Heed God’s Warning
By Rich Carmicheal
"By faith Noah, when warned about things not seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family…" (Heb. 11:7).
Because our God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9), He warns us ahead of time of coming judgment. The prophet Amos reminds us that "the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord declares, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come…" (Isa. 46:10). How gracious our God is to reveal what is to come so that we may prepare for it!
The Lord Warns and Saves Noah
In Noah’s day, "the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence" (Gen. 6:11). The Lord "saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…’" (Gen. 6:5-7). Noah, however, "was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God" (Gen. 6:9). And so Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8), and the Lord warned him of the judgment to come: "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark…" (Gen. 6:13-14). He went on to reveal to Noah: "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you" (Gen. 6:17-18).
Noah "did everything just as God commanded him" (Gen. 6:22) and in holy fear he built the ark to save his family (Heb. 11:7). Though God’s judgment fell upon that ungodly generation, God protected and saved Noah and his family (2 Pet. 2:5). Jesus teaches us that "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…" (Matt. 24:38-39). But Noah heeded the Lord’s warnings, and while the ungodly experienced judgment, Noah and his family experienced salvation.
The Day of Judgment Draws Nearer
Dear friends, another Day of Judgment is looming, and the Lord is warning us of the things to come. These warnings are firmly established in His Word and are also becoming more pronounced in the signs of the times. Do you not sense the growing stress in the world? The other day I was introducing the Herald ministry to someone and told him the name of the ministry is "Herald of His Coming." His response was, "Herald of His Coming… sooner than later I believe." He went on to mention how he believes the rise in natural disasters is an indication of the ever-nearing return of the Lord. Certainly the scope of natural disasters, including the tsunami, the cyclone in Myanmar, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and so forth, should be creating at least some awareness of the seriousness of the hour. Along with this are issues related to the growing violence and exploitation of individuals in various places, political corruption, environmental concerns, economic troubles, unrest in the Middle East, the rise of false religions, rampant immorality, and so on. How the Lord must grieve as He sees all of the ungodliness, injustice and suffering in the world.
The Lord clearly reveals in His Word that even though He is patient, the Day of Judgment is coming! As one of many examples, consider the Apostle Peter’s words as he makes the connection between the judgment in Noah’s day and the Judgment to come: "By water also the world at that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (2 Pet. 3:6-7). He goes on to write that "the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming… So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…" (2 Pet. 3:10-12, 14-15).
The Lord’s Patience Provides Opportunity for Service
Just as in the time of Noah, the coming Day of Judgment is also a Day of Salvation. Just as "God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built" (1 Pet. 3:20), so is He patient now, providing opportunity for us to prepare for what is to come. Just as Noah, in reverence for the Lord, was faithful to do all that the Lord commanded, so we must be faithful to carry out the work the Lord has assigned to us. What we do by faith carries eternal significance. While our calling and gifts may vary, we are all entrusted with the responsibility to "encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25). The Apostle Paul adds, "…Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Cor. 15:58). Noah by faith built the ark and the Lord saved his family. Likewise, the Lord will be faithful to work through our service to bring salvation to others.
With this in mind, the Herald staff thanks those of you who remember Herald of His Coming as part of your service to the Lord. Each month this ministry has the privilege of sharing revival and salvation literature that encourages many in their relationship with the Lord. This is possible because of friends who provide the support that is necessary for such outreach. We thank you for any support you may be able to provide as we believe the need for Gospel literature is as great as ever. As shipping costs rise, your financial support becomes all the more significant. Please feel welcome also to send us the names and addresses of people that you would like to receive a sample copy of Herald of His Coming.