By Chenhui, Singapore
As Christians, I believe, we are all very impressed by the story of Noah building the ark, and deeply admire Noah. Meanwhile we cannot help but feel sorry for those who did not get on the ark: Why had they seen the ark but not gotten on it? Why did they not feel regret until the flood came? Sometimes we also ask ourselves, “If I had lived in the time of Noah, would I really have got on the ark?”
Think about the background when God destroyed the mankind of Noah’s time. In Genesis 6:11–13 it records, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. And God said to 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.” When I read these verses in the past, I just knew that it was because the people at that time were too evil and corrupt so that they were punished and destroyed by God, but I was not clear aboutin this thing. Not until I read a passage of words in a book did I understand a little.
The words say, “There is another revelation of God’s disposition here: In God’s eyes, there is a limit to His patience toward man’s corruption, toward the filthiness, violence, and disobedience of all flesh. What is His limit? It’s as God said: ‘God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.’ What does the phrase ‘for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth’ mean? It means any living thing, including those who followed God, those who called on the name of God, those who once sacrificed burnt offerings to God, those who verbally acknowledged God and even praised God—once their behavior was full of corruption and reached God’s eyes, He would have to destroy them. That was God’s limit. So to what extent did God remain patient to man and the corruption of all flesh? To the extent that all people, whether followers of God or unbelievers, were not walking the right path. To the extent that man was not just morally corrupt and full of evil, but where there was no one who believed in God’s existence, let alone anyone who believed that the world is ruled by God and that God can bring people light and the right path. To the extent that man despised God’s existence and did not permit God to exist. Once man’s corruption reached this point, God would no longer have patience. What would replace it instead? The coming of God’s wrath and God’s punishment.”
From this passage I understood that there is God’s disposition in His destruction of the people at the time. It was not merely because those who did notwere morally corrupt, evil and licentious, but also because even those who believed in God, who once sacrificed burnt offerings to God and worshiped God did not fear God: They had no place for God in their heart, their actions were completely in opposition to God’s will, and they followed along with the evil trends of the world. The whole world had become evil and depraved to the extent that it was unbearable for God to witness. But even so, people were without the slightest shred of contrition. When they saw Noah obeyed God’s instructions to build the ark and convey the message that God would destroy the world with a flood, they treated what Noah did as a joke and what Noah said as a fabrication. No one believed, no one sought and investigated, nor, moreover, anyone admitted that his evil deeds had long ago angered God to the extent that he should be destroyed. Instead, they all lived entirely in their own notions and imaginations, thinking nothing of it. Until afterward, when they saw the gate of the ark was closed and the flood came, it was too late. Eventually, they were all swallowed up by the flood and got drowned in the ocean. Rather than saying they died in the flood, it would be better to say they died in their own notions.
Then, how was Noah saved? The following passage of words explains the reason quite clearly.
“When Noah did as God instructed he didn’t know what God’s intentions were. He didn’t know what God wanted to accomplish. God had only given him a command, instructed him to do something, but without much explanation, and he went ahead and did it. He didn’t try to figure out God’s intentions in private, nor did he resist God or have a double heart. He just went and did it accordingly with a pure and simple heart. Whatever God let him do he did, and obeying and listening towere his conviction for doing things. That was how straightforwardly and simply he dealt with what God entrusted. His essence—the essence of his actions was obedience, not second-guessing, not resisting, and moreover, not thinking of his own personal interests and his gains and losses. Further, when God said He would destroy the world with a flood, he did not ask when or try to get to the bottom of it, and he certainly did not ask God just how He was going to destroy the world. He simply did as God instructed. However God wanted it to be made and made with what, he did exactly as God asked and also commenced action immediately thereafter. He did it with an attitude of wanting to satisfy God. Was he doing it to help himself avoid the disaster? No. Did he ask God how much longer before the world would be destroyed? He didn’t. Did he ask God or did he know how long it would take to build the ark? He didn’t know that either. He simply just obeyed, listened, and did it accordingly.”
