Tony Elder

Tony Elder

Recently several of us from our church took a road trip. While the timing of this adventure had nothing to do with the hurricane that was still battering parts of the East Coast as we began our journey, our destination was probably one of the safest refuges we could have found from the flooding rains of such a storm. We went into northern Kentucky to visit the Ark Encounter. If you haven’t yet experienced this biblically-based attraction with its full-sized replica of Noah’s ark, I would highly recommend it to you. While you might not agree with every artistic interpretation of how life may have been on the ark, it certainly spurs one’s thinking about that event. It also does a good job of examining the evidence to support the biblical account of the flood and providing answers to some of those alternate views, which are more often accepted by our world today.

However, the Ark Encounter not only got me thinking more about Noah’s situation, but also about our own day and time. We, too, are living in a society that is turning further away from God. Things may not be as spiritually or morally bad as they were in Noah’s day, but evil, ungodliness and immorality, along with all of their off-shoots, are certainly on the rise. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about God sending a universal flood to wipe us all out – He’s promised that He would never do that again. (And by the way, that’s the real meaning behind the rainbow, not the significance attributed to it by others who have hijacked that symbol to use for their own purposes.) Nevertheless, we are still in danger of facing other forms of judgment from God, along with simply the natural harmful consequences that stem from such a godless lifestyle.

How do we conduct ourselves in such a time when wickedness is rising and God’s judgment is looming? Noah set a good example for us to follow. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7). No, we don’t need to build an ark. God has prepared an ark of safety for us in Jesus Christ Himself. He is our refuge and Savior. However, as Noah did, we should be busy doing the work God has given us to do. Noah was referred to as a “preacher of righteousness” (II Peter 2:5). We need to keep proclaiming truth and the Word of God. We should be living our lives in such a way that they point people toward God and godliness. We ought to be warning people about the impending judgment and encouraging them to turn from their sins.

That verse in Hebrews says that Noah “condemned the world.” However, it indicates that he didn’t do so primarily by going around criticizing others, but rather by his obedience to God and holy living. If we will proclaim the truth, that which is false will be unmasked and condemned. If we will let our lights shine for Christ, the evil lurking in the darkness will be revealed for what it is. If we will love others, hatred and selfishness will be condemned. If we will be the holy people God calls us to be, the unholy will be exposed.

Let’s live by faith in our day, as Noah did in his time. Let’s live for the Lord, proclaim righteousness, and point people to Jesus – the only One who can save us from the judgment to come.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by e-mail at revtelder@aol.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.