Flood of Wrath

I would by no means flatter you concerning this
work, or go
about to make you believe, that you shall find an easy light business
of it:
no, I would not have you expect any such thing. I would have you sit
down and
count the cost; and if you cannot find it in your hearts to engage in a
hard, laborious, and expensive undertaking, and to persevere in it to
the end
of life, pretend not to be religious. Indulge yourselves in your ease;
your pleasures; eat, drink, and be merry; even conclude to go to hell
in that
way, and never make any more pretenses of seeking your salvation. Here
several things in particular.

1. How often you have
been warned
of the approaching flood of God’s wrath. How frequently you have been
told of
hell, heard the threatenings of the word of God set before you, and
been warned
to flee from the wrath to come. It is with you as it was with the
of the old world. Noah warned them abundantly of the approaching flood,
counseled them to take care for their safety, 1 Peter 3:19,20. Noah
warned them
in words; and he preached to them. He warned them also in his actions.
building the ark, which took him so long a time, and in which he
employed so
many hands, was a standing warning to them. All the blows of the hammer
axe, during the progress of that building, were so many calls and
warnings to
the old world, to take care for their preservation from the approaching
destruction. Every knock of the workmen was a knock of Jesus Christ at
the door
of their hearts: but they would not hearken. All these warnings, though
repeated every day, and continued for so long a time, availed nothing.

1 Peter 3:19-20

19 In which He went
and preached
to the spirits in prison,

20[The souls of
those] who long
before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience
during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight
number, were saved through water. [Gen. 6-8.] AMP

Now, is it not much
so with you,
as it was with them? How often have you been warned! How have you heard
warning knocks of the gospel, Sabbath after Sabbath, for these many
years! Yet
how have some of you no more regarded them than the inhabitants of the
world regarded the noise of the workmen’ stools in Noah’s ark!

Objection. But here
possibly it
may be objected by some, that though it be true they have often been
told of
hell, yet they never saw any thing of it, and therefore they cannot
realize it
that there is any such place. They have often heard of hell, and are
told that
wicked men, when they die, go to a most dreadful place of torment; that
hereafter there will be a day of judgment, and that the world will be
by fire. But how do they know that it is really so? How do they know
becomes of those wicked men that die? None of them come back to tell
them. They
have nothing to depend on but the word which they hear. And how do they
that all is not a cunningly-devised fable?

Answer. The sinners
of the old
world had the very same objection against what Noah told them of a
flood about
to drown the world. Yet the bare word of God proved to be sufficient
that such a thing was coming. What was the reason that none of the many
millions then upon earth believed what Noah said, but this, that it was
strange thing, that no such thing had ever before been known? And what
strange story must that of Noah have appeared to them, wherein he told
them of
a deluge of waters above the tops of the mountains! Therefore it is
Hebrews 11:7, that "Noah was warned of God of things not seen as
yet." It is probable, none could conceive how it could be that the
world should be drowned in a flood of waters; and all were ready to
ask, where
there was water enough for it; and by what means it should be brought
upon the
earth. Noah did not tell them how it should be brought to pass; he only
them that God had said that it should be: and that proved to be enough.
event showed their folly in not depending on the mere word of God, who
able, who knew how to bring it to pass, and who could not lie.

Hebrews 11:7

7[Prompted] by faith
Noah, being
forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no
visible sign,
took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark
for the
deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God]
passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir
possessor of righteousness ( that relation of being right into which
God puts
the person who has faith). [Genesis 6:13-22.] AMP

In like manner the
word of God
will prove true, in threatening a flood of eternal wrath to overwhelm
all the
wicked. You will believe it when the event shall prove it, when it
shall be too
late to profit by the belief. The word of God will never fail; nothing
is so
sure as that: heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of God
shall not
pass away. It is firmer than mountains of brass. At the end, the vision
speak and not lie. The decree shall bring forth, and all wicked men
shall know
that God is the Lord, that he is a God of truth, and that they are
fools who
will not depend on his word. The wicked of the old world counted Noah a
for depending so much on the word of God, as to put himself to all the
and expense of building the ark; but the event showed that they
themselves were
the fools, and that he was wise.

2. Consider that the
Spirit of
God will not always strive with you; nor will his long suffering always
upon you. So God said concerning the inhabitants of the old world,
Genesis 4:3
"My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh;
yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." All this while God
striving with them. It was a day of grace with them, and God’s
all this while waited upon them: 1 Peter 3:20, "Which sometime were
disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of
while the ark was a preparing." All this while they had an opportunity
escape, if they would but hearken and believe God. Even after the ark
finished, which seems to have been but little before the flood came,
there was an opportunity; the door of the ark stood open for some time.
was some time during which Noah was employed in laying up stores in the
Even then it was not too late; the door of the ark yet stood open. –
About a
week before the flood came, Noah was commanded to begin to gather in
the beasts
and birds. During this last week still the door of the ark stood open.
But on
the very day that the flood began to come, while the rain was yet
Noah and his wife, his three sons, and their wives, went into the ark;
and we
are told, Genesis 7:16, that "God shut him in. Then the day of God’s
patience was past; the door of the ark was shut; God himself, who shuts
and no
man opens, shut the door. Then all hope of their escaping the flood was
it was too late to repent that they had not hearkened to Noah’s
warnings, and
had not entered into the ark while the door stood open.

