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Old Biblical Prophecy

Note to reader: The article below is an example of what evangelical prophecy leaders and organizations used to teach 20-40 years ago. Not so long ago, before the postmodern prophecy paradigm era, this sort of article was commonplace. Writings such as this served as an encouragement to the reader to 1) expect the Lord’s imminent return and 2) be ready to meet the Lord “here, there or in the air.” Believers exhorted one another that He could return at any time because all events on earth were coinciding to fulfill Bible prophecy, and that before the end the Gospel of salvation should be shared far and wide, especially to family and friends. As yet another sign of the times we note that publishing such an article today, especially with this eschatology, is likely to be met with scoffings (2 Pet. 3:2), even open disbelief (2 Pet. 3:4). For some of you, this may be the first time you have ever encountered this (now) old-fashioned Bible prophecy teaching. Read and consider: what if it is true?

And as it was in the days of Noah, 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 Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 

Remember Lot’s wife. 

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
(Luke 17:26-37)

A Recurrence of the Times of Noah and Lot

Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (July 2014)

Read Luke 17:26-37.

The Bible draws a comparison between the utter sinfulness that prevailed during the ancient times of Noah and Lot, and a similar situation which will be evident just prior to the second coming of Christ. History repeats itself in various ways – also with regard to the divine wrath which is poured out upon people who blaspheme God by continuously despising and rejecting the spiritual and moral principles of His kingdom. The following aspects of the comparison between ancient and modern times are pointed out in the Bible:

