Friday, August 28, 2009

Hired Shepherds


Hired Shepherds
By Coach Dave Daubenmire

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. ‘But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep”

I might as well ride this horse while I am on it. My commentary from last week, Christian Pimps, blew the door of my email server off. I figured it would, but not in the way that it did.

The overwhelming response was heart-wrenching as I read story after story of the horror some folks have been put through by “local” churches. The refrain usually took one of two paths as writer’s spelled out for me their stories. Some were tales of separation from life-long churches because they had the courage to question the status-quo by addressing the leadership with many of the issues mentioned in Christian Pimps. Others were heart-sick over the un-Biblical practice of debt accumulation as the leadership ignored taheir cries and continued on with their “church growth” schemes as the integrity of the Word was diminished in the slide toward “relationship” evangelism.

To put it in medical terms, I hit a nerve. It is disheartening to hear from so many disaffected, disillusioned, wounded, no-longer church goers. Why have so many Christians dropped out of church? Rebellious sheep I suppose…..

But at the same time I was encouraged. There are millions of believers who are no longer part of the “church scene” who are passionately following hard after Jesus. Christianity operates best when we realize it is a relationship, not a religion. Many others share my hatred of “religion” and the box that it puts adherents in to. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty! And many have found the freedom of worship outside the stained-glassed fortresses.

Having said all of that, last week I promised to take on another issue, that of “the hirelings” in the pulpits.

Let me remind you that I am not a theologian; I have never attended seminary, and do not consider myself an expert on any Biblical issue. But I can read, and I can think. As I have taken time to do as the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” I have found that many things I previously had been taught just simply did not line-up with Scripture. It was through my own study that I ran across something that up to now no one has been able to refute to me.
Perhaps you can….I am not afraid of the Truth.

Early in my walk I heard a pastor use a Scripture that is oft repeated. In fact, I used it on a number of occasions. It was only by happenstance as I was reading the Bible one day that something jumped out at me that flew in the face of everything I had believed. I don’t want to shake your faith, or take away one of the church’s catch phrases, but ever since I saw this truth I stopped misusing the verse. Buckle up…let’s go for a short ride.

As I said, I am not a Bible teacher, but I can read. Here is the Scripture that I see so often misapplied. John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:” Now for years I believed that the “the thief” mentioned here was the Devil. It is a pet verse of those who are “under attack” by the enemy. I do believe that the Devil is a thief, but allow me to propose to you that the Devil is not “the thief” that Jesus is warning about in this regularly quoted verse.

No my friends, the thief is not the Devil, but the “false shepherd”, the same thief that I referred to last week as “pimps.” Please take a moment and read John 10:1:16

In the very first verse Jesus identifies the thief for us. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (Please keep your browser open to John 10. This will allow me to not use space writing the Scriptures.) Jesus tells us that the one who enters by the door is the shepherd (v.2) and that He (Jesus) is the door. (v.9). The one who enters any other way is a “thief and robber” (v.1) as clearly identified by Jesus.

He tells us that the sheep “hear his (true shepherd’s) voice; he calls them by name, and he LEADS THEM OUT.” (v. 3) (Funny isn’t it, most pastors today lead folks in.) The true shepherd “goes before the sheep” (v. 4) as he “leads them out.”

But Jesus tells us in verse six that the folks to whom He was speaking “understood not,” and He took more time to further explain. Beginning in verse seven He tells us that He was “the door” and that “all that came before him were thieves and robbers.” (There it is again…He tells us who the thieves and robbers are...and it ain’t the devil.) The thieves are the false shepherds who will not lead the sheep to Jesus, “the door” (v. 9) through whom the sheep could be saved. (v.9). (Get ready…here it comes)

In verse ten Jesus warns us that the previously identified thief (v.1 and v 7) has come to steal, kill, and destroy. The thief is not the Devil, but the false shepherd. (Still not convinced?)

Look who shows up in verse twelve…the wolf! Doesn’t it make sense that the wolf is the Devil? We have two different characters here…the thief and the wolf….the Devil can’t be both. In fact, Jesus goes a step further to identify the thief for us by calling him a “hireling” and not the shepherd (v. 12).
It is the “hireling” (false shepherd) who “seeth the wolf coming” (v. 12) and deserts his post. The hireling flees because he “careth not for the sheep.” (v. 13), but is only in it for his own personal gain.
The thief (hireling) sees the wolf (Devil) coming and flees. It is the hireling who has come to “kill, steal and destroy.”

