Give Them Enough Rope

Throughout history, God has dealt with man with nearly infinite mercy and grace in the face of sin, but there are also clear limits to what God will allow. The antediluvians were the first generation that discovered God’s limits, but not until those limits had been exceeded for the many years that Noah spent preaching repentance to them while building the ark. “Had the antediluvians believed the warning, and repented of their evil deeds, the Lord would have turned aside His wrath, as He afterward did from Nineveh. But by their obstinate resistance to the reproofs of conscience and the warnings of God’s prophet, that generation filled up the measure of their iniquity, and became ripe for destruction” (EG White: Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 97). The critical revelation is that all the antediluvians ultimately sided against Noah and his ark, not realizing that their probation had expired as the door of the ark was shut.

Today’s generation is about to discover God’s limits once again, and the same realization that probation has expired won’t be understood until it’s too late. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24: 37-39). Even today, we still use John Ray’s vernacular proverb from 1678: “Give Them enough rope, and they will hang themselves.”

God continues to extend to us today the same nearly infinite mercy and grace given to the antediluvians, and that mercy would indeed be infinite, except it must allow room for justice! The Bible represents today’s “ark;” we need to be preaching the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the final prophetic warnings that are now being fulfilled all around us.

But here’s some tough questions: Are we truly the remnant people of God, out there spreading the gospel to a dying world? …or have we sided with the world and filled up the measure of our iniquity and become ripe for destruction? When people meet us, do they see humility and the love of Christ living in us, or do they see something else? Probation hasn’t closed yet; praise Jesus for the work He is doing on our behalf above. Ask Jesus to fill you with His character and His love, and to empty you of selfishness and any hidden hatred. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6: 2). Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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