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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, May 18, 2014

“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” (Luke 17:26-30).

You should notice three things about this text. First, take note of the two great illustrations that Jesus used – the Flood in the days of Noah, and the rain of fire and brimstone that fell on the city of Sodom. Second, look at the last four words of verse 27, “and destroyed them all.” Now look at the last four words of verse 29, “and destroyed them all.” Now look at verse 30, “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” This refers to the Second Coming of Christ in judgment on this unbelieving world. The people in Noah’s time were unprepared – so they were all destroyed The people in Lot’s time were not prepared – so they were all destroyed. The eating and drinking and marrying were not wrong in themselves, but that’s all the people were concerned about! They did not listen to Noah or Lot, and so they were all destroyed.

Now we are going to take a look at the two groups of people and see why they were not ready for judgment. But first I must say that the Bible teaches that God is a God of wrath and judgment. I know that’s not what people believe today. They often say, “I don’t believe in a God of judgment.” But it doesn’t really matter what they believe. God is not just a figment of your imagination. God exists outside of you. He exists whether you believe in Him or not. So it doesn’t matter that you “don’t believe in a God of judgment.” Since the existence of God does not depend on what you believe, what you think doesn’t change anything! Suppose you said, “I don’t believe in San Francisco.” Would that make San Francisco disappear? Of course not! Supposing you said, “I don’t believe there are trolley cars in San Francisco.” Would that take all the trolley cars away from that city? Of course not! And so it is with God. If you say, “I don’t believe in a God of judgment,” it doesn’t change anything. Whether you believe it or not, God exists outside of your brain – and He is a God of judgment and wrath against sin – whether you believe it or not.

In fact the people in Noah’s day thought just like you. They had some idea of God – but, like you, they thought God was not a God of judgment! And, just like you, they were wrong – dead wrong! And so God sent the Great Flood, “and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27).

And that’s the way it was in the city of Sodom too. The people in Sodom thought that God would never judge them. The people in Noah’s day did not pay attention to his preaching. Neither did the people of Sodom listen to the warnings Lot gave them. His own sons-in-law thought he was only “mocking” when he warned them that judgment was coming. But they were wrong. Judgment fell “and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:29).

Jesus ended this warning in verse thirty, by saying,

“Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:30).

I believe that we are living in that time today. No one knows the day or the hour when God’s judgment will fall on this sinful generation. But every sign seems to indicate that we are now living very near the end of this age. And the Bible says, “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). Dr. Ed Hindson of Liberty University said,

      Christian consensus that once dominated Western culture is now shattered and is unlikely to be recovered. We are already in the quicksands of secularism, relativism and mysticism...
      The stage is now set for the final signs of the end times. Changes and developments are happening so fast that we are speeding headlong toward the greatest crisis the world has ever known. Every turn of events reminds us that “the Big One” could be just around the corner (Ed Hindson, Ph.D., Final Signs, Harvest House Publishers, 1996, pp. 65, 7).

Are you prepared to meet God? Are you prepared for the coming of Christ and the end of this age? The Disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus did not rebuke them. Instead He gave them many signs that would show those living on the earth that the time was near. I am convinced that we are now living in that time – right now. Jesus said that it would be a time like that of Noah, before the judgment of the Great Flood – and a time like that of Lot, before God poured out fiery judgment on them. Dr. M. R. DeHaan said,

      There is no excuse for ignorance concerning the signs of Christ’s coming. With an open Bible before us we can read the entire five chapters to which Jesus refers as “the days of Noah and the days of Lot” in thirty minutes. The days of Noah and Lot had much in common. They were days of great abundance. Jesus says they were eating and drinking...It implies gluttony and drunkenness. If ever there was a time which is a repetition of those days, it is this present age; for, more than any time since the days of Noah and Lot, these are days of “gluttony and drunkenness.”
      The next thing Jesus mentions about the days of Noah and Lot was...the abuse of sex...We need do little more than mention the amazing parallel in these modern days. In one generation we have seen the sacred institution of the family deteriorate more than in all the centuries of history... immorality is winked at, and the divorce rate has doubled, tripled and quadrupled in a generation...The sin of general immorality was the occasion for God’s judgment upon [Sodom]...just as the illicit cohabitation of the sons of God and the daughters of men was the last straw in the days before the Flood (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan Publishing House, 1963, pp. 80-82).