  • Apostatising. In the times of Noah and Lot spiritual decline was widespread as virtually all people had forgotten God and gave free reign to the dictates of their depraved nature. They were wicked in every intent of their thoughts and not inclined to pursue God’s righteousness (Gen. 6:5). The same situation is characteristic of our time: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1). Under the influence of the devil, extreme evil will prevail in the lives of people, and they will be “led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Pet. 3:17).
  • Moral depravity. In the times of Noah and Lot the most licentious lifestyles were socially acceptable, among which was also sodomy. The men of Sodom took no interest in the daughters of Lot but were violently intent on sodomising the angels (Gen. 19:1-10). Sexual perversion, particularly with reference to homosexual relations and practices, will again become the socially acceptable norm rather than the exception (Rom. 1:26-27). The family structure of society inevitably starts crumbling when government and church leaders also condone and openly accept these practices as the natural consequence of the freedom of choice which is seen to be part of basic human rights.
  • An apostate culture becomes dominant. In the times of Noah and Lot, the extensive apostatising and moral decline in society gave rise to an utterly sinful culture which was completely averse to God and His holiness. These wicked people persecuted those who promoted God’s standard of honourable conduct. When Lot tried to oppose them they shouted at him and said: “Stand back! … Now we will deal worse with you … and [they] came near to break down the door” (Gen. 19:9). Lot had to lock his door and hide himself in the house. In the end-time, an extremely sinful culture will again become dominant and people will generally be “without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, treacherous, rash…” (2 Tim. 3:3-4). These distorted inclinations will move the nations to conclude a covenant with the Antichrist who is described in the Bible as “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3; Rev. 13:3). During his reign, sin and unrighteousness will proliferate. The small minority of true believers will be heavily persecuted and forced to hide from the perpetrators of evil behind locked doors, while also trying to evade hostile governments that will hunt them down.
  • Anarchy and violence. In the times of Noah and Lot anarchy prevailed as people in these lawless and promiscuous societies did just as they pleased. Violence was the most common means used to resolve conflicts: “… the earth is filled with violence through them” (Gen. 6:13). That means that there was no central government with the capacity to maintain law and order, and for that reason people took the law into their own hands. Gangsterism, robbery and terrorism were the inevitable consequences of this state of affairs. In the end-time, communities will also become disorganised and lapse into a state in which nobody would be safe – not even children on their way to school, or within the school premises itself. Terrorism, military coups, wars and rumours of wars will dominate the news scene (Matt. 24:6-7). Violent behaviour will occur in conjunction with other forms of immorality and apostasy, and even when God starts punishing and judging these wicked people during the tribulation period they will not stop sinning and rebelling against Him: “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues … did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Rev. 9:20-21).
  • Materialism and vanity. In the times of Noah and Lot people were excessively materialistic and only lived for the things of this world – particularly with regard to making big investments, amassing wealth, attending parties, revelling in eating and drinking and enjoying all the pleasures of life. They did not come to their senses before it was too late: “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30). In the end-time, many people will also indulge in drinking and licentious pleasure-seeking in an effort to forget the sorrows of life. To them, the sudden coming of the heavenly Bridegroom for His bride will be like a snare which will take them captive for the judgements of God during the subsequent tribulation period: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35). The wealth of rich people, who practise corruption and exploit others to achieve their goals, will be of no avail when the judgements of God are poured out upon the earth: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! … You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter” (Jas. 5:1-5).
  • Scoffing at believers and at the Word of God. In the times of Noah and Lot people scoffed at the believers and chose to ignore the prophetic warnings of forthcoming judgements. They regarded them as far-fetched speculation and continued with their reckless lives of fleshly pleasures and covetousness. Only Noah and his family (eight persons) were not guilty of this attitude and were worthy to escape God’s judgement of the Flood. A similar situation of the despising of biblical prophecies will repeat itself in the end-time: “… knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Pet. 3:3-4). Those on the narrow way are a small minority.
  • Despising the time of grace. In the times of Noah and Lot God gave the degenerate sinners reasonable time to repent of their evil ways. They refused to repent and thereby sealed their own fate. They had only themselves to blame for their downfall and punishment. In the end-time, the great majority of people will not repent from their evil ways but rather embrace the false hope of manmade peace initiatives until it will be too late to escape divine judgements: “For when they say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them. … And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).
  • The escape of believers. In the times of Noah and Lot God offered a way of escape to the believers at the critical moment before He turned on the wicked with wrathful punishment (Gen. 6:13-14; 19:15-17). The order of events was: First the prophetic warnings about the impending judgements, then the safeguarding of the believers who took heed of the appeal to repent, and ultimately the outpouring of wrath upon the wicked. Now, in the end-time, the world has repeatedly been warned against the impending judgements of God during the coming great tribulation. Since believers are not destined for these judgements we should prepare to escape them by expecting God’s Son from heaven, “even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10; cf. 5:9).
  • The tragedy of religious formalism. In the times of Noah and Lot there was no security for nominal believers whose hearts were still devoted to the things of this world. Lot’s wife was a type of those believers who only have an outward form of godliness, but are still spiritually dead. This false pretence cost her the loss of her life at the last moment (Gen. 19:26). At the time of Christ’s second coming a similar situation will prevail. For that reason we are warned in the parable on the ten virgins that those among them whose hearts are not filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit will be left behind when the Bridegroom comes (Matt. 25:1-13). Self-justifying, lukewarm Christians who are deceived and erroneously regard themselves as “very good” are abominable to the Lord (Rev. 3:15-17; 2 Cor. 11:2-4).
  • Sudden disaster. In the times of Noah and Lot an awful disaster struck this world soon after the evacuation of the believers. Death and destruction occurred as never before in history (Gen. 7:4; 19:24-25). After the rapture, God’s judgements will again be poured out upon the wicked: “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, fierce, with wrath and raging anger, to make the land and the whole earth a desolation, and to destroy out of it its sinners” (Isa. 13:9; AB). The Lord Jesus warned that shortly before His second coming there will be a great tribulation as never before on earth, and if those days had not been shortened nobody would survive that terrible time (Matt. 24:21-22; 29-30).
  • The blessing offered through withholders. In the times of Noah and Lot the wicked did not realise how many privileges and blessings they enjoyed due to the presence of a few believers in their midst. God was prepared to pardon a whole city if there were only ten believers in it (Gen. 18:23-32). When this small group of believers were suddenly removed to a place of safety, the wicked were rapidly enfolded by the darkness of divine judgements. In the end-time, true believers also act as the withholders of evil, but the world will only appreciate the value of their role when they are gone. The church dispensation will continue until “he who now restrains [the true church indwelt by the Holy Spirit] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be revealed. … The coming lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, … that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:7-12).
  • Prophetic blindness. In the times of Noah people scoffed at the builders of the ark, and in their ignorance were unaware of their peril “until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:39).

