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Last Days Wickedness: Examples of Noah and Lot

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Last Days Wickedness: Examples of Noah and Lot

Israel's national rebirth occurs during perilous times (2 Timothy 3:1). In fact, Jesus compared the world at this time to the days before the flood of Noah (Noe) and the destruction of Sodom in the days of Lot:

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:26-33)

Prior to the flood, the people of Noah's day were carrying on with their normal daily routines, oblivious to the coming destruction. Daily, Noah built the ark in plain view of all who perished, yet Noah's warnings went unheeded. On the surface, their activities do not seem out of the ordinary, however, they carry many indictments:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

The people of Noah's day spent all of their time, thoughts, and dreams squarely focused on finding new ways to enjoy the short term pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25). Jesus taught in Matthew 15:19 the natural results of these thoughts:

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

So, the people of Noah's day were murderers, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, liars, and enemies of God. Other clues from Jesus' comparison include:

  • ‘They did eat' suggesting gluttony
  • 'They did drink' suggesting drunkenness
  • ‘They married wives' (plural) and ‘they were given in marriage' suggesting marriages of convenience with no permanence

In short, the people of Noah's day lived for the pleasures of sin and these actions are repeated in the last days.

The men of Sodom's day were not much better. They also appear to be guilty of gluttony and drunkenness without any regard for their creator. ‘They bought, they sold, they planted, they builded' suggests a materialistic society focused on gain and wealth. More insights into their character come from Ezekiel and Jude:

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. (Jude 1:7-8)

Ezekiel strengthens the charges of materialism against Sodom with two statements: ‘abundance of idleness' and ‘neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy'. Abundance of idleness implies abundant wealth while their treatment of the poor and needy demonstrates their greed and lust. Other failings of the people of Sodom include unbridled pride, abominations (typically sacrifices to strange gods), fornications (sex outside of marriage), and desiring strange flesh (suggesting a lack of control over ones body, desires, and lusts, which are manifested through all sorts of deviant sexual activities). In addition, Sodom's pride results in her separation from God (1 John 2:16) and primes her for destruction (Proverbs 16:18).

Combining the sins of Noah and Sodom presents a troubling picture of humanity on the eve of Jesus' return. It is one of complete debauchery but is consistent with other detailed descriptions of last days' people. Another less obvious part of the prophecy deals with the righteous during this time. For both Noah and Lot, their testimonies produced little fruit as only eight souls survived the flood and three Sodom's destruction. In Lot's case, he chose to live in Sodom and that decision vexed his soul (2 Peter 2:6-8), causing him to lose his testimony even among his own family. Prior to entering Sodom, this man led a group so large that Abraham and Lot separated due to infighting between the two groups for the same limited resources. Abraham's pleading for God's mercy on Sodom implies just how large Lot's group may have been. He opens his negotiations at 50 people before finally working down to just ten (Genesis 18:16-33). Unfortunately, what Abraham did not know was that since Lot had left Abraham's side, he succumbed to Sodom's lifestyle, losing both his zeal for God and testimony. No longer did he lead his servants, their families, or even his own family. Their love for Sodom (a type of the world) was so great that the angels had to expel Lot and his family before they could complete their work (Genesis 19:16). Even then, Lot lost his wife because her love for Sodom was too great (Genesis 19:26).

Notice also that for both Noah and Lot, God's judgment did not come until the righteous were safe. Neither the worldwide flood nor the destruction of Sodom came until God protected His people: Noah in the ark and Lot outside of Sodom. 1 Peter 3:20 shows God waited, delaying the flood, until all of the righteous were safely enclosed the ark:

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Just as God removed Noah, Lot, and the rest of the righteous before pouring out His judgments, God will remove the righteous prior to the tribulation's judgments as the following two passages show:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)

This is a terrible time that without God's intervention, no one would survive. However, God does intervene. First, He removes the righteous before the tribulation begins and then He ends the tribulation before the destruction of all life.

Summarizing, Jesus' compared the last days to the days preceding the judgments on Noah and Lot. These comparisons showed:

  • People's unbridled wickedness in the last days:

    • Continuously think only of evil
    • Given to fulfilling the desires of the flesh especially drunkenness, gluttony, and sexual indulgences (outside of marriage, deviant acts, and with both sexes)
    • Marry and remarry freely
    • Proud
    • Materialistic
    • The rapture of the righteous prior to the judgments of the tribulation
  • People continue living ambivalent to the coming judgments, ignoring all warnings
  • The righteous are vexed by the sins of the wicked, have lost effective testimonies, love the world more than God, and are reluctant to flee from the pending wrath
  • God always removes the righteous prior to His judgments:

    • Noah's righteous sealed in ark
    • Sodom's righteous (Lot and his family) forcibly removed
    • Saved believer's taken in the rapture