36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 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, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Good afternoon church. Today I want to tell you about a storm far greater than anything this world has ever seen. I can't tell you when it will take place but when it does there will be no place to hide! The storm that I am referring to is the storm of God's wrath!
Matthew 24 tells of a time known as "The Time Of Jacob's Trouble." This phrase is found in Jeremiah 30:6-7. In these verses, the nation of Israel, is portrayed as one who is about to give birth. She is pictured as suffering great pains and enduring great agony. Nothing this world has ever seen can compare to the misery that Israel will endure in those days. The time of Jacob's trouble is a phrase that may be foreign to you, but you have likely heard it referred to as "The Great Tribulation".
There are two main purposes of the Tribulation period. The first purpose is to purge the people of Israel.
37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
The Nation of Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah and they took part in His death. But God will use the time of Jacob's trouble to prepare Israel for Jesus' return. At the time of His appearing, Jesus will be greeted by remnant of the Jewish people who believe in Him.
Another purpose of the Tribulation will be to judge the Gentiles.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
Then In Revelation 19:15 John describes Jesus at His return, he said that…
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
For thousands of years men have rejected God's call to repentance... they have rejected His amazing offer of salvation. When the Tribulation comes, God will judge their sin!
Without a doubt there are people in this building who have never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. My friend, if Jesus returns in your lifetime you will face this time of devastation and judgment. It is for that reason that I want to sound an alarm today. I want to walk through these verses and preach on the fact that…Gods judgement is coming.
Whenever inclement weather is in the area, the local news channels will interrupt regular scheduled broadcasting and inform the public as to the possible danger. When a hurricane makes landfall or when a tornado has been spotted, they will warn the people in the path of the storm to make preparations and to take cover. It is their goal to reach as many people as possible in time for them to protect themselves from the effects of the storm.
In Chapters 24 & 25 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warns that a storm is on the way! I want to look at three warnings that Jesus provides in this passage. The first is found in v37, JESUS WARNS OF HIS IMMINENT RETURN…
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Jesus wants us to know that He is coming back! There are several scriptures where He declares that His return is imminent.
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Jesus told His Disciples that the last days will be like the days of Noah. In those days, mankind was desperately wicked, violence and evil filled the land. Things were so bad that "it grieved the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart." (Genesis 6:6) In Genesis 6:7 the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth". But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God instructed Noah to build an ark. For 120 years Noah worked on that massive boat and he warned the people to repent for God was going to destroy the earth with a flood. The people refused to listen to the warning of God's messenger.
They continued to live lives of wickedness with no fear of the impending judgment of God. Then one day the rain began to fall, the waters began to rise and the people had no place of refuge. God had shut the door to the ark, the opportunity for salvation had passed.
Jesus tells says that the last days will be like the days in which Noah lived. This prophecy is being fulfilled right before our very eyes. When comparing the daily news to the Word of God, it is apparent that we are living in the end times. (Keep in mind, “no one knows the day or hour”)
Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 24:5-8…
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
These are some frightening verses, but the reality is they do not describe the storm itself, they are merely signs that the storm is drawing near. Sometimes you can sense that a storm is brewing. You step outside and feel an eerie breeze, the clouds begin to darken, in the distance you hear a roll of thunder.... you don't exactly when, but you know something is about to happen.
THE SIGNS OF THE END TIMES - In these verses Jesus warns of:
1. FALSE MESSIAHS - Jesus said that many false Christ’s would come and deceive many. Some false messiahs came before Jesus... some were present while He was here on earth... some came after He ascended ...and some are present even today. Jesus tells us that false Christ's will increase as the end draws near.
- He also mentions:
2. WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS - Our world has been marked by war since the beginning of time. Jesus said that wars and rumors of war would increase as the end of time approached. Currently our troops are involved in conflicts in certain parts of the world. Its not mentioned much in news now, because Covid is the main issue. But…facts still remain, the wars never stopped.
Along with these wars, Jesus reveals that in the end times there will be:
3. WORLD-WIDE TURMOIL - v6 "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom". Throughout the history of the world there has been in strife among the nations. Things are bad now... they were bad before... and as the end approaches things will get worse!
Jesus also tells us of natural disasters such as:
4. EARTHQUAKES -v 7 "there shall be earthquakes in divers places" Millions of people have died in earthquakes over the past 4,000 years. We are told that there are earthquakes somewhere in the world each and every day. Scientists tell us that earthquakes are increasing in their frequency and their intensity. They will continue to do so as the end of time approaches.
On top of earthquakes there will be:
5. FAMINES - Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of starvation. Every year 15 million children die of starvation and of hunger related illness. Famines will continue to increase as the end nears.
- Jesus also warns of:
6. Pestilences - There will be an upsurge in disease and plagues as the end times approach. Just think of all the disease that we have seen in the past and what is around today: Black death, Spanish Influenza, AIDS, SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Ebola, Covid 19 and so on. Troubles and pestilences will increase as the end approaches.
