by Pastor Tim Burt
I was recently reading about the story of Noah. It’s one of those stories that almost everyone has been exposed to—even if they aren’t Bible readers. It’s a story that, by God’s design, is supposed to create a sense of soberness and caution in our hearts. It’s also supposed to create a sense of urgency in our calling to help others know the Lord! Every time I read this to my children and now to my grandchildren, that warning and urgency refills my heart!
In the story, God had told Noah that a great flood was coming that would destroy mankind—with the exception of Noah and his family. What was mankind like at that time that was so bad that God would bring this kind of judgment? It’s important to know! Why? Because Jesus said that when He would return for us, the spirit and attitude of men would be like that again—”as it was in Noah’s day.”
In Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT) Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.”
This present age we live in has become so bad that evenly worldly people think so! The amount of evil, corruption, hatred, and violence has become overwhelming. There are God-haters and perversions of all things good that are now teaching that good is evil, and evil is good. And this is happening all around the world! And yet God’s people haven’t fallen to their knees asking for God’s help. Their desired focus is to continue to enjoy life having fun while hoping this will all go away. Jesus warned us, saying, “…people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.” What Jesus wanted us to see is that people weren’t disturbed by what they saw! They were a part of it! And had no time for God or for His ways.
As we dig deeper into the days of Noah, we get greater insight into what the people were like then and before Jesus returns. Genesis 6:5 (NIV) reveals, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Other verses indicate there were champions of evil that people saw as heroes. In other words, in the culture of the day, evil was perceived as good or normal, and good was perceived as evil or fanatical and stupid. We’re living in those times again. Older people are frustrated. They know how much more moral life used to be in their younger years. They see that most of the younger generation today is blind to caring about a moral and ethical and hard-working lifestyle. And that they are numb to the need for a deep love for and service to God. Much of the younger generation simply sees those who are older as out of touch.
God was patient and warned the people of Noah’s day. While Noah was building the ark, He was also “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5). He preached God’s warning for 120 years before the flood came, showing God’s patience for mankind to repent and change. They never did. Noah had many relatives just because of the sheer fact that man was living up to and over the age of 700 years at that time. They all heard his story, yet none of them were saved in the ark—only Noah and his family.
Genesis 6:8-9 (NLT) tells us Noah “…found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him.”
If you are living for the Lord today, the ungodly will view you as weird, out of touch with the times, fanatical, and even delusional because of your love, faith, and diligent effort to live wholeheartedly for God. The world, including some relatives, will see you as someone who interferes with their fun and ungodly choices. Just your presence makes them feel guilty. Somehow they know your life is different from theirs, and you may be shunned for it. And so, the days of Noah are already upon us.
In this time, I encourage you to keep close to God and don’t get sucked into the world’s moral depravity. Don’t let this world wear you down so that you develop a What’s the use attitude. Don’t be drawn away from God and into their lifestyle! Let your lifestyle and love for God shine before all. Let your lifestyle, without saying a word, preach righteousness in your daily sphere of influence.
I don’t believe Noah was a fanatical street preacher condemning everyone. I believe He was about God’s business building an ark, and of course, people asked him about it. He simply told them about God’s love, the world’s condition, and what was coming and invited them to join him and his family in the ark. We can do the same, inviting them into God’s present-day ark—the church! You will be a living example of what it means to live passionately for God. As opportunities arise, share the love of Jesus with those God brings to you. Keep yourself in a good Bible-teaching church and in atmospheres where you are with like-minded believers who stand and pray with you! They are part of your ark experience! And because you do, and because of your revelation of what Jesus did at the cross for you, you’ll be guided by God’s Holy Spirit. Like Noah, you will have found “grace in God’s eyes.” And You will be in His present-day ark—born again through Jesus Christ and helping build and shelter others in the ark—the church and body of Christ, until He returns, inviting others to do the same.
Luke 21:28 (NKJV) “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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