By Daymond Duck
After delivering a message on Bible prophecy, I am often asked, “How can I get my loved ones to listen?” Some say, “I try to talk to them, but they roll their eyes, change the subject, leave the room, etc. I love my family. I don’t want to throw in the towel, but they are not saved and they won’t listen. They don’t want to hear it and I think we are running out of time.”
Prophecy has never been a popular subject and getting people to listen has always been difficult. But I believe the Bible teaches that it becomes more difficult as a society strays farther from God and that is happening in the United States today. This is the bad news: as difficult as it is, without the intervention of God through persecution, economic collapse, etc. it will never be easier than it is right now. This is not true in every case, but I think it is generally consistent with the Bible.
Consider the world our loved ones are living in. We have reached the point where some of our leaders are ridiculing and demonizing Christians. Roman Catholic Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke recently called President Obama “a totally secularized man” and accused him of policies that are hostile to Christians. Rev. Franklin Graham accused the Obama Administration of being “anti-Christ in what they say and in what they do.”
The mainstream media ridicules conservative Christians as fundamentalists, right-wing extremists, religious nuts, etc. Many preachers have departed from the faith and are critical of those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. The majority of church members are lukewarm and they would rather have their ears tickled than to be told the truth.
Some school teachers and many TV programs are corrupting the minds of our children and grandchildren. They hear evil called good and good called evil on a daily basis (Isaiah 5:20). We are now living in a world where the wickedness of man is great and it is getting harder every day to bring our loved ones out of it.
Come to think of it, that is the way it was in the days of Noah. It is a little vague, but it appears that Noah preached at least 100 years with no results (some say 120 years). People refused to listen. One would think that someone would get saved. But if just one got saved, there is no record of it. All who were alive when the rain started except for Noah and his family perished. They lived in a wicked society and they didn’t want to hear what Noah had to say.
But notice how God loved them and went out of His way to reach them. He came down and walked with Adam (Gen. 3:8). He gave them a prophet named Enoch who walked with Him and revealed the Second Coming (Gen.5:22; Jude 14).He walked with Enoch and revealed the Rapture (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5). He gave them Methuselah whose name meant “when he is dead it, (the Flood) shall come.”
Methuselah was alive, right up until one week before the Flood. God’s spirit strived with them (Gen. 6:3). He gave them a man of grace named Noah, a just man who was perfect in his generations to preach and prophesy to them (Gen. 6:8-9). But they were surrounded by great sin, the earth was filled with violence, their thoughts continually dwelled on sin, they didn’t think about anything but sin and they would not listen (Gen. 6:5, 11-13).
Jesus said they ate, drank and partied right up to the very end (Matt. 24:37-39). They should have repented, but it was God who repented because He had made them. Doesn’t that sound a lot like TV, the Internet, porn, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, murder, gambling and partying today? It’s everywhere, people are drowning in sin and the Word of God is being mocked and choked out of their lives.
Following the Flood, many Jews put their fingers in their ears so they could not hear what the prophets had to say. Many pulled away their shoulder, twisted away and absolutely refused to listen (Zech. 7:11). In many cases, they persecuted and killed the prophets (Matt. 23:37-38; Luke 11:47-48). They ultimately came under the judgment of God not because they didn’t have prophets, but because they wouldn’t listen to what the prophets said (Zech. 7:12-13).
Skipping on over to the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, they said they wouldn’t treat the prophets like their ancestors did (Matt. 23:30). But Jesus said, “I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city” (Matt. 23:34). This happened to Jesus and the early church leaders (Stephen, Paul, the disciples, etc). And it will grow worse in the future.
I can’t imagine what Noah went through preaching for 100 years or more, being mocked and ridiculed over building an ark when it didn’t rain, perhaps not winning even one convert except his family and refusing to give up. But Noah persevered through 100 years or more and his family was saved even if no one else was saved. His story should encourage us to never give-up and leave us with a sense of urgency about getting the Word out before society gets even worse than it is now.