It has always been really frustrating to me that this subject must even be discussed among fellow believers. To be honest, I would rather argue with naturalists and whether there was even a flood at all. That seems to be a more fruitful argument. It just drives me crazy that a discussion among Christians concerning whether the flood was global or local must be had. The folks at Reasons to Believe have long held to a local flood viewpoint. At the link provided, they seem to present a fairly convincing argument with their interpretation of the passage as depicted in Genesis. However; many, including myself, will find problems with their interpretation of Genesis, but in this day and age this should not really surprise us. A continued sacrifice of the plain reading of Genesis continues to be a growing problem today.
I believe the answer to this question can be easily answered in Jesus’ words.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 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 24:36-38
Luke records it this way;
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” – Luke 17:26-27
I know, I know; passages like this are difficult for many to interpret. The reason is, they are prophetic passages and there are always many different conclusions people come to when reading prophetic passages. Is Jesus referring to the Rapture here? Is He referring to His Second coming? I have my own conclusions, but I will withhold them from this writing. Let’s just say that pertaining to this passage Jesus is speaking of a time when He will come back. When; rapture in the air or physical second coming to earth? Not important for our purposes today. I simply want to point out that Jesus is speaking of a future return of His, who will survive it, who will not, and what event He compares this too.
Let’s just keep this simple.
Luke’s account above is important to note that those destroyed during the flood were “all.” This would imply that all who believe are spared from being destroyed. We know that Jesus died for allpeople, for all sins. One day Jesus will return to earth and all people caught not believing will be destroyed. If Noah and the flood that Jesus refers to was just a local flood then not all creation was destroyed; therefore, only some were saved and some destroyed. It would then necessary follow that Jesus did not really die for all mankind. Since we know this to be false…
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world…”
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned…”
2 Corinthians 5:14 – “…that if One died for all…”
John 1:29 – “”Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
1 John 2:2 – “And He Himself is the propitiation of our sins, and not ours only but also for the whole world.
1 John 4:14 – “…the Father has sent His Son as Savior of the world.”
…then we must conclude that either Jesus lied (or was mistaken) concerning the flood, or the flood was global. Since a lie would be a sin, His death and resurrection would have been pointless (1 Corinthians 15:12-14). By the verses mentioned above, we know that to not be the case; therefore, the flood of Noah that Jesus refers to must have been global in order to properly reflect His global salvation He provides to all who will believe.