This is bad, but Jesus says this is only the beginning! He told His disciples in verse 8 that "these are only the beginnings of sorrows". Every single sign of the times that is mentioned in these verses can be seen in abundance each and every day of our lives. Things are bad and they are only going to get worse!
Though this storm is rapidly approaching, many people refuse to take cover. This leads us to the second warning that Jesus delivers in this text. Notice….
JESUS WARNS OF PEOPLE'S INDIFFERENT WAYS - v38-39
38 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, 39 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 God sent His judgment upon the earth in Noah's day it was not without warning. For 120 years, as he built the ark, Noah was preaching about the coming judgment of God. Noah warned the people of what was to come but they ignored him. They continued to live life their way. They ate, they drank, and they married and lived it up. God gave the people an opportunity to repent, But they ignored the warning, they rejected God's grace and they paid an eternal price for doing so!
- Verse 39 says that “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away” and by then it was too late. Some thought that they would be able to "ride the storm out" so to speak. By the time they realized the severity of the storm it was too late. Sadly, they have paid a great price as a result of their decision. It was not because they were not warned. They were warned but they chose to ignore that warning!
There will be people in the Tribulation who could have escaped its devastation. But they made the decision to ignore God's warning! Each day we see the end getting closer and closer. God is sounding the alarm for people to flee the wrath to come but people refuse to heed His warning.
We live in a day when the majority of people are focused on the things of this world. They live with an earthly perspective instead of an eternal perspective. They want to accomplish their goals, they want to see their dreams come true, they want to "conquer the world" so to speak. Some of these people don't believe in God at all... some believe but they just don't have time for Him and some say that they will turn to God 'one day".
Unfortunately, many people continue to put God off and live life for themselves. There are some who actually believe the very warnings that we are examining today. They believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, they believe that He is coming back one day, they believe that there will be a time of Great Tribulation, but they are just not concerned with these things. They are complacent and indifferent... they are just like the people in Noah's day. And just like the people in Noah's day they will face the wrath and judgment of God!
This leads us to the 3rd warning that Jesus delivers in this text. Notice that…
JESUS WARNS OF GOD'S INESCAPABLE WRATH…
39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Jesus says that when the floods came in Noah's day it "took them all away". People were going about their business living life as normal. That day began as just any other day. Then the floods came and swept them out into eternity. The door to the Ark was shut. The opportunity for salvation was no more. There was absolutely no way for them to escape God's judgment of their sin!
The return of Christ will be the same way. But the flood will be nothing compared to the wrath that God will pour out on this world at that time. The Tribulation will be a time marked by severe “afflictions” or "Troubles". The Tribulation will bring sorrow and devastation that this world has not seen before.
The bible gives us a clear description of the storm that is one the way. There will be 2 sets of intense judgments that will occur during the Tribulation. The first of these impending judgments is:
THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS
1. The First Trumpet - 1/3 of the Earth's vegetation will be destroyed.
2. The Second Trumpet: 1/3 of the oceans will become blood, 1/3 of the life in the sea will be destroyed and 1/3 of the world’s shipping will also destroyed.
3. The Third Trumpet - 1/3 of the freshwater will be polluted.
4. The Fourth Trumpet: The sun’s light will be diminished by 1/3 and 1/3 of the light of the other heavenly bodies will be destroyed.
5. The Fifth Trumpet: The earth will be invaded by an army of demons. The demons will have the power to torment men for 5 months. They won’t kill men, but the pain will be so intense that men will want to die, but they will be unable to achieve death!
6. The Sixth Trumpet: Will bring a demonic invasion of an army that numbers 200,000,000. and 1/3 of the human population will be destroyed.
7. The Seventh Trumpet: This trumpet announces the soon return of the Lord Jesus.
The second of these impending judgments is:
The Vial Judgments
1. The First Vial - a cancerous sore in poured out on mankind.
2. The Second Vial: The waters of the sea are turned to blood and every creature in the sea dies.
3. The Third Vial - The fresh waters of the earth are turned to blood.
4. The Fourth Vial: The sun’s heat is intensified, all who remain on the earth the earth will be burned by the heat of the sun.
5. The Fifth Vial - This plague brings darkness and intense pain to the remaining inhabitants of the earth.
6. The Sixth Vial - The Euphrates River is dried up preparing a pathway for the nations of the earth to descend upon Israel for the final conflict.
7. The Seventh Vial: There is an earthquake of such magnitude that the islands of the sea sink and all the mountains of the earth fall down flat.
During the Tribulation, over one-half of the world’s population will die from starvation, disease and war. And these are just a few of the things that will come upon those who fail to heed the warnings to turn to Jesus for salvation. The only way for you to avoid this storm is for you to put your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
These passages serves as a warning to the lost man. A storm of wrath is coming to this earth and you do not want to experience what it will bring. Our minds cannot comprehend just how horrific this storm is going to be.
Are you prepared for the storm? Are you ready for the return of Jesus? Do you know that you will be safe and secure when God's wrath is poured out? If not, I encourage you to come to Jesus by faith and He will save you. If you are saved, praise the Lord!
Pastor Richard Santos
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