Some things never change. Those “hirelings” were the one’s Jesus saved his greatest criticism for when He ran into them earlier, (only then He called them Pharisees) when He rebuked them because they “shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Remember, He also accused the hirelings of not being able to lead the sheep through the door). The Pharisees were the original hirelings. Read what Jesus said about them and ask yourself if they were any different from what stands in many of our pulpits today.

John 10 is clear if read with an open mind. Hirelings are Pharisees and the Pharisees were hirelings….professional “ministers.” Jesus warned us about both.

How can we possibly restore righteousness to this nation when we can’t even get those who stand in the pulpit to honor the Word of God? How can we expect our elected officials to stand publicly against evil when the “men of the cloth” are too cowardly to do so?

Jesus’ anger was not directed towards the secular government but towards those who changed his house of prayer into a “den of thieves.”(There are those thieves again) He cleaned the house and today we need to do the same.

Christians have lost all credibility with the world. For the most part the public image of Christian leaders is money grubbing, hypocritical, and Republican, a far cry from the Christ we claim to serve.

America is in dire need of a revival. It will never happen with the hirelings currently occupying our pulpits. It is at their feet that we must lay the killing, stealing, and destroying of the Christian heritage from this nation. It is time for a reformation.

Instead of all of this talk about “reclaiming America” perhaps we should refocus on reclaiming our faith. Has there ever been an institution with more pathetic leadership than we see today in American Christianity? Nothing is more debilitating to an army than cowardly leadership.

There has always been a true elite of God’s leaders. They are the meek who inherit the earth (Mat. 5:5). They weep and pray in secret, and defy earth and hell in public. They tremble when faced with danger, but die in their tracks sooner than turn back. They are like a shepherd defending his sheep or a mother protecting her young. They sacrifice without grumbling, give without calculation, suffer without groaning. Their price is above riches. They are the salt of the earth. For the cause of the kingdom, we need more of them." (Author unknown.) Do you know many shepherds like that?

Don’t be discouraged. The Lord’s Church is thriving and on the advance, but you will never recognize it if you are focusing on the group of people gathered in the building down the street. Most of those sheep belong to a hireling, a false shepherd, and not to the Lord.

It is the hireling, the false shepherd that has come to steal, and kill, and destroy.

Allow The Lord to be your Shepherd. He leads us out, we hear His voice, and He lays down His life for us.

As my friend Flip Benham says, “Everyone wants to follow Jesus until they find out where He is going. He is going to a cross and he asks you to take up yours and follow Him.”

It is time we decided to follow Jesus and not some hired hand. See you in Vegas!

About The Author

Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.

Do you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check out these great teachings by the Coach at www.ptsalt.com

E-Mail: coach@ptsalt.com

Friday, August 14, 2009

Biblical Praise To The Lord


Biblical Praise To The Lord

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalms 7:17 KJV I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psalms 107:8-15 KJV 8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; 11. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (Heb=scorned, blasphemed) the counsel of the most High: 12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 13. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

2 Samuel 22:2-4 KJV 2.And he [David] said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 4. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

1 Chronicles 23:30 KJV [the Levites] stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;

Psalms 22:22-28 KJV 22. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 25. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. 26. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28. For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Psalms 33:1-5 KJV 1. Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. 5. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Revelation 5:11-13 KJV 11. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Psalms 107:31 KJV Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalms 95:1-9 KJV 1. O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalms 19:1-10 KJV 1.To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalms 33:1-15 KJV 1. Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. 5. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13. The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

Psalms 33:18-22 KJV 18. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalms 107:21-22 KJV 21. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Agape!,
- Craig and Zelma

Sunday, August 02, 2009

TWO CHOICES

Two choices

The Bible says we can either walk through life with a carnal mind which is worldly and temporal or we can walk through life with a spiritual mind.This is when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our spirit.