Significance of the rapture

God’s end-time judgement upon sinners is a fact which cannot be denied. The physical deliverance of believers before the beginning of judgements is an equally important biblical fact which should always be kept in mind: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). Paul further explains this wonderful promise: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:16-18). What a wonderful future to look forward to!

We should react to the promise of the rapture in a number of ways if we wish to enjoy its full blessing. People who deny this promise are out of touch with the prophetic word, they forfeit many of its blessings, and are in danger of remaining behind and mistaking the Antichrist for the true Christ. We should watch out for spiritual deception and always be ready to stand before the Son of Man: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 25:13). “Therefore also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matt. 24:44).

The following are the blessings that are in store for believers who heed the command to be ready for the rapture:

Good news in the prophecies

The pretribulation rapture is the good news element in a dark scenario of end-time prophecies. Without this promise Christians would be left only with the bad news about the coming of the Antichrist and the tribulation period which they will have to face before Jesus comes. Their chances of surviving all the apocalyptic disasters of the great tribulation, as well as the battle of Armageddon, will be slim indeed. A situation like that can be equated to the Flood without the ark, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah without any provision for the escape of the believers from the scene of God’s wrath. Such a situation would be highly demoralising and contradict a clear biblical principle that true believers are never the objects of God’s wrath: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation …” (1 Thess. 5:9). The righteous will not be destroyed with the wicked (cf. Gen. 18:23).

People who are cynical about the promise of the rapture and do not heed the exhortation to be prepared to escape the coming tribulation period reveal a very irresponsible attitude. What would have been the consequence for Noah and his family (and for the future survival of the entire human race!) if Noah had argued as follows: “God is a God of love and I do not really believe that He will send a flood to judge all people; therefore, I am not going to build an ark to escape this so-called judgement.” Or what would have happened to Lot and his family had he taken the following stand: “I think the prophesied judgement upon Sodom and Gomorrah should be interpreted symbolically. I do not have to escape for my life. Even if the disaster does occur I believe that God will protect us from His wrath here in this place.” Similar arguments are often heard today.

The coming judgements during the tribulation period are irrefutable biblical facts. Jesus said there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world (Matt. 24:21), and that we should be ready to escape it. The rapture is part of the good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. He came to this sin-indulging world to pay the price for the salvation of sinners. He then returned to heaven to prepare a place for us, and will come back to take us away to our heavenly abode. If we are truly born again we will be worthy to escape the horrors of the coming tribulation on earth by way of the rapture. We do not have to despair at the knowledge of what is coming upon the world since there is a wonderful element of good news in the prophetic word.

A correct future expectation

If we believe in the pre-tribulation rapture we have the assurance of a truly biblical future expectation. This belief does not in any way contradict other biblical truths. This end-time perspective honours the Lord Jesus and recognises Him as the key to all prophecy in Scripture, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). Christians should remain focused on Him and wait for His sudden appearance – not for the Antichrist’s. Those who deny Him will remain behind after the rapture. Having rejected the way of escape and salvation offered by the true Christ, they will have to endure the Antichrist’s dictatorship and the terrible judgements to follow. What they experience on earth will be a direct result of the seals broken by the Lamb in heaven. Never deny Jesus Christ His central position in biblical prophecies. To expect His imminent return, and to arrange your life accordingly, is a command which is intended to be a strong, positive motivation to all Christians of all ages.

A motivation for steadfastness

The coming of the heavenly Bridegroom will occur during a time of religious compromise and worldliness. There will be a great falling away from the truth of God’s Word. A relatively small group of evangelical Christians will shine like lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15). As in the times of Noah and Lot, the earth will be filled with violence, materialism, and sexual perversion. Unfortunately, the spirit of unrighteousness and immorality will also take its toll among Christians. They will relax their vigilance and make downward adjustments to their spiritual standards: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Some Christians will become backslidden or discouraged in the work of the Lord.

Inactive Christians often compromise their dedication to the Lord and their responsibility to serve Him faithfully. Their spiritual decline may manifest itself in various ways. The most common way of backsliding is to abandon the need for sanctification and to become pleasure-seekers who attend worldly parties where people eat and drink to excess. They also become critical of evangelical Christians who do not approve of their depraved ways. The Lord Jesus warned against such sinful behaviour and countered it by using the prospect of His sudden, unexpected return as a positive motivation to remain steadfast to the end: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. … But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites” (Matt. 24:45-51).

