“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith,” Hebrews 11:7.
The Lord Jesus likened the circumstances that will mark the end of this age unto those that prevailed in the days of Noah, just before the destruction of mankind by a universal flood.
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Matthew 24:37-39.
In Hebrews 11:7, there is mention of the ignorance of mankind regarding the approaching judgment. The sins that provoked the judgment of Noah’s day are the very sins which are prevailing today as, of course, is the ignorance of the harvest such sins will invariably reap.
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them,” Genesis 6:5-7.
Mankind has become so inured and hardened to what is going on, there is little notice taken of the flood of iniquity inundating the nations. Terror, murder, torture and slaughter of the young and innocent, the aged and infirm, the acceptance of shameful immorality as the norm and the rank abandonment of God’s law and gospel. Those religious institutions which have a credal acknowledgement of God and His truth, have generally speaking, abandoned all pretence of believing and acting according to their own avowed confessions and creeds.
This is apostasy.
I noted a certain absence in an article sent to me by a friend, from the “Coalition for Marriage (C4M)”, in which the recent call by some Church of England clerics that the marriage instituted by God in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh,” be abandoned and the sodomite, ‘same-sex union’ replace it.
The absence was that of any recognition that this stance by the Church of England clerics was a mark of its apostasy.
The article ends: “At C4M we call on the Church of England to discover afresh the immense benefits of real marriage – benefits which experience shows are undermined when the definition is changed. Marriage between one man and one woman for life is society’s solid bedrock. The Church should not be ashamed to stand out from the crowd and say this.”
Such a call is equal to standing in a graveyard and calling upon the dead to rise! I believe that the Church of England has abandoned God and that is a mark of God having abandoned it!
God’s Word means nothing to the apostate bishops whose call to renounce the teaching of God’s Word has received much publicity of late but what it has not produced is any attempt to discipline these reprobates and cast them out of the bishoprics!
No, apostasy is ensconced securely in the Church of England and reigns supreme.
An article by ‘The Christian Institute’ likewise fails to identify the evident apostasy of Episcopalianism and urge upon those members who profess faith in Christ, to act as commanded by God.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” Romans 13:12-14.
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators,” 1 Corinthians 5:9.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them . . . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” Ephesians 5:6-7, 11.
These are but a few of the calls within the Scriptures for God’s people to turn their backs upon those who have abandoned God’s Law.
Sadly, there is little or nothing of the spirit of these Scriptures in the articles written by evangelicals to condemn the Church of England deviant bishops. That absence is an indication of the ‘IGNORANCE’ that was evident of the approaching judgment in Noah’s day, is being repeated in these last days of this age, as was foretold by the Saviour.
This ignorance of God’s prophetic truth, is nourished mainly through the false interpretation placed upon prophecy by those who advocate the foolish and heretical notions of ‘A-millennialism’, the system which denies the teaching of God’s Word regarding Christ’s Pre-Millennial, Post-Tribulation return to this earth. Sadly, ‘A-millennialists’ choose to confuse ‘Pre-Millennial, Post-Tribulationism’ with the foolish errors of J N Darby’s ‘Secret Rapture’ notions when in truth they are diametrically opposed.
‘A-millennialism’ takes little heed to the great apostasy of which Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3:1 and do not really see it as something taking place today. Paul writes that:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” In the next chapter he shows how this apostasy will advance. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables,” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
It was this apostasy that the Saviour said would reach its fulness in the days just before His return. Having taught His apostles that the general features of the age following His ascension would be of wars, strife, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, Matthew 24:6-7, He then said that such events were only “the beginning of sorrows,” verse 8.
At the end of the age, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” and “iniquity shall abound” and “the love of many shall wax cold”, verses 11 and 12.
It is after this that “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” shall be placed in the temple in Jerusalem, in “the holy place,” verse 15.
The erection of the idol in the temple will, says the Saviour, immediately give rise to “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened,” verses 21-22.
That ‘tribulation’ will last for three and a half years (times, time and half a time, Revelation 12:14) or forty-two months or twelve hundred and sixty days, Revelation 11:2-3, 13:5. I believe that the Lord uses these three definitions of the period in order that there might be no mistake about it.
So, this age is to be marked by increasing apostasy and denial of the gospel and the truth of God (it had begun in Jude’s day, Jude 3-4) and which would culminate in the manifestation of the Antichrist. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. . . . And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8.
Thus we have the pattern outlined in God’s Word of how things will develop and climax.
Yet, despite the clear statements in the Bible, few seem to be aware of these things advancing before their eyes. It is for this reason that the Saviour and His apostles warned of the unobserved approach of His return.
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh,” Matthew 24:42-44.
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4.
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which (one of the events during that period referred to as the ‘day of the Lord’) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:8-12.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame,” Revelation 16:15.
So truly, “as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. Men, including many believers, right up to at least close to the actual return of Christ, will be unaware of the meaning and the significance of the developments taking place, the “signs of the times” all around.
They shall be as Noah, who had known nothing of the approaching judgment which was to engulf the earth until the Lord told him “of things not seen as yet”!
Christian, be aware of what is taking place before our eyes. View the events of today through the lens of God’s holy and infallible Word.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
November 17th 2022