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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 14, 2002

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).

When will the world end? The Disciples wanted to know the answer. When will the age in which we live draw to a close? "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Dr. M. R. DeHaan gave these comments;

Jesus immediately and directly plunges into a recitation of scores of signs by which we may know that His coming is near. In the beginning of the chapter He mentions deception, wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, apostasy, earthquakes, anti-Semitism, false teachers, and a number of other signs.

Next He warns them of the coming of the Great Tribulation, and then gives a picture of His glorious Second Coming. Next He gives the sign of the fig tree, and caps it all by a recapitulation of all the foregoing signs when He says:

"For as in the days that were before the flood…so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38,39).

These verses are the heart of the entire chapter. Jesus says when the conditions which existed before the flood are repeated, then you know that it is near at hand, even at your doors. All we need to do, therefore, is to find out what the conditions were in those antediluvian days [those days before the Flood], and then compare them with the events as they are today, and by this we may be assured of His near return. The statement is positive and admits of no juggling or tampering.

As it was in the pre-Flood days - so shall it be in the days just before the Lord's return. There is therefore no excuse for one's being in darkness, for anyone can find out in less than a half hour just exactly what Jesus referred to. The entire record of "the days before the flood" is contained in three brief chapters of the Word of God: Genesis chapters 4, 5, and 6. The entire section can be read in a few minutes… Everything, therefore, that is written concerning those days is given in these three brief chapters [in the book of Genesis], and this is what Jesus referred to when He said, "As it was in the days of Noah…so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1963, pp. 39-40).

The Disciples asked Jesus, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Jesus replied, "For as in the days that were before the flood…so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." That's why we need to know what it was like before the Great Flood - and compare that time to the age in which we now live.

I. First, it was a time of city building.

Therefore, city building is a sign that we are approaching the end of this age. Please turn with me to Genesis, chapter four, verse sixteen:

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city…" (Genesis 4:16-17).

This is the first mention of anyone building a city given in the whole Bible. Man was not put in a city when he was created. He was placed in a garden - the Garden of Eden. The first city was built by a sinful man named Cain. Throughout the Bible, cities are seen as places of great wickedness and sin.  Even Jerusalem is called "Sodom and Egypt" in the Tribulation period (Revelation 11:8).

In the past three generations we have seen a repetition of what happened in the days before the Flood. A hundred years ago over 85% of the world lived in small rural communities or on farms. Both of my grandfathers were farmers. But both of them were pushed off their farms and into the great city of Los Angeles. Nearly every person in our church this morning could tell a similar story about your parents or great-grandparents. They were driven by economic conditions to leave the farm and pour into the great cities of the world. The simple life of the countryside was replaced by the mad rush of big cities - filled with crime and wickedness that our forefathers never knew about when they lived out in the country - on their farms. The family farm is now rapidly disappearing, as ever-increasing hordes of people pour into our vast metropolitan areas.

Remember, this is exactly what happened in the days before the Great Flood:

"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city…" (Genesis 4:17).

II. Second, it was a time when agriculture was developed.

Turn with me to Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty:

"And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle" (Genesis 4:20).

As men poured into cities agriculture was developed and cattle were raised. As people left their rural setting, there was a need for the development of productive methods of agriculture to feed the vast multitudes in the cities.

In our day it has been noticed by anthropologists that modern agriculture and cattle raising have been a major source of ecological imbalance, resulting in the ravaging of the earth. One professor of cultural anthropology said to some of our young people who are taking her class that the development of agriculture was the most devastating mistake mankind ever made. There is a good deal of truth in that statement in my opinion.

But it should be remembered that God did not create man to rape and pillage the earth by destroying forests and using ecologically harmful agricultural methods. No! No! God put man in a beautiful garden. Turn to Genesis, chapter two, verse eight:

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food" (Genesis 2:8-9).

Look at verse fifteen:

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it" (Genesis 2:15).

The raping and pillaging of the earth through agriculture does not have its roots in anything God said to man. God told man to take care of the Garden, "to dress it and to keep it" (Genesis 2:15). It was sin and rebellion against God that brought on ecologically harmful agricultural methods. Only after man sinned, did God say, woefully, the words in Genesis, chapter three, verse seventeen. Please turn there:

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground" (Genesis 3:17-19).

And it was sinful descendants of Cain who began to use agricultural methods, as recorded in Genesis 4:20. The keeping of cattle, as recorded first in this verse, was a direct result of the sin of man which drove him from the perfectly balanced ecological system in the Garden of Eden.

