The Lord Jesus Christ said that there would be signs of the times that we’re to watch for, and when all of those signs begin to converge at one time, we know that we are approaching the climax of this age and of history as we know it.
And as we read the news each day, we’re reminded of some of the signs we’re to look for. Jesus told us that there would be famines and earthquakes prior to His return (see Matthew 24:7).
Matthew 24:37 says, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Have you ever read the sixth chapter of Genesis and the story of Noah?
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear” (Hebrews 11:7). He was terrified when he heard that God was going to bring a terrible flood, and everything was going to be destroyed.
After the flood, God said He would never destroy the world again by a flood (see Genesis 8:21). But He will cleanse and destroy the evil elements of this world by fire (see 2 Peter 3:7). And we now have weapons that “shoot fire” that could destroy the whole world. Charles de Gaulle, the late president of France, was right when he said that modern man has within him the seeds of his own self-destruction.
And Jesus warned that nation would rise against nation, and He used the word ethnos, which means ethnic. Ethnic group will rise up against ethnic group. And we see that today, all over the world, among people that have normally lived together in peace but are now fighting and killing each other, separated by the color of their skin or the language they speak or their culture.
The sixth chapter of Genesis tells us that people of Noah’s day gloried in sin. They loved it. Today, people all over the world both love and hate their sins. From the beginning of history, sin has been man’s biggest mystery. The Bible tells us that we’re caught in a spiritual warfare between the forces of God on the one side and the forces of the devil on the other (see Ephesians 6:11-13).
The Apostle Paul stated that as the world drew to a close, this “mystery of iniquity” would be dominant (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7, KJV). Every form of perversion that human history has ever thought about is being used today, including torture, rape, bodily mutilation, chemicals. Those are the physical. What about the psychological impact? Young people are committing suicide. They cannot find satisfaction in all the pleasures that are put before them. There’s a void inside that can only be filled by God.
Weird and satanic crimes are being committed on a scale perhaps never known before. Motion pictures have become sick and perverted. Sexual immorality is everywhere.
And there’s a limit to God’s patience. The Lord said to Noah, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever … yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3). In other words, God says, “I’m not always going to put up with this, but I’m going to give man 120 years.”
God is a God of love and mercy and grace, and His love is from everlasting to everlasting. He loves you, and He’s willing to extend His forgiveness to you because of the cross of Christ. The greatest demonstration of love that has ever been was when Christ died on the cross, and God raised Him from the dead. And God says, “If you repent of your sins and receive My Son as your Savior, you will be saved on that great day of judgment.”
Noah was a righteous man. He lived a holy life. He obeyed the rules that God laid down. And that’s one thing our young people want today. They want some rules—they want us to tell them when they’re wrong and when they’re right—but we don’t have any. We’ve done away with the Ten Commandments, we’ve done away with Bibles in the schools, and we don’t tell them what’s wrong and what’s right.
Noah was also an ethical man. He would have a hard time today because it seems that ethics are going down the drain almost everywhere. The Bible says that he “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). Think of walking with God. He was a man of faith. That’s what made him great. He believed God more than he believed anything else.
God had a job for Noah. God said, “Noah, I’m going to destroy the world in judgment. I’m going to make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights, and the flood waters are going to cover the mountains and the valleys. And people are going to be swept away, but I want to save you and your family because you have walked before me. And I want to use you. I want you to help start a whole new era of humankind. I want you to make a ship that’ll be 450 feet long and 75 feet high and 45 feet wide. Make it several stories. On the top rim there will be a way for light to get in, but make only one door into the ship” (see Genesis 6:14-16).
And so Noah began to work, and he announced to the people that they needed to repent of their sins and turn to God because God was going to judge them. He invited them to come in to the ark and be saved, but they didn’t come.
Now, God said one day to Noah, after he had built most of the ship, “Noah, in seven days the flood is going to start” (see Genesis 7:4). Notice the grace of God and the mercy of God and the love of God. He had given them many years, and now He was going to give seven more days.
Noah kept on preaching. He said, “Repent, turn to God! Come into the ark and be saved! It’s going to rain 40 days and 40 nights, and the world will be destroyed.”
There’s going to be a judgment day, and we’re all going to stand before God to give an account of what we did with Jesus and give an account of how we have lived on this Earth (see Ecclesiastes 12:14).
The Bible says that God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). God gave the people in Noah’s day a final chance to repent.
Men and women are made for holiness, to glorify God. But they’d strayed so far from what God had intended them to be. They had totally perverted the purposes of God. And God judges.
No one will ever say: “We didn’t know the flood was coming.” God always warns before judgment. But God had extended His love and His mercy and His righteousness in every possible way, and they had rejected it.
Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). He also said, “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).
And God said, “Noah, you and your household, come into the ark and be saved” (see Genesis 7:1). Notice that God’s presence was already in the ark. And it’s the first time in the Bible that the word come is used, and it’s used over 600 times in other places in the Bible—that you’re to come to God. Have you come? It implies to come in and be with God. It’s a personal invitation to you to come inside with Him.
Then the Bible says there came a moment when God shut the door. Noah had done all that he’d been commanded to do. He had finished his work. He had braved all the insults. Now his salvation was totally up to God. There was only one door into that ship, and it was now shut.
There’s only one door to Heaven, and that’s through the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
The Bible says He’s coming as “a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) and “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Jesus said His coming would be as lightning (see Matthew 24:27).
When is it going to happen? We are told not to speculate about dates. But every indication is that it will be sooner than we thought.
Our world is filled with groans—groans for redemption of the physical order, groans for freedom, groans for wholeness, groans for liberation, groans for food, groans for shelter for the homeless people.
But God offers hope. He says if you put your confidence and faith in Christ, there’s a place being prepared for you where God will wipe away all tears from your eyes; where there will be no more death, no sorrow, no crying, no more pain, for the former things will have passed away (see Revelation 21:4).
What a glorious hope we have, if we’re in the ark with God—if we’re with Christ.
But you’re like the people that Joel mentions in his prophecy, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14). You’re in the valley of decision right now. What are you going to do?
You say, “Well, Billy, what do I have to do?” You must repent of your sins. You must look to Christ by faith and receive Him into your heart, and let Him rule your life. And then you must live for Him. It’s not just a one-moment decision. We’re to do all we can in light of the fact that He’s coming.
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I’m asking you today to say yes to Christ, to call upon His Name by faith in repentance of your sin. ©1994 BGEA
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Come to the Savior
Jesus is the only way to the Father, and the only One who can save your soul. What do you need to do? 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.
Then contact us, and we will send information to help you.
VISIT US ONLINE:
WRITE TO US:
Christian Guidance Department
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
1 Billy Graham Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28201-0001 USA
CALL the billy graham prayer line: Toll-free, 24/7, at 888-388-2683.
Photo: Russ Busby/©1996 BGEA