"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
During the time that Noah was building the ark, he was also preaching to the people around him. Have you ever thought about what his preaching was probably like?
Do you think he asked them to take a careful look at their lives and see where they needed God's help? Do you think that he told them that he felt some of the things they were doing were wrong and he was sure that God did not approve? Maybe he talked about being faithful to your wife, I am sure they could have used that. Or maybe he touched upon getting to know God better, you know the Scriptures. Or he might have gone right for the throat and told them that all the wild partying had to stop. That they needed to give back to God some of what He had given them.
We know that they all laughed at Noah and at his message. Even if he had preached to them about the things listed above they probably would have laughed at him, but that is not what he preached about. No he did not need two hour sermons to say what God wanted him to say. His message could have been as short as three words. Can you guess what they were? I'll give you a hint, they are exactly the same three words that people need to hear today. They will remain the three words that all of mankind will need to hear until the time of our Lord and Savior's return.
Unfortunately these are not words that are heard in churches much anymore. They are considered too harsh. They might upset someone. "That kind of talk will turn people against God. That would do more harm than good. People would laugh and ridicule anyone who said that. You have to be more tolerant. That might have worked in years gone by but people today would be turned off by that kind of message." I am sure you have heard some of these things. You in fact might have thought this way too. You don't want to upset anyone.
I get a lot of flack about my page, because I dare to go to other people's pages and invite them to my site. Why should that bother them? Everyone on the World Wide Web does that. I don't leave Scripture verses in their guestbooks or anything, I just say something like 'I stopped by to check out your page, come visit my page too sometime.' I am told that I am condemning them; that I am trying to force my views on them; that I am intolerant of other people's views; that I am judging them; that I am trying to take their fun away. How can I do all that by just inviting them to my page? It is because my page tells them the same basic message as the three words Noah could have used. I must admit that my page has many more than just three words, but people get the same point and that is what upsets them. But remember it is not my message it is God's.
Have you figured out yet what that message is? If you have would you ever give that message to someone? Okay you don't have to be that direct with the message but the end result needs to be that they understand the underlying message.
Haven't figured it out? The three word message is: "REPENT OR DIE!"
Oooh, that's harsh! I couldn't possibly say that to someone. Who am I to say that? You are nobody and neither am I, but we are not really the ones saying it, God is. If you were Noah and God told you to tell that to your neighbors, would it still seem harsh? Of course it would seem harsh to those hearing it. But if you were Noah and you believed God when He said He was going to send a flood to destroy the world wouldn't you take the chance that people would think you were harsh?
Well we are just like Noah! God has told us that He is going to destroy the earth and all those on it who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. We just don't know when. We also know that people are going to die each and everyday, and if they die without asking Jesus Christ to be their Savior they are going to die without hope, and they are going to endure pain and suffering for eternity. There are no second changes.
Once God closed the door of the ark it remained closed until after the flood. When the rain started and the springs in the earth opened up, then the waters started rising, don't you think there were many people, Noah's neighbors who would have gladly gotten into the ark with ol' crazy Noah? They had plenty of time to hear Noah's (or I should say God's) message "REPENT OR DIE!" but they had laughed at it. They thought Noah was too harsh, or crazy, or a fanatic.
Why didn't God stop the rain and open the door to let these people who were now ready to repent into the ark? Why doesn't He open the gates of hell and allow all those who are ready to repent do so? For that matter why does He allow us to have free will in the first place? After all He knows we are basically evil and that the majority of people will choose evil over good. Wouldn't He be more compassionate to just take away our free will? He could just make us worship Him. We would be no more than slaves, but we wouldn't know any different anyway, so what's the big deal? Then there would be no need for hell or for that matter salvation.
I guess we would be no more than animals, but isn't that what so many people think now? I hear it all the time, "There is no God, when we die, that is it. We become one with the rest of the universe."
Well as for me, I will stick with "REPENT OR DIE!" At least if you repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior you will have life eternal. Not a bad deal at all. I think all those who died in the flood during Noah's time would have agreed that repentance in exchange for life was a good deal. The problem was they didn't realize it until it was too late. That is the same sad story today. If you could interview people who have died without accepting Christ I know you would hear what a great deal redemption through the blood of Jesus is, even though they did not take the offer themselves. One day every human being that has ever lived will know without a doubt that God's plan was fair, perfect, and available to everyone.
These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.
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