Noah’s Hammer

by The Mad Preacher
noahs-ark-flood“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what
time I will come to you.” — Jesus (Revelation 3:3) [1]

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. (2Peter 2:4-9)

When God told Noah to build the ark, probably the first thing he had to learn was how to balance his schedule. Noah’s days consisted of building the ark, providing for his family and, then, preaching during his time off. It must have been quite a challenge for Noah. However, God told him that he had a limited time to reach as many people as he could before the flood. Judgment was imminent and God, being the merciful God that he is, wanted to give everyone a chance to repent of their wickedness.

Now as long as the people around him could hear the sound of Noah’s hammer ringing out across the countryside there was still hope for them. There was still time for them to repent and be spared the impending deluge. However, Noah’s friends, neighbors, and extended family chose to ignore his warning and thus eventually faced the judgment of God.

Then it happened. The sound of Noah’s hammer ceased and soon his plea ceased as well. Noah gathered his little family and joined the animals in the ark. Next, and it’s important to note this, the Bible says that God himself closed the door to the Ark. Soon, the heavens opened and a torrential rain began to fall. The waters began to quickly rise higher and higher. In a little while all, except for eight souls huddled deep within the belly of the huge vessel, would be lost. Those outside of the Ark had no hope of salvation from the ascending waters.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)

I wonder what it was like being in the ark with Noah when the rain began to beat against the ark. Did the downpour and rising waters smother all other sounds outside the ark? Or could Noah and his family hear the screams of those who had once mocked and laughed at Noah’s appeal. They had ignored his plea. Now, he could not respond to theirs. What do you think went through Noah’s family minds and hearts as God’s unbridled wrath fell on the earth that day?

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming
of the Son of Man.” — Jesus (Matthew 24:37)

God announced his coming judgment to Noah by saying, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever…” (Genesis 6:3) The same scripture holds true for today’s generation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the end is coming soon. For once again the sound of Noah’s hammer is resounding throughout the land. You can hear it echoing in the events taking place around the world. You can hear it in the voice of God’s prophets and from others in his church. Judgment is imminent!

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

The hands on that great cosmic clock called “time” are slowing down. Please don’t be like those in Noah’s day who ignored the warning. If you’ve never truly repented and made Jesus LORD of your life, please do so now. Soon, God Himself will close the door of repentance, and the Book of Life will be closed to new members. Then no one will be allowed to enter.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:22-24)

God loves you, my friend. He doesn’t want you to… miss the boat. Give your life completely to Jesus. Repent of you past disobedience and ask him to forgive you of all of your sins. He will forgive you and accept you. God will then open the door of his heart to you. He will remove all of you sinfulness and give you his personal righteousness, or right standing. You’ll never be alone or have to feel guilt ridden ever again.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.(2 Peter 3:9)

Listen closely. Do you hear the sound of Noah’s hammer?

There will be a day
When we will be divided right and left
For those who know Him
And those who do not know
Those who know Him well
Will meet Him in the air Hallelujah
God is with us
Those who do not know
They will hear depart
I knew you not
For my friends you see
There will be a day when we’ll be counted
So know Him well, know Him well [2]

 

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

[2] People Get Ready, Jesus Is Comin’, written by Brian Ray and recorded by Crystal Lewis on her album, Beauty For Ashes, © 1996 Metro One (Admin. by Metro One, Inc.)

 

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Bitterness-the Slow Suicide—The Hard Copy

by The Mad Preacher

PoisonBottleGet rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV)

It has been said, “To harbor bitterness toward someone is like swallowing poison and then waiting for that person to die.” It seems that we’re a society made up of angry people. If you doubt it, just take a drive in heavy traffic. At large we are one stressed-out generation filled with rage and eat up with bitterness.

We’re angry with friends, family, fellow employees, employers and at life in general. Many of us are even mad at ourselves and exasperated over the results of bad choices that we’ve made. We find ourselves echoing the words of David, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” (Psalm 51:3 NIV)

Boy, can I relate to those words!

We’re bitter over the way we’ve been treated by those around us. Incredibly, we expect, and even demand, justice from an unjust world! And then we become all bent out of shape when we don’t get it.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”— Jesus (John.16:33 NIV)

We seem to forget these words of Jesus. The phrase he used was “In this world you will have trouble.” He didn’t say, “Maybe you will…” or, “There’s a good chance that you will …” No, he said that we can count on having trouble in the world. Why? It’s simple; the world is filled with those pesky little things called … people. And as you know, people are anything but perfect. They will frequently let you down, disappoint you, sadden you, lie to you and break promises. That’s just the fallen nature! There are times when they will downright run over you. Of this you can be sure, but what do you expect—perfection from imperfection?

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. (1Peter 4:12 NIV)

Considering this fact; why should we be hurt and embittered when someone rattles our cage? Hey, Jesus warned us. We have little control over the cards life deals us, but as Christians, we do have control over what we do with the cards we’re dealt. I personally know of people who have virtually sacrificed their entire lives on the altar of bitterness. They have surrendered their will to the ghastly power of animosity. Bitterness is a deadly cancer that eats away hope and peace. It’s a self-ingested poison that destroys homes, marriages and devastates churches.

In Acts 8 Peter told Simon the Sorcerer when he offered to pay for the ability to lay hands on people and have them receive the Holy Spirit, “For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (vs. 23 NIV)

Bitterness is a slow suicide lying to waste potential greatness in the Kingdom of God. It’s one of the ugliest forms of pride and is a slap in the face of the One who, “was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7 NIV) It’s little wonder that God’s WORD admonishes us to “Get rid of all bitterness.”

And furthermore:

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” — Jesus (Mark 11:25 NIV)

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. (Luke 11:4 NIV)

“If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.’ – Jesus (Luke 17:4 NIV)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13 NIV)

This bitterness you hide
It seeps into your soul
And it steals your joy
‘Til it’s all you know
Let it go

Will you forgive?
Will you forget?
Will you live what you know?
He left his rights
Will you leave yours?
You don’t understand it
Let it go *

*Let It Go by the Newsboys, from their album Take Me to Your Leader. Lyrics by Steve Taylor and Peter Furler. © 1996 Dawn Treader Music (SESAC) / Warner Alliance Music / Soylent Tunes (ASCAP), Dawn Treader Music admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing. Warner Alliance Music / Soylent Tunes admin. by I.C.G.

God is not surprised by anything that happens. He is Sovereign Lord of the universe. He needs no “Plan B” to fall back on. With him it’s always “Plan A”. This has been such a source of peace for me ever since God revealed this truth to me. He is in complete control over everything in my existence. He knew all the messes I would make of my life, and He also had the plan to get me back on course and make me the man He wanted me to be. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13-14)