As In The Days of Noah Were
Our Lord Jesus told us that the conditions on this earth are going to be just as bad as they were before He destroyed the earth with a Flood many years ago:
Matthew 24: 37
“37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (KJV)
In the first instance, God destroyed the earth by a flood. When Christ returns, the destructive means will be a fire, with nuclear weapons contributing to it. In both instances, the sin on the earth had degraded to the point where violence was rampant, and all flesh was corrupted. The earth will continue to degenerate to the point that the Lord will rapture the true believers off the face of the earth to be with Him, leaving only the unsaved and massively sinful population. The Great Tribulation will follow the event of the Rapture. Adam wrote parts of Genesis in which we find his prediction of both the flood, and the fiery destructions of the earth. Josephus affirmed Adam’s writing (circa A.D.68):
“Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars; the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both, (71) that in case the pillar or brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad to this day.” (Josephus and Whiston, 1987, Book 1, Chapter 2 ¶71)
The sinfulness characteristics of humankind, which caused the Lord God to bring a Flood upon the earth, are listed here:
Characteristics of the Earth Before Divine Judgment
- Preoccupation with physical appetites (Luke 17: 27)
- Rapid advances in technology (Genesis 4: 22)
- Grossly materialistic attitudes and interests (Luke17: 28)
- Uniformitarian philosophies (Hebrews 11: 7)
- Inordinate devotion to pleasure and comfort (Genesis 4: 21)
- No concern for God in thought or deed (II Peter 2: 5; Jude 15)
- Disregard for the sanctity of marriage (Matthew 24: 38)
- Rejection of God’s Word (I Peter 3: 19)
- Population explosion (Genesis 6: 1, 11)
- Widespread violence (Genesis 6: 11, 13)
- Corruption throughout society (Genesis 6: 12)
- Preoccupation with illicit sexual activity (Genesis 4: 19; 6: 2)
- Widespread words and thoughts of blasphemy (Jude 15)
- Organized Satanic activity (Genesis 6: 1-4)
- Promulgation of abnormal depravity (Genesis 6: 5, 12) (Morris, 2009, 174-175).
Each one of these items listed above came about because of the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Ever since then, man has been trying to mitigate the effects of these behaviors.
Preoccupation with physical appetites
“27 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. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (KJV)
As the Lord is explaining the circumstances of the period just before the Great Tribulation, and His return to the earth, He describes several activities that could easily be viewed as normal day-to-day living. He further refers to two periods of human history when these activities were taking place just prior to a cataclysm of huge proportions. One was the Flood, and the other was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. People are dining, drinking, getting married, conducting business activities, constructing buildings, and farming. On the face of it these activities seem innocent enough and do not appear sufficiently evil to warrant a worldwide Flood, or the destruction of two cities in divine retribution. What the Lord is saying here is that they are preoccupied with these activities, and were “falling away” from Him. This behavior is described in both Testaments, and here are a few examples:
- You will turn from the way (Deuteronomy 31:29)
- You will all fall away this night (Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27)
- Many will fall away (Matthew 24:10)
- When persecution comes he falls away (Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:17)
- They believe for a while and in time of temptation they fall away (Luke 8:13)
- The day of the Lord will be preceded by apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
- In the last days some will fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1)
“Fall away” is a good description for the behavior that results when other desires take priority over reverence to God. “Falling away” is easy to do, and hard to resist.
Rapid advances in technology
The rapid advances made by the first pre-flood civilizations were significant. Cain, the banished son of Adam who had murdered his brother Abel, founded the first civilization. The Cainitic civilization took on his character such as:
- Urban and nomadic life was preferred over “tilling the ground”.
- Nomadic life was preferred over settled, dwelling places for agricultural pursuits.
- Cattle raising began.
- Metal working tools were developed to ease the burden of the hard work, and to create weapons.
- Musical instruments were developed to provide musical and mitigate their sorrow.
- Polygamy began.
- Boasting through written poetry developed.
