Devotional - From Boston To Iran – The Days Of Noah Are Upon Us

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times. – Luke 12: 54-56 (NLT)

    “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. – Matthew 24: 37-39 (NLT)

    I visited the Sight and Sound Theater this past weekend for the first time as they performed the play, Noah. The play was of course brilliant and the stage work and effects were phenomenal as they placed you inside the ark as it set out upon the never seen before waters. I say never seen because I am not sure everyone understands the full context of the story of Noah. Prior to the account of Noah it had never rained upon the earth. Yet despite this, Noah would spend 120 years building an ark for the impending flood. Hebrews refers to him as a preacher of righteousness yet no one would listen. To them, Noah must have seemed crazy. Claims to have heard from God! Building a vehicle to survive something that has never been seen before! Insisting that only through this vehicle can one be saved…sound familiar?

    The key verses from Matthew above are what kept coming to mind as I watched the play unfold. As the day of Christ’s return draws near it will be as in the days of Noah. Is there anything wrong with enjoying banquets, parties and weddings? Of course not but apart from God is the key. The people of Noah’s day looked upon Noah with scorn and ridicule. He was the crazy neighbor. He was the nut building the boat. That is how the church should be today beloved. We are building the ark to Jesus through the church He established. We are the crazy ones at the end of the block saying the repent for the kingdom of God is near! Sometimes we over-focus when it comes to Noah on the ark or the impending flood but let us not lose sight of the WHY:

    The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” – Genesis 6: 5-7 (NLT)

    Are we starting to see the correlation between the times we now live in and the days of Noah? It wasn’t just that they were partying but that they were ignoring God in the process. They were refusing God. All one has to do is turn on the TV to see the extent of human wickedness on the earth. The current state of total depravity and evil upon the earth must be rivaling the days of Noah. Just like then – it is breaking the heart of God. He gave Noah 120 years to build the boat but also for the people to see him building the boat. For 120 years they watched and laughed, and despite hearing the preacher of righteousness – they did not listen. Today, they hear the Gospel and do the same thing. They think that is for the kooks at the end of the block. Pay them no mind. It has never rained before! And so it will go until the day the flood will come and take them all away. Not a flood of water but of holy judgment from a holy God who has given everyone ample time to accept Him. As in the days of Noah, we are in that 120 year period.

    We need to take these same principles and apply them to ourselves as the church. We know the Bible specifically warns us that on the last day many will come to Christ and say “Lord Lord” only to be turned away into eternal separation from God. The sad thing is a great portion of the modern church has turned away from being the Noah of our generation. Too many would be pastors think that it is more important to be relevant to the dying culture then saving them from it. I read an op-ed from Mark Driscoll once where he said he did not want to be known as the crazy church on the corner that is not relevant to the community. Dear Lord! We need to be relevant to God not the community! It is the community that is leading people to hell. That should be the last thing we try to be relevant to! I saw another mega church pastor recently say that we should not preach the Gospel on Easter because we want the people visiting to come back! No beloved – we want to see them come to repentance and saved! The problem within the seeker-friendly purpose driven agenda is not a lack of theological understanding of who Noah was. It is that they do not want to be seen by the world as building a boat in a land that has never seen rain! Jesus said the Gospel is a two edged sword. Some in modern Christendom wield it like a scalpel and others like a blunt instrument. Neither is perfect but at least there is some cut to it. The modern theories of church growth have turned the Gospel into a dull spoon. Wait a minute preacher – aren’t we supposed to be all about love, and flowers and puppies? Well, the verses right before the key verses from Luke are these:

    “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.‘ Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”- Luke 12: 49-53 (NLT)

    I have come to set the world on fire! Whose words are these? Jesus Christ! Do you think He has come to bring peace on earth? To hear the modern day preachers of the world the answer would be yes – which is why they are so dangerous beloved. Look at the divisions Jesus teaches us the Gospel will naturally result in! Father against son! Divided families! Listen – if you are in a church where the preaching does not cause a division between those who want to avoid the flood and those who want to continue carrying on like in the days of Noah then you need to run! You hear mega-church pastors consistently mangle the Gospel because they are trying to please everyone. The seeker friendly model builds the attendance in church – not the attendance in heaven. By definition the Gospel cuts, separates, and divides. If you are in a church where everything is about singing kumbya and how much God wants to bless you then you will see no such division. Everything will feel nice and cozy. There will be banquets and parties and weddings. Everything will be as in the days of Noah – until the trumpet sounds. Beloved the church needs to wake up. Not only for the sake of the people we are supposed to reach but for the salvation of the very people who sit in the pews. We cannot trick people into the ark. We cannot sing and dance them into salvation. Charles Spurgeon once warned that the time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep; the church would see clowns entertaining the goats. How prescient of the Prince of Preachers.

