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THE DAYS OF NOAH – PART III

(SERMON #14 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, May 27, 2017

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


This is the third sermon which I have preached on “The Days of Noah.” Christ told the Disciples that the last days would be similar to the time in which Noah lived, before the Great Flood. I have preached on six of the ways in which our age resembles those days in which Noah lived. I believe that you will agree with me that we are living near the end of history, if you read Genesis, chapters four, five and six. These three chapters of Scripture tell us what it was like in the time of Noah. You can compare them to our time, and see that our world doesn’t have much time left.

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

In the first two sermons on this subject, I showed that,


(1)  It was a time of apostasy – a time when most people turned away from the truth of God.

(2)  It was a time of extensive travel – when people moved around constantly.

(3)  It was a time when countless numbers of people committed the unpardonable sin – by rejecting true conversion until their hearts were so hardened that it was impossible for them to be saved.

(4)  It was a time of multiple marriages – when people broke God’s rule of marriage to one person.

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

(6)  It was a time of continual evil thinking.


Now, this evening, I want you to think of three more similarities between our day and the time of Noah:


(1)  It was a time dominated by music.

(2)  It was a time of great violence.

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

I. First, the days of Noah were characterized by a great interest in music.

Turn with me to Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-one:

“And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ” (Genesis 4:21).

This is the first time that the Bible tells us about musical instruments and music. Here again, we are reminded of the words of Christ,

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

Today, music is everywhere. We hear much more music today than we did when I was a child. There is music going on in nearly every building you enter. There is music in the elevator. There is music in the car you drive. When I walk in the park each day, I hear music, music, music. When I go to my gym to swim, music is playing throughout the building, in the workout rooms, and even in the shower. Music comes to us through tape recordings, CDs, the radio, television and movies. People play music so loud in their cars that you can’t get away from it.

Way back in 1963 Dr. M. R. DeHaan made this statement:

Music, music, music – everywhere! Squeaks and squawks and empty groans and baby talk and monkey moans, until we read of people going almost completely crazy under the spell of the repetitious swing of modern jazz…yes indeed! Jesus knew what He was talking about when He compared the days of Noah to the days in which we now live (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1963, pp. 46-47).

Dr. DeHaan went on to say:

It seems that nothing can be done any more without the accompaniment of music: we sell our wares by music, we hawk our products by music. But the sad thing is that it has invaded our churches and the sacred precincts of the holy place, by substituting music for the preaching of the Word of God. Silly choruses, atrocious spirituals, are supposed to prepare men’s hearts for the Gospel. Empty phrases are repeated over and over, to the swing of jazz and syncopation, until the emotionally unstable break beneath the strain and imagine that they have heard a voice from Heaven. Yes, indeed! “As it was…so shall it be…” (ibid.).

Dr. DeHaan wrote those words nearly more than fifty years ago, back in 1963. What he said was true then, and it is even more true today. There has been such an increase in what he called “silly” music in the churches that over one-half of most services are given over to this claptrap. Much of it is just plain boring! Another five choruses of “There’s within my heart a melody.” Three or four long gospel numbers, accompanied by stale obviously “canned” music.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against good music in church services – in moderation. But I think nearly all of the music should be congregational singing. And I believe that we need to sing real hymns, not just gospel songs. We need to sing the hymns of Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and other hymns from the time of real revival, in the First and Second Great Awakenings.

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

II. Second, the days of Noah were characterized by great violence.

Please turn to Genesis, chapter six, verse eleven:

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 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” (Genesis 6:11-13).

Since World War I mankind has turned increasingly to violence. The past eighty years have been characterized by more violence than any other period of history. In Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-three, we are given an account of murder and violence in the days of Noah:

“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, 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).

