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Tag Archives: Judgment

Christ Our “Ark”: Security

"And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in." (Genesis 7:16)

“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16 KJV)

In Genesis 7:17, we are told that the Flood that God had warned was coming came. God released His judgment upon a depraved and sinful world, destroying every living thing on the face of the Earth, just as He had said He would. But let us not miss the final words of the preceding verse:

“And the Lord shut him in.”

What a profound statement! Noah accepted God’s invitation to come into the Ark, and God Himself shut the door behind him. I know that Hollywood has depicted the scene of Noah and his family huddling behind a door sealed from within while those on the outside beat their fists against it, pleading to come inside. But that’s not what the text is telling us here. God wasn’t sealing the door to keep the lost out, He sealed the door to keep the saved in. As strange as it might seem, I highly doubt that there were any who were wanting to come into the Ark even after the rains began, anyway. Look at the reactions of those mentioned in Revelation when the judgment of God comes upon them: they blaspheme and curse God, they don’t repent and turn to Him (Revelation 16:9-11). No, the sealing of the door of the Ark by God was for the benefit of those inside the Ark. Its main purpose was to keep them in, not to keep others out.

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:3)

For those who are “in Christ”, it is God Who has “shut us in to Him”, as well. God invited us to come into Christ, and then He shut the Door behind us, sealing us in by His Holy Spirit. That Door which is sealed for us is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (John 10:7-9). Like the Ark, God has sealed the Door for us, not to prevent others from coming in (though the time will come when the Door will be forever closed to them), but to keep us shut in to Him.

Since the earliest days of the Church, there have always been those who want to argue and dispute over just how secure that Door is by which God has shut us into Himself. I wonder how Noah would have responded to some of the debates that have arisen concerning this. Someone might ask Noah:

“Noah, do you believe that once in the Ark, always in the Ark?”

“Well, I hadn’t really thought about it. God invited me in here and I suppose He will keep me in so long as He wants me in here.”

“What about losing your salvation in the Ark. Is that possible?”

“Well, I don’t really see how that could happen. God shut the door behind me.”

“Yes, but isn’t it possible that you might fall out of the Ark? What happens if you decide to jump out of the Ark, isn’t that possible?”

(By now I think Noah might really have a puzzled look on his face), “Well, like I said, God shut the door behind me, I don’t see how I could fall out and I’m certainly not going to jump out of here!”

“OK, but what if you mess up, what if you disobey God? What happens if you really commit a lot of sin, how about then? Won’t God kick you out of the Ark?”

“No, God told me to come into the Ark. I did what He told me to do, I plan to keep doing what He told me to do because I am grateful for what He has done for me. I guess if I ‘mess up’ then I will confess it to Him and repent and ask for forgiveness.”

“Yeah, OK, but what about the door? Is it really locked tightly behind you? What if someone comes up and breaks it down or picks the lock, huh? What will happen then? Isn’t it possible that you yourself might backslide and decide to kick it down and jump out yourself?”

“Look, I don’t know about all of these questions you are asking me. All I know is that God Himself told me to build this Ark, He told me that He was going to save me from judgment, He invited me to come inside, and then He sealed the door behind me. It has been His actions that have brought me to the place of security where I am now and I am trusting Him to keep me there!”

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 22, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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Christ Our “Ark”: Safety

"And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." (Genesis 7:23)

“And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7:23)

Every living thing upon the face of the Earth was destroyed. Every living thing. In the past century, the mankind has witnessed world wars, genocides, and holocausts that have left a truly staggering number of dead in their wake. But it is wholly beyond our comprehension to fathom every living thing on the planet being utterly wiped out. Yet this is precisely what happened during the Great Flood. Only Noah, his wife, and their three sons along with their wives survived. Every other person on the planet died. Not only is death of such a magnitude incomprehensible, it is obviously something that we would prefer not to dwell on. Yet it is crucial that we truly understand the implications of death and destruction at such a widespread level.

Genesis 7:23 tells us that, “Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

This brings us to the fourth parallel between being “in the Ark” and being “in Christ”, and that is the safety there is in both.  Unfortunately, the safety in Christ is both comforting and sobering at the same time. The truth of the matter is that everyone who is not “in Christ” is in just as bad of a predicament as those who were not in the Ark. The world that we peer out upon from inside our Ark is not filled with as dramatic and apparent carnage that Noah looked out upon, but our world, too, is filled with the lost and dying. Those who do not find the safety of being in the Ark that is Christ are also doomed to destruction.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18, emphasis added)

In recent decades, much of the “gospel” being preached bears very little resemblance to the Gospel presented in the Word of God. The message being preached contains no warning of judgment, no awareness of sin, no need for redemption, and no impetus toward repentance. The Christian Faith is being presented as nothing more than another belief system on a par with thousands of others, and the promises being made are fleshly, temporal ones. The call is not, “Come to Christ so that you will live”; it is, “Come to Christ because He can make your life better.” What a sad condition that has overcome much of the Church! We don’t warn people to come into the “Ark” because we do not truly realize that He is our Lifeboat and that those outside of the Ark are really drowning!

