We recently began a bible study series on understanding the end times as we noticed that the global pandemic has revealed how biblically illiterate the body of is Christ world over as regards end time scriptures.
As we go along in this discourse it is pertinent to note that one of the essential requirements for being able to receive biblical prophecy about the end times is the right appreciation of the sovereignty, majesty and the justice of God- Daniel 2:20-22; Dan 4:34-35. God never makes mistakes in the affairs of nations and even in your own life. You might be going through some challenges that you don’t understand or proves otherwise but know this: God is always just and right.
The end times is termed in different ways by different authors in scripture. Timothy used the term “latter times (1 Tim 4:1) while in 2 Tim 3:1 uses the term last days and perilous times. The apostle John calls it “the last time” (1 John 2:18). Daniel calls it the “end of time (Dan 12:4) while Jeremiah calls it “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7). These bible characters all spoke about the end times as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Why is it important that we study about the end times and the book of Revelation?
It is very easy when studying about the end times to be carried away by the dramatic events, the allegories and symbolisms that one misses out on the most crucial part which is the man behind the events even the man Jesus Christ.
We’ll look at 5 reasons why we need to study about the end times:
1) Studying what the bible has to say about the future empowers us to be victorious in love and power during the most glorious and difficult time in human history- Isa 60:1-3; Jer 30:7.
In the end-time, Satan will do his worst while God will do His best. God’s glory shines the most in the thickest darkness. John Wesley believes that in the end times that the world will experience the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He says that “there’s coming a Pentecost that will outpentecost Pentecost”.
2) It will prepare us as forerunners and friends of the bridegroom so as to help others prepare for the imminent coming of Christ- John 3:28-29; 2 Tim 2:2; Isa 40:3-5; Matt 3:1-2.
3) It prepares us to actively participate under Jesus in the end-time events and to rightly interpret Jesus’ leadership in the coming global crisis instead of being offended by Him- Matt 11:6.
4) Studying about the end times awakens urgency in us for intercession knowing that our prayers may minimize evil and increase victory- Rev 22:17; Matt 6:9-10; Eze 22:30-31.
5) Understanding the end time scriptures strengthens our confidence in God’s sovereignty by knowing that He is in control and is never surprised- Dan 4:17; Psalm 22:28.
In Jesus’ teachings about the end times in Matt 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30, He likens His second coming to the days of Noah and Lot. So, it is important for us to study the characteristics of the days of Noah and Lot so as to understand the end times particularly the second coming of Christ.
There are 7 characteristics of both the days of Noah and Lot that Jesus gives as a pattern for us in the end times.
In Gen 6:1-12; Gen 19:4-5; Matt 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30, we see these characteristics.
1) Satanic infiltration of the human race that led to sexual relations with humans– Gen 6:1-2, 4.
As the age draws to a close the line between the spiritual and the physical will become thinner and will allow greater traffic of both angels of light and darkness to move from their realm to the human realm.
2) Corrupted thought life– Gen 6:5. Satan knows that it is only the pure in heart that will see God (Matt 5:8) hence he will ensure that he pollutes the thoughts of the human race. The major ways he does that is through the television and the internet porn and Xrated movies. That’s why there are reality shows such as Big Brother Africa where obscenities are promoted.
3) Sexual perversion– Gen 6:7; Rom 1:24-28; Gen 6:11a.
4) Violence– Gen 6:11c. We see increasing violence in the nations through insurgency, gun violence etc.
5) Blatant aggressive homosexuality– Gen 19:4-5. The bible calls it homosexuality or sodomy but this terrible sin has been misnamed being “gay” and has perverted that good word which means “to be happily excited” or “bright and lovely” or “brilliant colors” and it is most often used to depict this sexual perversion. Homosexuality in our days have come out of the closet and words such as marriage are being redefined as not just a union between a man and a woman eg Adam and Eve but also as a union between a man and a man eg Adam and Steve. Things such as bestiality and incest are being legalized in places such as France and Amsterdam. But the scriptures remain the standard and God’s word does not change with the changing times.
6) Eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, buying, selling, building and planting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these activities that people engaged in in the days of Noah and Lot but they were consumed by it and lost sight of the “spiritual” and the “eternal”. These activities are all summed up in one-word MATERIALISM.
7) And finally, there’s a good side to the days of Noah. Noah was a just man and he walked with God. Even in the midst of the decadence of morality and spirituality, Noah found grace and walked with God- Gen 6:8-9; Heb 11:7.
So, Noah is a pattern for us and only those who live like him will survive in the end times.