This civilization included urbanization, agriculture, animal domestication and metallurgy. Adam’s descendants did them all quickly. Every element of a materialistic civilization is mentioned in Genesis 4 verses 16–22:
“16And Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methushael; and Methushael begat Lamech. 19And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle. 21And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and pipe. 22And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.” (KJV)
These verses describe city and pastoral life, the development of the arts and the beginning of manufacturing. Jubal produced musical instruments (the harp and flute). Tubal-Cain, his brother, made tools out of bronze and iron. Ezekiel 27:13 also refers to Tubal-Cain, and the trading of bronze vessels. The Biblical narrative recognizes the use of metals to advance the progress of civilization, and the development of more efficient tools and weapons. This man was the first to make weapons of war. The order in which the principal metals are mentioned in the Torah—gold, copper, and iron—correctly reflects the history of metallurgy. Copper in Hebrew is neḥoshet, and actually means “bronze,” which is an alloy of copper and tin. This metal was used as early as the third millennium B.C. extensively in southern Mesopotamia and in Sinai. This Hebrew word is also from the same root as the word for “serpent”. Archaeological discoveries have attested to the high degree of technology that allowed them to attempt to thwart the effects of the curse on the earth. The Cainitic civilization may have been as splendid as that of Greece or Rome, but Divine Judgment is based on the moral state of man, not the material state of man (Genesis 6:5–7).
Modern technology advances can in our country be traced to time after the Civil War:
- In the years between 1867 and 1880, such devices as the telephone, sound recordings, typewriters, chemically stable paper pulp, and reinforced concrete were invented. This latter innovation allowed for the building boom that created larger cities in the United States during the Civil War Reconstruction period.
- The 1880’s, a huge period of scientific advances, brought incandescent electric lights, electric motors, trains, the gramophone, a spread of photography (a technology initially developed decades earlier), internal combustion engines, aluminum production, and more.
- The 1890’s saw the introduction of diesel engines, x-rays, movies, wireless telegraphy, the discovery of radioactivity and the synthesis of aspirin.
- And the period from the turn of the century through 1914 saw the sudden upsurge of mass-production, especially of automobiles, which changed the United States from a horse-drawn society to a motorized one. It also was the period when the first airplanes and tractors were developed, and vacuum diodes and triodes were perfected allowing for the miniaturization of electronic equipment.
- Air conditioning, stainless steel and neon lights became elements of the modern world. Other inventions were the radio, TV and computer. Motorized transportation went from automobiles to inter continental air travel, to space exploration.
- Warfare technology went from simple single shot rifles, and some multiple shotguns and canons, to deadly computerized inter-continental missiles, and nuclear armaments.
- Another major area of advancement was in communication, and information sharing and development. The telephone, advances in printing presses and typesetting, the typewriter, improvements in paper manufacture, movies, photography, the gramophone, the radio were developed or refined during this crucial period.
- The development of the Internet in the last half of the 20th The Internet has radically changed nearly every level of human experience in an incredibly short amount of time. Two decades ago, you would have had to write a letter to communicate with others far away; now you can interact in real time with people all over the earth.
Technology’s Effects on Society
All these individual innovations combined to change the way information was spread, and the effect of this was probably more disruptive than the information revolution of the late 20th century.
The impact of technology on our social, mental, physical and environmental health can be devastating. Here is a list of them:
- Isolation: Isolation is characterized by a lack of face-to-face contact with other people in normal daily living, such as the workplace, with friends and in social activities. The use of online social media sites cause us to meet face-to-face with real people much less frequently, resulting in a lack of social skill development. We lose the ability to “read” body language and interpret social “cues” from other people.
- Lack of Social Bonds: Creating a lasting bond with other people requires face-to-face interaction. Recent developments in technology, such as the Internet, have led to a decline in “normal” social behaviors. In ages past, you would see people and actually get to know them. People talked to each and shared their ideas and thoughts daily. The more we allow technology to isolate ourselves, the fewer bonds we will form. People can now work from home, which takes away time they would be spending with their families. Younger people prefer communicating “online” instead of face-to-face. When people are in the same room, and communicating by text or instant messaging instead of speaking to each other, there is a problem.
- Lack of Privacy: No longer is an having unlisted telephone number, or staying “offline” keeping your information safe from prying eyes. With a few clicks on a keyboard, the average person can locate anyone’s address and contact information. Additionally, people no longer are protective of privacy. They do not think twice about tweeting every move they make, freely giving out their location on Google Map, or putting their entire life story, or racy picture on Facebook.
- Violating Social Boundaries: Much in the same way that people over share on social media sites, there is an increasing tendency to cross social boundaries. Cyber stalking someone, or sending unsolicited nude photos are examples of violating social boundaries.