Many Christians have a vague idea as to what the carnal mind is but the Bible gets pretty specific not only in a comparison form but other truths are explained to us so we can understand the subject. It is apparent to me that this principle is in the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew chapter 25.

The main verses are found in Romans. (6) "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8.

We either have a carnal mind or a spiritual mind. This is just another example in the Bible of either one or the other. The carnal mind responds independent of God and sins which causes a person to live in the flesh. The spiritual mind depends upon the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit which allows a person to live in the Spirit. One results in death ( the carnal mind ) and the other (the spiritual mind ) results in life and peace.

The carnal mind is enmity against Him and could not obey God even if it tried. What I learned from this whole truth or subject is Christians should not respond independent of God because flesh rises up,indulges in self, sins and is enmity against God especially if carnality become a lifestyle.

Most sincere Christians try and please God even though we fall and stumble, but the carnal mind cannot because it is walking away from our Lord independent of His presence.

One of the most popular verses in the Bible says, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galatians 6:8. It would have to be obvious that if Christians sow to the flesh which could be any sin we should repent. If we don't, what we are struggling with may expand and turn into a lifestyle of sin. I am not saying it will but there is a possibility. I believe it is wise to use caution especially since the rapture is just about to take place. Not only does the Bible teach repentance but it keeps us honest before God.

When we walk away from God it is difficult to get right with Him. I have been in that place many times in my life. I remember a few times when I repented before God and did not feel my confession was very sincere so I confessed that I did not feel my repentance was earnest.

In the next couple of days the Lord started working conviction in my spirit. This is a process that battles against our soul because we live in this body of flesh and sometimes become weak and sin.

In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus talks about the five wise virgins and five foolish virgins in verses 1 through 13 in relation to the second coming of Christ. "But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:4. Oil represents the Holy Spirit.Jesus told us to let our light shine before men so we can be a witness for Him. Matthew 5:16. Before we can do that effectively the Holy Spirit should be filling our spirit with His peace and love.

People can get into all the various interpretations regarding this passage, and I believe there is a place for these teachings. Let me just speak in simple terms. The wise virgins let the Holy Spirit guide them but the foolish virgins did not allow the Holy Spirit to work through their spirit. The wise virgins has a spiritual mind but the foolish virgins had a carnal mind.

As the midnight hour drew close,"And the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your oil: for our lamps are gone out." Matthew 25:8. If the Holy Spirit is guiding us we cannot share our oil ( the Holy Spirit ). The filling of the Holy Spirit is measured by God Himself. We can share Jesus Christ with other people.

The foolish virgins probably had some sin in their life and did not deal with it in a biblical way. Why else would they ask for oil? If they were wise these virgins would have went before God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. That was their responsibility but instead they looked to the five wise virgins for something that only God could implement in their lives.

The foolish virgins recognized that the wise virgins had the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit filling their lives as they were watching for the return of Jesus Christ. What they did not understand is God measures perfect and the anointing was for the wise and not the foolish. God does not make mistakes. If the foolish virgins were able to take some of the oil from the wise virgins than God would have to confess that He was wrong.

Think about the first two words that the foolish virgins asked the wise. "GIVE US." The idea of this parable is we are to repent of our sins and get right with Jesus Christ so the Holy Spirit can fill us with His presence. Regardless as to what your opinion is on this passage (the rapture or the second coming) the principle seems to be evident.

I know Christians that accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal Savior but they became hard in one way or another. There is not one ounce of evidence that they are even trying to allow the Holy Spirit to fill them with His peace and love.

When we watch for the rapture we need the Holy Spirit filling our spirit with His presence. The only other way is to live on our own, independent of the guidance of the Holy Spirit which will lead to carnality. The presence of the Holy Spirit is WISE but living independent of the Holy Spirit is FOOLISH especially as we watch for the rapture.

I don't believe the parable of the virgins is teaching a partial rapture. I believe Jesus Christ is coming for His full body. Jesus seemed to be portraying the true Christians that are abiding in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. I don't speak in dogmatism; however, I do believe we should be allowing the Holy Spirit to full our spirit as we watch and pray for the rapture each and everyday of our lives.

