Where You Will Spend the Rest of Your Life

(Heb. 11:1–7)

A sports columnist, reporting from San Fransisco on an upcoming football game between the 49ers and another team, wrote of the silence. That city, usually bursting with tourists, was all but deserted. The earthquake that struck in October 1989 frightened visitors away.

What’s surprising was that it seemingly hadn’t shaken many residents. Throughout California millions continue to live along earthquake fault lines, with never a thought of moving to avoid the devastating tremors that they must know will certainly come.
This was what made Noah such an unusual person, and a rightful recipient of God’s commendation. Noah had never even seen rain, for in his day springs watered the earth (Gen. 2:6). But when God announced that a great Flood would destroy life on earth, Noah built the ark in which his family and animal life were preserved.
The Hebrews 11 honor roll has helped us define faith. Faith views God as more real than the material universe He created (vv. 1–3). Faith saves, for Abel “still speaks” even though his body is long dead (v. 4). Faith enables us to walk with God, even when visible rewards of seeking Him are delayed (vv. 5–6). But now the writer contrasts the wisdom of faith with the foolishness of unbelief.

Noah took God’s warning of an utterly unknown danger seriously. In “holy fear” he acted on it. Noah had never experienced floods or rainfall. But he believed God when he was warned. His response “condemned the world,” in that his faith exposed the utter unbelief of those whom Noah continually warned while he and his family labored on the ark (cf. 1 Peter 3:20).

What a stunning portrait of today. The Gospel shouts out the Good News that in Christ we can be saved from coming judgment. Those with faith respond with “holy fear,” and hurry to Christ for refuge. But the unbeliever scoffs, and continues to ignore warning of imminent disaster.

The fact that so many choose to stay on in California’s earthquake zones reminds us how unreal the future is for most human beings. Most of us live as though today were everything, and tomorrow unreal. But Scripture tells us that there, just over the horizon of tomorrow, a juggernaut of judgment waits. It is unwise to live on a fault line in an earthquake zone. But it is utterly foolish to remain outside of Christ, exposed to the judgment that most surely will come.

Personal Application
Tomorrow is real. Take it into account as you live today.

Quotable
“We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.”—Charles F. Kettering

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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