- Depression: Technology creates the perfect recipe for depression with the lack of human contact, lack of exercise and overeating.
- Poor Sleep Habits: Online activities that keep us up too late, and the constant stream of information can make it difficult to turn off our brains. The ambient glow from screens can affect the release of melatonin, the sleep chemical.
- Higher Level of Deceit: Another concern is use of the Internet to deceive others by creating a false profiles, people can “pretend” to be whomever they want.
- Lack of Emotional Empathy and Sexual Boundaries: The constant stream of violent and sexual scenes in video games, TV, movies, and YouTube causes people to become desensitized to destruction of any kind. The “normalizing” of bad things happening, and the culture of narcissism created by social media, creates a society of people who lack empathy. Protecting our children has become much more difficult.
- Constant Distraction: When we are focused on a device instead of what is going on around us, we miss a great deal and lose concentration on completing the tasks before us.
- Shortened Attention Span: The use of social media has shortened our attention span from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. Constant news feeds, getting information in 140 characters or less, and videos that are 10 minutes or less has literally rewired our brains.
- Increased Bullying: The use of technology has caused an increase in bullying and escalated the severity of it. Kids are no longer able to escape their tormentors once they reach the safety of their own homes. Bullies infiltrate the security of their victim’s homes through online avenues. It is also easier to get more kids involved in bullying because people are more likely to say things online that they would not say in person. The increase in cyber-bullying has also led to an increase in teen suicides.
- More Violence: After people lose empathy and are accustomed to violence, it becomes the social norm. Recording of violent beatings, school shootings, are attacks on homeless, elderly or disabled people are a few examples of violent behavior promoted by this type of media.
- Developmental Issues in Children: Children are using more technology now than they have ever used in the past. All of the negative effects that social media and television is having on adults are far greater when it comes to the developing minds of children. There is no way to know what long term effect technology will have on our children because this is the first generation to have unlimited access.
Grossly Materialistic Attitudes and Interests
The nearest a person can come to describing the cataclysm that will happen when Christ returns is to look at the way Noah’s generation perished in the Flood (Genesis 6–9). As Noah prepared the ark for the Flood, the people continued in their normal daily routine, and there is nothing wrong with these activities. The problem is their civilization was obsessed with the material things of the world, and not spiritual responsibilities. They denied the existence of God and only cared about “getting more”. On the day Noah entered the ark, the rains came, and everyone perished without warning except Noah and his family. In the same way, the materialistic, indifferent people of Sodom were not prepared for God’s judgment (Genesis 19). They were living in sin, and oblivious to God. Therefore, they were destroyed without any warning either. Jesus reminded His followers that at the time of the coming of the Kingdom, people should not be attached to their material things for they, like Lot’s wife, will be judged accordingly. God’s judgment caught them totally by surprise, because they lived as though it would never happen:
“22 In that time, the Lord said to Noah and Methuselah, Stand forth and proclaim to the sons of men all the words that I spoke to you in those days, peradventure they may turn from their evil ways, and I will then repent of the evil and will not bring it. 23 And Noah and Methuselah stood forth, and said in the ears of the sons of men, all that God had spoken concerning them. 24 But the sons of men would not hearken, neither would they incline their ears to all their declarations. 25 And it was after this that the Lord said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, on account of their evil deeds, and behold I will destroy the earth.”