I cannot ask myself, "Did I commit a sin?" The Bible is very clear in Romans chapter 3, 1st John chapters 1,2 and many other passages that I do sin. The real questions are, Am I saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ? Do I repent of my sins and allow the Holy Spirit to be transparent in my spirit? Do I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me?

When we Christians walk in the flesh we tend to believe we are right. "There is a way which seemth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:22. All the more reason we should choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us so we can proclaim Jesus Christ.

The biggest red flag for me is when I see a person get so rapped up in his or her life with no real thought for God, no biblical conviction of any kind and no repentance. "No man that warreth entangled himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." 2nd Timothy 2:4.

If we do this we will learn about the world but we will never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2nd Timothy 3:7. Jesus Christ is the truth and He wants us to learn of Him. Matthew 11:29. Entangled is a very strong word. I think we should all ask if we are entangled in this world in any way. If this is the case we should talk to God about the situation. It could be fear, worry, lust or any sin (stronghold) but we need to be open/transparent before God with our circumstances so the presence of the Holy Spirit fills our spirit.

Satan can work through the carnal mind but he cannot work through the spiritual mind. If the supernatural peace of the Holy Spirit is flowing through our spirit there is no room for the devil to work on us. The Prince of Peace is Jesus Christ. The King of kings and Lord of lords is too strong and powerful for Satan.

We are only here for a very short time especially in light of the soon coming rapture. If we were to continue in the carnal mind the sins we commit will battle and weigh against our souls. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." 1st Peter 2:11. If this is the case our mind and spirit will become divided. We become anxious and fearful as opposed to the supernatural peace and love of God working in our life.

Love not the world because the love of the Father will not be in you according to 1st John 2:15. "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1,2. The key verbs in this verse are conformed and transformed. God does not want us conforming to this world. God wants us transformed through His Word. Once again there are only two choices.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2. If we do this then "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee." Isaiah 26:3. This is what the Bible refers to as the spiritual mind. The carnal mind gets entangled in the affairs of this world and has no real thought for God because the two are not synonymous with one another.

If my last statement describes you then please repent and accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord. Jesus wants our affection. The devil also wants our affection. Jesus is faithful and wants a relationship with you. Satan does not care about you and does not want a relationship with you. He has no ability whatsoever to be your friend.

If you are struggling with walking in the flesh or the carnal mind may I make a suggestion? The Bible says, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalms 119:11. I don't care who our favorite speaker is because there is nothing quite like the simple Word of God going into our mind and spirit.

Memorizing important Bible verses at our own pace which varies because we have different schedules would be honoring to God especially if we meditate and pray over the verse. We should read the surrounding verses to make sure we understand the context of the passage. I have never known of a time when Christians are taking so many Bible verses out of their context.

We live in a world where many things are being taken away but nobody can steal this because it is tucked away in our hearts. That should sound pretty appealing.

We should walk on a journey with Jesus Christ who is 100% loyal and faithful to us. We should always be watching for His any moment return as we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His love because the rapture is very close!

Bob D.

THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE BIBLE

THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE BIBLE

By Bill Sizemore

August 2, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

There is little doubt that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in the Bible.

In one three day period, Jesus made it possible for sinful man to be restored to God and for all believers to have a promise of a bodily resurrection and eternal life. Sin was dealt with and death was defeated. Nothing else compares to that.

But what is the second most important event in the Bible?

Just reading that question has probably caused several thoughts to spring to your mind. You might be thinking, the week of creation or perhaps the fall of Adam in the garden, or perhaps the virgin birth.

Sure, all of these are important, pivotal events. The week of creation demonstrated the awesome omnipotence of God. The fall of man in the garden was the tragic event that necessitated the virgin birth and the death and resurrection of Jesus. So, maybe second place ought to go to the fall of Adam, but I am going to suggest something else.

Admittedly, the question posed here is a foolish one. After all, who cares about the ranking of biblical events? But the question got you thinking, didn’t it? It at least made you wonder what this writer was going to posit was the second most important event in scripture. So without further adieu, here it is:

I suggest that the second most important event in the Bible and in fact all of human history, above the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, and the splitting of the atom - was the flood of Noah.

