Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
– Genesis 6:5
Theories abound on the timing and manner of the return of Jesus Christ.
It’s not hard to find Scriptures to support opposing viewpoints, and even those honestly searching the Scriptures to answer the question posed by the disciples in Matthew can get lost in the maze of prophecies outlined in the Old and New Testaments. There is one place we can all start, though.
Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the hour or day of His Second Coming in glory. He did tell us, however, that His coming would be “just like the days of Noah.” Although He was specifically speaking of the suddenness of His return, He pointed us to the conditions of the world before the first big judgment, the flood.
What preceded the worldwide destruction of the flood?
The explosion of population as the human race “multiplied.”
Whether the “sons of God” that married the “daughters of men” were fallen angels or fallen followers of the Lord is debatable, but the passage speaks to the perversion of the Biblical model of marriage.
The fullness of evil, expressed not just in actions but in the thought life of humanity.
God was so grieved by the wickedness in the world, He regretted creating mankind. The Ten Commandments that would come later addressed the outward actions of men, but this passage in Genesis reveals what Jesus told us at His first coming: We are defiled first by what we think.
An earth filled with violence and corruption.
God’s lament in Genesis 6 shows a world harvest of evil had come to fruition. Ecclesiastes 1:18 tells us that “in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.” Because God is all-seeing and all-knowing, He was tormented by the knowledge of every horrific act and by every perverted thought in the mind of His creation.
God’s warning that the door to grace would soon close.
God warned in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” This verse is sometimes interpreted to mean that the lifespan of humans would be shortened from the much longer time they had enjoyed prior to the flood. But in context it would more appropriately refer to the 120 years Enoch and Noah preached repentance to that generation, especially in light of 1 Peter 3:20, 2 Peter 2:5, and Jude 14.
It’s not hard to see parallels between the world just preceding the flood and the world preceding Christ’s Second Coming. While some elements of the fallen world are ever-present, these conditions—when considered with other pertinent prophetic events on the horizon today—would lead us to believe our Lord is “at the door.”