    How important is this? Where are we in our 120 years of ark-building? Only God knows exactly but it shouldn’t be that hard to discern the times beloved. Time is running out. In the 24 hours since I returned from Sight and Sound we saw two more exclamation marks from God to the people of the earth. In Boston, the famed Boston Marathon was brutally interrupted by no less than three different bomb explosions. Over 125 injured and three reported fatalities. One of those deaths was Martin Richard; just eight years old and waiting for his father at the finish line. There is wall to wall 24 hour news coverage of this of course – as there always is after any disastrous news story hits the airwaves. We saw it of course recently at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children were gunned down for no reason. Before that we saw it in a theater in Colorado, a college campus in Virginia, in the twin towers on 9-11. But the pundits, the opinion heads, and even the church continue to get it all wrong. We can talk about gun control, terrorism, and civil liberties until we are blue in the face and the evil will still be there. The love of most will continue to grow cold as Jesus warned. Our culture is rotting from the inside out. We are in a state of cultural decay. It is not about taking God out of the schools or removing the baby Jesus from the town square. It is the continuing devolution of society away from God and the blame starts with the church.

    “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. – Matthew 5: 14-15 (NLT)

    Are we a shining city on a hill beloved? Or have we merely convinced ourselves that our righteousness outweighs the Pharisees’? What do people see when people look at the church? Do they see the same thing they can see when they look at the world? Have we become so enamored with being relevant that we are not only pitching our tents towards Sodom but we are actually living in it? Do they see the same greed and excess they see from the world? The same worshipping at the altar of Baal or Mammon? Do they see self help and motivation instead of sin and repentance? Is the altar call designed to save their souls or get them into membership classes? Yesterday three bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon killing 3 and injuring over 125 – are we listening? The things of God are foolishness to the world so I expect them to keep acting as the people who lived in the days of Noah. The church however should know better. Yesterday’s bombing is yet another clarion call from God to the church to get about the Lord’s business. Let the world banter about the topics of terrorism, gun control, or any other topic they use to avoid the discussion of good versus evil. Our job is to preach the Gospel. On Easter and every time we get the chance. What good is helping people to have a better marriage if they end up in hell? What Good is it to help people feel significant if they end up in hell? This is not our best life beloved. That is still to come when we see Jesus face to face – unless we end up being one of the people who says, “Lord Lord” only to be turned away. That will only happen if we continue to fail to discern the signs of the times.

    And the signs continue to increase with frequency. Like the birth pains Jesus described they are coming together closer and closer. The second event in the past 24 hours is a massive earthquake that hit Iran. Measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale; the earthquake has taken the lives of over 40 people. I know that we have cut ourselves off in America to think that God somehow only cares about us but that is untrue.

    I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth. – 1Timothy 2: 1-7 (NLT)

    God wants everyone to be saved. He desires all of humanity to be reconciled to Him. He hung on Calvary’s cross for everyone. Even the people the church judges in America for the sins they share. Even for the countries filled with people the church secretly hates, because they are blinded from the truth of the living God by the idols they now worship. Look at what Paul says here at the end of this discourse beloved. He was chosen to bring the Gospel message about faith and truth – nothing else is required. He does not need to exaggerate, compromise, or water it down to reach the next generation. Paul’s model needs to be our model.

    The time is drawing near. From Boston to Iran in 24 hours we see God crying out through His creation and through the depravity of His creation. The warnings are throughout Scripture. I sometimes cringe when I hear people whoop and holler about Jesus coming back soon. I think about my unsaved family members and cannot bring myself to shout amen. I think about my unsaved friends and cannot look up to heaven lest I see Jesus coming in the clouds. I think about the unsaved masses in this world and also sitting in pews across America every Sunday and my heart breaks because they do not know the truth. They either do not know it at all or have been sold a false bill of good disguised as the Gospel. Either way, they are partying like it was in the days of Noah. But beloved – the flood is coming, Jesus is the ark, and we are running desperately out of time.

    Reverend Anthony Wade – April 16, 2013
    Rusty likes this.
  2. Amen...So poignant..
  3. Thank you sir

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