In Luke 17:26-30 Jesus warned us of one of the ways Satan would attack Christians in our time. He said: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man (referring to the time of His return.) 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.”
Jesus makes a profound statement in this prophecy that immediately got my attention. Did you notice it? There is something missing in what He said about the days of Noah and Lot. He doesn’t mention the many gross sins that were taking place in the days of Noah and Lot. Not one thing that He does mention is within itself a sin. Likewise, he does not say anything about the many gross sins taking place in our day. He only lists the everyday normal affairs of life: eating, marrying, buying, selling, planting and building.
The Old Testament scriptures state that in the days of Noah and Lot lawlessness, permissiveness and rebellion were running rampant. This is given as the reason why God had to destroy both of those societies. Similarly, we know that alot of these same evils exist today. Read any newspaper or listen to any newscast. Yet when comparing our day to those of Noah and Lot, Jesus makes no comment about this fact. Instead His comparison is with the everyday activities of buying, selling, eating, drinking, marrying, planting and building. Since his comparison refers to the time in which we live, I felt compelled to understand what He meant by his comments. Why would He warn us about the NORMAL everyday affairs of Life?
I think what I discovered will interest you as much as it did me. The answer is more important than we may realize. It leads us to the very core of the spiritual warfare now taking place in our country. It is one of the reasons why the moral values of our society have deteriorated so quickly. Looking into the future, Jesus could see that deterioration, so He warned us of the cause ahead of time. The importance of that warning is further emphasized by the fact that God had it recorded in His Word.
This warning from Jesus comparing our day to Noah’s is a warning that carrries a much deeper and far greater concern than the many gross sins that ordinarily command our attention on a daily basis. Jesus did not have to mention them specifically, because Christians and non-Christians alike are already aware of them. We hear and read about them every day. As an example: The late David Wilkerson, the well-known pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and one of our country’s more prominent spiritual leaders of the past stated:
“I was listening to a special radio program in a large eastern city, where the people on the street were being interviewed about the moral condition of America. The question was asked, “Do you believe America has lost its moral integrity?” Almost all who were interviewed said basically the same thing: “America is going to hell in a hand basket!” “We no longer care if scoundrels run our country, as long as we prosper.” “Morality and purity have been sold out to pleasure and prosperity.”
God gave us this prophetic warning regarding these Last Days, because He recognized the danger associated with over-commitment to these seemingly harmless everyday affairs of life-the buying, selling, building, and so forth. It is not our involvement in these things that makes them sinful. Our sin is one of over-commitment to the self-serving affairs of everyday life, which has caused an ever more diminishing commitment to live by the standards of God. That apparently was a problem in the days of Noah, and it obviously is a problem today, especially in America. Our relentless pursuit of everyday affairs has become more important to us than our desire to comply with God’s moral living standards.
Jesus is telling us that in the days of Noah and Lot, the everyday affairs of life became so important to people it caused them to abandon their commitment to place God first and honor His values. Serving God was not their primary focus. He is warning us this same temptation would also be predominant in our day.
It is almost impossible to describe the power our society has acquired in recent years to influence our behavior through highly-developed advertising campaigns, a constant flow of attractive new products, beautiful shopping malls, easy credit, often with no down payment, and a mass media system that delivers that advertising into our homes and everywhere we go. It constantly tempts us to over-commit our time and money and compromise our moral values, so we are encouraged to serve ourselves more than we desire to serve God.
God looked ahead and prophesied through Jesus how our lives would be dominated by these everyday affairs of life. He knew this was one of the reasons why people were lead astray in the days of Noah and Lot. They would not listen to Noah and recognize the signs of the times. In His love, he has warned us in the same way.
Understanding this fact should serve as a wake-up call to Christians. God knows that anyone having such a strong commitment to the everyday affairs of life- that our society is now able to develop within us- can easily grow cold in our personal resolve to live by HIS biblical standards. It is a form of deception that Satan is using to destroy “Christian America” in these Last Days, just as Jesus prophesied.
Often times, God tests us to prove that our heart’s desire is to obey and put Him first in ALL things in our lives, regardless of the sacrifice. The blessings of this life can properly follow in a life of faith. But this prophecy of Jesus comparing the people in our day to the people in Noah’s day addresses our attitude and commitment. Which is more important: the gifts or the God who gives them?