Think about it for a moment. Approximately 1,650 years after creation, God sent a flood so catastrophic, that out of the tens of millions of people then living on the planet and out of the countless millions of air breathing animals walking on the face of the earth, the only ones left alive were Noah, his wife and their three sons and their wives, and of course the animals that were on board the ark.

Out of the tens of millions of humans on the planet, only eight were spared.

What if God did the same thing today? Somewhere in the neighborhood of six billion people would perish. Everyone not on board God’s new “ark” would be lost.

And who are all of those people who would not survive the judgment of God? Well, that’s the scary part. Most of the people in the world today would not make it. Lots more will be saved than were in Noah’s day. We know that, because in the Book of Revelation there are at least ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands worshipping before God’s throne. But out of the billions who have ever lived, including those on the earth today, that’s not so many.

Now, let’s talk about those who don’t make it. What will the vast majority of mankind be doing when the end comes? The Bible answers that question, at least in a general sense.

According to Jesus, if I understand His words, those billions of people will be doing normal stuff. Jesus says they will be doing things like eating and drinking and marrying.

Why would Jesus mention marrying? Well, weddings imply things like romance and dating and talking about how many kids you are going to have. Weddings imply making plans for a new house and new furniture and deciding what kind of dishes and cookware you will have.

What’s wrong with such things? Nothing. Well, unless you are making all of these plans for the future at a time when there isn’t going to be a future, at a time when God is about to judge the whole world for sin and unbelief.

The fact that people will be eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage right up to the end means they are oblivious to the reality that there is a righteous, holy God and that He is about to judge all of humanity for their sin and unbelief, just as He did in the days of Noah.

It means they are ignoring God and ignoring the condition of their souls.

The flood of Noah’s day was so powerful that the whole earth, even the hills and mountains were completely inundated with water. This was not just a local flood centered around a part of the Middle East, as some have suggested. Why would God have had Noah spend a hundred years building an ark, if all Noah and the local animals had to do was hike for a few weeks until they crossed the nearest mountain range and be safe?

While it is true that the geological and fossil records of Noah’s flood provide us with the answers to many of the more difficult questions about “beginnings” with which modern science continues to struggle, the flood of Noah’s day also tells us something very important about the nature of God.

The flood tells us that God is so serious about sin and unbelief that He is willing and able to pull the plug on a whole world full of sinful men. The flood of Noah tells us that God is willing to judge the entire human race and to do so catastrophically.

The flood also tells us that God does not consider all humanity to be His “children,” as many believe. (We are not all God’s children. Biblically, we become God’s children only when we are born again and place our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. People believe otherwise at their peril.)

The flood tells us that those who ignore His warnings and reject His truth will see an end to God’s mercy and patience. The clock will strike midnight and it will be over. The Bible says that when the rains began to fall on Noah’s world, it was God himself who closed the door of the ark.

The Apostle Peter warned us that in the last days scoffers would choose to deny or ignore the fact that the flood of Noah occurred and even mock the return of Jesus, saying “Where is the promise of his coming?” (II Peter 3)

If you read this passage carefully, you get the impression that in the end times people will be saying, “Jesus is not coming back. Everything will go on tomorrow just as it always has and the same natural processes will be at work tomorrow as today. Nothing supernatural is going to happen. Some almighty God isn’t going to do come down from Heaven and judge us.”

Willful ignorance is a pretty scary concept. A person can be willfully ignorant simply by ignoring a fact or by being too busy with less important things to give a more important truth due consideration.

Peter goes on to explain that like Noah’s world the current world is also awaiting its day of judgment, only this time the judgment will not be by a flood of water. The apostle wrote 2,000 years ago that in the end the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with a fervent heat and be burned up.

Two thousand years have passed since the Apostle Peter wrote those words. Two thousand years seems like a long time, but the apostle explained that to God it is only a couple of days for, “to Him a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day.”

This kind of time frame may be difficult for people who only live for eighty years to comprehend, but God’s willingness to wait long periods of time before judging should not come as a surprise to Bible scholars. The following examples illustrate God’s timeframe:

God told Eve way back in the Garden of Eden that the “seed of the woman” would bruise the serpent’s head. That seed, however, was not born until 4,000 years later. God’s promise was fulfilled, but not for four millennia.

