For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matthew 24:37-39 NASB
This is what we usually call “basic information” about Christianity and the doctrines Jesus taught. In the days of Noah people were going about their daily routines, conducting business and ignoring the preaching of Noah.
They did not understand. Paul describes this willful ignorance another way in Romans 21:1 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Until the flood came and took them all away… This ignorance and self deception means that the judgment will be completely unexpected.
Again, this is “basic information.” Peter adds in 1 Peter 3:20 …the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. and again in 2 Peter 2:5 God did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Here is the point of my latest readings; eight people were saved through the flood. Yet Noah preached for 120 years, even building an enormous object lesson, the ark. What I have heard my entire life is that the entire antediluvian world rejected God and His Word. But my recent reading does not support this. Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews Book 1 Chapter 3 states that “Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.” And the book of Jasher 5:21 says clearly, “And all the sons of men who knew the Lord, died in that year before the Lord brought evil upon them; for the Lord willed them to die, so as not to behold the evil that God would bring upon their brothers and relatives, as he had so declared to do.”
Jewish tradition is not the inspired Word of God. It is not infallible. However there are traditions which say that Noah was not an ineffective preacher; that many repented and turned to the Lord. There are two clear statements we must put together. From Josephus, Noah “was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married” together with the book of Jasher “all the sons of men who knew the Lord, died in that year before the Lord brought” the flood on the earth. That is, every single man and woman who trusted the Lord either died a natural death (highly unlikely) the year before the flood, or, more likely, in keeping with Jewish traditions, every single man and woman who trusted the Lord through Noah’s preaching was martyred before the flood came on the earth.
If this is true, and I believe that it is, then the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah means that the mockers and blasphemers of this world will murder any and all persons who dare to follow the Son of Man.