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Does our wicked generation have any precedent in biblical history? Comparisons with Noah’s day are hard to deny. Judgment is coming—of that we can be sure. How should a believer react?
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the
coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37).
Regardless of how one interprets Matthew 24, there’s no doubt that Christ referred to the rebellion and judgment in Noah’s day, which He compared to mankind’s subsequent rebellion and impending judgment. It’s a sober warning for any generation to consider.
In the New Testament we read how Noah responded to the evil of his day: “
faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear,
prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world
and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
Noah’s faithfulness in building the Ark and his trust in God give us an example of great faith, showing how his obedience to God actually condemned the rest of the world that had rebelled against their Creator. Noah built the Ark as God commanded, and then by faith he and his family went through the door of the Ark so they could be saved from the watery judgment.
This can be seen as a picture of salvation—just as Noah and his family went
through the door, so too we need to go through a “door” to be saved. Jesus said,
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and
out and find pasture’” (John 10:9).
As we look at our Western culture today, I believe in many ways what we see
reminds us of the days of Noah.1 “
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was
only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
Think about what we observe today in our Western culture:
More and more legislation protects the teaching of the anti-God religion of evolution/millions of years in schools.
The list goes on and on—truly we are in a time of great wickedness. Thankfully
God is longsuffering, as we read in 2 Peter: “
The Lord . . . is longsuffering
toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9). But He is not going to stay silent forever. As in the days of
Noah, the time will come when God closes the door of salvation and brings judgment
to deal with mankind’s rebellion.
In some ways, God is already judging our Western culture. For instance, Romans 1:24–26 makes it obvious that a sign God is turning a culture over to judgment is open homosexual behavior. We live in a time when the homosexual agenda has become epidemic across our Western nations. God is withdrawing the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit on these rebellious cultures, including the USA.
Romans 1 also tells us that in a culture that is rebelling against God we will
see those who actively “
suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18)
changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible
man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things . . . ; who exchanged
the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather
than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:23–25).
In fact, Romans 1 increasingly can be seen as a description of our world—a world that is becoming more like Noah’s generation every day.
And just as God had Noah build an Ark that warned people of coming judgment and the grace of God in providing an Ark of salvation, we need to warn people of coming judgment (the final judgment by fire) and let them know that God has provided an “Ark” of salvation. (The Lord Jesus Christ is our “Ark” of salvation—He is the “door” through which we go to be saved.)
None of us knows when the return of Christ will be. After all, we are told
in God’s Word in the context of this Second Coming and final judgment, “
beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand
years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His
promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us” (2 Peter 3:8–9).
So there is no time to delay. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to warn people now.
the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19) and their violation of the Law makes “
all the world . . . guilty before God” and in need of the gospel (Romans 3:19), the West has had a profound Christian influence over the past centuries that is now slipping away, so Westerners appear to be in danger of greater condemnation (see Luke 12:48).