Inherently Noah was an honest man and worshiped God. From this passage we can see more clearly: That Noah couldstemmed from his obedience to God. He would do anything God instructed him to do. He did not ask why God let him build an ark, nor thought what if the flood did not come after he finished the ark, much less did he live in all kinds of difficulties in building the ark. Instead, He could purely accept and obey, without any notions and imaginations, though he did not completely understand God’s will. I could not help but sigh with emotion: Can we achieve such faith in and obedience to God as Noah did? At that time, it never rained, let alone flooded. Thus when God told Noah that He would destroy the world with a flood, and instructed Noah to build an ark and preach the for people to get on the ark, the people at the time not only did not believe, but also judged and condemned Noah by saying that he was crazy. But even so, Noah was not passive and weak; he still obeyed God, listened to God’s instructions, and persisted in building the ark and preaching the gospel without hesitation. Today, when we think back on the time when the world was destroyed by the flood, will we detest and regret those people who were destroyed in that epoch? At the same time, will we not feel deeply ashamed and abashed when compared with Noah who could, without being restrained by any person, occurrence, or thing, submit to God and follow God’s instructions to build the ark?
The Bible has such two verses, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26–27). These are prophecies about the ’ reappearance in , in which the Lord compared the days He returns to the days of Noah. Now they have come true. In the present day, the whole society is becoming more and more evil and degenerate. For the sake of personal interests, people fight with each other, and even kill each other. Meanwhile, even many brothers and sisters in the Lord also follow the evil trends of the world, covet the glory and wealth, and pursue fame and gain. They believe in God in name, but in actuality, they do not walk in the way of the Lord. Nowadays, the extent to which people have been corrupted is far and beyond what it was back the time of Noah. This shows that prophecies about the last days have long since come true, and that the Lord Jesus has already returned.
Now, there is a group of people who are bearing witness to the return of Lord Jesus. They say that Christ the Savior in the last days has already descended to the East of the world; He is expressing the truth and carrying out the work of judgment of the last days. As the Lord prophesied, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). When we hear the witness that the Lord Jesus has returned, we should seek and investigate actively. Only thus can we welcome the bridegroom and go to the wedding feast of the Lamb. If we do not listen, nor do we seek or investigate, but we deny and reject it blindly, then we could easily miss the Lord’s return and lose His salvation of the last days. The Lord is faithful. He prophesied that He would come to take us in the last days, so He would. But when He returns to express the truth and knock at the door to our hearts, if we do not listen to the Lord’s voice with full attention, nor go forth and welcome Him, then we will miss the chance to go with the Lord to the wedding feast. If so, when the Lord openly comes with clouds, we will be filled with boundless regret. Just as the prophecy in Revelation says, “Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). God does the work of salvation in the last days when He is incarnated and descends secretly among men to express the truth. The time when God openly comes with clouds is precisely the time when His work of salvation will come to an end. Just as God instructed Noah to enter into the ark, and as soon as the gate of the ark was closed, the flood poured down and the work of salvation came to an end. At that time, no matter how people regretted it or called out to God, there was no chance for them to be saved anymore.
God’s word says, “In the time of Noah, men had been eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage to such a point that it was unbearable for God to witness, so He sent down a great flood to destroy mankind and left behind only Noah’s family of eight and all kinds of birds and beasts. In the last days, however, those kept by God are all those who have been loyal to Him until the end. Though both were times of great corruption unbearable for God to witness, and mankind in both ages was so corrupt that he denied God as the Lord, all men in the time of Noah were destroyed by God. Mankind in both ages has grieved God greatly, yet God has remained patient with men in the last days until now. Why is this? Have you never given thought to this? If you truly do not know, then let Me tell you. The reason that God can deal graciously with men in the last days is not that they are less corrupt than men in the time of Noah or that they have shown repentance to God, much less is it that God cannot bear to destroy men in the last days where technology has advanced. Rather, it is that God has work to do in a group of men in the last days and this will be done byHimself. Furthermore, God shall choose a part of this group as His objects of salvation, the fruit of His management plan, and bring such men with Him into the next age.”
After reading God’s word, I understand: It turns out that God will save and obtain a group of men who are of the same mind with Him in the last days. Regardless of what God says and what He does, this group of men can absolutely submit to Him without the slightest complaint; they not only do not talk about their own reasons, but also can cooperate in God’s work in a positive way. Only such men are the ones who truly believe in and follow God, who can practice God’s word, and who can be saved and perfected by God. Eventually, God will bring such a group of men into His kingdom—this is the will of God’s work in the last days.
Whenin the last days comes upon us, can we learn lessons from the failures of people of the past, repent toward God, and get on the ark which God prepares for us? These questions are really worthy of our contemplating and seeking …
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