Seven days’ notice of coming judgment!

The return of Christ to this earth, that event spoken of by Haggai the prophet, will be the glorious conclusion of this age and the beginning of the Millennial Age. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts,” Haggai 2:6-7.

It is an event looked forward to by the redeemed since the days of Adam. A little verse tucked away in the epistle of Jude shows this to be so. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him,” Jude 1:14-15.

It is quite possible that Adam was alive when Enoch thus prophesied, indeed he may have heard him!

The fact that it is such a central truth is emphasised by the many references to it, both in plain words and in a figurative manner, in the Old Testament.

I could not help but see a reference to the great event in one chapter of my Bible readings yesterday. Here are a few thoughts that arose out of my mediations.


“For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth,” Genesis 7:4.

I read Genesis chapter 7 on the Lord’s Day past and in the light of what the Saviour said, as recorded in Luke 17:26: “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man”, I looked for instruction regarding the days near to the return of the Saviour in power and great glory to gather His redeemed people to Himself.

Building the Ark – James Jacques Joseph Tissot, c. 1896-1902

As I considered the above verse, I thought how that:


This was a wonderfully precise warning of the terrible judgment that was to befall the wicked earth. Mankind had turned its back upon the Lord, aye, and had defied Him most wickedly. Genesis 6:5 states this fact most emphatically. “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.” I have emboldened the three words which indicate the utterly depraved nature of the generation in Noah’s day.

That depravity resulted in great judgment. “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 6:6-7.

Mankind has not changed in its depraved behaviour. The events recorded on man’s behaviour today declare that to be so. The departure and defiance of God that took place some 2300 years before Christ (Ussher’s Chronicles), are evidently being repeated today on a worldwide scale.

That was prophesied by Christ and His servants. The quotation I have set down from Luke 17:26 is clearly enlarged upon by Paul the apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth,” 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Christian, let not familiarity with these verses cause you to lightly pass them by and give little heed to their supreme importance! What happened in Noah’s day, God has reiterated many times that it will happen again!


1. Long before the words of our text were spoken by the Lord, He had indicated the coming judgment.The year of the great flood was also the year in which Methuselah, the oldest man that ever lived, died. He was the grandfather of Noah (Genesis 5:25, 28-29). The meaning of the name ‘Methuselah’ is explained for us by the noted Hebrew scholar, Dr John Gill, in his comments on Genesis 5:21. “Enoch being a prophet gave him this name under a spirit of prophecy, foretelling by it when the flood should be; for his name, according to Bochart {a French Protestant biblical scholar, 1599 – 1667 – IF}, signifies, ‘when he dies there shall be an emission,’ or sending forth of waters upon the earth, to destroy it.

The longevity of Methuselah is but an early example of the mercy and longsuffering of God toward sinful men. He served notice upon men of coming judgment almost 1000 years prior to its arrival! The world today has had even longer to consider what lies ahead of it, but the spirit of man not having changed since the earliest of times, the coming judgment will arrive “as a thief in the night” (2 Peter 3:10) upon an unbelieving world, even as it did in the days of Noah!

The words of the Saviour on this matter are worth repeating! “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all,” Luke 17:26-27.

2. It is to be noted that very precise details are given to Noah of the coming judgment.“For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” The warning contained in the name of Methuselah gave no such details. No one could know when Methuselah would die, not even he himself, though it would have become ever more obvious that death was drawing near as he reached advanced years and showed all the signs common to advancing age and the approach of death. But now Noah is told that in seven more days the judgment will begin.

I believe that like progressiveness may be seen regarding the return of Christ and the judgment that will fall at that event. Two thousand years ago He said of His coming: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh,” Matthew 25:13. But as the day draws near, the signs of His return will become ever more evident until there will be a point reached in which God’s people alive at that time will know to look up to see the Saviour’s return. Heed Christ’s words. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand,” Luke 21:25-31.

It is the beginning of a new year and surely we look with anticipation for the signs of Spring. We know the plants and shrubs which by their breaking through the soil, announce Spring’s arrival. Well, the Saviour tells us that it will be so when we see the signs He refers to as evidence of His return.

3. We have other examples of the Lord giving a warning to His people of approaching judgment.Such acts of mercy are a figure of that great warning which is frequently repeated in Scripture.


Did not Lot receive such a warning from the Lord regarding the approach of judgment upon Sodom? The Lord had told Abraham of His purpose regarding the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 18:16-22. Abraham, in light of this information, prayed for his nephew Lot and his family for they had gone to live in Sodom. In response to that prayer, God sent two angels to warn Lot, indeed all in Sodom. “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city,”  Genesis 19:12-15. The reaction of Lot’s sons in law is entirely in keeping with the general reaction to the warnings of the gospel by men today. Indeed, may we not see the attitude of many Christians in the hesitant response of Lot to the urging of God’s messengers? “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city,” Genesis 19:16.

Sadly, God’s people have ever been reluctant to give up the ways of the world. It will be so right to the end of this age. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities,” Revelation 18:1-5.

How patient and merciful toward His wayward children is our Heavenly Father!


Another example of the warning given to His people of coming judgment is that given us in Exodus at the instituting of the ‘Passover’. “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. . . For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt,” Exodus 12:7-8, 12-13.

The only safe place in the day of judgment is under the blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by His atoning blood that sinners are saved from wrath to come.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God,” 1 Peter 1:18-21.


