The newsletter of Jim BramlettDear friends:
January 4, 2011
Our modern day compared with Noah’s day.
The Scriptures give many clues as to when Jesus will return to the earth.
Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:4, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”
His return will catch most of the world by surprise, as did Noah’s flood, but if you are watchful and not walking in spiritual darkness, the Bible clearly says it will not catch you by surprise.
Jesus Himself gave several signs, one of which would be Israel retaking possession of Jerusalem, as it did in 1967 after some 1,900 years (Luke 21:24). This was a historic result of the miraculous Six-Day War in which little Israel defeated all the massive armies of its Arab enemies in just six days! It was truly a supernatural outcome, in which angels were actually reported seen in some of the battles.
Jesus gave another profound clue when He said:
"As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Years ago, without thinking too much about it, I thought that only meant it would be a big surprise to everyone. That is partly true, for those in darkness, but in recent years I have come to realize there is much more meaning to what Jesus was telling us.
Question: What was it really like in the days of Noah?
Here are some thoughts:
1. Same-sex marriage. In a recent message, I reported a discovery in the Jewish Talmud that in the days before the flood, there was same-sex marriage, men marrying men and women marrying women. Even though homosexuality has been rampant at various times and places, such as in Sodom and Gomorrah, reportedly before the flood was the only time in history when same-sex marriage was popular, just as today, backed increasingly by government and godless officials.
2. Corruption. Genesis 6:11 reveals to us that in the days before the flood, “The earth also was corrupt before God.” The world has been corrupt since the fall of man in the garden; however, it seems especially corrupt today. There is deep corruption at all levels of government and business in virtually all nations.
3. Violence. Genesis 6:11 also says, “The earth was filled with violence…” Again, there has always been violence in the earth, but it seems especially true today. Many cities are like war zones, less safe than Afghanistan. Internationally, this is partly due to worldwide jihad by radical Muslims, but also by anarchists and despotic governments such as Iran and Syria, which sponsor terrorism. Add to this nuclear proliferation and access to the nukes by terrorists, you have potentially the most violent time in all human history. Foreign Policy magazine lists 16 dangerous conflicts to watch for in 2011. See http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/12/28/next_years_wars?page=full
A missionary friend in the Middle East wrote me today, “We grieve over the massacres of Christians as they worship the Lord in church services in Egypt and in Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world. It is not just dangerous to be a believer in the East, it is now dangerous to be a believer all over the world, including the West.”
4. Giants in the earth? Genesis 6:5 says, “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” This is speculative and controversial, but there are documented, first-person reports, seemingly credible, of alien UFO abductions. UFOs are believed to be demonic manifestations and not space travelers. Some scholars believe we are seeing a repeat of Genesis 6:5. Could the cruel, heartless murderers roaming the earth today actually carry the genes of demons? Many would say that this would be impossible, but I am not so sure. Jesus said that they are the “sons of the devil” (Matthew 13:38).
5. Great wickedness and pervasive evil thoughts. Genesis 6:5 also describes Noah’s day this way: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In our day, the following are rampant and commonplace: homosexual and heterosexual immorality; transsexualism; transgenderism; out-of-wedlock births; unmarried co-habitation (or fornication); drug use; drug dealing; drug gangs; drug violence; and more. “The wickedness of man is great in the earth.”
In many ways, the world today is exactly “as the days of Noah were.” Below is the full passage where Jesus made this prophecy:
"As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, 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. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming" (Matthew chapter 24, verses 37-42, NKJV).
Jesus also said His return would be “as in the days of Lot.” Lot lived a few hundred years after the flood.
Of course, Lot lived in Sodom, known for rampant homosexuality. It was so bad that angels who came to rescue Lot were accosted by aggressive homosexuals who wanted to have sex with them, and to escape the angels struck them blind. (Genesis chapter 19.) Such actions against homosexuals today would be considered not politically correct, and no doubt lawsuits would be filed against the angels, and championed by the ACLU and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).
A contradiction? Recently I shared a study that showed an explosive new growth of Christianity in the world. How is this possible along with the dire situation described above? That is because, as Jesus explained, at the end of the age both the good seed and the tares will grow up together. Jesus said, “The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38). In our world, we are seeing both the good seed and the tares growing and thriving. But at the harvest, Jesus said, “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (vs. 41-43).
A final word. A rhema (anointed, inspired) word came forth five separate times in our church service this week. Five is the number for grace. The word was, “Be ready.”
Jesus: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me!" (Revelation 22: 12.)
So I say to all readers: Be ready. There may not be much time.