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THE DAYS OF NOAH - PART I

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, May 5, 2002


"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).


The Disciples had asked Jesus, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?" (Matthew 24:3). Their question was very plain: "How can we know when you are coming again?" Christ had plainly told them that He would come again. He said, "I will come again" (John 14:3). He told them that He would come in the clouds of Heaven, "They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 24:30).

But how could they tell when He was coming? They wanted to know. They wanted a sign. And Christ gave them many signs. But the greatest sign that His coming is drawing near was given when He said,

"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

Dr. M. R. DeHaan wrote this:

Jesus says, if you want to know the signs of my coming, study the days of Noah before the flood. When conditions which existed before the flood are repeated, then know that it is near (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1971, p. 20).

All we need to do is read Genesis, chapters four through six. These three chapters in the Bible tell us exactly what it was like in Noah's day. When these conditions appear on the world scene again, then the Second Coming of Christ and the end of this world as we know it are just around the corner.

So, what was it like in Noah's day? In two sermons, I will give you six points of similarity between our time and the days of Noah. I believe that any honest person looking at these similarities will come to see that we are now living in that time. Jesus said, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

Here are three points of similarity between our time and the days of Noah.

1. A time of apostasy

2. A time of travel

3. A time when most people commit the unpardonable sin.

These conditions are being repeated all around us today.

I. First, it was a time of apostasy.

Turn in your Bible to Genesis, chapter four. Here we read about two men, Cain and his brother, Abel. They represent the two religions that are present in the Christian world today. The Scofield note on Genesis 4:1 says,

Cain ("acquisition") is a type of the mere man of the earth. His religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need for atonement.

Cain represents the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians today. Notice Genesis, chapter four, verse three:

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord"

(Genesis 4:3).

Cain's offering was bloodless. He knew from the fact that God had slain an animal to clothe his parents (cf. Genesis 3:21) that he should offer blood. But instead he offered vegetables to God. That is why the Scofield note says, "His religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need for atonement."

We also see that he had no real sense of sin by the way he responded when God rejected his offering. Look at verse five:

"But unto Cain and to his offering he [God] had not respect. And Cain was very wroth [angry], and his countenance fell"

(Genesis 4:5).

Cain refused to do the right thing and bring a blood offering. When his religion was rejected by God, he did not repent, but became angry.

Cain's brother Abel brought the correct offering, and God accepted it. Read verse four:

"And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering" (Genesis 4:4).

God accepted Abel's religion of blood sacrifice, and rejected Cain's bloodless offering. Cain became angry. He did not repent and change his view of religion. Instead, he killed his godly brother. Verse eight tells us:

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Genesis 4:8).

Now this happened in the days before the Flood, and Cain's religion came to dominate the world in the days of Noah, as we see in verses sixteen through twenty-four. The Scofield note on Genesis four, verse seventeen says:

The first civilization, that which perished in the judgment of the Flood, was Cainitic in origin, character, and destiny…The Cainitic civilization may have been as splendid as that of Greece or Rome, but the divine judgment is according to the moral state, not the material.

Cain's offspring had the same religion he had. His offspring Lamech said these words to his wives, recorded in verses twenty-three and twenty-four:

"Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold" (Genesis 4:23-24).

That's the way religion was in the days of Noah. It was filled with anger and hatred toward godly people. We see that many people were calling on the name of the Lord, as doubtlessly Cain and his offspring did. Verse twenty-six says, "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord."

There is no indication that any of these people were idolaters. They professed to believe in God. They called on His name. But they were unconverted people. The great mass of people on the earth before the Flood were just like Cain. They were religious but lost. That's why the Bible tells us "few, that is, eight souls were saved" at the time of the Flood in Noah's day (I Peter 3:20). The vast majority of those in the world had the apostate religion of Cain, and so were lost and went to Hell when the Flood came in Noah's day.