Here’s another example of God’s timing: God told Abraham that He would give the Promised Land to Abraham’s descendants, but that they would not actually possess the land until 400 years had passed. To put that number into perspective, go back four hundred years in American history and consider what it was like here in the year 1609.

It’s worth noting that the reason God gave Abraham for the 400 year wait was that the current inhabitants of Palestine were not yet wicked enough for them to be judged and their land taken from them. Their “cup of iniquity” was not yet full, but God knew that four centuries later, it would be.

When God told Noah to build the ark, He wasn’t actually going to send the flood for another hundred years. God had already pronounced judgment on the inhabitants of the earth, but that judgment was not going to fall until a full century later.

The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, says that God would send a prophet before the day of the Lord. After Malachi spoke, four centuries passed with no further word from God. Then, when it was time, Jesus was born and history was forever changed.

Think about that. Four centuries of silence passed. No word from God. No prophecies. No reminders. God waited. It seemed like nothing was going to happen. Then suddenly, the day came. The thing God said would happen, happened. It always does.

As in Noah’s day, when the end comes to this world, people will be busy building houses, starting new businesses, and worrying about which team will win the Super Bowl or the World Series. They will be planning hunting trips and family vacations. They will be planning for the future as if they were going to have one.

And then the end will come.

When the world is falling apart around you; when spiritual and moral collapse are evident everywhere you look; when you routinely hear people mocking God and cursing His name and committing the grossest of sins with no shame; but you continue living as if your sin and that of your fellow man are never going to be judged; then you are living as the human race was living right up to the day Noah’s ark was finally finished and the rain began to fall.

That’s a pretty sobering thought. It’s like the rich man Jesus spoke of, a man who had such a prosperous year that he told his servants to tear down all of his barns and build bigger ones to hold all of his riches. Then that night God required that he give account for his soul.

At that moment, none of his riches did him any good. He had made lots of money but neglected his soul. For him, judgment came in one night, just when he thought he was at the top of his game.

The Bible says that in the midst of an evil generation Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah built the ark as an act of obedience to God and as an act of faith. In so doing, he and his household were saved from a flood that killed everyone else on earth.

You may deny that fact if you wish, but God really did this thing. The flood He sent was catastrophic beyond imagination. The God who had created the world wiped out most of what He had created because He saw that His creation had become corrupt and full of violence. (Genesis 6)

The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Romans regarding how God exhibits both divine mercy and divine judgment, “Behold the goodness and severity of God.” For believers and unbelievers alike, that is a concept worth noting.

God is for sure good, gracious, and longsuffering, but to those who reject Him, for those who reject the sacrifice of His Son, there is an end to His mercy. It is at that end that men behold the severity of God. One day, everything seems as it was the day before, but suddenly the clock runs out and the end comes.

In the Bible, this happened many times.

As we have seen, there was an end for the entire world when the flood of Noah came. There was an end for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah when fire from Heaven utterly destroyed them for their debauchery. There was an end for the inhabitants of Palestine in Joshua’s day when God ordered seven Canaanite nations totally annihilated.

There was an end for Israel and Judah when God gave those rebellious nations over to the cruel Assyrians and the Babylonians, severely judging His own people for their disobedience and unbelief.

And later, after Israel had been restored back to their land, the Jews rejected their Messiah, and were judged again, this time even more severely. After a terrible siege lasting more than three years, God gave Jerusalem over to the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. More than a million Jews died in that siege and the city and the temple were utterly destroyed, just as Jesus said would happen.

As with all these historic instances, so will it be on the last day.

Those who have anchored their faith in Jesus Christ, God’s final ark, and have believed in their hearts and confessed with their mouth that He is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead, those people will be spared from the judgment to come and will inherit eternal life.

Everyone else will continue eating and drinking and planning weddings, vacations and Super Bowl parties and buying stocks and bonds right up to the end.

© 2009 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved


Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children.

Bill Sizemore is considered one of the foremost experts on the initiative process in the nation, having placed dozens of measures on the statewide ballot. Bill was raised in the logging communities of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, and moved to Portland in 1972. He is a graduate of Portland Bible College, where he taught for two years. A regular contributing writer to www.NewsWithViews.com.