Vol. 3, No. 9
Thousands of years ago, a preacher of God lived among many sinful people. This preacher preached for over a century to these wicked people about the coming punishment of God. Yet, not one person in the whole world besides this preacher's family was obedient to God. This must have made the preacher very sad and it greatly displeased God.
For 120 years, this preacher with the help of his family also built a large boat as God instructed them. Sinners laughed at the preacher and his family because of what he preached, for the godly way his family lived and because of the large boat that they built.
Finally, God decided to flood all the earth and drown every person -- except this preacher and his family (and the animals they took with them on the large boat). It was a terrible day since almost all people on earth died in that flood; only the preacher and his family survived.
This preacher, of course, was Noah. The account of this universal flood is found in Genesis chapters six through eight. The apostle Peter called Noah "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5).
In a sense, the same floodwater that killed the ungodly world also saved Noah and his family. These eight souls were separated by that water from the wicked world that died in the flood. The apostle Peter compares the saving affect of that floodwater in Noah's time with the water of baptism.
"Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:20-21).
Dear friends, the water of baptism today saves; have you been baptized?
How tragic! The longest sermon was in vain to the world that died in the flood. How tragic! Only eight people in the whole world were saved.
Sadly, today many people also refuse to obey God. Preachers of righteousness are laughed at and God is greatly displeased. Dear readers, God's punishment is coming again, though this time God will punish with fire.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for an hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:9-12).
Please, do not allow God's preaching to be in vain toward you. Do not perish with the wicked world. Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38).
There is no convenient season to be saved; there will never be a better time to be saved than now. There will never be a better time to begin a life of Christian service than now.
The apostle Paul stood as a prisoner before a Roman governor named Felix and preached the Gospel. "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). Though Felix had several other opportunities to hear Paul explain the Gospel, it appears that Felix never found his "convenient season" to be saved.
Do not make the same mistake Felix made. Do not wait for a convenient season. Be saved now! Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior (John 8:24); repent of your sins (Luke 13:3); profess your belief in Jesus (Romans 10:10); and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). Contact the churches of Christ today for encouragement and help to make your life right with God.