Jesus said,

"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

Isn't that the way most people are today? They may claim to be religious. They may even claim to be Christians, but their religion, like that of Cain, is "destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need for atonement" (Scofield note on Genesis 4:1).

Now, if you want to be saved, you must become like Abel. You must come to God through the bloody sacrifice of Christ, who died to pay for your sins on the Cross. You cannot come to God without having your sins cleansed by the Blood of Christ.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree [the Cross], that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (I Peter 2:24).

There is no other way to be saved. Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). The only way you can come to God and be saved is by coming through Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross to pay for your sins, and who rose again and is now alive at the right hand of God in Heaven.

Most people today are going to Hell, just as they did in Noah's day. How about you? Will you come to Jesus and have your sins washed away by His Blood, as Abel did? Or will you go on in sin, like Cain, and go to Hell?

The churches around us are nearly all apostate. They have turned away from the Blood of Christ as the only cure for man's sin. They have no real belief in the new birth or conversion. At best, they substitute a mere "decision" for a saving knowledge of Christ, and cleansing by His Blood. Will you go to some other church and embrace the apostate religion of Cain? Or will you come back here Sunday after Sunday to this old-time Baptist church and get saved by the Blood of Christ?

"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

And one more thing: those who have Cain's religion persecute those who have Abel's religion. "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Genesis 4:8). Turn to I John, chapter three, verse eleven:

"For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore [why] slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not [don't be surprised], my brethren, if the world hate you" (I John 3:11-13).

In one way or another, those who are false Christians persecute and seek to harm true Christians. I have never seen an exception to this. If you are truly saved, you should expect unsaved people to do and say unkind things about you. And they will do this expressly because you are a true Christian.

I have spent too much time on the first point, but it is a very important one. Apostasy and false religion are all around us, on television, radio, and "evangelical" churches.

"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

II. Second, it was a time of extensive travel.

Remember that Jesus told us that conditions before the Flood would be repeated in the last days.

Now, in Genesis, chapter four we have the first mention of travel in the Bible. Please turn to Genesis, chapter four, verse sixteen:

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden" (Genesis 4:16).

The International Bible Encyclopedia says that, "Cain takes up his abode in the land of Nod ('wandering'), and there builds a city" (Eerdmans, 1976, volume 1, p. 539). The land of "Nod" literally means "the land of wandering." This tells us that Cain wandered from one place to the other. Dr. DeHaan tells us that "Tradition relates that Cain went out to India and China and other remote lands" (The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1971, p. 33). This may only be a conjecture, but the Bible tells us that Cain wandered the earth. God said, "A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth" (Genesis 4:12). Dr. DeHaan says,

It suggests a restlessness, uneasiness and a desire to explore and investigate. Since this is the first mention of wandering from place to place in the Bible, it gathers real significance in the light of Jesus' words, "As it was in the days before the Flood, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of man." Remember, this was before the flood and therefore was certainly included in Jesus' words as a sign of His coming again (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., ibid., p. 33).

Today there is a great deal of movement and travel that no one ever saw before. This was given in the Book of Daniel as a sign of the end. Turn with me to Daniel, chapter twelve, verse four:

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).

Notice that this verse speaks of "the time of the end," or the last days. Then we are told two things about "the time of the end":


(1) Many will run to and fro

(2) Knowledge shall be increased.

Dr. Charles Ryrie gives this comment, "As the end approaches, people will travel about…" (Ryrie Study Bible, note on Daniel 12:4). The New International Version, although not a reliable translation in many ways, correctly translates the first half of the verse as, "Many will go here and there." And Dr. W. A. Criswell says that Daniel 12:4 tells us that "A time of astonishing mobility and momentous increase of knowledge is forecast for the last days" (Criswell Study Bible, note on Daniel 12:4).

