House Church Talk - Re: Was baptisms Now dispensations/ Preterism

R.L. Johnson rjohnson at
Thu Feb 12 08:47:08 EST 2004

 Mat thew 24:36-39
 (36) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven,
but my Father only. (37) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be. (38) 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, (39) And knew not until the flood
came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Though our present day rivals Noah's in corruption and evil, this meaning of
Mat thew 24:36-39 is actually the secondary interpretation. The primary
meaning is more simple: Christ would come at a time when most of the world
was busy doing its normal activities.

Notice verse 36: "But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the
angels of heaven, but My Father only." This is the subject sentence of the
entire paragraph. Verse 42 repeats the thought: "Watch therefore, for you do
not know what hour your Lord is coming." Jesus rephrases it in verse 44:
"Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when
you do not expect Him."

Luke's version makes this especially clear:

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of
Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed
them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank,
they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot
went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed
them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
(Luke 17:26-30)

People will be involved in their normal activities, not realizing such a
momentous event is about to occur!

Paul writes that "the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For
when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them,
as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (I
Thessalonians 5:2-3). Just when men begin to think they have a handle on
society's problems, total chaos and destruction will erupt.

Peter reminds us of scoffers coming in the last days who would say, "Where
is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things
continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (II Peter 3:4). The
apostle goes on to cite the example of the Flood—which came on suddenly and
unexpectedly—as an event that broke the natural cycle of life (verses 5-6).
Such is the time of Christ's return.

All of these prophetic warnings include the admonition to watch and be ready
for it when it comes. As Paul says:

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you
as a thief. . . . Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch
and be sober, . . . putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a
helmet the hope of salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:4, 6, 8)

Christ's return will not be sudden and unexpected to the church. We may not
know the day or the hour, but we will be somewhere "in the ballpark." Jesus
says His day "will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the
whole earth" (Luke 21:35). But, as verse 34 says, if we "take heed to
[our]selves," not being mired down by sin, we will be expecting it.

We are certainly living in times very like those of the days of Noah, so the
return of Christ could come anytime soon. Knowing this, our job is to watch
and pray and overcome so "that you may be counted worthy to escape all these
things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (verse

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