Correctly determining and prioritising works

To expect the coming of the Lord Jesus before the tribulation period, guides your actions in the right direction. You prepare for His coming and not for the coming of the Antichrist. The concept of the rapture explicitly confronts you with your responsibility to give account of yourself before the judgement seat of Christ immediately after being caught up to heavenly places (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12). The following crowns will be awarded to the faithful:

  • The incorruptible crown for holiness (1 Cor. 9:24-27). A life of this nature is characterised by the power of the Holy Spirit which enables a believer to abide in Christ, resist the temptations of sin and spiritual deception, and to keep on serving the Lord despite severe adversity and opposition. All the other crowns are dependant upon the believer’s sanctification.
  • The crown of rejoicing for soul-winners (1 Thess. 2:19). When the saving grace of the Lord Jesus is proclaimed, people are invited to accept it by faith, thereby obtaining the promise of eternal life. We were commissioned to be Christ’s witnesses everywhere on earth (Acts 1:8) but not all believers are engaged in fulfilling their calling.
  • The crown of life for Christian martyrs (Rev. 2:10). All those who have suffered or even died for their faith, will be rewarded. This category also includes believers who were severely tested but carried their cross with perseverance (Jas. 1:12).
  • The crown of glory for faithful shepherds (1 Pet. 5:2-4). Peter makes it clear that the faithful shepherds are those who did not fulfil their ministry by constraint, or for dishonest gain, or for status considerations. False teachers who proclaim lies will not share in the rapture to appear before the judgement seat of Christ, since they do not belong to Him and are destined for perdition (2 Pet. 2:1; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).
  • The crown of righteousness for those who loved the appearing of the Lord (2 Tim. 4:8). To love His coming calls for dissociation from the depraved world and its (mostly) corrupt leaders while pursuing the kingdom of Christ. Believers are citizens of this heavenly kingdom over which Christ will reign as King on earth after His second coming (Phil. 3:20-21).

The fact that our works will be judged after the rapture, and that only those with eternal value will be rewarded, is of great significance in helping us to devote ourselves to objectives that are higher than the material things of this perishable world. After conversion, our lives should yield the fruit of the Spirit and we should not waste time and resources on earthly things, pleasure or futile works. After the foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus has been laid in our lives we should take care to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh: “… let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. … Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire” (1 Cor. 3:10-13).

Will you be found a worthy servant or will you stand before the judgement seat of Christ on that day empty-handed, saved as by fire? (1 Cor. 3:15). If you lose sight of the possibility of the Lord’s imminent return you may lapse into complacency, spiritual inactivity, and even into sin: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. … You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and for ever” (2 Pet. 3:10, 17-18).

The faithful and wise servant keeps himself busy with the work of the Lord, always realising that the time to work for his Master is running out. The Lord Jesus Himself said: “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). The night of God’s judgements during the great tribulation is fast approaching. Spiritually speaking, the tribulation will be one of the darkest periods in the entire history of humanity – and that should motivate us to work with greater dedication and commitment to the Lord while we are still in the day of grace.

Motivation for holiness

One of the strongest motivations that the promise of the rapture instils into a Christian is that of holiness. As members of the bridal church we should commit ourselves to the challenge of being presented to the heavenly Bridegroom as chaste virgins. That implies the responsibility to be vigilant by not allowing the wicked one to pervert or corrupt our minds and lives (2 Cor. 11:2-3). Jesus Christ gave Himself to sanctify and cleanse the church that He might present it to Himself holy and without spot or blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). We have a distinct responsibility to use the means of grace at our disposal to walk in the ways of the Lord and to become holy in all our conduct (1 Pet. 1:15). “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord” (2 Cor. 7:1).

If we abide in Christ, we will have confidence when He appears and not be ashamed before Him (1 John 2:28). However, should we lose sight of His imminent coming and fail to live accordingly we may lapse into complacency, spiritual passiveness, and even into sin (Matt. 24:48-51).

