hurricanes will come and destroy much. And because wickedness will be great in the earth, even brethren will hate one another and refuse to speak peacefully one to another, the love and patience of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure until the end shall be saved.
And the bible shall be printed and distributed throughout the world as a witness and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see that which is abominable, that is even the religious leaders profaning the things of God, and like a great whore allow evil to stand in the midst of the congregations. Those who know the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them (whoso hears this, let him understand) then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be. And except those days are shortened there should no flesh be saved.
Therefore take heed to yourself because many will be so obsessed with the things of life and the pleasures of drinking and be so consumed with the anxieties of the world so that that day will come upon them unawares. For as a snare it shall come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Turning now to the bread and cup, we are reminded of Jesus our Savior. But Jesus is only a Savior to those who want to be saved. If we are happy with our lives, if we enjoy indulging in the world about us, if we wish it would all just continue the way it is, and really don’t want to be saved then perhaps this is just another piece of bread to us and this just another cup of wine to us.
But if we feel the pain of living in this world, if we are troubled by the evil that is all around us, if we believe and hope in the Kingdom of God and promise of his coming, then to us Jesus is our savior and the bread and cup are life to us, for:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”