Jesus Christ used the example of Noah’s day to reveal the attitudes that would predominate near the end: “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 Matthew 24:37-39 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 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,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
American King James Version×).
Here we see history and prophecy working together. The meaning is clear: The attitude of people in Noah’s day would prevail again just before Christ’s second coming. As in the former case, God would be deemed as far away, unconcerned about human activities on earth, with life appearing to go on as always (2 Peter 3:3-6 2 Peter 3:3-6 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 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.
5 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:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
American King James Version×). Like before, people would be unconcerned as to their true spiritual condition and blind to God’s impending judgment.
The key to the example Christ gave is to understand that people can be so concerned about the cares of this life that they ignore their Creator (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×; Luke 21:34-35 Luke 21:34-35 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come on you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
American King James Version×). It happened before, and it is happening again.
The apostle Paul similarly foretold the overall self-seeking mind-set that would dominate people’s thinking in the last days: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
American King James Version×).
This perfectly describes the overall attitude and outlook of our age. Such thinking will prevent the vast majority of humanity from believing God and the biblical warning signs indicating Christ’s imminent return. Like the people in Noah’s time who laughed and mocked as he built the ark, the end of this age will come when the overwhelming majority are unprepared.