Young people, tell that to your secular college professor! Those teachers tell you, as secular college students know, that there is something evil in the Bible that gave rise to Western man's destruction of the earth. But they are wrong to say that. The Bible is not to blame. It is man's sin and rebellion against God which is to blame!

Dr. DeHaan said:

We have not far to look to see a repetition of this in modern life today…What advancement has been made in farming in the last generation…This, too, is in fulfillment of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He said, "As it was…so shall it be" (M. R. DeHaan, ibid., pp. 44-45).

III. Third, it was an age of metallurgy.

Please turn to Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-two:

"And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron…" (Genesis 4:22).

As I have said, this was not God's original intention for man at all. If man had not rebelled against God, there would have been no need for the development of "brass and iron," as the evil descendants of Cain first did.

Notice that this also has been repeated in our day. The twentieth century has been called "the age of steel." And think of the evils that have come from this - war machines, airplanes, bombs, warships - none of this would have been possible without the modern use of metals, particularly steel. "As it was…so shall it be"!

IV. Fourth, it was an age of travel.

Turn to Genesis, chapter four, verse sixteen:

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden" (Genesis 4:16).

Cain became a traveler. That was the first time this occurred. Look at verse fourteen. Here Cain attacked God in self-pity, when he said:

"Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond [a wanderer] in the earth…" (Genesis 4:14).

After Cain murdered his brother Abel, he became the first world traveler. Dr. DeHaan comments:

The land of Nod means literally the land of wandering. It implies a traveling from place to place. Tradition relates that Cain went out to India and China…This may be only conjecture, but the general interpretation is that Cain traveled some distance from home. It suggests a restlessness, uneasiness and a desire to explore and investigate. Since this is the first mention of wandering from place to place in the Bible, it gathers real significance in the light of Jesus' words, "As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man" (Luke 17:26). Remember, this [travel] was before the flood and therefore was certainly included in Jesus' words as a sign of his coming again" (M. R. DeHaan, ibid., p. 33).

Cain became "a fugitive and a vagabond [a wanderer] in the earth" (Genesis 4:14). The Hebrew word for "fugitive" is "nuwa," and it means "to go up and down, to go away, to move, scatter, be vagabond, wander" (cf. Strong's Concordance). Thus, Cain became very much like modern man. He traveled up and down. He moved often. He was scattered from his relatives and home. He was a wanderer, like millions of people today, who leave their homelands and wander the earth.

The migration of people, and world-wide travel, are certainly signs that we are living near the end of the world. God told the prophet Daniel:

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).

The increase of knowledge in our day has made world-wide travel possible. Education has greatly increased. And the increase of knowledge has produced increasingly faster methods of travel.

Both of my grandfathers drove a horse and buggy until they were middle-aged men. They both lived to see airplanes that could fly across the Pacific Ocean in a few hours. Both of their wives lived well into the atomic age. My grandmother, Alice Hymers, lived to see man orbit the earth in a satellite. My mother often spoke about the Wright brothers flying the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. Even though this happened ten years before she was born, it was a "hot" topic of conversation in her childhood, and she always mentioned it with excitement, that a man could actually fly through the air in a machine! Yet before she died she had seen a man walk on the moon! Yes, in the twentieth century man ran "to and fro" and knowledge was "increased" (ref. Daniel 12:4).

Travel began with Cain in the days before the Flood. Travel is now commonplace throughout the world. And it is this constant travelling which has helped unravel the home and uproot society. Mankind has become "a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth" - just like Cain! (ref. Genesis 4:14). All of this movement has not been good for the human race. It has destroyed our roots and left us alone, in the great wicked cities of the earth. "As in the days that were before the flood…so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).

V. Fifth, it was an age dominated by music.

Notice Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-one:

"And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ" (Genesis 4:21).

For the first time, mankind came under the influence of music. Jubal was "the father" of musical instruments, which were unknown prior to the days before the Great Flood. These musical instruments became all the rage, and were undoubtedly a main reason for the increased popularity of the great feasts, and parties, and wedding extravaganzas, which Jesus told us were so much a part of life before the Flood (ref. Matthew 24:38).

Anyone can see that our age is dominated by music - most of it bad music! Most of the current church music is bad, and so is the music in the world. "As in the days that were before the flood…so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).

VI. Sixthly, it was an age of polygamy and sexual lust.

Polygamy refers to marrying more than one person. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage are actually a form of polygamy. So is "living together" with a string of several people. Polygamy was not what God planned for mankind. God planned for one man and one woman to be married for one lifetime (ref. Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:23-25). The very first person to practice polygamy was a wicked descendant of Cain named Lamech. Turn in your Bible to Genesis, chapter four, verse nineteen:

"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah" (Genesis 4:19).

