Derek Prince - Are These Times Similar To The Days Of Noah?
This is an excerpt from: Pressures, Tests & Challenges
So our proclamation now is in light of the fact that we are going to study the events leading up to the close of this age. It’s a prayer that Paul prayed for the Thessalonians and he prayed it you, we’re praying it for you and us so we say 'we' instead of 'you'. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and 24: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify us completely and may our whole spirit soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls us is faithful who also will do it. Amen.
Now, without any further introduction we’re going back to where we finished last time. We don’t have time to do any recapitulation. You must do that in your own time, if it’s necessary. We stopped at Matthew 24:34–35 so we’re going on now at Matthew 24:36. Speaking about the day of His coming in glory and power, Jesus said: But of that day and hour no one knows not even the angels of heaven but my Father only. And another text which is followed by the New International Version, says not even the Son, but to confirm that we’ll turn to Mark 13:32 which is the parallel Scripture. Mark 13:32. Jesus says: But of that day and hour no one knows neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. That’s a wonderful thought. This is the secret that’s only known to one person in the universe and that is God the Father. It’s God’s secret. It says no one else knows the day or the hour. I’ll point out to you, in a little while we may know the times and the seasons but the day and the hour is God’s secret. I have to say I think it’s extremely presumptuous of teachers, prophets or preachers whoever they are to claim to know what only God the Father knows. In my opinion that’s arrogance.
Arrogance is one of the sins that’s most hateful to God. And I also marvel at the number of Christians quote, Bible believing Christians, that can actually be fooled by that kind of prophetic utterance. The reason is they don’t know the prophetic Scriptures as they ought to do. So we’ll go on now in the next few verses of Matthew 24. Verses 37–39. But 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. There’s a parallel passage in Luke 17 which amplifies that a little and it would pay us to turn there. Luke 17:26–30. Luke 17:26–30. And as it was in the days of Noah so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all.
I want you to notice the repetition of that little word all in every one of these passages, it occurs as the last word. 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. So Jesus there amplifies a little of what is said in Matthew 24. And not only as it was in the days of Noah but also as it was in the days of Lot. We will not turn there in our Bibles, but the key to understanding that is found in Genesis 6:1–12 and Genesis 19:4–5, which describes the situation in the world in the time of Noah. And the situation in the city of Sodom in the time of Lot. I will briefly outline the main features revealed by Scripture concerning that period. First of all, in the days of Noah the Scripture reveals four major features.
Number one, there was satanic infiltration of the human race by satanic angels who came and cohabited with human women. Satanic infiltration is the key phrase.
And then number two, their whole thought life was corrupted. Every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.
Number three, there was sexual perversion. It says all flesh had corrupted its way. That’s the Bible’s way of saying sexual relationships had become abnormal and perverse. And fourth, the earth was filled with violence. I think perhaps we need to pause and meditate on those four features of the time of Noah. Satanic infiltration, corrupted thought life. And in our day I would say one of the main instruments that satan has used to corrupt our thought life, is the television. I’m not preaching against television, I’m just saying it is a main instrument that satan has used to corrupt the thought life of, I suppose, billions of people. And, most of it initiated in the United States. That’s a fact for which we as American citizens have got to accept responsibility.
Our nation has poured forth countless hours of filth and corruption, that have really affected most of the world today. Then it says there’s sexual perversion. Today this is common place. I came to realize that there was sexual perversion in the church about thirty years ago. And practiced by Christians who were church members, especially the abuse of young boys and girls. But nobody talked about it in those days. And it was a shock to me when I discovered that this was what was going on. But today it is generally discussed, it is widely declared. And everybody knows it’s happening. Not only amongst the unsaved, but also in the church. Sexual perversion is fashionable. There are many, many unconverted people who boast of it. There are programs on the television that actually take delight in exposing all the nasty details. Just as it was in the days of Noah.
And then the earth was filled with violence. If there’s one feature of Noah’s day that is being repeated in our day, it’s pervasive violence. I can remember, I’m old enough to remember, when ladies could walk safely in the streets of our main cities. Both in Britain and in the United States, even at night without fear. Now there are some of our major cities like New York, Miami, where it’s not safe even to walk in the daytime. We’ve come to accept this as a fact, but it’s a fact that is comparatively recent. It was not true; I grew up in Britain between the two world wars, there was virtually no violence at all. If a thief snatched a lady’s handbag it made the headlines. Today nobody would even turn around to comment on it.
We are, as it were, inured to this. But we have to see it as a fact of life. The earth is filled with violence. I can remember, and I’m sure some of you can, when you could walk on an airplane without being searched. Do you believe that such days ever existed? Not now. This is by the way, but I don’t know whether you heard of the story of the man who was deeply concerned about the possibility of a bomb on a plane that he was traveling on. So he took the statistics and he discovered that only once in a million times would there be a man with a bomb on a plane. But for two men to be on a plane with a bomb was once in a billion times. So after that he always carried a bomb! I don’t think that’s the right solution!
Now let’s turn to the time of Lot. Lot lived in a city, Sodom, which has given its name to a particular sexual perversion, which is now misnamed being gay. I’m sorry, but the beautiful word gay has been perverted to that ugly use. I don’t call it gay, I call it homosexuality or sodomy. The main feature of Sodom was blatant, aggressive homosexuality. They didn’t just practice it, they were aggressive in the practice of it. When Lot invited the two angels in, it says all the men from every quarter of the city, both young and old, came to demand sex with these two newcomers. That’s all the men from every area of the city, both young and old. The whole city was totally pervaded with that.
Some of God’s judgments are what we call exemplary. Like the judgments on Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s like the judgment on Ananias and Sapphira, who were hypocrites, who claimed in giving more to the work of God than they were. They perished, died. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. But that isn’t the way God judges everybody that’s guilty of those practices. That’s an exemplary judgment to show once and for all what God really thinks about these things. If God judged all who were hypocritical about what they give to the Lord, our churches would have far fewer members, but God doesn’t do that. He’s just declared once and for all, this is what He thinks about hypocrisy.