Hope during trials and afflictions

Under the dark shadow of trials and afflictions, when our prospects on earth look bleak, the belief in Christ’s coming for us at the rapture is a light at the end of the tunnel. Through many sorrows and suffering, millions of Christians have clung desperately to the promise of the resurrection and our union with the Lord at the rapture. It gave them strength to endure, counting earthly things and even their own lives as of no account so that they might win eternity with Christ. So, take courage, lift up your head, and expect the coming of the Lord, knowing your future is safe and sure in His hands.

A sense of destiny

Like Abraham we should see ourselves as strangers and sojourners in a world that “lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:18). Since our future is not here, we need a vision of the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). In our pilgrimage through this world, we need a strong sense of destiny. When the Lord comes for us at the rapture, He will take us to our eternal home in the new Jerusalem (1 Cor. 2:9; John 14:2; Rev. 21:2).

We should not identify ourselves with this world and become one with its materialism, pleasure-seeking and moral and spiritual depravity. We should proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. The unbelievers around us are in spiritual darkness, but through our testimony we should show them the way to the Saviour, who is the light of the world.

While serving the Lord as faithful witnesses, we should always keep our eye on Him as “the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16) that shines above the dark horizon of a troubled and hostile world. The morning star tells us the night is far spent and the day is at hand. Before Jesus appears as the Sun of Righteousness, when every eye shall see Him, Christians will have an awesome meeting with Him, the Bright and Morning Star, in the air!

Noah’s Ark

Dec 19, 2013

December 19, 2013 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,


A description of the ark (Gen. 6:14-16)

The word “ark” refers to a box-like vessel. The ark was a modified box-shaped craft like a modern oil tanker. It was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high (Gen. 6:15). Given a cubit of 18 inches, this would have been 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high.

It was three stories high (Gen. 5:16).

It had one window and one door (Gen. 6:16).

It was made of gopher wood and pitched within and without so that it was watertight (Gen. 6:14). Though we do not know what gopher wood was, it is obvious that it was a strong and pliable wood suitable for the purpose. The pitch was some sort of waterproofing, such as the slime or bitumen that was used in building the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:3).

The sea-worthiness of the ark

Was it stable enough and strong enough to withstand the raging sea?

1. The Bible says that God instructed Noah how to build the ark, and those who believe in an Almighty, All-wise God have no problem believing that He could construct an ark that was strong enough to do this job.

2. Further, about 1,600 years had passed since creation, and the technological level of man was doubtless very advanced. Adam’s first sons were skilled in city building, metal working, agriculture, music, etc. (Gen. 4:20-22). Men lived to long ages then and had one language so knowledge would have increased rapidly. At the Tower of Babel, God said that because of man’s intelligence and unified language, “nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Gen. 11:6). The Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a large section that demonstrates how that men in ancient times had the knowledge to build wooden vessels with multi-layered hulls that could withstand the conditions encountered by the ark. Though some skeptics have claimed that such a large ship could not be constructed out of wood, in fact ships just as large as the ark existed in ancient times. The third century B.C. Leontifera, a fighting ship with 1,600 rowers, was between 400 and 500 feet long. Another third century B.C. ship, which was built by Ptolemy Philopator to carry 7,250 men, was 420 feet long (“The Large Ships of Antiquity,” Creation ex nihilo, June 2000).

3. The ark’s dimensions were perfect. The ratio of length to breadth was 6 to 1. Some giant oil tankers are 7 to 1. A model of the ark made by Peter Jansen of Holland proved that it was almost impossible to capsize (John Whitcomb, The World that Perished, p. 24).

The size of the ark

Was the ark large enough to carry all of the animals?

1. Noah only needed to carry a representative of each major kind of creature and not every variety within the kinds.

2. The following is a description of the ark if the cubit was 18 inches: “Its carrying capacity equaled that of 522 standard railroad stock cars (each of which can hold 240 sheep). Only 188 cars would be required to hold 45,000 sheep-sized animals, leaving three trains of 104 cars each for food, Noah’s family, and ‘range’ for the animals. Today it is estimated that there are 17,600 species of animals, making 45,000 a likely approximation of the number Noah might have taken into the Ark” (Ryrie Study Bible).