A third example may be seen in the case of Rahab the harlot. Joshua had sent our spies to ascertain the military preparation of Jericho. It was then that they encountered this woman who pleaded with them in the light of what she knew was going to happen to the city.

“And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: and that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death,” Joshua 2:9-13.

Note the word ‘heard’ in her statement. What she heard of God’s actions on behalf of Israel, she believed and did not dismiss as did the other people of Canaan. As a result of taking heed to the reports of God’s wonders she was forewarned and was saved with her family.

“And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent,” Joshua 6:16-17. Paul wrote of her deliverance as a wonder of faith. “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace,” Hebrews 11:31.

Sinners today have a much fuller revelation of God’s purpose and what lies ahead for wicked men than did Rahab. Yet, sadly, few act upon that gospel warning as did Rahab. She was not only wonderfully delivered when Jericho was destroyed but she became a member of the nation of Israel and a forbear of the Lord Jesus Christ for she married into the royal tribe of Judah. “And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king,” Matthew 1:5-6. Matthew continues his genealogical list until we read these words: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ,” Matthew 1:16.

What grace and glory is enjoyed by those who heed God’s gospel warning!


“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch,” Genesis 6:13-14.

Noah lived from the day he received the warning of what God was going to do, preparing for that day! He built an ark according to God’s instructions.

Furthermore, he used the period of grace not only to build an ark but he warned of the coming judgment. “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. His activities in building the ark were a warning to all around and their ignoring of what he did condemned them.

But he was more than a builder, he was “a preacher of righteousness,” 2 Peter 2:5. He spent the one hundred and twenty years building the ark and warning his fellowmen of coming judgment. “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years,” Genesis 6:3. During that time, the gospel was preached by Noah. “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit,” 1 Peter 4:6. Indeed, that time of Noah’s preaching was in truth a time when men were visited by the Saviour. This is made clear for us in the previous chapter in Peter’s first epistle.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he (that is Christ-IF) went and preached unto the spirits in prison (that is now in the eternal prison of the damned-IF); which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water,” 1 Peter 3:18-20.


Noah not only presents to us an example to follow in his heeding of God’s warning but also in how to live and witness in the light of that solemn warning! As Christians we are called to construct a holy, separate lifestyle in accordance with God’s Word.  It is for such holiness the Lord will look when He returns to judge those who profess to be His. He looked for such righteousness in Noah and found it! He said to Noah, “thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation,” Genesis 7:1.

Let us heed Paul’s exhortation. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world,” Philippians 2:12-15.

Noah acted in the spirit of that which the prophet Isaiah was later to urge upon believers. He called for us all to live in the light of coming wrath. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain,” Isaiah 26:20-21.

I trust you understand these words, Christian.

When we are called to a life of separation, we are called into a place of safety and blessing in the midst of a world heading for wrath. Such a life is as God’s ark was for Noah and his household. Thus Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18: “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.”

The separated Christian dwells in a place of safety and security under the care of our Heavenly Father!


“Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” I believe that we may say from this verse that it is the revealed will of God that a Christian’s family should be saved. We have the same truth in Paul’s famous words in answer to the jailer’s question. “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” Acts 16:30-31.

Now it is sadly true that many a child born to Christian parents has been lost! As a preacher I have heard that used as an excuse for the unsaved state of many a Christian’s immediate family. However, I believe that a Christian should hold to the truth revealed in these verses that God would have their family saved.

There is a verse we should note in this context. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law,” Deuteronomy 29:29.

The outworkings of God’s secret will, the many things we cannot now understand, shall remain secret until that day when all things will be known.

However, there are things that we may know, namely, “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever”.

As I have said, I believe that the revealed will of God is that our children be with us in heaven. As Isaiah said: “And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion,” Isaiah 8:17-18. That is the outcome of faithful “waiting upon the Lord”.

It is sin and disobedience that will damn our offspring, rebellion by our children and parental sin. I believe that ‘the day’ will reveal that sad truth.

What carelessness there is today amongst parents! Carelessness regarding the discipling of children, training them up in the way they should go. What indifference to their company and behaviour is manifested in the locked doors of the child’s bedroom, barring out the parents so that they do not interfere in what it is the child desires to do. What free use of the television and the internet there is in such bedrooms! This folly is down to the failure of parents, fathers in particular,  to obey God and live as “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity,” 1 Timothy 3:4.

There are all too many parents who excuse and seek to explain away the sinful behaviour of their offspring by way of ‘psychological hocus pocus’ when in truth it is the evidence of the child’s depravity they are witnessing. This, sadly, is the penchant of mothers who find it hard to accept that their ‘little darling’ could ever do anything wrong or wicked!

Corporal punishment is almost abandoned by parents and instead the latest notions of worldly child psychologists are followed with the results that we see all around us today amongst the truculent, rebellious young!

A little of what God says is the cure for misbehaviour in the young would make a great difference in the homes of many believers. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell,” Proverbs 23:13-14. Such is the practice of our Heavenly Father! “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Hebrews 12:6-9.

The price of the modern notions of ‘discipline’ is the absence of the child from heaven.

May the Lord give grace to us all in these days when rebellion and defiance of God are commonplace to so order our household affairs as to see our children brought to Christ and join us in the ark of redemption!

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
8th January 2024