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The invitation to come into Christ is an invitation to come unto Him and receive life. It is not an improvement to the life that we thought we had apart from Him, no, we were dead before we believed on Him. It is a new life entirely. Before we came into the Ark of Christ,we, too, were drowning alongside the rest of the world. Let us be comforted by the safety that we now have being in Christ, but may we not lose sight of those who are still in the waters outside. Let our sincere prayer be that the Lord would greatly move us with His compassion to show them the mercy and grace that He is offering before they are lost forever.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 20, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

God’s Warnings Before The Flood

"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3)

“Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he is also flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

Last time, we considered that the Flood was sent because of the widespread unmitigated evil, rebellion, and sinfulness that had utterly covered the entire Earth. Some have objected that the Flood seems like a rather severe and harsh action for God to take. It was severe. The depravity of mankind had become severe and warranted a severe response. But was the Flood truly a “last resort” for God, had He really tried to persuade mankind to turn away from their evil ways before He opened the floodgates?

I remember when I was very young watching the old movie “The Bible” on TV. Seeing John Huston portraying Noah, standing out in an open field, hammering away on his Ark, while onlookers garbed in colorful, gaudy outfits laughed him to scorn, made me think, yeah, Noah must have seemed awfully silly! But did Noah really just start quietly building the Ark one day? Did those who were soon going to be destroyed in a cataclysmic deluge have any other warning than their “eccentric” neighbor’s construction of a huge boat far, far from the coastline?

The answer is, yes, they did receive a great deal of warning.

The Testimony Of Noah

“Who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:20)

The entire time that Noah and his sons were constructing the Ark, God was patiently waiting for anyone who wanted to turn to Him. Hebrews 11:7 tells us that Noah’s response to God in faith served to “condemn the world.” Noah was not quietly building his Ark off in a remote garage somewhere, he was doing it in broad daylight for all to see. We also know that Noah was preaching to the people who were watching his work because Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:18-20 that the Spirit of the Lord was speaking through Noah at the time, warning them to repent and turn to God.

The Testimony of Enoch

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 14-15)

While this prophecy will ultimately be fulfilled when our Lord returns, judgment was certainly carried out against all of the ungodliness of the ungodly with the coming of the Flood. Enoch had bore witness that God would soon judge mankind’s wickedness.

The Testimony of Methuselah

While we do not have a specific account of Methuselah, Enoch’s son and Noah’s grandfather, preaching or prophesying, it is reasonable to assume that the man who lived longer than anyone else in the Bible had a great deal of information to share with those around him. If we calculate the ages given of those listed in Genesis 5, we see that Adam himself was still alive when Methuselah lived. Methuselah bridged the entire span of human history up to that point, dying the very year that the Flood came upon the Earth. Methuselah was not, therefore, subjected to the judgment of the Flood, suggesting that, while he was not characterized as “walking with God” as his father and grandson were, he must have walked upright before the Lord. I believe that the man who likely heard first-hand accounts of God’s dealings with Adam, and lived to see his own father translated to be with the Lord, would have been someone whose testimony should have been heeded.

The Testimony of The Holy Spirit

“Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

How much time is needed for a person to repent and turn to God? The Holy Spirit was drawing those who lived upon the face of the Earth to Himself for 120 years preceding the Flood. God was working on the hearts of men even as their ears were filled with the witness that Noah was preaching to them.

God’s judgment of the Flood was not a rash, impulsive act, born out of God’s “hot anger” with man. Ample warning was given for those at the time to turn from their sin and be reconciled to the Lord. They chose to reject Him. God’s judgments do not come swiftly and without warning. Time is always given for people to turn to Him and escape the coming wrath. But His patience will only go so far until the time does eventually come for His righteous judgments to be carried out. The day does come when it is too late. God will never again destroy all flesh on the Earth with a flood. But a Day of Judgment is coming. May we call upon His name and be reconciled to Him before that day comes for us.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 8, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Why Did God Send The Flood?

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

Genesis 6 lays the background of the world at the time leading up to Noah and the Great Flood. In order to understand why God sent the Flood, it is important to consider the circumstances that preceded it, including the actions of mankind and the actions of God.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5, emphasis added)

Mankind’s depravity had reached a level that evil entirely permeated every part of his being. His wickedness was great, that is, his actions were wicked. Every imagination was evil,  his mind was wholly corrupted. Every thought of his heart;  his will, his desires, his emotions, his passions, had all become so sin stained that there remained nothing within them that was  not evil. These people upon whom God poured out the Flood were not merely dabbling in sin here and there, everything that they were doing was an horrific abomination!

