Study Lesson 6
The Many And The Few – Part 2
The Consequence Of Practicing Iniquity
Something To Consider:
Judgment, as in the days of Noah, even upon America and all nations who have forgotten and or forsaken God and neglected His preserved Word and His dear Son Jesus; their judgment as in the days of Noah is pending. We are reminded in 2 Peter chapter 3 beginning in verse 5, “For this they [scoffers of the Word of God] willfully forget: that by the Word of God the heavens were created of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same Word are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and the perdition of ungodly men.”
Let us not be deceived as those who lack understanding! According to 2 Peter 3.9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Peter continued in verse 10, “But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night [unannounced], in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat: both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
Therefore, will we choose in advance to be among the many or among the few as was mentioned in last week’s lesson? If Christ comes as a thief in the night, there will be no time for making our decision then. Will we choose now to be among the many who perish or among the few who have availed themselves often of the path that leads to repentance? Will we be forced to reap the consequences of practicing iniquity or will we joyfully receive an eternal reward for living a life of holiness which according to the Word of God is our reasonable service?
Something Else To Consider:
It would do us all well to heed the many lessons of a lifetime contained in the written Word of God as it pertains to living a godly life in the midst of this wicked and perverse 21st century generation. Therefore, how are we doing? Is our desire to live godly in the midst of so much evil deceit, false end time prophetic babbling, and misdirection by wicked professors of good?
It would also do us well spiritually to heed Peter’s follow up words in 2 Peter 3.11-13. “Therefore, since all these things [heaven and earth] will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you [and me] to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” What is it that we are looking for as we approach the end of this age?
And just what have those of us living in this 21st century generation learned from the many lessons of a lifetime contained in the Word of God? What have we learned from the lesson of Noah, his family, and the vast many who perished in the judgment of God? Noah, according to the New Testament testimony of Peter was a preacher of righteousness and therefore no doubt preached to the occupants of the earth while building the ark.
Were there then no converts? Was there not even a single other person than his family who could bring themselves to believe the message of the coming of judgment and God’s wrath for the sin of mankind? There is the dilemma of the many and the few and it continues even unto this moment in time!
What have we learned from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the saving of Lot and his two daughters, a few among so many? We are told in Genesis 18.20-21; “And the LORD said, because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
Have we not surpassed the grave sin of both Sodom and Gomorrah at least here in America as well as around the world? Has not the judgment of America as well as the rest of the nations been set in stone by God because of the greatness of the sin and iniquity practiced without repentance? Legalized sin is still sin in the eyes of God!
Something More To Consider:
Therefore, knowing all these things, will we choose to be found by Jesus at the end of our lives or at His coming in the clouds, among the faithful few looking unto Him, the author and finisher of our faith? Or will we be found among the many floating downstream with the current of the earth’s corruption and compromise? Being among the many as mentioned last week in reality takes very little effort on our part!
Being among the many also means we simply follow every wind of evil and false doctrine that is espoused by the next front runner in a long list of charismatic but corrupt leaders. And yet, being among the few faithful enduring to the end followers of Jesus Christ means we heed His warnings and observe all of His teachings as recorded in the living and breathing everlasting Word of God.
Jesus declared in Matthew 24 beginning in verse 37, speaking of lessons we should learn from Noah and the flood; “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man [Jesus] be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
In other words, the second coming of Jesus Christ in great power and much glory will be during a time when the earth’s occupants will be doing business as usual while not heeding the warnings of righteous preachers preaching the Word of God. For the most part as in the days of Noah, the vast majority of humankind will be taken totally by surprise. Now is the day of salvation! Make it right today!
A Few Final Words:
The alternative to heeding the Word of God and observing the teachings of Jesus makes us ever so vulnerable to hearing those words of Jesus that after hearing will seal one’s eternal fate. Whether we have learned all of the right words such as Lord, Lord, or whether we have been busily involved in what we have called the work and ministry of Jesus; the possibility of our being deceived is ever present if we have neglected to enter through the narrow gate of Jesus Christ and His revealed conditional commands.
Life in the end, will not be as a Hollywood movie, there will be no re-filming a scene over whenever the outcome is not what one desires. What we have decided as of now will probably remain our final decision! If we continue to refuse to take upon us His cross, if we deny our need to deny ourselves, if we neglect to abide in Christ who is the Word of God and refuse to allow Him and His Word to abide in us, then we too can be deceived.
And if so, we too could be found hearing those convicting and regretful words of Jesus, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [iniquity].” Yes, practicing iniquity has eternal consequences. Our not observing all that Jesus taught also has great eternal consequences. In other words, if we are not living a life of holiness unto the Lord now, we are most likely guilty of practicing iniquity.
Let us wisely receive the encouraging instruction of the closing remarks of the apostle Peter in His final recorded words in 2 Peter 3.17-19; “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
These are all important reminders when considering a biblical rapture perspective and or our enduring to the end. As Noah and his family, may we be found among the few worthy to escape the coming wrath of God upon the unrighteous!
According to the apostle Peter we must protect ourselves from being among the many practicing iniquity, by our being steadfast, and our being willing to endure to the end no matter what. But that decision to not be led away from Christ and the Word of God, to not be led away by the error of wickedness and by man approved and man proclaimed doctrines of demons, must be made in advance.
The alternative is not at all something any of us want to experience. But, the alternative must be understood as having eternal consequences. Silly excuses will not open the door to eternal life once God has closed that door from the inside. Therefore, seek the Lord now, while He can still be found!