Is There Hope for Human Survival?

Lesson 5, Part 4


A Sudden and Dangerous Turn of Events

Jesus said that events leading up to His return would take most people by surprise. They will be like people in Noah's day who continued their daily routines thinking life would go on as usual.

If this time of unparalleled troubles were allowed to continue, what would be the result?

“It will be a time of great distress, such as there has never been before since the beginning of the world, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive . . .” (Matthew 24:21-22), Revised English Bible.

Nothing will compare to that time! This unprecedented era will prove to be so dangerous that, unless God were to intervene, all living things would die. Carefully read and study Matthew 24 to better understand these conditions and events.

Will God allow humans to utterly destroy themselves?

“. . . But for the sake of God’s chosen [that time] will be cut short” (Matthew 24:22), Revised English Bible.

“And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1)

Although humanity will be brought to the brink, God will intervene to stop its extinction. God will “cut short” this time so that some will be spared. This is the good news that will emerge from the bad.

Can people predict exactly when these events will come to pass?

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36)

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44)

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).  

Will these events come suddenly?

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).  

Will many people be surprised by these sudden events?

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).  

Jesus said that events leading up to His return would take most people by surprise. They will be like people in Noah’s day who continued their daily routines thinking life would go on as usual. But those in Noah’s day were dead wrong. They ignored Noah’s warnings about the increasingly depraved and degenerate world around them—until it began to rain.


A brief summary of definitions for words used in this lesson. 

Blindness: An inability to see. “In Scripture blindness is a term frequently used to denote ignorance or a want of spiritual discernment … a lack of understanding resulting from unbelief” ( Unger’s Bible Dictionary , “Blindness”).

Human nature: The characteristics, tendencies and behavior of a human being. At birth human nature is fundamentally neutral. However, over time and under the influence of Satan, human nature is predominately characterized by vanity, jealousy, greed and self-gratification. As creatures of choice, we are enjoined and expected to resist the pulls of base self-motivation and respond to the leading of God’s Spirit.

Messiah: A Hebrew word meaning literally “anointed one,” synonymous with the Greek word christos , translated Christ. “In ancient Israel both persons and things consecrated to sacred purposes were anointed by having oil poured over them … The Israelites did not think of crowning a king but of anointing him when he was enthroned … [The future Messiah] is to destroy the world powers in an act of judgment, deliver Israel from her enemies, and restore her as a nation. The Messiah is the King of this future kingdom to whose political and religious domination the other nations will yield. His mission is the redemption of Israel and His dominion is universal. This is the clear picture of the Messiah in practically all of the OT passages which refer to Him” ( The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary , “Messiah”).

Prophecy: A prediction of events to come. “A discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp[ecially] by foretelling future events” ( Revised Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon , “Propheteia”).

Sign: “The rendering of several Hebrew and Greek words, which usually denote a miraculous, or, at least, divine or extraordinary token of some (generally) future event” ( Unger’s Bible Dictionary , “Sign”).

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