From the day a steamer arrived in San Francisco in with news that a major St. Louis bank had failed, financial panic swept California. Although rancher Louis Remme couldn’t withdraw $12,437.50 from the Adams & Company bank in Sacramento, he did see one hope. He knew that Portland, Oregon, had no telegraph. If he could beat the steamer north to Portland, he might be able to get his money from the bank’s Portland branch before its managers heard of the collapse. So, the anxious cattleman headed into the teeth of the northern California winter. Some six days and 11 horses later, on Monday, Feb. 26, 1855, he completed the 665-mile wilderness trek. When the steamer arrived in Portland with its bad news, banks quickly closed. But Remme had withdrawn his money.
Although Louis Remme avoided financial disaster because he paid attention to the warning, the people in Noah’s day did not. From the day God warned Noah of an impending flood and he began construction of the ark, the world watched in mocking disbelief. Rain? Flood? Judgment? They laughed at Noah and dismissed his warning.
Then God shut the door of the ark, the first drop of rain fell, but the time for decision had past! No one outside the ark would ever have another opportunity to escape the devastation that followed.
After living on the ark for some 371 days, Noah and his family stepped off the ship into one of the greatest beginnings of human history. Like Louis Remme, they responded to the warning of judgment and took steps to avoid the danger.
In the third gospel of the New Testament, Luke tells us in chapter 17:26 “…as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days…” when Jesus comes back. That means, among other things, people will not only dismiss the warning of Jesus’ return and the need to be prepared; they will mock the idea.
This truth was recently illustrated when ‘Meet the Press’ NBC anchor Chuck Todd made the statement that people, “want to be lied to” since they believe in “fairy tales” — like Noah’s Ark. Such mockery was no doubt rampant in Noah’s day too before the first drop of rain fell. But they soon realized what they were experiencing was not a “fairy tale.”
Mr. Remme’s preparation enabled him to protect the great loss of his money. Noah’s preparations enable him and his family to escape the loss of their lives in the great flood. Our preparation for Jesus’ coming will enable us to escape eternal separation from God in a place prepared for the devil and his angels. If this seems to be a “fairy tale” to you, then you will receive the same demise of those in Noah’s day.
Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave provides us the only opportunity to be prepared for the coming judgment. My prayer for you is that you will not laugh at this warning, but rather, accept God’s gift, Jesus Christ.
The writer is the pastor at First Baptist Church, 309 E. North St., Sidney.