The best students of prophecy are confused. By all calculations, Jesus should have come by now. Even for the unschooled, the year 2000 marked a milestone of something calamitous…yet nothing happened! Is it like the scoffers said?
"And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 2 Peter 3:4
Peter's answer to this group referred back to Noah and the flood:
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." 2 Peter 3:5-6
Peter said the time of Christ's coming would be like the time when the flood came. One of the characteristics of Noah's time was the extreme wickedness going on in the world:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
You could probably say that the world is worse than it has been since the flood, but…is it as wicked as it was before God destroyed it by water?
Are there not places today, though small, where the gospel is widely received and souls are being saved? There were none in Noah's day.
Jesus Himself warned us about the end time being comparable to Noah's time:
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 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." Matthew 24:37-38
In all of history, God has only chosen two men that He took to heaven without having to experience death, Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11.) Little mention is made of Enoch's son, Methuselah. He is only mentioned in Bible trivia due to fact that he lived longer than any other human, 969 years. I believe there is something unique about Methuselah that is pertinent to this message.
Both ancient and modern Bible commentators have interpreted the name "Methuselah" to mean "when he dies, it (the flood) will come." Did God give Enoch a special revelation about his son, "when this boy dies all humanity will perish?" Think about it…every time Methuselah had a fever, had an accident, got sick… Maybe this was the reason for Enoch's straightforward, no nonsense preaching:
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute JUDGEMENT upon all, and to convince all that are UNGODLY among them of all their UNGODLY deeds which they have UNGODLY committed, and of all their hard speeches which UNGODLY sinners have spoken against him." Jude 14-15 (caps mine)
Enoch was young, compared to his fellow man, when God took him home, only 365 years old. The world got a lot worse, not better, after Enoch's preaching. Methuselah was 300 years old when his daddy was called to heaven. There was 669 years of this "ungodliness" to continue!
Methuselah was 187 years old when he begat Lamech (Genesis 5:25.) Lamech was 182 years old when he begat Noah (Genesis 5:28.) Noah was 600 years old when the flood came upon the earth (Genesis 7:6.) If you add those years up, you get 969 years. The year Methuselah died the flood came! It is possible that the flood came the month or the week or even the day he died. Here was a man whose name foretold the date of a flood that would destroy all but eight people and he would live longer than anyone else. Listen to Peter explain it:
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the LONGSUFFERING OF GOD WAITED IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." 1 Peter 3:18-20
Now we know why Methuselah lived longer than any other person on earth. God's longsuffering! God is giving men another chance…another opportunity to do His will. Every week we pray at the close of the REC-Room that God will give those who should have trusted in Christ another chance.
Yet on the other hand some of us are impatient for His return, we are shouting with John:
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS." Revelation 22:20 (caps mine)
Keep Looking Up!