The increase of human knowledge made possible this astonishing mobility. Before the invention of the steam engine, no one could travel faster than about 15 to 18 miles an hour. Steam engines increased that to about 60 miles an hour by train. An early automobile took that speed to about 70 miles an hour. Early airplanes took that to about 250 miles an hour. Jet planes took that to about 600 miles an hour.

In the late 19th century Jules Verne wrote a book titled Around the World in Eighty Days. It seemed incredible, almost unbelievable, to people living then (about 125 years ago) that a person could go around the world in a balloon in only eighty days! But today you can travel around the world in two days in a jet plane. A man in a space shuttle can go clear around the world in 1½ hours!

"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased"

(Daniel 12:4).

Remember that this is exactly what happened in the days before the Flood, when Cain became "a fugitive and a vagabond…in the earth" (Genesis 4:12), and when he travelled east of Eden to a place called Nod - which means "wandering."

Jesus prophesied,

"As the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

People are continually moving, continually restless, continually changing today. Before the advent of the Model T Ford, people might move once, and then settle down for the rest of their lives. But the Model T Ford made it possible for them to move again and again and again.

I believe that this mobility is behind many of the problems of our time. It ruins your life to move over and over and over. Settle down. Put your roots down. Say, "I am not moving again," and stick to it. Come home to this church, and stay here! Moving from church to church is a result of the restless spirit of the end times.

"The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest"

(Isaiah 57:20).

Stop being tossed around on the sea of change and constant moving in our wicked, materialistic age. Put your roots down in this church and stay here, no matter what happens!

And then come to Christ. Throw yourself on the Son of God and be saved by Him. Trust Him and His Blood will wash away your sin. He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He arose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God, in Heaven.

III. Third, it was a time when countless numbers of people
committed the unpardonable sin.

Please turn in your Bible to Genesis, chapter six, verse three:

"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).

God said that man would have only one hundred and twenty years, which was the equivalent of ten or eleven in the life of a human being today. After that God would give up on them because they had committed the unpardonable sin.

Ninety percent of all conversions occur before the age of thirty, and eighty percent occur before the age of twenty. After twenty, the number of conversions drops amazingly. The vast number of people who go past twenty are never converted. Why? Simply because God gives up on them. Their hearts become too hard to be saved. They no longer feel any conviction over their sins. How about you? Are you already too hardened in your heart to feel convicted of sin? Have you already been given up by God?

Remember, very few people (only eight!) were saved in Noah's day. The Bible says,

"Few, that is, eight souls were saved" (I Peter 3:20).

If you get saved, you will be one of the very few who get saved in these evil days.

"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

God says to you tonight,

"My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3).

Focus your thoughts on your sins and on the coming judgment. Then, and only then, will you see the need for Jesus Christ and salvation through His Blood.

There's a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost?
Tho' you gained the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

("Have You Counted the Cost?" by A. J. Hodge, 1923).

Count the cost! Your soul will be lost forever, in Hell! Count the cost! The Holy Spirit will depart from you. You will be given up - just like the people in Noah's day. They stood outside the ark pounding for seven days after the door was shut. Seven days went by! But it was too late! They had committed the unpardonable sin. God had given up on them! I warn you - don't commit the unpardonable sin! Yield to the Holy Spirit! Think about your sins! Come to Christ!


(END OF SERMON)


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 24:32-42.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Have You Counted the Cost?" (by A. J. Hodge, 1923).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

THE OUTLINE OF

THE DAYS OF NOAH - PART I

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37).

(Matthew 24:3; John 14:3; Matthew 24:30)

I.   It was a time of apostasy, Genesis 4:3 (cf. Genesis 3:21);
Genesis 4:5,4,8,23-24,26; I Peter 3:20; I Timothy 2:5;
I Peter 2:24; John 14:6; I John 3:11-13.

II.  It was a time of extensive travel, Genesis 4:16; Daniel 12:4;
Genesis 4:12; Isaiah 57:20.

III. It was a time when countless numbers of people committed
the unpardonable sin, Genesis 6:3; I Peter 3:20.