So shall also the coming of the Son of Man be

Christ said that before He returns there would only be one sign to herald His coming.

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Theologians have interpreted this to mean that the conditions of the world would be the same as those that were before the Flood. This is indicated by the following verse.

Matthew 24:38,39 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 And knew [understood] not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

And the world does seem to have gotten into the same state now, maybe it is even worse. When discussing this a few days ago with a friend he suggested something that really struck a chord with me.

On July 7, 2016 the Ark Encounter1 opened for visitors in Williamstown, Kentucky (see Fig.1), an actual-size replica of Noah’s Ark (157 m, 510 ft long). It is located inland, far from water, and used by Answers in Genesis to educate people about the size of the Ark and other issues related to the Earth destroying global flood in Noah’s day,2 that resulted the death of all air-breathing land dwelling as well as all flying creatures. But most importantly it meant the death of all humans except for those 8 that were on the Ark, Noah, his wife, Noah’s 3 sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives.

ark-encounter-ark

Figure 1: Ark Encounter Noah’s 155-meter-long Ark replica built by Answers in Genesis’ for $100 million. Credit: Ark Encounter

You also may have read of the full size replica Ark built by the Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers in Holland,3 who spent three years building a gigantic wooden Noah’s Ark completing it in 2011 (see Fig. 2). It is built on flotation barges and hence is sea-worthy.

dutch-ark

Figure 2: Faithful recreation: Johan Huibers’s replica of the Ark, in Dordrecht, in the western Netherlands, is now open to the public. Credit: EPA

Then there is the full-size Ark built as a hotel and theme park in Hong Kong4 (see Fig. 3).  Construction was completed in 2008. Built via an unusual mix of government and private enterprise, the ‘vessel’–really a building–sits on Ma Wan island, overlooking the Rambler Channel and Tsing Ma Bridge, over which the highway to the Hong Kong international airport runs. Huge numbers of vehicles pass by this Ark replica every day. Mostly designed as a tourist drawcard, it has become one of Hong Kong’s most prominent landmarks.

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Figure 3: The spectacular Hong Kong Noah’s Ark (rainbow added): a full-scale replica right next to the highway to one of the world’s busiest airports. Credit: C. Wieland (CMI)

Warning Message?

Several news articles have been written by secular as well as Christian5 media over these Noah’s Arks, especially in the USA at the recent opening of the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. I may have missed it if someone did mention that the mere presence now of these replica Noah’s Arks makes the meaning of Matthew 24:38 more poignant. This is because prior to this last decade, to my knowledge, no one had even rebuilt Noah’s Ark and so in comparing events back in Noah’s day with events in our day one thing would have been missing. That is, the construction and presence of Noah’s Ark, as a copy of the original.

It was a warning to the world about 4500 years ago. Therefore, in these last days, it (well, all three Arks) is a warning to the world again today that judgment is coming. This time it will not be with a global flood of water, but instead a global flood of fire.I suggest that the mere construction of these ‘Arks’ has created the last condition that permits the literal fulfilment of the scriptural text:

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37).

Not to labour the point too much, but it is not a symbolic fulfilment but a literal one. We note three attempts have been made to faithfully reproduce the size (all three Arks) and accurate construction (by wood in two Arks) and even to populate them with the same types of animals that Noah took on the original Ark.

The good news is that Noah’s Ark is a symbol of salvation in Christto those who respond to the Lord’s call. And these Arks then herald the “coming of the Son of man” in the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the dead.

References

  1. Ark Encounter, Answers in Genesis, opened July 7, 2016.
  2. Phil Robinson, The cartoonification of Noah’s ArkCreation 38(4):40–42, October 2016.
  3. Tourists flock to £1 million full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark built by a carpenter who dreamt his country would floodDaily Mail, September 18, 2016.
  4. Carl Wieland, Full-size Noah’s Ark in Hong Kong! Creation 33(1):28–31, January 2011.
  5. Chiqui Guyjoco, Creationist Ken Ham shares gospel with Bill Nye on Ark Encounter Tour, The Christian Times, July 13, 2016.
  6. John G. Hartnett, Do the heavens literally pass away or don’t they? July 9, 2016.
  7. John G. Hartnett, Noah’s Ark and salvationCreation magazine 37(4):22-24, 2015.

Recommended Reading

About John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.
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One Response to So shall also the coming of the Son of Man be

  1. Mark Rogers says:

    The day will come when we’ll question our memories as to how life used to be. I sent you the first two photos in this collection the other day. Here’s the last one in the series.

    [Mark sent a time series of pictures of where an ATM once was in a wall. Picture 1 (left) shows an ATM in the wall. Picture 2 (middle) shows it removed but a board covering the hole in the wall and picture 3 (right) shows the wall completely resurfaced, as if the ATM never existed. The image may be viewed here.]

    It was never there, cash will soon be a memory. Now a freshly painted wall. Erased. The machine that was there will soon be just a memory.

    I stood and watched for a few minutes today as habit brought worshippers to their favourite wall. They stood there momentarily in shocked dismay looking up and down and from side to side. Some even had their cards ready… reaching out and realising it was gone.

    The changes we’ve witnessed have been so incredibly slow over the past 50 years of our lives that if we hadn’t seen them with our own eyes we wouldn’t have understood the landscape that was being painted right in front of us.
    —————————————————————————————————————
    Those that watched the Ark being built hour after hour, day after day, week after week soon lost interest as the Ark slowly appeared.

    The changes were so infinitesimal that for years it looked as if nothing had changed. The crazy bearded old man’s family had grown up and were married and most had lost interest in whatever he was building. It had been years since mockers had visited his endeavour.

    The old man worshipped God, home schooled his kids, grew and produced everything he needed and sold the rest to support his family. He was the local conspiracy theorist who derided and rejected mainstream thought.

    The local people had grown to affectionately tolerate the old weirdo as he was a source of entertainment and moral teaching for their children even though they rejected his warnings and everything he stood for. He was a stabilising force on their children so they let him be.

    The old man shared his teachings with their kids until they soon grew up and became just like their parents. They too stopped visiting Noah and only the people he hired frequented the old man’s family.

    As the jobs became fewer and fewer the animosity towards Noah and his family grew until the day God finally fulfilled His plan.

    It’s the same today, the nice gospel is being preached and few are upset by what they hear and see and are oblivious to the dark clouds building. Just like it was in the Days of Noah.

    Because Christians are looking for unnatural and miraculous Signs of the End they too will miss the seemingly natural but still miraculous events that God will use to usher in the latter days before His return.

    And just like in Noah’s day, they’ll be shocked at the suddenness of Christ’s Return. It’s like the old saying, ‘there are none so blind as those that will not see.’

    They aren’t physically blind but spiritually, as their awareness has been dulled by the politically correct gospel of their false Jesus. Not the Jesus that the Word of God teaches but the politically correct Jesus that they have grown to love.

    This Jesus offends no one and has changed the Bible so that the false scientists, sexually perverted, agnostics, atheists and the rest of the nice and always smiling politically correct crowd can sit together, arms linked, embracing their oneness, as they sing, ‘kumbaya my lord’.

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