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 you interpret the prophecy of Matthew 24, Christ’s reference to the rebellion and judgment in Noah’s day is a sober warning for people today.
The New Testament explains how Noah responded to the evil of his time: “By 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 obeyed God by building the Ark, and he trusted God even while the rest of the world was rebelling against their Creator.
His obedience and actions provide us with an example of great faith. Noah built the Ark just as God commanded, and then by faith he and his family went through the one door of the Ark to be saved from God’s watery judgment on a sinful world.
The Genesis account pictures salvation. Just as Noah and his family went through the Ark’s only door to be saved, so too we need to go through the one “door.” 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, Christians see many similarities to the wicked days of Noah. Genesis 6:5 records: “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.” Think about what we observe in our Western culture:
- Wickedness is increasing as people ignore the things of God and abandon His original created purpose for marriage.
- Millions of human beings are being murdered in their mothers’ wombs – and it is legal to do so. In America alone, around 58 million children since 1973 have been killed by abortion, making the Holocaust pale in comparison.
- People increasingly worship nature rather than the God who created the world, just as described in Romans 1:18-23. In Colorado in 2013, after an elk was shot and killed, people gathered for a vigil for the elk, even holding hands and singing “Amazing Grace” in a eulogy. Yet on the same day in the U.S., nearly 4,000 children were murdered in their mothers’ wombs, with hardly a word said.
- Atheists are becoming increasingly aggressive and intolerant as they mock Christians and try to demonize those who adhere to the Christian faith.
- Members in our churches, including many Christian leaders, are compromising God’s Word in various areas and watering down its authority.
- The government-run education system has eliminated the Bible, prayer, creation and the Creator God from the classroom. Meanwhile, legislators and judges protect anyone who teaches the anti-God religion of evolution. Nativity scenes, crosses and Ten Commandments displays have all but been removed from public places.
While we live in a time of great wickedness, God is longsuffering. We read in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord … is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” But He is not going to remain silent. 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.
God is already judging our Western culture, per Romans 1: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of me” (Romans 1:18). One sign that God is turning a culture over to judgment is seen in Romans 1:24–26 concerning homosexual behavior as God “gave them up to vile passions.”
The homosexual movement is swamping our Western nations. As a result, God is withdrawing the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit on these rebellious countries, including the U.S.
Romans 1 also teaches us that those who rebel against God actively “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” and have essentially “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:18, 23). They have “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:25).
In fact, Romans 1 accurately describes our modern world, which is becoming more like Noah’s generation every day.
Just as God warned Noah’s generation of coming judgment yet provided an Ark of salvation, we need to warn people today of coming judgment: the final judgment by fire. Our rebellious generation needs to know that God has provided an “Ark” of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ. As our “Ark of salvation,” He is the one “door” through which everyone must go to be saved.
None of us knows when Christ will return. God’s Word tells us, in the context of His 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).
There is no time to delay. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel, warning people to repent before it’s too late. That’s the reason Answers in Genesis is building a life-size, evangelistic Ark: to point a rebellious people to the modern-day Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ. That’s the most important message we could ever share.
© Answers in Genesis on October 1, 2013; last featured January 10, 2016