The Story of Jesus, Chapter 31
Destruction to the Wicked
The Scriptures declare, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all." Jude 14.
"Before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." Matthew 25:32.
But before that day, God warns men of what is coming. He has always given men warning of coming judgments. Some believed the warning and obeyed the word of God. These escaped the judgments that fell upon the disobedient and unbelieving.
Before He destroyed the world by a flood, God commanded Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me." Genesis 7:1. Noah obeyed and was saved. Before the destruction of Sodom, angels brought to Lot the message, "Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city." Genesis 19:14. Lot heeded the warning and was saved.
So now we are warned of Christ's second coming and of the destruction that is to fall upon the world, and all who heed the warning will be saved.
The righteous, as they behold Christ at His coming, will exclaim, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." Isaiah 25:9.
Because we know not the exact time of His coming we are commanded to watch. "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching." Luke 12:37.
Those who watch for the Lord's coming are not to wait in idleness. The expectation of Christ's coming is to make men fear God's judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to repentance for their sins in breaking His commandments.
While we watch for the Lord's coming, we are to be diligently working. To know that He is at the door, should lead us to work more earnestly for the salvation of our fellow men. As Noah gave the warning from God to the people before the flood, so all who understand the word of God are to give warning to the people of this time.
"But as the days of Noe 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 Noe 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.
The people of Noah's day abused the gifts of God. Their eating and drinking led to gluttony and drunkenness.
They forgot God, and gave themselves up to every vile and abominable deed.
"God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5. It was because of their wickedness that the people of that time were destroyed.
Men are doing the same things today. Gluttony, intemperance, untamable passions, evil practices, are filling the earth with wickedness.
In Noah's day the world was destroyed by water. God's word teaches that it is now to be destroyed by fire.
"By the word of God, . . . the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:5-7.
The people before the flood mocked at God's warnings. They called Noah a fanatic and alarmist. Great and learned men declared that such a flood of waters as he foretold had never been known, and that it would never come.
Today God's word is little heeded. Men laugh at its warnings. Multitudes are saying, "All things continue as they were from the beginning of the world. There is nothing to fear."
At this very time, destruction is coming. While men ask in scorn, "Where is the promise of His coming?" the signs are fulfilling.
"When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; . . . and they shall not escape." 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
Christ declares: "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:3.
Today men are still taken up with eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage. Merchants are still buying and selling. Men are contending for the highest place. Pleasure lovers are crowding to theaters, horse races, gambling hells. Everywhere excitement prevails; yet the day of probation is fast closing, and the door of mercy is soon to be forever shut.
For us were spoken the Saviour's words of warning:
"Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." Luke 21:34.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36.