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THE DAYS OF NOAH – PART VI

(SERMON #17 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Saturday Evening, August 25, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

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


Once again I must say that the age in which we now live has many parallels with the days of Noah. We have seen these similarities in the sermons I have preached on this subject:


(1)  It was a time of apostasy, when most people were unconverted.

(2)  It was a time of extensive travel, when people did not stay in one place.

(3)  It was a time when multitudes of people committed the unpardonable sin.

(4)  It was a time of multiple marriages.

(5)  It was a time when demon possession occurred on a large scale.

(6)  It was a time when evil thought prevailed on the earth.

(7)  It was a time dominated by carnal music.

(8)  It was a time of great violence.

(9)  It was a time when strong preaching was rejected.


But tonight I want us to see another parallel. Noah’s time was an age of great spiritual deception. Jesus said:

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

And Christ told the Disciples that our day, near the end of this age, would be a time filled with great spiritual deception.

In Matthew 24:3, the Disciples asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?” (Matthew 24:3). They wanted “a sign” of the end. Jesus gave them many signs! He began by giving them this warning:

“Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4).

Again, in Matthew 24:24, Jesus said:

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:24-25).

Christ made it quite plain that this age would end with great deception and spiritual fraud.

Was it like this in the days of Noah? You bet! Noah’s day was filled with spiritual mischief, chicanery, and deception! And Jesus said:

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

There are many similarities between the spiritual deception of our day and the time of Noah.

I. It was a time of counterfeit revival.

Turn to Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-six:

“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26).

The Bible tells us that Enos lived nine hundred and five years:

“And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died” (Genesis 5:11).

This means that Noah was approximately 90 years old when Enos died. Why is this important? Because it shows that men were calling on the name of the Lord at least ninety years into the lifetime of Noah, and probably well after that. “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26).

But in spite of the religious activity and “calling upon the name of the Lord,” the days of Noah were filled with spiritual deception. Dr. M. R. DeHaan said:

Surely the days of Noah before the flood must have been days of great deception. In spite of the powerful preaching of Enoch…and of Noah, the world would not believe these preachers; and when the flood came, there were only eight persons who were saved (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1963, p. 56).

The facts presented to us in the Bible lead us to the inescapable conclusion that mankind was deceived spiritually in spite of the preaching of Enoch and Noah. Even though they heard sound preaching, and even though they had called on the name of the Lord, they were still deceived and unprepared for the judgment that came on them in the Great Flood.

Genesis 4:26 tells us, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” But were they prepared for judgment? The plain lesson of the Bible is that they were not prepared! There was a great deal of religious activity, but the vast majority of people remained unconverted! I fail to see how we can draw any other conclusion when we take the historical record of Genesis, chapters four through six seriously and literally. And Jesus said:

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

The conclusion that we come to is extremely upsetting to many people. When I gave an eye-witness description of the “Brownsville Awakening” (the “laughing revival”) some time ago, two new-evangelicals began so agitated and upset that they stood up in the middle of my sermon and ran out of the service in great anger. But I must repeat what I said then. The “Brownsville Awakening,” the “Laughing Revival,” the “healing” services on TBN television, and many other events happening in evangelicalism are a counterfeit of real revival. Hank Hanegraaff has written a book about this, called Counterfeit Revival (Word, 1997). The jacket of that book has these words on it:

Christian leaders spanning the spiritual spectrum proclaim that we are now in the midst of the greatest revival in human history. In their haste to embrace the great awakening, multitudes are instead becoming ensnared in a great apostasyCounterfeit Revival documents the danger of looking for God in all the wrong places. As leaders of the Counterfeit Revival employ socio-psychological manipulation tactics, their subjects are trapped in a dangerous web of subjectivism. No one is immune to the force of mass suggestion. Once this epidemic contaminates a movement, it can make black appear white, obscure realities, and enshrine absurdities. In full force it strikes intellectuals as well as the ignorant, rich, and poor alike. Pagan religions and pseudo-Christian cults have long capitalized on sleight of hand and sleight of mind to promote their practices. Today Counterfeit Revival leaders are following their footsteps (Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, Word, 1997, jacket statement).

Ours is a day of great spiritual deception, that you can see any time, day or night, on TBN television, and it is occurring in churches throughout the world. Jesus said:

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

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:24-25).

The days of Noah were characterized by false revival, and false conversions, as we see in Genesis 4:26, when men “began to call upon the name of the Lord” without being converted.

II. It was a time when many people had false hopes of salvation.

I cannot draw any other conclusion when reading Genesis, chapters four through six. Dr. M. R. DeHaan said:

The most pressing warning then is – be not deceived! And the most pressing question is – “Are you ready for the coming of the Lord?” Remember, “as it was in the days of Noah,” those who neglected to believe, perished forever (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1963, p. 57).

The Bible says:

“God…spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:4-5).

The people of Noah’s day had called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26), but nearly all of them remained lost. Their situation is perfectly described in the third chapter of II Timothy:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3:1, 2, 5).

And Jesus said:

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

Noah’s day was a time when many people had false hopes of salvation. There is a great repetition of that in our time.

The growing darkness of our time is descending on us at the very time when the masses of our people believe that they are saved. The Bible says:

“Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:9).

