We do not know at what hour the Lord Jesus is coming back. But we are told in Scripture that there will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord. I believe that we see those signs in the world today, and I believe that the coming of the Lord is near.
The Bible tells us, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. … Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:36, 42).
We read in the Scriptures about Noah and the flood. It was the greatest catastrophe in the history of the world. Scripture says that the flood destroyed everything. The importance of Noah and the flood is emphasized by the many references in the Bible. The flood was both a warning and a promise. God warned that He would not always strive with man. Then He made a covenant with Noah and his sons that He would never again destroy the world by flood, and He gave the rainbow as a promise.
The Apostle Peter wrote that in Noah’s day “the world that then existed perished” (2 Peter 3:6). But he also wrote that “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).
The world is under the partial control of the devil. He is called “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). This is the age of evil, and God says it’s so terrible and so awful that He has to destroy it.
Let us look at man’s condition at the time of the flood. The Bible tells us that the people gloried in sin; they loved it. Jesus said, “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). Today, every form of perversion recorded in human history is being practiced on an even greater scale.
In Noah’s day, the world was filled with violence. And today we see films in which people are doing all kinds of terrible things. Listen to some of the conversations on talk shows. As some of those people are expressing themselves, we can’t believe that human nature has sunk so low.
God said He will judge the world. God is still a God of love, but He is also a God of judgment. He is going to judge the world, and He is going to judge you, unless you repent of your sins and receive Christ into your heart.
The Bible says there is a limit to God’s patience: “The Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever’” (Genesis 6:3). He said there was a time limit for the people of Noah’s day.
The flood was not a natural catastrophe. It was a moral catastrophe. It came as a result of God’s judgment on the attitudes and actions of the people in the world of that time. God has set a time limit for our day as well. God has “appointed a day on which He will judge the world … by the Man whom He has ordained” (Acts 17:31). That Man is Jesus Christ. We don’t know when it will happen, but Jesus said the hour is coming.
Today the Holy Spirit is at work showing you your spiritual need. The Scripture says, “When [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
We are not on trial. The trial is over. We have already been found guilty in the sight of God. We are not being tried. The court is finished. The jury has said, “You are guilty.” The penalty is death—spiritual death and physical death.
What can we do?
We have to make a choice. We have to make a personal commitment to Christ. We can’t go on our mother’s faith or on our father’s faith. We can’t go on the faith of the church. We can be baptized, we can be confirmed, we can live a decent life and still not know Christ, still not be saved.
On the other hand, we may come from families with no Christian background or influence. We don’t have to have Christian parents to come to Christ by faith. Either way, we come just as we are. The Scripture says, “Whoever will, may come” (see Revelation 22:17).
Noah was a righteous man. He was a kind man. He did things that were right in the sight of God. “Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). He was a man of faith. He feared the Lord. In his life there was obedience to God.
So God came to Noah and told him His plan. He said, “Noah, I am going to cause it to rain 40 days and 40 nights. The flood will destroy the whole world, because the world has become so wicked” (Cf. Genesis 7:4). God gave him all the specifications to build an ark. It would have one window. It would be designed to float, not to navigate. There would be no sails. It wouldn’t capsize.
Noah started building the ark, and as Noah built the ship, his work was a sermon to the people of that day: “Repent, believe. Let God come into your heart. Let God take control of your life. Come into the ark and be saved.” But no one repented. Then one day God said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household” (Genesis 7:1).
The Bible says a great deal about entire families coming to Christ. The Philippian jailer was saved with his entire household. The entire household of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, was saved. That could be true in your family too. You may be the one who could lead your family to Christ. If you take your stand for Christ, they may come to Him, too.
God told Noah to come into the ark, along with a male and female of every kind of animal.
Noah went into the ark, and nothing happened. This must have been the greatest test of his faith. People outside were probably laughing. Maybe they came from miles around to see the folly of Noah. He had told everybody that it was going to rain. He told them that God was going to destroy the whole world with water. They didn’t believe it. This tested Noah’s faith, but He believed, in spite of what the people said: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household” (Hebrews 11:7).
No one could ever say, “We didn’t know the flood was coming,” because they had heard Noah’s preaching. God had extended His love and mercy and righteousness in every possible way, but they had rejected it.
The Scripture says that one day God shut the door (see Genesis 7:16). Noah didn’t shut it; God did. And one day God will shut the door as far as we are concerned: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). Today you can pass from death to life. You can be saved from that which is yet to come.
The Scripture says that Christ will come back, and every eye shall see him. A day will come when Christ will return, and there will be the Judgment. Eternity will be before you: Heaven or hell. You will be in one of them, according to the choice that you make about Jesus Christ.
God said, “Come into the ark, you and all your household” (Genesis 7:1), a personal invitation to Noah. And Noah acted on it. And it’s a personal invitation to us to come to God—come to the cross, come to the empty tomb.
Noah was shut in; God had shut the door. Noah’s salvation was totally up to God.
“Look!” someone yelled. And there was a cloud, no bigger than a man’s hand; and the cloud grew and it grew and it grew. And finally, the waters came—a torrential downpour. The earth also broke up, and great floods came out of the earth. And people began to cry, “Let us in, let us in, let us in! We were wrong. We repent. Please let us in!” But it was too late. The only door was shut!
There is only one Door to Heaven, and that is Jesus. I am glad to tell you that Door is still open. Jesus said, “I am the door” (John 10:9). In Revelation 4:1 we read, “I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was … saying, ‘Come up here.’”
Are you ready for that Day that is certain to come? We don’t know when it will be, but we should be ready at any moment. Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). Are you ready? You can make sure today.
You ask, “What do I have to do?” Three things: First, repent of your sins. To repent means to change, to turn to God and say, “I’m sorry I’ve sinned.”
Second, come to Christ by faith. You may never understand all about salvation, or all about God, or all about the Bible, but you can come by simple, childlike trust and put your faith in Jesus Christ.
Third, be willing to obey God as best you can. You can’t live the Christian life by yourself, but the Holy Spirit will come into your heart and help you to obey God. I can’t live the Christian life without the daily help of the Holy Spirit. And even then, sometimes I fail. But the Holy Spirit helps me, and God forgives my sins and my failures. He can do the same for you, if you will let Him. Today you can make your commitment to Christ. ©1992 BGEA
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Are You Ready for the Judgment?
If you are not sure that you have a right standing with Almighty God, you can be sure today. First, confess your sin and turn away from it. Second, receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, putting your faith in Him alone to save you. You can do that right now. He promises to live in you and transform your life. You can have a new life, a new beginning, if you will surrender to Christ.
START BY SIMPLY TALKING TO GOD.
You can pray a prayer like this:
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sin. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe He died on the cross for my sin and You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
DO IT RIGHT NOW.
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Photo: Russ Busby/©1993 BGEA