September 4, 2017
Hurricane Harvey will go down in history as one of the wettest storms to hit the United States causing widespread flooding not seen before in Texas and Louisiana. In South Florida when the hurricane season comes everyone watches with great interest and anticipation the development of any system which might impact our South Florida community. Today we have our eyes on Irma. People who have been through a major hurricane know its destructive potential and know the importance of their preparation for the storm and shelter from the storm.
As Christians we understand and believe that God can, and does, use the storms and floods of this life to bring people to Himself, to teach His us to depend on Him. The most incredible disaster to ever take place on the earth, was the Genesis flood recorded in Scripture. We know that Noah escaped, not because he was blameless, but because he and his family responded to God’s mercy and grace. A good many other individuals who lived in the 2000 plus years between Adam and Noah, no doubt responded to the gospel preached by Adam, by Enoch, and by others who knew the Lord. But by the time of the Flood, apparently the entire “civilized” world had become totally unresponsive to the offer of God’s salvation. But Noah kept on building his strange boat on dry land-far from the ocean, in a country where it never rained! He probably endured constant mocking, scorn and ridicule up until the end. Noah’s friends, and all who heard his message were welcome to find refuge on the Ark by faith in God, but no one other than Noah believed God’s clear warnings.
“And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days….” (Genesis 7:21-24)
After the Flood, God promised never to destroy the earth by water again. Even so, our earth has surely again reached a critical time on God’s calendar of events for world history. Another great and terrible judgment most certainly lies just ahead. As God provided an Ark of Refuge in the Days of Noah, so He invites all people everywhere to find eternal safe harbor and refuge through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. People are invited to come “into” the Body of Christ by faith and thereby to be rescued and be provided with everlasting life.
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.” It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30)
I believe the “days of Noah” are upon us right now and that we are living in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. We must not be anxious in these days, rather we must stand strong and not let the world’s hostility intimidate us. These are great days to serve the Lord and influence the culture we live in. Imagine this, we may be the generation privileged to see Jesus return to the earth. We have to be busy in our ministry, faithfully proclaiming the Good News that the Door to salvation is still open. Grace is available for those who want it. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and His grace is still available to those who by faith will trust Him. But time is running for people to make a choice! The choice is whether or not they will receive God’s offer of safety and be rescued, or choose to face the future judgment on their own. Many of our students need to be rescued spiritually, by calling out to Jesus by faith. The Bible says in Acts 2:21, “…for whoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This week Ken Freeman will lead our Spiritual Emphasis week for middle school and high school students. We need to pray earnestly for students who are outside of the ark of salvation. My prayer is that many will enter through the door and be rescued before the storm closes in around them.