By Jesse Morrell
One day I had gone down to the green right next to Yale University in New Haven to preach. After preaching a few times I started to get a little discouraged because of the people's reactions or should I say lack there of. Right when I finished preaching, everyone went right back to talk about the idle things they spoke about before. Eternity was not gripping their hearts as it had gripped mine! I preached the truth but nobody trembled. I preached the gospel and a few people giggled. If I preached it loud they would still have laughed, if I preached it soft they would still have snared.
I thought about how David Brainerd attended Yale when it was only a college. Brainerd walked in the same green I was currently was preaching in. When he would speak to the Indians, they would tremble, cry, groan, and moan. Obviously the Holy Spirit was with him helping him. John 16:8 says "And when He (The Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment". I started thinking maybe God wasn't with me. Like Gideon I was saying "if the Lord is with us" then where is His power? So I asked the Lord for a word and opened up my bible. The scripture I opened up to was Matthew 24:37-39 which reads "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 away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
What a scene that must have been in Noah's time. It had never rained before then. God watered the earth with dew. Noah, the town lunatic, must have had some pretty tough conversations. "Hey Noah, what in the world are you doing?" Someone would probably say. Noah would respond with "I'm building a boat." They would say "Well what for?" Noah says "Well, um... The sky is going to fall. God said He's had enough of all your sins and wickedness so He's going to send rain down from the heavens in order to kill you, your family, your friends, and everyone else in the entire world, except for my family." They probably would have said something like "Whatever Noah" as they mumbled under their breath "Who does he think he is?" Noah was a sign to the sinful people of his day for over a hundred years because that's how long he built the ark for. While he was making they were marrying.
This was what was happening to me as I was out preaching. I told them how God promises to send a flood of fire that will consume the whole earth and they said "yea whatever." I'm sure they thought "Who does he think he is?" Our world is going to continue in their vanities, marrying, drinking, and eating, right up until the doors of the ark is closed. We are living in a day and age when we can "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace" (Heb. 4:16) but soon grace will be gone forever and the world will tremble at the "great white throne" of judgment (Rev. 20:11). They won't obtain mercy and find grace but will obtain wrath and find eternal condemnation. Oh what an awful day it will be when receiving forgiveness will be a mere fantasy. No one will be able to access the grace of God. Will they all not say in that day "woe is me, for I am undone"? (Isaiah 6:5) When that time comes, think of all the people that will be dancing in the clubs, getting married, or playing the game called Church in front of all their Christian friends. "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Well if men will say "to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sites on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!" (Rev. 6:16) then I don't think that He will.
Shortly after I read about the days of Noah while I was on the street and thought about what it meant, a random street cleaner came up to me to encourage me. He said something along the lines of "You keep preaching because these people need to hear it. Remember as in the days of Noah..." My mouth just about hit the floor. That's how I feel the Lord speaks sometimes. I believe God sent that man over to encourage me at a time I was getting discouraged. Later when I got home again I put the TV on and there was a preacher. The very first thing I heard come out of his mouth was "As in the days of Noah." Then that night while reading a book I read about our Noah-like society. Now, we can debate on whether or not the Lord was trying to speak to me and that's fine, but either way I learned a lesson that day.
A preacher knows that he could either tell some tale or he could tell the truth. He could tell the normal false teaching or he could stick to rare biblical preaching. Some of you, without a doubt, will not want to see how our days are like the days of Noah. But is not even a negative truth better then a positive lie? An uncomfortable heavy truth is more valuable then a worthless light lie.
In which way is our society like that of Noah's society?
What in our day is "as in the days of Noah"?
- In the days of Noah "the wickedness of man was great in the earth...every intent of the thoughts of his (mans) heart was only evil continually."(Gen 6:5)
- In our day the wickedness of man can be clearly seen through the television and the radio. Our society boasts about abortion and glamorizes gay marriage. If anything is seen in our day it is sin. In fact nothing is seen by our own eyes more then the sins of our own people.
- In the days of Noah "the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart." (Gen. 6:6)
- In our day the Lord is still grieved in His heart over the sins of His fallen creation. God is "being grieved by the hardness of...hearts". (Mark 3:5) Come on now, how can we say we have not grieved a Holy God with our ungodliness?
- In the days of Noah the Lord said "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."
- In our day we are in more danger of destruction then a drunk driver on the wrong side of the highway. Those whom God has Himself created He Himself will destroy. If you don't believe me then read your bible.
- In the days of Noah, Noah himself was a sign to the people. He was "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5)
- In our own day we have more bible colleges and bible preachers then one could count. Noah's generation had only one preacher but we have multitudes of them and yet we are not better off but rather we are worse off.
- In the days of Noah a huge ark was being built for all to see which testified of the soon coming rain.
