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No One Knows! by Pastor Jeremy Collins

36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son —except the Father alone. 37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. 39 They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be.


These four weighty verses touch on the Doctrine of Christ, Eschatology (End Times), and judgment, but most importantly, they contain the Christian’s hope. Let’s address these four things.


The Doctrine of Christ: In Matthew 24, Jesus offers an extended discourse on “The End Times.” When the disciples asked when he would return in the last days, Jesus said that no one but the Father knows the hour of his coming. His statement creates a dilemma. If Jesus is divine and human, why would God the Father know and not God the Son? Is there a rift in the triune God? To find the answer, we turn to two sources: the Bible and the doctrines of the Church.


Pastor Jeremy offered us the early church's teaching in two documents: The Chalcedonian Creed (541 AD) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646). The church has taught that 1) Jesus is truly God and human, and 2) his natures are separate though inseparable in one person. So, when Jesus said he didn’t know the hour of his second coming, he spoke from his human nature. But how did Jesus know about end times? In his sinless and perfectly devoted human nature, he knew what was revealed in God’s Word concerning the certainty of end times, even though the scriptures do not give the hour of his coming again.


Eschatology (End Times) and Judgment: Jesus tells us that judgment will come just as it came in the days of Noah. In Genesis, we read, “the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that the inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time” (Gen 6:5-8) God’s holiness and justice required judgment of evil and his grace required salvation of those whose heart was reserved for God. Noah’s heart was set on God, and this was demonstrated by his obedience. God gave instructions to Noah to build a monumental boat. Noah was mocked by a generation that was consumed by the pursuits of its own will and desires.


The Christian Hope in the End Times and the Coming Judgement: Jesus is our generation’s Ark of salvation from the coming judgment. Therefore, our only hope is in Jesus.


So, what do we do now? Jesus offers the answer to this question in Matthew. As a church and the members therein, we must get our house in order. We must live in the expectation of Jesus coming again. We must also be rigorous to align our will with the will of our Savior, who said,


All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Mt 28:18-20)


Post-Sermon Reflection: Who in your life needs to know the salvation of Christ? Are you willing to go deeper to explore your union with Christ so that 1) you can love them with the love of Christ and 2) share the hope that is yours in Christ? Can you agree that this needs to be the focus of our life together? Are you willing to trust your Pastors, Elders, and other leaders who are charged with leading and ordering church life in this way?


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