In recent days, we have witnessed unprecedented events unfolding in the world. Diseases, racial disruption and imminent wars. The news presents to us a world on the brink of collapse.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could be warned by God before any terrible thing happened?
If we knew that, any time soon, this world would be destroyed and a new heaven and new earth would be established, what would you do? I think life would be much easier.
Think of how many mistakes you would be prevented from? Terrible decisions would not be made simply because you know, for sure, that this world is passing. Your hearts would be focused in the right direction because you have no time to waste.
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
Noah had the privilege of knowing things before they came to pass. But how did he get that knowledge? Noah didn’t have any previous events to look as an example or guide to prepare him for what was coming. He didn’t have any note that could show him what to do.
But, we do have a note. More than that, we have a complete guide teaching what to do and what not to do in the end times. We also have a lot, and I mean, many evident signs warn us that this world will pass.
God wrote us a letter. He showed us that this world is not worth our hearts. That faith moved all the overcomers of the past and still have the power to move us to the finish line.
“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Revelation 21:1)
But why do we have such a hard time acknowledging this truth? It is a faith problem. Today is the day to fix that.
First, take the prophetic word of God as the final truth.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19).
We won’t go very far if we belittle the truth of the Word of God. Faith that prevails is the faith that resides in the word. So, apply your faith in the word of God. Do not waste your faith in the so-called “end-times prophets,” not in the news, not in the apparent “end-of-world” events. We walk by faith in the word, not by sight.
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
An active faith that is based solely on the right source, the word of God. Living a life based on the natural evidences is contrary to faith. If we insist on living by sight, we will be slaves to the natural realm. Circumstances will easily knock us down, and our confidence will collapse. We must learn to see in the Spirit and walk by what we believe God will do based on what He said in the word. Please, do not give ear to what the devil suggests. Don’t focus on the present circumstances but trust God’s daily protection no matter what, even when you can’t see it.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” (John 20:29)
Take heed of the warnings
Hurricanes are a yearly event. Most of them just become windy tropical storms. However, here, everybody has a safe-plan for an emergency, just in case a stronger storm hits. Let’s say a new resident arrived and moved to the cheapest mobile home he could find. Hurricane season began, and the forecast predicts a category 5 to hit the area. It has catastrophic potential. Homes could be destroyed. Roofs and trees could collapse. Electrical Power outage could last for weeks. The new guy could say, “I won’t believe it, until I see it.” I would fast reply, “If you continue trusting that flimsy wood box that you call home, honestly, you won’t live to believe.”
There are so many people trusting in this temporary frail world. Don’t do that. Take heed of the warnings.
Why are people of the faith blessed? Simply because they respect the warnings. Faith is the speaker that enables us to be warned. People wait for some sort of proof in order to believe in what God has forecasted. But, if you don’t believe now, there is no use of faith then. Faith is to rely on the “yet unseen.” However, it does not mean you were not warned.
Trust in the good news now to endure the bad news then
(Luke 17:26-27 ; 30) Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. …v30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Jesus warned the disciples about the coming suffering, about death and persecution, about the sadness of a loss and injustice. Yet also, Jesus shared about the resurrection and hope, about the Holy Spirit and His return.
(John 16:33) “have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
So, we must believe before all bad things come to pass because when they happen, you will be able to also have faith to expect the good and blessings. You see, suffering, terrible circumstances, even death, are not the problem. Not having faith is always the ultimate problem.
(Romans 8:36-37) As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Second, have an active faith
Faith should always lead you into action.
(James 2:17) So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
In my story, the mobile-home resident should simply move out and find a safer place. But in Noah’s case, it meant obeying God’s instructions and to build a boat that would sustain a flood, even when no one had ever seen it rain.
Where should you put your faith in action? Maybe, just like Noah, we need to build an ark to save our family from this wicked world. Start showing that you reverently take the word of God as the truth. Express the faith that fears God to the point of following Him. When our family sees our genuine faith, they also may enter God’s ark of salvation, receiving Jesus Christ and accepting His salvation.
Fear of God and faith
When my kids were younger (maybe even now when they’ve grown up), they show me appreciation when they obey me. Not only because I am glad they do what I expect: the home-work completed, their room in order and cleaned… but because they express confidence in my love and care for them through trusting me and acting out of that trust. When they avoid something that I advise them not to do, they show me “fear” of my word, meaning they trust and respect me.
The proportion of your faith (or trust) is revealed in the level of your obedience.
“Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22).
I want a faith like that, don’t you?
Act in faith, rest, and find favor.
We saw that Noah had to act in faith by actually building something. Yet Noah shows us another interesting example of faith: He rested in the Lord while acted in faith. The very name “Noah” means “rest.” In Genesis, we read:
“… Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)
God was saying: “Noah, first believe. Second, act. Third, rest. Now, experience my favor.” We should be identified as “the ones that believe and rest.”
We all should be “Noahs”, those that rest and experience God’s amazing favor.