I believe that Jesus had in mind this practice of marrying more than one person when He spoke of those before the Flood, "marrying and giving in marriage" (Matthew 24:38).

Then there was also demonic sexuality, recorded in chapter six, verse four:

"There 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" (Genesis 6:4).

Dr. Arno C. Gaebelein was a consulting editor of the Scofield Reference Bible, as you can see by looking at the title page. Dr. Gaebelein gave the strongest arguments I have ever read for the "sons of God" being demonic fallen angels. Dr. Gaebelein's argument for this position is given in his book, As It Was - So Shall It Be (New York: Our Hope, 1937, pp. 95-104). Everyone interested in this subject should obtain this volume from someone who deals in used books. Demons were connected with the sinful sexual practices which were so common in the days before the Great Flood.

The sexual promiscuity of Noah's day has been so closely duplicated in our time that I will pass on it without further comment. "As it was in the days of Noe [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man" (Luke 17:26).

VII. Seventhly, it was an age of apostasy.

In Genesis 4:3-4 we find that Cain embraced a religion without Blood atonement. The idea that we can be saved by the death of Christ without His Blood has become so popular that only one professor at a well-known conservative school now holds the view presented in the Scofield Reference Bible! I was shocked when I learned that they no longer believe in the literal Blood of Christ.  I have this information from a credible source. These men have followed John MacArthur's error that the Blood of Christ "ran into the dirt and rotted." They hold this hideous theory even though the Bible plainly lists Christ's Blood as one of the things in Mt. Zion, the Heavenly City (ref. Hebrews 12:22-24). The Bible says, "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain…" (Jude 11).

This is the so-called "fundamentalism" of many in the last days. They are as apostate as Cain was before the Flood.

A quick reading of Genesis, chapters five and six will reveal to any unbiased reader that the whole world turned away from God and was plunged into great wickedness and apostasy.

Dr. Gaebelein concludes:

In those final days of corruption the testimony to Jehovah seems to have completely ceased on earth. Men and women no longer believed what had been transmitted to them so faithfully by their fathers. They turned away completely from God, and days of corruption followed… Noah warned of judgment to come… He announced faithfully for one hundred and twenty years the message he had received… yet all were disobedient. They continued…in the common pursuits of life; they paid no attention to the word of God (Arno Clemens Gaebelein, D.D., As It Was - So Shall It Be, New York: Our Hope, 1937, pp. 95-96).


Now I will sum up what I have said, and tie it all together. Before the Flood mankind moved into cities, developed agriculture and metallurgy. Then man began extensive travelling and was constantly moving. All of this was accompanied by wild music, multiple marriages, illicit sex and religious apostasy. What have I described to you? It is a picture of our world today!

It should be noted that each one of these cultural traits is tied to the others. City building, agriculture, and metallurgy are tied to, and result in travel. Wild music and illicit sex are outcomes of a society that has lost its way in the jungles of the big cities. And people who wander and constantly move, lose their identity and membership in a local church. They no longer go to church. They become wandering apostates, just like the people in Noah's day.

And one other thing - violence!

"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before; for the earth is filled with violence through them…"
   (Genesis 6:13).

People who refuse to settle down in a local church and get converted, cannot expect their children to grow into normal adults. Some way or other their kids will become the victims of violence! They will either commit violence, or in some way become victims of violence.

So, what is our answer? It's simple! Stop moving around! Get into this local church every time the door is open! Come to Jesus Christ so your sins can be washed away by His Blood!

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"
   (I John 1:7).

But you must literally come to Christ. He died to pay for your sins. He arose and ascended back to Heaven. You must now come to Him and experience conversion! You must be converted - or you will be lost when God's judgment falls on this world!


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:37-42.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Jesus is Coming to Earth Again" (by Lelia N. Morris, 1862-1929).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).

(Matthew 24:38-39)

I.   It was an age of city building, Genesis 4:16-17.

II.  It was an age when agriculture was developed, Genesis 4:20;
Genesis 2:8-9; Genesis 2:15; Genesis 3:17-19.

III. It was an age of metallurgy, Genesis 4:22.

IV. It was an age of travel, Genesis 4:16,14; Luke 17:26;
Daniel 12:4.

V.  It was an age dominated by music, Genesis 4:21.

VI. It was an age of polygamy and sexual lust, Genesis 1:27;
Genesis 2:23-25; Genesis 4:19; Matthew 24:38;
Genesis 6:4; Luke 17:26.

VII. It was an age of apostasy, Genesis 4:3-4; ref. Hebrews 12:22-24;
Jude 11.

(Genesis 6:13; I John 1:7)