Don’t Miss the Boat

Dear Brethren,

A long time ago 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.  And so the Lord said, I will destroy both man, and beast; for I am sorry that I ever made them.   But one man, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The earth had become corrupt and filled with violence.  So God directed Noah to build a large boat and make it watertight with pitch.  Then God said, behold, I am bringing a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, and everything shall die.

God saw to it that a proper selection of fowl, cattle, and every living thing came unto Noah, to keep them alive.  And the Lord said unto Noah, Come you and all thy house into the ark; for I have seen you righteous.

The Lord shut Noah in and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.  The waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it floated above the earth.  And every living substance was destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.  All flesh upon the earth died because they missed the boat.  (Genesis 6:5-7:23)

None of us wants to miss the boat, so Jesus issued a dire warning for our day.  He said, nobody saw it coming then, and nobody sees it coming now:

“As the days of Noah 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, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and destroyed them all; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”  (Matthew 24:37-42)

Everything will seem normal in society.  The wrath of God will come like a “bolt out of the blue.”  It happened before, and it is about to happen again.  With the Feast of Trumpets quickly approaching, our minds should increasingly be on our preparation for the return of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Trumpets pictures the time when Jesus Christ will return to the earth in great power.   Many who think that they "have it made" are going to be seriously disappointed when Jesus returns.  Let us take very careful notice of Christ’s words spoken to the foolish virgins because His words are for now – and they are for us!

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.” (Matthew 25:13)

The ironic thing is that these words are meant as an urgent warning to us – so that we will not be foolish virgins, as others who have already missed out!  It is too late for some – but it is not too late for us now!  Could it be that much of the Church of God is not heeding the obvious warnings that God is directing to His end-time Church?

When Christ returns, the opportunity to be firstfruits will have slipped away.  Make no mistake about it, now is the only time to prepare.  When the end comes upon us, will we be firmly founded and rooted in Christ?  Will God shut us in and protect us as He did Noah, or could it be that the door is about to close on us as it did the foolish virgins?  They missed the boat.  We know that an acceptable faith among the brethren will be rare indeed.  “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8)

God will provide a place of safety for the true saints.  We know that a small number of the saints – those who have already overcome Satan – will be protected by God from Satan during the duration of the tribulation.  Somehow, in God’s great providence, He will shelter that little flock from the horrors of the tribulation.  From their protected location, this small body of saints will be a light and an example to their Christian brethren who have been left behind.  Jesus says:

“Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep [protect] thee from the hour of temptation [tribulation and adversity], which shall come upon all the world, to try [tribulation and testing] them that dwell upon the earth.”  (Revelation 3:10)

When Satan is unable to attack the saints in the place of safety, he turns his attack on the remaining saints who have been caught in the tribulation – those who missed the boat.  Those caught in the tribulation will have to physically lay their lives down in death for having neglected to be spiritual sacrifices prior to that time.  That is why they must be tested in the tribulation.

“The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  (Revelation 12:17)

God will graciously present one last opportunity to those saints – Church brethren – who have not yet learned to lay down their lives, to do so.  The Tribulation also provides God’s last great act of love and mercy on His end-time Church brethren to allow them to be made white in a blast furnace of refining.   Brethren, that is the hard way to go about it – let’s not miss the boat.

Sermon:  "Don’t Miss the Boat"