3. It is also possible that the cubit in Genesis 6 was larger than 18 inches, which would mean that the ark would have been even larger than the previous description. “The Babylonians had a ‘royal’ cubit of about 19.8 inches, the Egyptians had a longer and a shorter cubit of about 20.65 inches and 17.6 inches respectively, while the Hebrews apparently had a long cubit of 20.4 inches (Ezek. 40:5) and a common cubit of about 17.5 inches” (R.B.Y. Scott, “Weights and Measures of the Bible,” The Biblical Archaeologist, May 1959, pp. 22-27, summarized by Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood).

4. As for the dinosaurs, their average size, based on the fossil record, was the size of a sheep or small pony (Ken Ham, The New Answers Book, p. 167, quoting M. Crichton, The Lost World, p. 122). Struthiomimus, for example, was the size of an ostrich, and Compsognathus was the size of a chicken. Thus, only some of them were overly large, and of these, Noah could have taken the eggs or he could have taken juveniles. Even the largest dinosaurs were small when first hatched. Since reptiles can grow as long as they live, the large dinosaurs from the fossil record were probably very old ones (The New Answers Book). “There were probably fewer than 50 distinct groups or kinds of dinosaurs that had to be on the Ark” (The New Answers Book, p. 168).

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Acting Like Evil Is Normal


Righteous Living in a Desensitized Culture…


All of us have probably had the distasteful experience of overhearing someone cursing and using foul language. Sometimes, graffiti “artists” ply their illegal slogans and we’re the victims as we try to hurry our children or grandchildren past some freshly spray-painted wall, park bench, or boxcar. If you venture out very often to a mall or shopping area, then you have likely been subjected to foul language and unseemly activity at some point. If you lived much of your life without Christ in the world (as I did) then chances are that you remember the days when all of those off-color words were a part of your personal vocabulary. Praise the Lord that when He saved me He also cleansed me and, by the convicting power of the Spirit of God, He strengthens me to resist letting fly with a string of expletives in the manner that I once did. I’m not applauding myself here but just crediting the Lord for changing me and for continuing to refine His work in me day in and day out.
The fact is that our speech surely reflects what is going on in our soul. Jesus illustrates this in Matthew 12 as He makes the point that good men speak good things and evil men speak the opposite. He then states, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37). He visits the same line of thinking in Matthew 15 and again in Mark 7. It should go without saying that this is surely no trivial teaching. After all, the Bible succinctly proclaims that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34b).
I’ve said all of that to say that, as repulsed as I am by the crude and filthy things that so effortlessly stream out of the mouths of so many around us these days, I am not shocked by them. Still, I was completely blindsided by such a display when I walked into a Starbucks coffee shop in the Seattle area recently. I wasn’t at all prepared for the blatant, in-your-face, vulgar proclamation spelled out in big block letters inside.
There in line in front of me – in the midst of a busy Saturday afternoon crowd – was an older teen with a brightly colored T-shirt which, on the back, displayed one of the most foul statements that one can make. In fact, I’m not even going to give you an idea of exactly what the shirt said so that your mind doesn’t participate in the guessing game as to what the words were. I lived in the perverted, anything goes world of professional rock music for two decades and I thought I had been around when it comes to what the world offers but, frankly, I stood there nearly dumbfounded, wondering, “Does that offend anyone else here?” As I looked around the busy shop, I took stock of the twenty or so patrons and the four baristas busy serving them. With the exception of one couple at a table in the corner, I may have been the oldest person present and, though I noticed others staring at the fellow whose shirt displayed the message, no one shook their head or seemed to act as though something was uncomfortably out of place. There was no outrage. No offense seemed to be taken. The fact is, I surmise that those present weren’t offended or shocked much at all. After all, it’s only words. Right? No, in reality, the people present, like the majority in our society (especially those under 40), have likely become accustomed to the particular phrase so boldly displayed on the shirt. They had become desensitized and hardened to the culture around them and probably had little if any problem with one of their peers displaying words that not long ago would have outraged the secular culture in a similar circumstance, let alone sorely offended us Christians.
As I stood waiting for my drink and watching the young man, a number of things crossed my mind. Should I ask for the manager? Should I make a scene and publicly call him out, exposing his uncouthness? (This was the response my flesh wanted to take.) Should I follow him outside and try to speak to him? Or should I just shrug my shoulders and be glad that my granddaughters hadn’t been with me to be subjected to the spectacle?