The ark is for whoever believes
Every time a person hears the Gospel, that person will be confronted with salvation and condemnation at the same time. Accurately, salvation only makes sense if the listener understands the imminent perdition and damnation.
Only those who regard the raw and hard truth: the reality of powerlessness to save yourself. Only those can receive God’s free gift. First, people have to realize they are sick and doomed before accepting God’s remedy and redemption. But who here is willing to take a vaccine for a disease that you don’t believe exists? Here we have a severe problem. The world does not call sin as sin, but as a psychological problem, trauma. At maximum will call behavior disorder, but never sin.
(John 3:19-20) And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
The Gospel is like a beam of light inside a dark cave. Whoever lives there might be joyful that finally they can see the way out of the darkness. But some might hate the light because it hurts the eyes. The eyes of those who want to stay blind. In some cases, even when we don’t talk, our faith might convict them.
The Bible says that Noah’s active faith “condemned the world.” That never was God’s plan. The ark was built for salvation. However, your active faith might also judge the unbelieving hearts around you.
“.By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
When the Bible reveals sin and condemns the sinner, the goal is to bring salvation by the realization of our own weakness to fix ourselves. That is the purpose of the Law in the old testament.
(Romans 3:20) “For by works of the Law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the Law comes knowledge of sin.”
Like a mirror, the Law has the power to show all our failures and shortcomings to generate a yearning for a savior. But the Law has to be illuminated by the Gospel. Just like a person that sees a mirror in a dark room can’t see much, likewise, a person without the Gospel will only wonder thinks about the solution of God.
The mirror without the light is useless and even dangerous. You may hurt yourself or others (people that use the Law to condemn themselves and others).
You may try to change the image in the mirror instead of looking to yourself (people that minimize the commandments interpreting them philosophy and humanistic perspective). The Law is a mirror that shows how perfect God is and how distant we are from that perfection.
Someone once said that if God thought that our greatest problem was a financial crisis, He would have sent an economist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, He would have sent us a comedian or an entertainer. If our pressing difficulty was political, He would have sent us a politician. If He had perceived that our greatest need was health, He would have sent us a doctor. However, our greatest problem is sin, our separation from Him, our rebellion, our death; Therefore, God sent us a savior.
He is perfect. Whoever believes in Jesus enters in Him. And if you are in Him you are in the ark.
Our lives should always express that salvation is available and that this world is passing. I know that some people don’t like the idea that, on this earth, things won’t get better. That reality forces us to deem that we are not always in control of things. (Did you feel like that in the past months? Awesome. That is actually good. Now you can place your trust and hope in the right place)
No reverence for pop-culture, but Morpheus in The Matrix movie was right. He said, “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” Neo asked, “What truth?” and Morpheus replied, “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch.”
It is hard to know that you are a slave and born into the bondage of sin and death. And there is nothing you can do about it. Our best behavior would never be enough to settle the account.
Here there are only two ways to react: Feel condemned and outraged, creating excuses and embracing distractions. Or, being convinced and humbled, believing in God’s solution, and accepting His righteousness gift by faith.
“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
So let’s throw away all arrogance, pride and presumption. Humility makes us heirs of righteousness because it leads to faith that saves you and your family.
Salvation for your family
Noah’s active faith led him to make “an ark for the saving of his household.”
(Hebrews 11:7) By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
As Christians, that means even when we don’t have much success in sharing Jesus with friends and colleagues, we should always take the responsibility to bring salvation to our family, no matter what.
Our family should be the first to see our active faith. The kind of Christianity that cares about everybody but forgets about the family is not Christianity.
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8)
When I was young, being part of a youth group, we were all ready to go to a far country to preach the Gospel and become missionaries somewhere in the world. We kept talking to each other that “The nations need Jesus.” However, we were not ready to share “that Jesus” with our very annoying siblings. Honestly, we were all looking for an escape route from our primary mission field.
I want to encourage you, like Noah, to build an ark for your family. Be intentional toward them. Invest time to create opportunities. Don’t save energy when you have a chance to invite to your ark. Pray for the salvation of your house. Ask God for a strategy to reach your family for Jesus. God wants to save your house.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
I always like to remember that if I could be saved, and I was raised in that family, then they too can be saved. Don’t you think? So, believe once again for the salvation of your house. That is an active faith.
In the list of Hebrews chapter 11, it seems there is a connection to the list’s characters.
For example: between Abel and Enoch, while Abel died, Enoch did not. Between Enoch and Noah, while Enoch walked with God and was taken, Noah walked with God and was saved, but not only him, all of his family was included in that salvation.
The text in Hebrews 11:7 implies that Noah’s faith was counted because it contained the attitude and readiness to make way for his family to be saved.
“By faith Noah … constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this … became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
Never give up on your family. Never think they are unable to be saved. Never “close the door of the ark” without all of them inside, with you. It is time to believe in your family’s salvation. An excellent way to build this ark of salvation is always praying for them. Let’s do it together.