With one hand, God is motioning man to come to Him. With the other hand He is holding back His wrath. Soon He is going to drop both hands. Paul Washer
Sadly, it seems with each passing month, we lose another godly man to the plague of death that has cursed this planet since the days of Adam and Eve. At hearing the news that Dave Hunt had gone on to Glory, I turned to the Omega Letter forums to post this disheartening news. Both Nicole and Joseph echoed the same sentiments I had in that, we are already a small community shepherded by an even smaller class of seasoned pastors and teachers. And it seems as of late, there is an exodus of these great bible teachers who are departing this vale of tears for glory. As I was thinking about this, one verse kept coming to mind:
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. Amos 8:11
In a way, it makes me think of a nation preparing to go to war, in that one of the first steps they take once war is decided is to recall their ambassadors. Breaking your diplomatic ties means that the gloves are about to come off. Since the year 2002, we have lost: John Walvoord (2002), Dave Breese (2002), Zola Levitt (2006), David Allen Lewis (2007), Ray Brubaker (2009), David Wilkerson (2011), JR Church (2012), Grant Jeffrey (2012), Jack Kinsella (2013), Ron Graham (2013), and most recently, Dave Hunt (2013). The Lord saw fit to bless each of these men with great ministries that have impacted untold millions of people. In a day and age when we need these shepherds the most, God would choose to bring them home ahead of schedule.
And while that may seem unreasonable or irrational to us finite humans, God has a plan. Judgment awaits this nation for its grievous sins, and also those nations who align themselves with us. God will allow a nation and its people to be turned over to their sins (Romans 1:18-32), and part of that includes removing Godly men and women from among the people, while allowing the apostates’ ranks to overflow.
We know according to Proverbs 6:16-19 that God hates seven sins in particular:
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Although we are guilty of all of those, “hands that shed innocent blood” hangs uncomfortably over our collective heads since 1973. I can think of no person more innocent in our society than that of a pre-born child. We have to date, legally tolerated the slaughter of over 50,000,000 babies at the altar of choice and convenience. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The number 40 is significant in Scriptural terms, because it largely speaks to the number associated with probation and punishment. I believe our probationary period has just come to an end, and we are about to see things come unraveled at a frightening pace.
As It Was in the Days of Noah
… so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 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 17:26-30
When Jesus spoke here about the end times, He draws the disciples’ attention back to two periods of time in history which His future return would most closely resemble. He first refers to Noah and the time of the great flood that wiped out all of humanity except eight souls. What is interesting to me is that it is not the Nephilim, or the great violence that plagued the world then that He mentions. Nor was His statement a condemnation of marriage or eating and drinking. Jesus was drawing their attention to the indifference people had pertaining to the warning. They didn’t care. They were too busy going about their lives to bother with Noah or his warning of impending doom. Their hearts were hardened against the message – so much so that NOT ONE person outside of Noah’s family was saved.
We know that at one time, Adam walked with God. We know that Enoch (7th from Adam) was a preacher of righteousness. We also know that Noah preached for 120 years while he built the ark. My thoughts on this are that there were many preachers in those days leading up to Genesis chapter six. But over that 1600 year period, God began to bring home those many preachers until only one was remaining, and that man was Noah. He was the final messenger God used as a final warning to the people. Is it possible that God is doing the same thing today?
As It Was in the Days of Lot
The cataclysmic judgment of Noah’s flood was relatively recent history for the people in Sodom that Lot attempted to warn, and one can only wonder what they thought was so humorous (Genesis 19:14) when Lot told his sons-in-law what was about to transpire. Perhaps, like many among us, they didn’t consider what Peter called “the filthy conduct of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7) to be all that bad – certainly not worthy of the fierce judgment Lot insisted was imminent.
Here’s where we miss it. We think a culture that allows for roving bands of brutish, militant homosexuals should be subject to “surgical judgment” but don’t see the lesser sins of the same culture to be all that intolerable. Nor do we think the entire culture, or an entire nation, should be destroyed because of the excessive evil of a minority of its citizens. We forget why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah:
Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. – Ezekiel 16:49-50
“Committed abomination” is the final manifestation of the culture’s iniquity, but the on-ramps to this highway to destruction are 1) pride, 2) fullness of food, 3) abundance of idleness, 4) lack of compassion for the poor and needy, and 5) haughtiness. In Sodom and Gomorrah combined, there were less than ten righteous people. Here in the “Land of Bible Bookstores” no one has an excuse for not knowing that “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And yet, we continue to deceive ourselves into believing that wearing a pink ribbon, walking a mile “for the cure,” or opining against abortion are sufficient expressions of compassion. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think we measure up?
Lot’s Old Testament résumé wasn’t all that stellar; in fact, if all you had to go on was what is recorded in Genesis, you would be hard-pressed to conclude he was righteous in any sense … or even better than average. But he grieved over the sin of his culture, and I believe he grieved for the right reason: because the depravity of men made in God’s image was an affront to God’s holiness, and it grieved the heart of God.
This is where the story of Lot can speak to us. The global judgment we are facing in our day is not about our so-called “righteousness” at all. It is about the glory and honor of God, manifested in His Son.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
After having gone through four distinct periods of Spiritual Revival, our nation quickly reverted back to business as usual as soon as the emotional fervor dropped off. But in these last days, the true Church, that body of believers across denominations, continues to remain the dwindling remnant here on planet earth. We, as Revelation 3:8-10 states have ‘little strength’ yet remain faithful to the Word and His name. Apostasy, ridicule, vitriol, and animosity will become our burdens to bear, because…
…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
We are living in those days today, and our ‘tour of duty’ does not end until we are called home either at death, or at the Rapture of the Church. We are to continue to be salt and light, to preach in season, and out, to a lost and dying world. Notice that it’s both in season (during revival) and out of season, when the Gospel falls on deaf ears. As time continues, we are witnessing a hardening in part, of the heart and soul of a nation; a people who are willingly and foolishly turning their backs on God. We are as Noah, preaching and exhorting for all to come to repentance, to be reconciled, and to grow up in all things in Christ. We are as Lot, living amongst a Christ-rejecting world, vexed to the core that our nation has fallen into grievous sin. But you…
… be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim 4:1-5