Once he exited the shop, I saw that the Lord had probably saved me a real, possibly dangerous, hassle, as he was obviously just one of several guys sitting around the tables outside. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but, by the looks of them, I can imagine that the text on his T-shirt might have been lightweight in comparison. Frankly, they had every appearance of thugs, young punks just waiting for a turn on “Cops” or a posting on “America’s Most Wanted.” I realize that today it is “cool” to repeatedly tattoo and pierce and display how tough you think you are, but this kid had decided to tell the whole world off in the foulest of words and his friends fit the sentiment displayed on his shirt!
Still angered in a way that simply does not come upon me often, I walked to my car, got in, and observed. Knowing it was fruitless, I decided to call the local sheriff precinct anyway, if only to vent my feelings. When I explained what the situation was to the officer who answered my call, he said, “Sir, I completely agree with you. It is gross and bad for the businesses, but the words on his shirt are constitutionally protected free speech and there is nothing we can do about it.” The officer again sympathized in agreement with me and we hung up.
Understand that I am obviously a huge fan of constitutionally protected free speech. However, the base level of which the courts have now ruled in favor does beg for an answer as to what might be protected next. Thanks to the efforts of the ACLU, Hustler’s Larry Flint, and liberal politicians, the courts have neutered nearly every existing obscenity law. It would appear that almost every vile ideal is now hunky-dory in America. We are surely calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20-21) and, sadly, biblically-literate folk know where it is all heading. As I sat observing the scene in front of the coffee shop, I thought to myself, “This is what the breakdown of truth, the loss of decency, and our new “liberal” interpretation of the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ have gotten us.” Now our kids take their lead from the pitiful role models and false heroes being turned out by Hollywood, MTV, and Comedy Central. Even the Christians – the real, authentic ones – have been conditioned and have lost much of their ability to blush.
I might add that Christians need to think twice before we condemn this kind of behavior and then shell out money at the box office or for DVD rentals to be fed the same by the growing number of misfits and social degenerates whose perceived talents have made billions while they advocate and validate the foul-mouthed, crude activities we are commonly subjected to.
It may be constitutionally protected free speech, but, until we Christians bring this stuff up and point out how prevalent and repulsive it is, we can expect only an escalation of the same. This is exactly the plight of Abraham’s nephew, Lot.
The Bible identifies him as a “righteous man” who was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked” (see II Peter 2:5-8). Yet, he had lived around such evil for so long that, when the two angels came to warn him of the pending destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:1-11), he attempted dialoguing with demon-possessed men and even offered his virgin daughters to them in compromise! He had become used to living around the most evil attitudes and activities imaginable and, though disturbed by the foul “conversation of the wicked,” his sensibilities had been severely dulled and his judgment was skewed.
Though I wish somehow that I would have publicly confronted the young man, in retrospect, I should have asked for the manager of the coffee shop and complained that they had even served him. However, judging from what I saw, it would probably have done little good. I have learned since the incident that the corporate policy of Starbucks is to never refuse service to a customer due to offensive language or behavior. Frankly, though, I encourage store owners and even corporations such as Starbucks to institute a discrimination policy similar to “no shirt, no shoes, no service” when it comes to obscenity. Yes, this is America, and I thank God that our free speech – even that which offends – is protected. However, we also have the right to ostracize clientele who are in effect running customers off and whose presence works against the intended shopping experience that businesses count on giving customers, particularly in a social/leisure setting like a Starbucks store. As I was writing this, a friend told me of an instance when a teenager was actually thrown out of a Sam’s Club outlet because he was wearing a T-shirt similar to the one I’ve described here. Right on and Amen!
This is all a result of the culture’s creeping acceptability of offensive and down-right evil language, behavior, and attitudes. Moreover, the real core reason for this is often because of “freethinking” parenting that an 18- or 19-year-old could act out in this casual, laissez faire way. By the way, the young man walked away with a fellow easily in his 40’s. I wondered to myself, “Could that been his father???!!!” This is just a small reflection of what my generation has brought upon us with the hippies, free love, LSD, and the counterculture movement. Forty-five years ago we proclaimed, “If it feels good do it,” and “Do your own thing, man,” and the fruit of that thinking is now apparent in the teen culture of 2010.