Let me remind you that Jesus said,

“As it was in the days of Noe... Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17, 26, 28, 30).

And Christ predicted that horrible judgments are going to fall on this Christ-denying, godless generation. Christ said,

“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...” (Matthew 24:21, 22).

The Bible speaks of God pouring out seven vials (or bowls) of wrath on the world in that time of Tribulation. This is predicted in the sixteenth chapter of Revelation (from the NASV),

The first bowl judgment will produce a loathsome and malignant sore on men (v. 2).

The second bowl judgment will turn the seas into blood like that of a dead man (v. 3).

The third bowl judgment will turn the rivers and springs of water into blood (v. 4).

The fourth bowl judgment will be poured out upon the sun, and it will scorch men with fire, and men will be scorched with fierce heat (vv. 8, 9).

The fifth bowl judgment will produce great darkness and people will gnaw their tongues because of pain (v. 10).

The sixth bowl judgment will be poured out on the river Euphrates, drying it up (v. 12).

The seventh bowl judgment will be poured out and the greatest earthquake of all time will destroy much of the earth, and huge hailstones will fall on the inhabitants of the world (vv. 19, 21).

Will people repent? No! It will be too late to repent! “And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail” (Revelation 16:21).

“The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thessalonians 5:2-3).

Only true Christians, who have experienced a real conversion, have the hope of being raptured before these horrible events. But most so-called “Christians” will be left behind. Christ will say to them, “I know you not” (Matthew 25:12).

We used to hear preaching on these subjects quite frequently. But, strangely, there has been a silence on these subjects in recent years. Back in 1969 Billy Graham said,

The Bible teaches that toward the end of the age, it will be a time of peril, war, destruction, lawlessness, immorality so great that God will have to intervene...In New Zealand the humanist society picketed our crusade, carrying signs saying, “Don’t let Billy Graham scare you” (Billy Graham, “The Day to Come,” The Challenge: Sermons from Madison Square Garden, Doubleday and Company, 1969, p. 164).

Shortly before he died one evangelical leader told my family and me that Billy Graham’s preaching back then was “electrifying.” Yes, but where are preachers like that today? Most preachers are too timid to warn people about the coming judgment and the fire of Hell! One man told me I was too old-fashioned, a dinosaur, that I should be giving soft little messages like Joel Osteen, or even most of our conservative, and even fundamental preachers. I answered him by quoting II Timothy 4:2-4,

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:2-4).

No wonder our churches are full of lost people today! The pastors are too afraid to preach the old-time religion like the old-time preachers did!

My God-given assignment is not to teach the Bible verse-by-verse. My assignment is to “preach the Word.” Take it or leave it! I have given you what the Bible says!

“As it was in the days of Noe... Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17, 26, 28, 30).

If that is too “electrifying” for you, may God help you! You will be in big trouble when judgment falls!

Now, what do you have to do to escape from the judgment? You have to do exactly what Lot and Noah did!

God told Lot to flee from Sodom. God said, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee...lest thou be consumed” (Genesis 19:17). If you hope to be saved, that’s what you must do as well. Come out from a godless life-style. God says, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate...and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17). Get away from those who don’t go to church. Come away from those who are living in sin and have no thought of God. That’s what Lot had to do, and that’s what you have to do. Get out of the sinful world, and get into church every time the door is open! And make a new set of friends in the church!

But that’s not all! You also have to do what Noah did. God said to Noah,

“Come thou...into the ark” (Genesis 7:1).

“And 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” (Genesis 6:13).

“Come thou...into the ark” (Genesis 7:1).

The ark was a type, or picture, of Christ. Come to Christ. Christ said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28). Noah came all the way in – and he was saved from the judgment. You must come all the way in – to Christ. Christ will cleanse you from all sin with His Blood, that He shed on the Cross. Come all the way in to Christ by faith! He rose from the dead. He will give you eternal life – and save you from the wrath to come.

Leave sin behind, as Lot did. Come in to Christ, as Noah did. And may God awaken you and draw you to do so!

If you would like to speak with us about this, please leave your chair and walk to the back of this auditorium. Dr. Cagan will take you to another room where we can talk. Dr. Chan, please pray that someone will trust Jesus this morning! Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: II Peter 2:4-9.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1902-1972).