- In our day huge churches have been being built to testify of "the wrath to come" (Luke 3:7)
- In the days of Noah "God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." (Gen 6:12)
- In our day everyone from the politicians to the preachers are corrupt. Many of both groups are out for only three things: money, power, respect. Who has clean hands and a pure heart in our day?!?!
- In the days of Noah the earth was "filled with violence". (Gen. 6:13)
- In our day if you pick up the newspaper or turn on the television you will read and hear about every form of violence in our world. We have violated Gods Law with violence. There are beatings and bombings, weapons and wars in every country. Where aren't there abuses, assaults, and attacks? Violence is the trademark of the earth today.
- In the days of Noah "they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark".
- In our day they are eating, drinking, and marrying as if they will live forever and they will continue to live that way until God raptures us into His glory and they are left for destruction.
- In the days of Noah the people did not believe they were in danger. They blindly walked in their sin without the slightest thought of the destruction that was at their door.
- In our day our own people believe that the farthest thing from them is the judgment of God. They believe God's wrath is as far away from them "as the east is from the west."
- In the days of Noah, Noah must have been seen as a fool for building a foolish ark.
- In our day "we are fools for Christ's sake" (1 Corinthians. 4:10) because "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing". (1 Corinthians 1:18)
The consequences of sin are severe and sudden. There is not a doubt in my mind that the world has worked for its wages, it's earned its elimination, and it deserves its death. I'm not trying to be negative. Understand that I'm not criticizing but I'm agonizing, I'm not bashing but I'm broken, and I'm not hating but I'm aching.
Let's ask some simple questions. What did God tell Noah to do? God told him to build the ark. Why did Noah build the ark? It was going to rain, flood, and kill all of life. How did he build the ark? The way God wanted him to make it, no other way would have worked. "And this is how you shall make it..." (Gen. 6:14). What would have happened if he refused to build the ark because he didn't want to look foolish? Those who God wanted to save would have perished in the flood.
Now let's ask ourselves some questions. What has God told us to do? Jesus said "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). Why must we go and preach to everyone? It is simply because "he who does not believe will be condemned". (Mark 16:16) It is not that we should go but that we must go because "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14) So how are we supposed to build the church? The way God wants us to. The way Jesus did. No other way will work. What will happen if we refuse to be "fools for Christ's sake" and not build up Gods church by preaching the gospel? Then all those whom God wants to save will perish in an eternal hell. In order for our world to be delivered it has to die. It must be "crucified with Christ". For the world to be righteous it needs to repent. If we ever hope for it to receive life then we have to labor. How will they ever praise our God if we do not preach? I assure you that the Lord wants men who are burdened, broken, and burning for His glory. Who will rise up to this high calling?
The bible tells us in Genesis 6:9 that "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation. Noah walked with God." This is what God wants His Church to be. Like "Noah was a just man", God wants His Church to be a just church. "The just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:17) If by faith the just will live then the corrupt will die by doubt. Noah was "perfect in his generation". Make no mistake about it, God wants a perfect church. Matt. 5:48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." We need to be "perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor. 7:1). Paul said "Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."(Col. 1:28). In Hebrews 6:1 we are urged to "go on to perfection". And lastly Noah walked with God. Christian, your highest calling is "to walk humbly with your God". (Micah 6:8)
What holds back God's wrath from coming upon us today? We have sinned like Sodom but are we a goner like Gomorrah? What is it that God is waiting for? He isn't waiting for us to get worse because we're committing every sin there is. Not to mention God has destroyed others for less. Let's get serious. If our times do not provoke the Lord to anger then no times ever will. If our countries are not destroyed by God then I'm surprised God has ever destroyed any nation. The most terrifying thought I've ever had is the possibility that God gets angrier by the day. But what is it that holds back the wrath of God from our nations today? I am convinced that it is because the Lord knows what He will do in the future.
Before the Lord will pour out His righteous fury upon the earth He will pour out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh. The greatest revival in history has yet to happen. It says in Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and you daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days." Check history and see if this has happened yet. It hasn't but it is in Gods word so it's final. It has to happen. God never changes His mind or go contrary to His word. The world is deluded, diseased, and deceived but our God is able to captivate, correct, and cure.
God will either deliver this world or destroy it. I see no other options. God will either save the day or slay the day. Remember this: It's not I but the bible which says "as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:37)
As in the days of Noah
As in the days of Noah all my people sin.
I stand to preach, they just scornfully grin.
They laugh and mock at all my words,
I long for one to heed my urge.
While they sing and dance and play their songs;
I utterly refuse to go along.
I pray and hope one day their gladness
Will be turned to utter sadness.
God longs for them to turn and flee
But in their darkness they cannot see.
The wrath is coming so quick and fast
These days of theirs may be their last
As in the days of Noah my people all sin.
Oh, how they all must turn to Him.
My Lord, My God please grant repentance
And thus dismiss their earned death sentence.