By N. Brad Carter, JR PE / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
The CDC predicts by 2030 more Americans will become obese and the increase in obesity will be 42 percent of the U.S. population. Obesity in America has now officially reached epidemic proportions.
Health experts at Howard Hughes Medical Institute have determined that adult obesity is the plague of the 21st century. For this self-imposed medical problem the average medical cost is estimated to be $147 billion a year. Are you saying we are fat? Now, you have gone to meddling.
Doctor Luke (17:26) recorded the Words of Jesus as He predicted various signs of His coming. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns it will be like it was in Noah's day.”
The referenced historical insights of the future are different in two ways. First, Christ specifies a social condition as a characteristic sign of the living generation which precedes His Second Coming. That life sign is in the news of today and is called obesity.
This prevailing sign of His return illustrates a condition of wealth, laziness or an absence of a need to work and exercise allowing time for over-indulgence in appetite with gluttony, and drunkenness. Second, it is interesting to note that man’s heart never changes on its’ own merits even in 6,000 years.
In Noah’s day, the people enjoyed "eating and drinking" as if there was no tomorrow. Today, obesity is reported in the newspaper and on television as it is recognized as a problem in the creation. The NLT records (2 Tim 3:2-4) that, "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day.” The Holy Spirit guided Paul to predict a similar outcome when he says: "in the last days . . . men will be lovers of self, . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" as they indulge with appetite, in gluttony, and drunkenness.
Every generation has had pleasure-seekers in life with a goal to satisfy the desire of their appetites. Today, with more leisure time and economic prosperity than at any other period of history this trend has greatly increased. Science and technology has improved the work time ratio providing extra time to think about self, to think about food and have less work to expend less energy.
In our affluent society we have taken advantage of success with too much eating and a pleasurable life style which has destroyed the health of millions. The American Medical Association has stated that the population is over-weight causing problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases, and emotional trauma.
To shed the excess weight, billions of dollars are spent each year on diet pills, books, weight-control programs, and in some cases, surgery. This fact brings home the timeliness of Jesus' prediction that before His Coming many will be obsessed with "eating and drinking.
Drinking must have been a problem in Noah's time, because soon after the Flood, Noah himself got drunk. This hints of the influence his generation placed on him. Jesus said of the age of His return, "so will it be in the days of the Son of man" (Luke 17:26).
From Noah to this day, drinking has been a major social problem. Mixed with other drugs it has become a weapon to kill and maim when combined with the automobile. The news media confronts us every day with the tragic consequences of drinking. Full Gospel Churches have preached the demise of the soul when ingesting this drug, but many people have not observed the extent of the problem.
Excessive eating and drinking plagues this generation and represents a unique end time sign. The generation at the second coming was predicted by Christ to be similar to “the days of Noah.” During each era God’s creation abandoned self-restraint in their search for self-gratification.
Yes, "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."
N. Brad Carter is a bible class teacher on WMER (1390 AM) Radio. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.