3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3–4, NKJV)
It is a sad reality that many people scoff at the truth that a day of judgment is coming. Preferring to fulfill their selfish lusts, they forget that God sees and knows their every thought and action. This wicked person says in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see” (Psa. 10:11). But, God always sees (Heb. 4:13). The fact that judgment has not yet come does not mean it will not. Indeed, Peter charged such scoffers of his day with willfully forgetting God’s judgment of sin with the flood in the days of Noah (2 Pet. 3:5-6). Things have not continued “as they were from the beginning of creation.” Ignoring God and His judgment against sin will not make the day of judgment any less real, any less painful, or any less permanent in the finality of its condemnation of sin. The gospel pleads with us not to thumb our noses at God and His judgment of our sins. Jesus calls us to repentance and conversion to escape eternal death and to enter eternal life (Rom. 6:23). Do not scoff at God and His word; judgment is coming. Reward awaits the righteous, but “ungodly men” will be destroyed on that awesome day (2 Pet. 3:7-13; 2 Thess. 1:9-10).
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22, NKJV)
Following the worldwide flood, God made this promise to Noah and us, his descendants. It gives us sufficient assurance that climate change will not destroy the world. Weather cycles are a constant reality of God’s continuing care of the planet He created (Eccl. 1:3-7). Climate changes over time – that is an observable fact. While we can affect it, we do not control it. Yes indeed, we are to be good stewards of the earth, since God made us to have dominion over the works of His hands (Psa. 8:6-8). When people refuse to acknowledge the Creator, their respect for His creation also falters. We should be respectful of God’s earth. Let us be thankful to God for the rain and fruitful seasons He gives to sustain our lives, which also testify to His presence and good will toward us (Acts 14:17). We ought to respect the earth, not as our mother, but because our Creator blessed us with it. We answer to Him as we live on His earth. Let us take care of its resources and gratefully honor God who gave us “dominion over the works of (His) hands” (Psa. 8:6).
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1, NKJV)
God called Noah and his family into the ark after Noah built the ark “according to all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). Why was Noah allowed to enter the ark and saved from the impending flood? God said, “Because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” Does God see your righteousness? Some would have you believe there is no righteousness ever to be seen in men and women by contorting Isaiah 64:6, “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” Was Noah’s righteousness like filthy rags? Obviously not. Nor was it self-righteousness as in the Pharisee who trusted in himself (Luke 18:9-14). His was “the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7). This is the kind of righteousness we must practice to be born of God and righteous in His sight (1 John 2:29; 3:7). God counts righteous the person who exercises obedient faith. Without such faith, there is no grace from God. Otherwise, all would have been allowed into the ark and saved from the flood. But, only the righteous are saved. Just like Noah and his family obeyed God and were saved through water, baptism “now saves us” (1 Peter 3:20-21). When you believe and obey the gospel of Christ, you will be saved and righteous – like Noah (Romans 10:10; 6:16).
11 “Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:11–15, NKJV)
God keeps His word. Always. The rainbow in the clouds reminds us of the covenant God made with humanity, to never again destroy the world with a flood. We know skeptic scoffs at the notion of a worldwide flood. But, recall they also scoffed at Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:39-44). Such mockery does not deter us (2 Peter 3:5-7). Also, please notice that God established His covenant with Noah and his descendants. That covenant was unconditional. Today, God’s covenant (the new covenant of Christ, Hebrews 8:6-13), contains conditions we must meet to obtain its blessings of salvation (Acts 10:34-35). Meeting God’s conditions is not a negotiation, nor is it earning the blessing. God is Sovereign, and has established His covenant. God says He will bless us when we obey Him. God keeps His word. Always.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:35–37, NKJV)
The flooding in Texas and Louisiana from hurricane Harvey has been unprecedented, with more than 50 inches of rain in the Houston area. Truly astonishing. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones, and to all who continue to be impacted, as they face the tremendous work of rebuilding shattered lives. This unprecedented trial also produced unprecedented kindness, as officials, neighbors and strangers rushed to the rescue. For most, this was the first time they have ever lost so much, so fast. What began with force and fury, continued with unrelenting rain, that kept on falling, as the water kept rising. Trials are like that sometimes. They seem to never end. But, eventually, they do. The sun eventually came out from behind the clouds, but much work lies ahead. There are spiritual parallels: Trials may come on us when we do not expect them. When we are not fully prepared, they seem to sweep us away by a torrent of forces beyond our control. Yet, for Christians, trials purge our faith of its dross, purifying and strengthening us in the Lord (Jas. 1:2-4). “Weeping may endure for a night; but joy comes in the morning” (Psa. 30:5).
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3, NKJV)
In the centuries leading up to the flood, the hearts and lives of men and women became increasingly wicked. They turned their attention and affections away from God and toward sensual, sinful desires and violent conduct (Gen. 6:1-7). God responded with the judgment of a worldwide flood, but not before extending His longsuffering toward sinners. Although their condemnation was certain and just, God extended His patience for 120 years leading up to the flood. God saw man’s wickedness, yet still the “Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah,” while this preacher of righteousness built the ark (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5). Evidently, Noah was occupied with building the ark during the last 100 years of this 120 year period (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). There is a limit to God’s contending with evil people. He desires their salvation, but His justice also demands judgment against evil (1 Tim. 2:3-4; Rom. 2:1-11). The fact that the Lord has not yet destroyed the world in the promised judgment of fire is once more a token of His longsuffering toward sinners (2 Pet. 3:9-12). Now is the time to repent of your sins. Judgment is assured. Time is running out.
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 was a great man of faith. He was not sinless, but he was a “just man” of integrity who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and “walked with God” (Gen. 6:8-9). God saved this man and his family through the water of the flood (1 Pet. 3:20). Why? Because in faith, Noah was “moved with godly fear” and obeyed the Lord’s command to build an ark. Noah had faith to build the ark, that saved his family. His obedient faith was counted to him for righteousness; Noah became “heir of the righteousness which is according to faith”. By grace, God saves those who have faith to obey His command to be baptized (the antitype of the flood, “which now saves us”, 1 Pet. 3:21). Do you have to kind of faith through which Noah was saved? You can, by obeying Christ’s commands to believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16). When you do, God will save you “by grace, through faith” (Eph. 2:8).