Noah was in his 600th year, when torrential precipitation burst from the skies and erupting waters from deep in the earth began purging the rampant, contiguous, human corruption of the day. Sinners had been sinning blatantly, evidently just as unashamedly as today. It appears God warned Noah of this approaching catastrophic event some 120 years in advance and as far as we can tell about 30 years prior to the birth of Noah’s three sons therefore making the boys in their nineties by this time. Noah had preached righteousness in all the intervening years between the warning, and until the flood waters broke upon the earth. Noah died then of natural causes some 350 years after this event while his progeny outlived him. However, much of the preaching exemplified by Noah was lost as his descendants died too. A remnant of preachers remained only through the descendants of his son Shem. And now, some 4000 years afterward, a fateful situation exists just as in Noah’s time and all the while large segments of Noah’s spiritual offspring are dying to his legacy of preaching righteousness.
For decades now, modern theology has gradually influenced Noah’s sons, teaching contradictory to Noah’s doctrine. One by one Noah’s sons are dying. This doctrine argues that righteousness is passive, not aggressive. It maintains that to preach righteousness one must never offend by openly exposing sin. Most people now readily agree with this doctrine, partly because native human feeling and agenda crave acceptance, not rejection. Certain truth does exist in such doctrine. In fact righteousness is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” It seems both plausible and evident that desiring to live a quiet and peaceable life is a justly righteous motive. There is probably nothing inherently immoral with either sentiment. And too, a motive intent merely on gendering up conflict would indeed be depraved.
However, one absolute often missed, positions itself and shouts for aggressive action. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” effective evangelists of the past did not miss this truth. Authentic Holy Truth deliberately warns against sin. It presses against the guilty conscience. It meets sin head on and exposes ungodliness. It does not “depend foundationally upon passive preaching”. The result is that Holy Truth and unholy spirits collide. The Truth of a Holy God presented against evil always evokes conflict. It cannot be otherwise, “because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Not only was this true when Noah preached but is true even now—“as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” The spirits of Ishmael and the Spirit of Isaac can never agree. Why have so many now accepted it as different? Truth always generates conviction in sinners and collides with Ishmael’s carnality, if indeed it does speak out. If offensive provocation results, it always originates with the host, not a difficulty with the Word of God.
As Noah built the boat day after day, nothing about the boat or its presence brought comfort to those who watched and listened. Yes, even while Noah purchased materials to build the boat to save his soul and those of his family, the harsh facts revealed for what purpose he conducted business. No doubt scoffers merely smiled that one would live and work so foolishly. No doubt many others openly scorned. No doubt society was even so desperately degenerate that Noah’s preaching of righteousness hardly troubled their evil conscience—but perhaps not?
One thing is certain, while churchy, vile, or nonchalant sinners alike watched, Noah’s daily work proved no comfort for their deliberate sinning. Finally Noah and his family were alone. everything about the boat invited only hope for any who would choose to believe in the coming deluge and only conviction for the multitudes who did not. but no person who watched could justly argue they were without warning when God closed the ark door.
Noah most certainly yearned for social acceptance too. For sure, Noah did not solely desire to condemn watchers and listeners, yet his faith righteousness could accomplish none other than to convict, for evil is never comforted when presented with truth and holiness.
Of course a few of Noah’s sons are yet willing to confront, to speak, and to preach righteousness in assemblies where truth is customary. A remnant of Noah’s sons is even yet busy confronting sin while canvassing city streets with righteous pamphlets, soul-searching music, and subway station evangelism. None of these are error alone. In fact they are crucially essential.
Somehow though, Noah’s sons are dying by accepting modern concepts of relativism, which suppose truth is palatable and agreeable with sinners in daily experience. Absolute thinking regarding bible truths have now become “a thing of the past” therefore bearableness is easy under this doctrine. The “you live your way and I’ll live mine” while conceding that “both are respectable and only differing, coexisting, opinions until we will all go to heaven together” is prevalent theology. economic frugality even endorses this call for such passive preaching in daily occupational experience.
True preachers of righteousness never seek to be aggressive attackers. Also it is so that “two hands waving is hardly effective without two feet walking.” Yet bare truth remains. Genuine godliness and preaching faith righteousness collides with evil. Sinners reproved of their ungodly deeds will never greatly appreciate it. Nearly all American culture by now rarely rethinks lying, divorce, remarriage, rebellion and flagrant immoral undress. Such sins appear almost insignificant in light of current national living dilemmas, political gridlocks and personal stresses. Thus depravity flourishes, and is predominately accepted while the nations ricochet toward more confusion and debauchery. How will they hear without a preacher?
Authentic passive preaching of righteousness by a quiet and peaceable life is one thing and most surely virtuous. building a boat for an intended purpose in Times Square would be quite another! Living an exemplary life is unquestionably essential; but is it enough? paul the great apostle evangelist taught, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them.”
When is the time to actively preach righteousness? When is the time to speak out publicly against public sinning? If it is not now, when is the time? billboards, invoices, business cards, vehicles and business walls are yet empty enough for bible verses warning sinners against the moral sins of today, for those who are willing. A declaration proclaiming Jesus Loves You is wonderful but induces very different promptings than “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” Do the reckless attitudes and untaught consciences of the religiously confused and rampant sinful society need forewarned of sin and the soon coming judgment? The days are unspeakably evil and the Judge stands at the door! Will Noah’s sons live on yet as active preachers of righteousness? “Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Is it imperative that someone yet preaches by more than a quiet and peaceable life? How much blood will God uncover on our quiet and peaceable hands?
— Greencastle PA