“12 And still the sons of men would not return from their evil ways, and they increased the anger of the Lord at that time, and did not even direct their hearts to all this. 13 And at the end of seven days, in the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 14 And all the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.15 And Noah and his household, and all the living creatures that were with him, came into the ark on account of the waters of the flood, and the Lord shut him in. 16 And all the sons of men that were left upon the earth, became exhausted through evil on account of the rain, for the waters were coming more violently upon the earth, and the animals and beasts were still surrounding the ark. 17 And the sons of men assembled together, about seven hundred thousand men and women, and they came unto Noah to the ark. 18 And they called to Noah, saying, Open for us that we may come to thee in the ark–and wherefore shall we die? 19 And Noah, with a loud voice, answered them from the ark, saying, Have you not all rebelled against the Lord, and said that he does not exist? and therefore the Lord brought upon you this evil, to destroy and cut you off from the face of the earth. 20 Is not this the thing that I spoke to you of one hundred and twenty years back, and you would not hearken to the voice of the Lord, and now do you desire to live upon earth? 21 And they said to Noah, We are ready to return to the Lord; only open for us that we may live and not die. 22 And Noah answered them, saying, Behold now that you see the trouble of your souls, you wish to return to the Lord; why did you not return during these hundred and twenty years, which the Lord granted you as the determined period? 23 But now you come and tell me this on account of the troubles of your souls, now also the Lord will not listen to you, neither will he give ear to you on this day, so that you will not now succeed in your wishes. 24 And the sons of men approached in order to break into the ark, to come in on account of the rain, for they could not bear the rain upon them. 25 And the Lord sent all the beasts and animals that stood round the ark. And the beasts overpowered them and drove them from that place, and every man went his way and they again scattered themselves upon the face of the earth. 26 And the rain was still descending upon the earth, and it descended forty days and forty nights, and the waters prevailed greatly upon the earth; and all flesh that was upon the earth or in the waters died, whether men, animals, beasts, creeping things or birds of the air, and there only remained Noah and those that were with him in the ark. 27 And the waters prevailed and they greatly increased upon the earth, and they lifted up the ark and it was raised from the earth. 28 And the ark floated upon the face of the waters, and it was tossed upon the waters so that all the living creatures within were turned about like pottage in a cauldron.”
The concept of materialism can be defined as, “the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions”. At the highest levels of materialism, possessions assume a central place in a person’s life, and are believed to provide the greatest sources of satisfaction, or dissatisfaction. Therefore, when the materialistic things take on a high level of importance in the human’s life, the spiritual is subordinated to those things. Materialism has several meanings:
It is the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts.
It is a theory that assumes that physical matter is all that exists. This theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence.
It can also refer to the belief that material success and progress are the highest values in life. This belief appears to be prevalent in western society today.
It is a philosophy that maintains that existence is solely the universe as a huge device being held together by pieces of matter functioning in subjection to naturalistic laws. Since materialism denies all concepts of Special Creation, it relies on the Theory of Evolution to explain itself, thus making beliefs in materialism and evolution interdependent. The attitude can be summed up as “there is only what I can see and what I cannot see is not important or does not exist”.
It has also been characterized as acquisition oriented, pre-occupied with status, competitive, and having a need for superiority. The saying “he who dies with the most toys wins” typifies this attitude.
Effects of Materialism
Materialism promotes negative feelings such as lust, selfishness, jealousy, envy, and eventually, a sense of hopelessness. People forsake spirituality that then leads to the lack of moral values, and the failure to understand the distinction between right and wrong choices. The only thing that matters is a good quality of life and false comforts. They think that everything around them is dictated by need of humans, and is being provided by the environment. All their beliefs are based on scientific inference only. They have lost faith in God as they refuse to believe in anything that we cannot see, hear, or touch. As a result, they remain unrepentant after committing sin. Thus, materialism has adversely affected the entire framework of our society.
Hebrews 11: 7
“7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (KJV)
Uniformitarianism is the belief that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past, and apply everywhere in the universe. It includes the gradualist concept that “the present is the key to the past”. In other words, the way things are now is the way they have always been. This philosophy refutes special creation and a host of catastrophes God brought correction upon this earth and described in the Bible.
Catastrophism is the secular belief that the earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, and violent worldwide events. The earth has suffered natural catastrophes on a global scale, both before, and during humankind’s recorded history. There is evidence for these catastrophes described in the Bible, in the geological, and archeological records. The extinction of many species had occurred catastrophically, not by gradual Darwinian means. For instance, the memory of a flood is recorded in the Hebrew Bible. Some have call the intentional denial of Biblical catastrophes “Cultural Amnesia” where the Biblical is regarded as mere myth and legends. Events were recorded in the Bible are caused by God, as judgment on the earth for the sins of mankind. Yet, people will look for any reason to avoid dependency on the God of the universe, and His Christ our Lord Jesus.
As sin increases, soon there will be another catastrophic judgment on the earth. This time it will be by fire as Josephus recorded Adams words:
“Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars; the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both, (71that in case the pillar or brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad to this day. 
 Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Antiquities of the Jews Book 1 Chapter 2 Para 71, Peabody: Hendrickson.