And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
By Jesus’ own words, in the days before the flood, in the days before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, people were going on with their lives as if everything was all right. Let me rephrase that. Jesus taught, as one teaches historical fact, that people, right until the flood, and right until the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, were eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. They had warnings (Noah’s Ark was a warning, as were Lot’s warnings that people thought were jokes). They didn’t listen, and they were wiped out.
This morning, I was thinking this, and about a story going around on the internet that states “there were no kids on the ark.” A child learns about this in Sunday School, and it dawned on them that there were no kids on the Ark, and, in a panic, they bring this up to their mom. The mom then says “it’s because their parents didn’t make sure their kids were safe.” And this is true, isn’t it? The Parents, according to Jesus, were so engrossed in living their lives, they ignored the warnings of God, they continued on as they were, and they and all their kids, neighbors and friends were wiped out in an instant. As a Dad, this thought has been hitting home in my mind: My kids don’t need to be happy. My neighbors don’t need to like me, my friends don’t need to think well of me: they need Jesus! They need to get to Jesus, and if Jesus comes, and I didn’t do everything I could to get them to Him, then the failing is, in part, mine.
Parents, stop trying to make your kids happy, safe and comfortable. None of that matters if they spend eternity away from Christ. CERTAIN THINGS WE DO AS PARENTS MAY VERY WELL CONDEMN OUR KIDS, if we’re not careful (not sorry for all capitals there…I hope the point is made). It’s selfish to build them up in the luxuries in this life (it spoils them anyway), only for them to spend eternity apart from the one who loves their soul enough to die for them. Stop trying to make your friends and neighbors love you. What does it matter if someone thinks well of you now, if their eternity is apart from Christ? Our whole purpose is to bring honor and glory to God. We do so only as we reflect His glory, and as we share His goodness with others. Otherwise, we’re hoarding treasures on earth, and such people, Jesus says, have received their reward in full.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.