“Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” (John 14:3) The word “receive” is very interesting in Hebrew and in Greek. It means “to take to yourself.” There is a closeness – an intimacy, almost – inherent in the word.
There are people all around who are saying, “Look, the world is the same as it’s always been. From the time of our fathers until now, nothing has changed.” These people are really acting like those in the days of Noah, if you think about it. In the days of Noah, there were very few people who prepared themselves for something major and unexpected to happen. What did the rest of them do? Jesus told His disciples, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39) This is an amazing picture that parallels the way we will be taken out of here.
The people didn’t want to hear what Noah had to say. They didn’t want to listen to the warnings that God was giving through Noah. Those scoffers, like scoffers today, were saying that everything is just fine – like it’s always been. Why do you think they were saying that? To put people to sleep and steal their hope. The hope of the coming of Jesus is the most important thing that a believer can hold on to today...Whether it’s people who are close to you or those you listen to from a distance, the enemy will always bring those scoffers to mock you, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”
Among the many indicators we could examine that remind us that our redemption is near, two of the most significant come from when Jesus was asked about the signs of His coming. We find this account in Matthew’s record of the Olivet Discourse:
Matthew 24:37 KJV – “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Matthew 24:44 KJV – “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
These two statements give us a significant amount of information about the spiritual climate of the world at the time of the coming of the Son of Man. One point of clarity that Jesus gives before we address those statements.
Matthew 24:38-39KJV – “For 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, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
The coming of the Son of Man in the Olivet Discourse can only mean the Rapture of the church. We know this because of the statement of Jesus regarding the days “before the flood”. He said there was an indifference to the signs of impending judgment – signs like Noah building an ark and preaching. This indifference was demonstrated by the business-as-usual attitude indicated by the eating, drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came and took them all away. Jesus, in essence, said these wicked people did not know that the wrath of God was about to be poured out on the whole world until it was too late.
This ignorance and indifference can only be true of the pre-Tribulation period. During the Tribulation, it will eventually become clear to all that something really bad is taking place.