Dr. Monroe “Monk” Parker was often called “The Dean of American Evangelists.” Dr. Parker said:

If we could get half the church members saved, we would see a great revival. In fact, I think if we could get half of the preachers in American converted, we would see a mighty revival (Monroe Parker, Through Sunshine and Shadows: My First Seventy-Seven Years, Sword of the Lord, 1987, pp. 61-62).

Editor Dale Burden said:

Anyone with any spiritual maturity and discernment, who knows the religious climate of America today, knows most church members are not saved. Dr. W. A. Criswell, famous SBC pastor of the huge First Baptist Church in Dallas, said to a few pastors on the platform after he preached (I was there) that he would be surprised to meet 25% of his members in heaven. Bob Gray, long-time pastor of the big Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, said several years ago that probably 75% of those he baptized were not saved (Dale Burden, The Gist, Spring, 1977, p. 5).

Dr. B. R. Lakin used to say that seventy-five percent of those attending Bible-believing churches were lost. Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “Among evangelical churches probably no more than one out of ten knows anything experientially about the new birth” (Paris Reidhead, Getting Evangelicals Saved, Bethany, 1989, p. 46).

How about you? Are you truly saved – or are you clinging to a false hope – like the great multitudes of people in Noah’s day, who were drowned in the Flood, and went to Hell? Those people had false hopes of salvation. Many of them surely thought they would be saved because they had prayed, had called on the name of the Lord (cf. Genesis 4:26). Yet great numbers of those who prayed went down in the judgment. Prayer never saved anyone! The Pharisee prayed, yet Christ told us he was lost.

Do you think that you are saved because you believe in God mentally? The demons believed in Jesus mentally – and said so – but they were not saved. No, believing things about Jesus and God will not save you. Praying will not save you. Coming forward, raising your hand, getting baptized, will not save you. Coming to church will not save you. Confessing your sins will not save you.

We have every reason to believe that the people in Noah’s day did all those things, yet they were drowned in the Great Flood, and went to Hell.

“God…spared not the old world, but saved Noah…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:4-5).

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

III. But, thirdly, it was a time when some people got saved.

A small number of people, Noah and his family, got saved. We are told that in II Peter 2:5, the verse I just quoted. It says that the Lord “saved Noah.” Yes, the word “saved” is used in that verse. Noah experienced salvation, according to II Peter 2:5. In the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews we are told that his wife, his three sons, and their wives, got saved also. Hebrews, chapter eleven, verse seven says,

“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…” (Hebrews 11:7).

This literally means “the saving of his household,” or family. His wife and each member of his household had to get truly saved to escape “the flood [which came] upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:5).

The only way that Noah and his family escaped from God’s judgment was by being truly converted. They actually experienced conversion. How about you?

How did they get saved? In Hebrews 11:7 we are told that it was “by faith.” You must totally and fully believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 16:31). But before you will believe savingly on Jesus, you must come under a sense of sin and helplessness. That prepares you to want Christ.

Now, nearly everyone in Noah’s day would have told you that they had faith. After all, they called on the name of the Lord, they prayed (Genesis 4:26). They would have told you they had faith. But they did not have real, saving faith in Christ. How do we know? Turn to Genesis, chapter seven, verse one:

“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1).

God said, “Thee have I seen righteous.” That is imputed righteousness. Noah was “seen as righteous” by God through faith in Jesus. Noah had faith in the preincarnate Christ. God declared Noah to be righteous since he had faith in Jesus. Romans 4:5 says:

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”
      (Romans 4:5).

When you trust fully in Jesus Christ, God counts you as a righteous person, through the imputed righteousness of Christ.

Noah was not saved because he was good. No! No! God said,

“Thee have I seen righteous” (Genesis 7:1).

God saw him as righteous because he had faith in Jesus (cf. Hebrews 11:7). “By faith!” “By faith!” “By faith!” Hebrews 11:7 tells us that Noah was saved by faith! God saw him as righteous because he had faith in the preincarnate Son of God.

And Noah and his family came into the ark because their faith moved them to obey God. God said to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark” (Genesis 7:1). That is a picture of coming into Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

“Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

That’s what I want you to do. I want you to come to Jesus Christ, just as Noah came into the ark. Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins. Christ shed His Blood to wash your sins away. But Christ ascended back into Heaven after He rose from the dead. But you will not do so until you are burdened and broken by a deep sense of sin, sin that cuts you off from God, sin that will damn your soul to Hell forever. You must receive a sharp, agonizing sense of sin or you will not come into the ark of Christ.

Then, you must come directly to Christ. Just as Noah came directly into the ark, you must come directly into Christ. I pray that you will do that. Unless you do, you will be destroyed in the coming judgment.

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

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 6:5-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“What If It Were Today?” (by Lelia N. Morris, 1862-1929).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DAYS OF NOAH – PART VI

(SERMON #17 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

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 24:3-4, 24-25)

I.   It was a time of counterfeit revival, Genesis 4:26; 5:11.

II.  It was a time when many people had false hopes of salvation,
II Peter 2:4-5; II Timothy 3:1, 2, 5; Isaiah 1:9.

III. It was a time when some people got saved, Hebrews 11:7;
II Peter 2:5; Acts 16:31; Genesis 7:1; Romans 4:5;
Matthew 11:28.