Dr. M. R. DeHaan said:

This gives us a picture of the age which is further developed in the sixth chapter of Genesis. It was an age of violence, murder and unprovoked slayings and atrocious crimes. Do we need to comment here? Has there ever been an age in history which records more brutal, unprovoked atrocities than today? It is a sadistic age. Every newspaper tells the sad story, and it is becoming so alarming that people live behind bolted doors and lock and key, for fear of being attacked even in broad daylight, not only in cities, but even in our rural districts. Women are not safe on our streets, and little children have to be given special protection against the sadistic and inhuman tendencies of this present evil age which is rapidly ripening for judgment. The subject is a sordid one, and we do not care to enter into all the details. We have but to read our newspapers, and to study the statistics of the tremendous increase in crimes, especially among juveniles [young people], to see the truth of Jesus’ words, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man” (ibid., pp. 48-49).

The violence of our time is completely different from the days before World War II, and especially before the days of World War I. Many people who know nothing about history will tell you that we have always had the violence we see in society today, but they are ignorant. In my own memory, violence has increased in an alarming way. For instance, before September 11, 2001, no American expected the constant threat of terrorism and nuclear attack. But now we are continually threatened by these terrorists and their acts of violence. There is unprecedented violence and terrorism on every hand in our time. Jesus said,

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

III. Thirdly, the days of Noah were characterized by
a rejection of strong preaching.

The Bible teaches that there were two great preachers in the days before the Great Flood. Their names were Enoch and Noah. The theme of their sermons is given to us in the Bible. Please turn in your Bible to the fourteenth verse of Jude:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied [preached] 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 14-15).

Enoch preached very hard against sin. He preached very strongly on the Judgment at the Second Coming of Christ, and on the Last Judgment. He preached on Hell. These were the themes which Enoch preached on before the Flood: Judgment and damnation in Hell. Enoch preached these subjects repeatedly before the Flood.

Now turn to II Peter, chapter two. Here we read about the preaching of Noah, in verse five:

“And spared not the old world [the world before the Flood], but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness” (II Peter 2:5).

Like Enoch, Noah was a preacher. He was not a Bible teacher or an inspirational motivator. No! He was “a preacher of righteousness.” The Greek word translated “preacher” is “kerux,” which means “to herald as a public crier, to proclaim” (Strong’s Concordance, #2783, 2784). This is completely different from the “teachers” of the last days.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (II Timothy 4:3).

The word “teachers” here is from “didaskalos” in Greek. It means “to teach” (Strong’s Concordance, #1320, 1321).

We have experienced a nearly complete turning away from preaching (proclaiming like a town crier), and an almost complete replacement of preaching with “teaching,” which the Bible says will be characteristic of the churches in the last days (cf. II Timothy 4:2-4).

Dr. DeHaan gave this comment:

We point out once more the analogy of these days to the days of Noah. In the heart of [the] 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus says that as it was before the flood, so shall it be also at the time of His coming. Surely the days of Noah before the flood must have been days of great deception. In spite of the powerful preaching of Enoch and…Noah, the world would not believe these preachers; and when the flood came, there were only eight persons who were saved (ibid., p. 56).

Enoch preached on the coming Judgment. Noah preached righteousness and judgment. He preached on the coming judgment of the Flood (cf. II Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7). Hardly anyone got saved when these two fine preachers spoke. People went on living as if no judgment would ever come.

How about you? Are you ready for judgment? Will you listen to the preacher and repent? Will you come into the ark of salvation – into Christ?

I am here to tell you that Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, to the right hand of God the Father. You are not prepared for the coming judgment unless you come to Christ. You must actually come to Christ, Himself, or you will be judged, and go to Hell, just like the people in Noah’s day.

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

Amen.


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(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Noah Song: Genesis 4:21-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1902-1972).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DAYS OF NOAH – PART III

(SERMON #14 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).

I.    First, the days of Noah were characterized by a great interest
in music, Genesis 4:21.

II.   Second, the days of Noah were characterized by great violence,
Genesis 6:11-13; Genesis 4:23-24.

III.  Third, the days of Noah were characterized by a rejection of
strong preaching, Jude 14-15; II Peter 2:5; II Timothy 4:3.