First Things @ First

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the signs of Jesus coming. Many are coming in the name of Christ professing to be something they aren't. War and rumors of war continue to escalate in our nation and world. Nations rising up against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms. Famine and pestilence on the increase. Earthquakes in unusual places becoming more prominent with every passing year. These indeed are the times that Jesus called 'the beginning of sorrows.' His word to His disciples reveals to us that the 'labor of love' will become more uncomfortable for those who know the Lord before our delivery comes. Like the birth pangs of a mother before her child is delivered. Most would prefer to by-pass on that hardship and just be whisked off to heaven like Elijah in a chariot of fire, but God's word reminds us that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. James, John, Paul, and Peter among others experienced such trials and those who identify with Jesus today will as well.

What may we expect in the days prior to the Lord's deliverance of His Church?

We are given a glimpse of what the culture will be like prior to His deliverance from certain judgment on sin in Matthew 24:37-39. "But as it was in the days of Noah, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

While applications may be made to everyone, Matthew is writing primarily to the Jews and Jesus is portrayed as Sovereign King. The time that Matthew refers to is the return of the Lord to the earth where every eye will see and acknowledge Him as Lord. Those who study God's word understand that the Church (Bride) is 'taken out' seven years prior to this event for her appointment before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb following in glory with Christ.

Prior to these next two scheduled events there will be similar behavior qualities exemplified in the same they were in Noah's day. What exactly were some of those behavioral activities?

"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 the coming of the Son of Man be."

When you look at Matthew's description, you see nothing all that wrong with any of it. A growing display of evil is NOT what the Lord was describing here prior to the days of Jesus' arrival to the earth.

Matthew's message references that people across the world will be 'caught up in' doing things that were largely ordinary. They were cooking meals, cleaning houses, drawing water, celebrating weddings, going to work, going to sports events, and watching TV. The routine of life had become their way of life. And their routine was exercised without any thought or consideration of what was about to happen!

The people of Noah's day were doing what most are doing today. They were going about life largely ignoring a word from God through his messenger Noah concerning the urgency of personal preparation. For one hundred and twenty years they were warned of pending disaster if they were not inside the ark of salvation. And for one hundred and twenty years they blew it off as an old man's scare tactic or an attempt to raise money for construction costs. Whatever the reason, life just went on. Day followed night and seasons came and went as they always had. No reason to get excited about something they had never seen happen before. There had never been a flood before. That amount of water had never been seen before. They didn't believe the word of God because they couldn't comprehend such a catastrophic event without faith. That is what separated Noah and his family from all the rest who walked on the earth in those days. Faith in God's Word still separates those who believe from those who won't.

The Day came when God said to Noah come into the ark and God shut the door. There were only eight human beings inside the good ship grace. Most were outside. And for seven more days, life went on. And just as God had said through Noah for over one hundred years, the day of reckoning came. The rain came down and the water came up and every living creature outside the ark perished.

"As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man."

The events of the past point to what is coming in the future. It has been recorded in the Word of God. Judgment on sin is growing with every passing day. One day it will be unleashed in ways that the human mind cannot imagine.

Are you prepared to go when Jesus returns in the clouds and says, 'Come.' Those who are 'in Christ' will hear His voice because they have heard it before. And they will be saved because they entered the ark of salvation through the Door of Christ by faith in the Word of God (John 10:9).

And those who remain will be left to deal with the consequence of settling for a routine in life rather than a relationship for life.

Jesus is coming and judgment will certainly follow, just as He said.

Be ready!

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1