There are hundreds of apocalyptic films that have been made, but all but few have been created without the appearance of one specific character. He is very simple, not at all complex but integral because he creates the mood and backdrop for a coming chaos. This character is a borderline lunatic; usually with disheveled hair, a scruffy beard suffering from weeks of neglect, dark piercing mournful eyes; black from lack of sleep. His abode is the street corner where he pleads earnestly to waves of people who with complete disinterest tune him out leaving him another layer to be added to the soundtrack of the metropolitan streets. His message though urgent is completely ignored; but for those who are attentive it can be quickly read by his accompanying sign that he stands next to or holds around his neck; The end is near.
What are we to make of such a figure? In the movies he is a comical almost ironic figure,because it plays on the cynicism that we have concerning the tiresome message about the end of the world, but because this is a film; make believe if you will, we will have him be correct. For we all know that for over 2000 years the world has been supposed to end, but yet here we are; still ticking, but for the sake of entertainment, lets have this prediction all but come true, at least until our heroes step end and prevent the cataclysmic destruction of life as we know it.
One of the earliest and most recognized heralds of the apocalypse was a man named Noah. Noah in fact was the grandson of an even earlier herald of the apocalypse named Enoch. It is recorded that one day possibly while walking Enoch mysteriously disappeared. His family always held the line that God had taken him away, that he never died. This only gave further ammunition for the cynics; who comprised about everyone, to reject the ridiculous claims of Noah and his lunatic family.
Yet despite the scorn, and rejection of his message, Noah chooses to continue and take up his grandfather’s mantle as the prophetic preacher. Noah claims to have heard directly from an invisible God who is rumored to have created the world out of nothing. Legend had it that the first man the great ancestor was in communication with him, but after two generations he gradually disappeared, only to be seen by this lunatic clan who claims that he is ready to judge the world for rebelling against his law.Noah is claiming that this God in an historic and never seen seen before event will pour water from the heavens to destroy every living thing that does turn back to Him and seek refuge in a wooden vessel that Noah is directed to construct.
Lets fast forward thousands of years in to the future, to a desert city in the middle East. Under the elaborate Romanesque colonnades of the beautiful elaborate Jewish temple, a teacher is answering the questions of his students. The question is concerning the end of the world. This teacher is at the height of his popularity, a charismatic, yet polarizing figure who claims to have come from heaven. Many are plotting his death, while thousands upon thousands are waiting just to get a glimpse of him. We catch him however at a quieter moment, perhaps as evening is approaching, and we hear him utter these words.
7But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
What is interesting about the disciples question is that they were really trying to find out when their teacher was going to destroy their enemies and eventually rid their city of the filthy Roman rulers. What they wanted to know was when are you gonna stop teaching, and get busy. When are we gonna kick some Roman tail. For in their understanding of the last days, there would be a Hebrew King that will return to Jerusalem and destroy all the nations that seek to oppress Israel and all those that resist his rule.
Jesus answers them differently and describes the conditions of the land that will mark his coming. He compares the attitudes of his people to the attitudes of the people during Noah’s day. For a brief description of the people in Noah’s time lets look at a passage in Genesis 6
4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5And 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.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Lets give a brief synopsis then of the conditions
- the people seemed to glorify men and their achievements over God
- harbored wicked thoughts
- corrupted lifestyles: a free for all I can do what I want without any repercussions
- even nature had become corrupted by the lifestyles of man
It is against these things then that Noah preached as he spoke of the judgment of this God, and yet what was the people’s response?
Jesus tells us that the went on eating, drinking, partying living it up with no fear of God. In fact they openly mocked his message.
It is amazing when I searched for messages about the end is near how many parodies were made. Though some were clever, they were essentially mocking and scoffing of the idea that there will be a day in which we have to give account for our deeds. By no means am I into date setting, but simply as scripture speaks we need to have an attitude of expectation.
We live in a world that has no fear of God. It is full of violence, sexual perversion, with extortion, rape, human trafficking, slavery economically, and socially where we have triumphed the achievements of man, and praise our men of renown, whether they be intellectuals, athletes, politicians, entertainers, over the worship of the true and living God.
Where are the Noah’s of this generation? Who will stand up and say repent for the judge is at hand? Who will risk ridicule mocking, scorn, persecution, marginalization? Who will preach the judgment against rebelling against our creator?
Sadly as Jesus warns some of us are also caught up a lifestyle of eating and drinking, and being merry, not realizing that the Judge is at the door. Come out I say come out. To everything there is a time and a season, repent lest you be swept away, because the Judge is coming soon.
One of the observations about those who died in the tsunamis in South Asia in 2004 was how rapidly the waves came. Many were just hanging out casually on the beach, swimming, drinking enjoying their day, and though they noticed the water ebbing, they thought nothing of it, only to see 30 foot waves and greater rushing toward their way in moments. So it is with God’s judgment it is coming and it is here. Christ is coming soon, and he has set things in to motion.
It is my hope that those who happen to read this article and who are living in sin will repent and call out to God to save them and have mercy on them. You see the greatest danger we have is not the destruction of our bodies, but the destruction of our souls. It just so happens that if are bodies die before our spirit is renewed we will be destroyed. You see the primary thing God saves us from is not some cataclysmic destruction of the earth, for we will all die physically anyway, but he saves us from our sins. That is why the savior was named Jesus; God saves from sins. It is also my hope to arouse us to pray and to watch. Some of those reading God is calling you to take up the mantle and preach, others to help build the ark; the body of Christ.
May the God of all Grace keep and watch over you until his coming. Grace and Peace from the Herald.