Are there any parallels between what the Bible says about the Tribulation and the Flood of Noah?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy put together a panel of Bible prophecy experts. We invited Al Gist of the Bible prophecy ministry Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries from Louisiana and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries which focuses on evangelizing the continent of Africa.
Historical Types of Judgment
Dennis Pollock: I have preached a sermon about that very topic a number of times. There are four easy points for a preacher to use there as you look at the days of Noah and the days of Lot. The first thing is Jesus was trying to explain to us what the Last Days will be like, so He used two societies. One was Noah’s generation, the other was Lot’s era. He couldn’t have used any more wicked societies then he did when making His comparisons.
Jesus used the most evil, wicked, ungodly societies that the Bible records. In doing so, He gave us a pretty good idea that things are not quite the way the Post-Millennialist say when they claim that the world is going to get better and better, and we are going to make more and more progress until finally the world is perfect and we’ve converted the entire world into a Christian world so that Jesus will come and receive this saved world to Himself. No, Jesus said it’s going to be as bad as it has ever been.
The first parallel is that the world will have become a very wicked society.
The second parallel that I find really the most interesting of all is that Jesus talks about ordinary activities. He says people are buying, they are selling, they are having weddings, they’re planting and they’re building. Now, that’s all innocuous enough. There’s nothing evil or sinful about that. Why then did Jesus even mention that? Well, the point is that while people are living their daily lives, they don’t realize that they’re on the verge of catastrophe. They’re on the verge of judgment. It’s like a man reading the newspaper and his wife is cooking a meal and their child is playing a video game. That’s all normal enough, but if the house is on fire, that’s probably not what you want to be doing. You want to be running for your life!
vIn making these comparisons, Jesus is saying that the end times are going to be so wicked, even more wicked than it has ever been, but judgment is going to be looming on the horizon, and yet nobody cares or even notices. They’re just going about their ordinary business. So, Jesus explains that we will have a wicked society with business as usual, but then sudden destruction.
In both Lot’s day and Noah’s day, it was instant destruction. For Noah, it wasn’t a gradual flood that took years and years. No, it was instant. The fire that destroyed Lot’s generation, it was a sudden destruction.
The third parallel is the good news. In each case a remnant was spared to become the people of God.
Warning Before Wrath
Dr. Reagan: The Bible teaches it seems that God never pours our His wrath without warning. Now, if we are anywhere near the Tribulation today, is God warning us?
Nathan Jones: Oh, my goodness! Calvin and Hobbes is one of my favorite newspaper strips. There’s one story where the boy Calvin pretends that he’s a little fly. As a fly, he’s yelling and screaming to get his parents attention. In comparison to Calvin they are giants, so they cannot hear him because they are not on the same wavelength as a fly.
Likewise, God is yelling and screaming from the heavens, but it is the opposite, we humans are so small that most of society doesn’t even know that God is telling us over and over again what’s going to soon happen.
Dr. Reagan: How is God telling us?
Nathan Jones: Through the signs of the times and through fulfilled prophecy. Take for instance the Philippines. In the Fall of 2013 they were slammed by the worst storm in history. Almost 10,000 people dies as the result of the storm. God at times uses signs of nature to get us back on track when it comes to acknowledging Him. When it comes to having a right relationship with God, sometimes we have to have some tribulation in our life, so God uses signs of nature to get our attention.
God also uses signs of change. Daniel 12:4 talks about how in the end time’s knowledge will increase and travel will increase, and we’re clearly seeing that today.
We are also seeing fulfilled prophecy. Examples are Israel becoming a nation again. Israel taking control of Jerusalem again. The nations of Russia and Iran forming alliances against Israel. That’s all happening today.
To understand these signs and what God’s is attempting to communicate through them, you have to have a biblical mindset, and that means having the Holy Spirit inside of you to understand those signs. When we hear and see the signs through the Holy Spirit we finally realize that God is yelling to get the world’s attention, but most of society doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, so they are not hearing His words.
Dennis Pollock: I as well believe God is using natural disasters to get our attention. However, I don’t believe every natural disaster is automatically a judgment of God. On an individual basis, when something happens in our life that really rocks us, something negative, something we don’t like, if you’re a believer one of the things you wonder is if is God speaking to me. Sure, it doesn’t always follow that it’s God saying, “You really messed up and so I’m punishing you.” Or, “This is some heavy thing I’ve got to say.” Sometimes it’s just something you have to get through. Nonetheless, you ask the question because that’s what believers do. That’s what people who have any respect for God do. You ask, “God, are you speaking?”
Our nation and our world needs to be asking when we look at some of these things that are the worst, such as the worst floods or the worst hurricanes or the worst this or the worst weather pattern, “God, are you speaking?” Then, of course, you look into the Scriptures and you line up where you are compared to what the Bible says in terms of the standards of righteousness. Do you really believe as evangelicals do that abortion is murder? Do you really believe that homosexuality is an abomination as the Bible teaches? Do you really believe the biblical morality derives from the standard of the Scriptures? Ask these questions and you’ll see how far we’ve moved away from the biblical standards of right and wrong. Then you can only conclude, “It sure seems like God is speaking and warning us that we are in serious trouble.”
Al Gist: I would add a sad note to that. Unfortunately, in Matthew 16 the Pharisees came to the Lord Jesus asking Him for a sign to prove to them He is who He says that He is. But, Jesus scolded them and said, “You can look at the weather patterns and tell us what tomorrow’s weather is going to be. Can you not discern the signs of the times?” He then actually called them a bunch of hypocrites.
I wonder if maybe God is not in Heaven right now looking down on His Church and saying the same thing, “You bunch of hypocrites! You say that you love me. You say that you want me to come because you long to be with me. And so, I’m sending you all of these signs to tell you that I’m coming, but you are totally ignoring them.” I think unfortunately that it’s not just the world, but even a large part of the Church today that does not know anything about the signs of the times or the fact that we are approaching the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the fifth and last segment of our forum on the Tribulation, we’ll ask our Bible prophecy experts to explain the significance of the convergence of the end times signs.