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-13, emphasis added)

Lest we have any doubts, let me say that the Earth was corrupted and filled with violence! There is a linguistic device employed in Hebrew that we see throughout the Old Testament, and that is emphasis through repetition. Whenever a word or phrase is used repetitively, it indicates a stronger or greater degree of the expression. The evil depths that the people who lived before the Flood had sunk to is strongly emphasized and amplified here in verses 5  and 11-13.

In considering why God sent the Flood, we must first realize that those living upon the Earth were completely and utterly wicked beyond the hope of changing. There were no innocent bystanders caught up in the Flood; everyone was guilty of the most deplorable sinfulness. The rebellion against God that we saw taking root in Cain and his descendants had now reached a fruition that God could not overlook.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 7, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Lamech: How Man Views His Own Sin

"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah." (Genesis 4:19)

“Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.”  (Genesis 4:19)

There are several things that we can learn about Lamech’s attitude toward sin in general, and his own sin specifically. Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, people still maintain these attitudes toward their sinfulness:

Failure To Recognize Sin

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”(Proverbs 14:12)

First and foremost, people are reluctant or unable to identify the sin in their own life. Genesis 4:19 tells us that Lamech married two wives. This was a direct infraction against what God had decreed to Adam saying, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24). Yet we see no recognition on Lamech’s part that he has done anything wrong.

Pride And Self-Importance

“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech…” (Genesis 4:23a KJV)

While we can really only speculate, it would seem from what Lamech says here that he definitely considered himself the ruler of that “roost”, so to speak. It is unlikely that Lamech ever showed love or respect for either of his wives, but maintained this attitude whenever he dealt with them. “Listen to what I have to say, hear me speak!” A cavalier attitude toward sin demonstrates a lack of respect and reverence for God. Those without any reverence for God usually lack any real concern or respect for others, either. They are only concerned about themselves.

Revelry In Their Sin

“Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.” (Psalm 52:1 ESV)

When Lamech tells his wives that he has killed a young man (Genesis 4:23), his language is almost poetic; it’s as if he is singing a song about a heroic deed that he has performed! Shame and guilt over sin comes only by the convicting power of God’s Spirit; apart from Him, people rejoice and are proud of their wicked behavior. Look around us today at how many people are glorying in abominable sinfulness that they should be ashamed of.

Self-Justification

“…For I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.” (Genesis 4:23b KJV)

We are not given any details about this incident except what Lamech himself says about it. Was he truly justified in killing the other man? Was it self-defense as he is claiming? We really do not know, but it is highly suspicious to say the least, based on what we do know about Lamech. Like so many criminals in courtrooms around the world: in his own eyes, Lamech felt completely justified and blameless for the blood that he had spilled. People have the tendency to come up with any and every possible excuse, explanation, and alibi imaginable when it comes to their own sins. When it comes to others, however, they are quick to point a finger. Which brings us to the next point:

Comparing Themselves With Others

“If Cain is avenged…” (Genesis 4:24)

Man’s inclination is to compare his own behavior with that of others. We can all find an example of someone who has done far worse things than we have. The liar can point an accusing finger at the thief, who can point his finger at the adulterer, who can compare himself to the murderer, who feels satisfied that at least he is not so bad as the mass murderer, who can say that at least he is not so depraved as the wicked tyrant who has the blood of millions on their hands. People use this type of reasoning all the time, comparing themselves one to another, yet the only standard that matters at all is the perfect standard of God. Not one of us can live up to the perfect sinlessness that Jesus Christ maintained, and He is the only One that we are compared with. We have all fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

Disregard For God’s Judgment

“If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (Genesis 4:24)

Lamech’s arrogance and pride are vividly shown in his statement here: “If God withheld maximum judgment from Cain, then surely He will not judge me!”

Lamech is boasting to his wives that they have absolutely nothing to fear from the God of Heaven. Since Cain’s life was spared after he brutally murdered his brother, then Lamech assumed his own life would be that much safer since his actions were not nearly as despicable as Cain’s (at least in his own eyes). What a dangerous practice it is to assume that judgment delayed is judgment withheld! David encourages us to “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2 KJV).

Yet the wicked look at others and assume that since the outward manifestations of God’s judgments are not readily apparent in their lives, then they themselves are safe to do the same things. What a tragic mistake it is to think this way. Cain was judged for his sin, in this life and in the next. So was Lamech. Those who do not put their trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins can be certain, though they may have not experienced God’s judgment yet, they certainly will.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 27,  2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission

.*English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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