But as the days of Noah 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 Noah 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 1 Samuel 15 we find that in God’s economy rebellion is equal to witchcraft. This is surely the spirit of our age today. Jesus, of course, had it pegged in the above passage from Matthew 24. Just as in the days of Noah, the world today is oblivious to its precarious spiritual plight and the judgment that is fast approaching – but wise followers of God’s Word do understand. The majority of those in the world around us seem to think nothing of what I’ve described above. The culture is careening headlong toward destruction and seems to be completely unaware of it. Here we are, condemning “free speech” and protected expression that would have horrified the world, let alone the Church, a short time ago. I feel certain that, instead of agreement, over time I’ll receive some anonymous mail telling me how prude-like and backward I am. Somebody – claiming to be “Christian” – is bound to repeat the tired old line continually voiced so often by the world: “Don’t shove your old-fashioned, outdated morality down my throat, Eric Barger!” Well, I’m not. If you are a defender of using dirty words and want to argue about it, take it up with God. After all, our now-extinct obscenity laws, which those hapless folks at the ACLU have managed to have stricken, were each reflections of biblical morality. Of course, though, who wants that now? Since we’re so “educated” and so enlightened and so very much ahead of every previous generation, then we surely don’t need to be concerned with the archaic rules that so restricted and repressed our thirst for immorality in times past, right?
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
– Ephesians 4:29
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
– Colossians 3:8
Let’s also remember that, in the midst of all of this, we have a genre of people manning Emergent Church pulpits who claim it’s kosher and oh so freeing to let fly with any and every profanity (including the one on the T-shirt that provoked this missive) and that these counterfeit Christians do so from behind the “sacred desk,” the pulpit! I cringe to think of what many claiming to be followers of Christ have accepted – all because they don’t bother to read or believe the Bible. There, my friends, is the root of the problem.
I imagine a few reading this might have a clue as to the type of talk and activity secular (and some Christian) teens engage in today. Frankly, however, most of you would be shocked to know the things texted by teens to one another. Each week we hear increasingly troubling accounts of children as young as 8 and 9 engaging in sexual activity and, as prevalent as this stuff might be, this grandfather of four isn’t taking it lightly. I surely don’t want to stand idly by while some foolish kid, flaunting his lack of morality and couth on a mission to acquaint my kiddos with the crudest of words in the English language, does so without any interference.
So, is it a lost cause? Have we so lost our way that we should just expect our teens to be drawn into the gutter that produced the T-shirt I saw this week? Many popular bumper stickers display the same sorts of messages and with atheist groups now proclaiming on billboards around the world, “There is no God,” it makes me wonder if the same gross phrases will soon be visible for all to see along our nation’s highways, too.
The most pressing question for the majority of those who will read this is, “What hope do our Christian teens and children have?” The psalmist asked the same question in Psalm 119. Verse nine asks, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” and then continues with the only answer – “By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” It is only a lost cause if we clam up and do nothing when we are faced with evil. It is only a lost cause when we fail to point the next generation to the truth Psalm 119 expresses in this passage.
The only hope for our children and grandchildren is a foundation rooted firmly in the Word of God and a solid and reverent relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ. It may go without saying to some and may not fit the psychologically-bound mold that so many think can fix their problems, but resolving to follow God’s precious Word is simply the only antidote for what ails us and the only remedy that will stave off the judgment of God upon us.
I encourage you to be aware, yet not distraught, that we are watching as the end-times activities prophesied in the Bible are coming to pass all around us. Matthew 24 is a veritable checklist that alerts Bible-believers as to where we are on God’s sovereign, prophetic time table at present. It was just the kind of repugnant filth that I saw adorning the young man’s T-shirt inside the coffee shop that surely typified Noah’s day before the flood and the time of Lot just before fire fell from heaven. The orgies of ancient Rome were surely on par with the public acceptance of foul speech and perverse activities that we are watching become normal in this hour. We can be absolutely assured that, unless there is a dramatic acceptance of Jesus Christ accompanied by true repentance across our land, it will end the same way for America as it did for Egypt, Sodom and Rome. The question for us remains: will we stand and be counted, or will we just try to blend in with the perishing and act like evil is actually normal?


June 2023



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