Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 6:15 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Search Me, O God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 24 (NASB). “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” ~ vv. 36-41 At the Door Jesus’ disciples had just asked Jesus a question concerning the sign of his (second) coming and of the end of the age, and the timing of God’s judgments, i.e. concerning when they would take place (v.3). Jesus answered them. He told them that false christs will appear to deceive many, they will hear of wars and rumors of war, nation will rise against nation, and that there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. These will be the beginning of “birth pains.” Then, they will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and they will be hated by all nations because of Jesus. He said that many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other. Many false prophets will appear to deceive many, and because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (vv. 13-14). Amen! Jesus said there will be great distress, “unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (vv. 21-22). False christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles “to deceive even the elect – if that were possible” (v. 24). The elect are definitely being deceived by the thousands in our day and age, and by these false shepherds of the people; these wolves in sheep’s clothing. All these things will culminate in Jesus Christ’s return when he will gather his elect and take us to be with him for eternity. Our suffering will cease. Jesus will wipe the tears from our eyes. There will be no more sorrow, sickness, suffering, sin or death. Amen! Jesus told them, as well, that when they see these things take place, i.e. all these signs of the end of the age, of the judgments of God, and of the Lord’s soon return for his elect, that they should be able to read the signs and realize that the time is near, that it is at the door, and/or that Jesus is at the door. But, then he went on to say that no one, except the Father, knows the exact day or hour when all these things will take place, but not knowing the exact day or hour does not mean we should not know the season, i.e. we should be aware that we are living in the last days, and we should be able to see the signs of the end of all things, and of his soon return, in what is taking place all around us. We must keep watch, be awake, alert and vigilant (aware), so as to avoid being taken captive by the wiles of the devil, and thus falling prey to his deceptions. And, we must be ready (standing by, prepared) for when he comes. It will be good for us to be serving our Lord, walking in his ways, and doing what he says when he returns (See: vv. 42-47). Until the Day Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (v. 37 NIV84). Jesus referred to himself frequently as “the Son of Man,” so he was speaking about his own second coming. So, how was it in the days of Noah before the flood? Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. ~ Gen. 6:5-8 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. ~ Gen. 6:11-13 So God commissioned Noah, a righteous man, to build an ark. It took him a long time to build it, though. Perhaps it took up to 100 years. And, then God had him and his family and all the animals God had designated to go on the ark, and anything else God had instructed Noah to put on the ark, to enter the ark. The doors were closed and then the rains and floods came, but no one could enter the ark once the doors were closed. Only those who were on the ark were saved. Everyone else perished in the flood. So, this is not only a description of the spiritual condition of human beings on the earth, both of the righteous and of the unrighteous, before our Lord returns in judgment and in taking his elect (his bride) to be with him forever, but it is also a picture of God’s judgments at the end of the age. When God shuts the door, there will be no more chances. Those who choose to live their lives according to the flesh, to gratify the cravings of their sinful flesh, and who refuse to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ, and who refuse to walk in the ways of the Lord, will be cast into utter darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (See: Matt. 24:51). Look with me at how God contrasts the people who died in the flood with Noah, a righteous man, who was saved along with his family. The wicked who died in the flood are described as man whose every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. He described man as having corrupted (polluted, perverted) his way (his lifestyle), and as having filled the earth with violence. In the Matthew passage we have a picture of these people as being busy with life as usual - eating, drinking, marrying, and without obvious concern for their future, their eternal destiny, or the fact that they were living evil, immoral, perverted lives without regard for God and without concern for his ways whatsoever. They were completely void of God by how they thought and by how they lived their lives. Then, in Genesis 6, we have a picture of Noah as a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and as one who walked with God (v. 9). Noah found favor in the eyes of God (v. 8). God confided in Noah concerning how he viewed man, and concerning his plans to bring an end to man on the earth (v. 13). Then, God gave Noah a commission to build an ark, which would be used to save a remnant of people and animals, etc. from the flood waters (vv. 14-21). “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (v. 22). Notice with me here that wicked man (flesh) had corrupted their way (lifestyle), but that Noah was one who walked with God, in his ways, in the way of righteousness, according to God’s will. God makes this same distinction today between those who are the wicked and who will not enter his heaven, and those who are righteous in God’s sight, and who are the saved of God, who will enter his heaven and eternal life with God. He said that if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live, “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Ro. 8:14). He said that those who are controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. He said that the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. But, if the Spirit of God lives us, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we are no longer controlled by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit. Amen! Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not live (in lifestyle) according to the sinful nature, but who conduct our lives (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14). Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). So, either we walk in the flesh, and we die, or we walk in the Spirit (by the Spirit) and live. The choice is up to us. Search Me, O God / An Original Work / July 12, 2012 Based off Psalm 139 O Lord, You search and know me. You know all that I do. O Lord, You discern my ways. I put my trust in You. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? Where’er I am, You are with me, Guiding me in love. O Lord, You made and formed me In my own mother’s womb. Your hands beautif’ly made me. I give my praise to You. My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in the dark place. All the days ordained for me Were written in Your book. O Lord, how precious to me Are Your thoughts, O my God. When I wake in the morning, You are still here with me. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offense. Lead me in Your truth.