Genesis 4:3

3 And in the course
of time Cain
brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. AMP

1 Peter 3:20

20[The souls of
those] who long
before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience
during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight
number, were saved through water. [Gen. 6-8.] AMP

Genesis 7:16

16 And they that
entered, male
and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded [Noah]; and the
Lord shut
him in and closed [the door] round about him. AMP

After Noah and his
family had
entered into the ark, and God had shut them in, after the windows of
were opened, and they saw how the waters were poured down out of
heaven, we may
suppose that many of those who were near came running to the door of
the ark,
knocking, and crying most piteously for entrance. But it was too late;
God himself
had shut the door, and Noah had no license, and probably no power, to
open it.
We may suppose, they stood knocking and calling, Open to us, open to
us; O let
us in; we beg that we may be let in. And probably some of them pleaded
acquaintance with Noah; that they had always been his neighbors, and
had even
helped him to build the ark. But all was in vain. There they stood till
waters of the flood came, and without mercy swept them away from the
door of
the ark.

So it will be with
you, if you continue
to refuse to hearken to the warnings which are given you. Now God is
with you; now he is warning you of the approaching flood, and calling
upon you
Sabbath after Sabbath. Now the door of the ark stands open. But God’s
will not always strive with you; his long-suffering will not always
wait upon
you. There is an appointed day of God’s patience, which is as certainly
as it was to the old world. God hath set your bounds, which you cannot
Though now warnings are continued in plenty, yet there will be last
knocks and
last calls, the last that ever you shall hear. When the appointed time
shall be
elapsed, God will shut the door, and you shall never see it open again;
for God
shutteth, and no man openeth. – If you improve not your opportunity
before that
time, you will cry in vain, "Lord, Lord, open to us," Matthew 25:11,
and Luke 23:25, &c. While you shall stand at the door with your
cries, the flood of God’s wrath will come upon you, overwhelm you, and
shall not escape. The tempest shall carry you away without mercy, and
you shall
be forever swallowed up and lost.

Matthew 25:11

11 Later the other
virgins also
came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! AMP

Luke 23:25

25 So he released the
man who had
been thrown into prison for riot and murder, for whom they continued to
but Jesus he delivered up to be done with as they willed. AMP

3. Consider how
mighty the
billows of divine wrath will be when they shall come. The waters of
flood were very great. The deluge was vast; it was very deep; the
reached fifteen cubits above the highest mountains; and it was an ocean
had no shore; signifying the greatness of that wrath which is coming on
men in another world, which will be like a mighty flood of waters
them, and rising vastly high over their heads, with billows reaching to
very heavens. Those billows will be higher and heavier than mountains
on their
poor souls. The wrath of God will be an ocean without shores, as Noah’s
was: it will be misery that will have no end. The misery of the damned
in hell
can be better represented by nothing, than by a deluge of misery, a
deluge of wrath, which will be ten thousand times worse than a deluge
waters; for it will be a deluge of liquid fire, as in the Scriptures it
called a lake of fire and brimstone. – At the end of the world all the
shall be swallowed up in a vast deluge of fire, which shall be as great
and as
mighty as Noah’s deluge of water. See 2 Peter 3:5,6,7. After that the
will have mighty billows of fire and brimstone eternally rolling over
poor souls, and their miserable tormented bodies. Those billows may be
vast liquid mountains of fire and brimstone. And when one billow shall
gone over their heads, another shall follow, without intermission,
giving them
no rest day nor night to all eternity.

2 Peter 3:5-7

5 For they willfully
overlook and
forget this [fact], that the heavens [came into] existence long ago by
the word
of God, and the earth also which was formed out of water and by means
of water,

6 Through which the
world that
then [existed] was deluged with water and perished. [Genesis 1:6-8;

7 But by the same
word the
present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire,
being kept
until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people. AMP

4. This flood of
wrath will
probably come upon you suddenly, when you all think little of it, and
it shall
seem far from you. So the flood came upon the old world. See Matthew
&c. Probably many of them were surprised in the night by the waters
bursting suddenly in at their doors, or under the foundations of their
coming in upon them in their beds. For when the fountains of the great
were broken up, the waters, as observed before, burst forth in mighty
To such a sudden surprise of the wicked of the old world in the night,
that alludes in Job 27:20, "Terrors take hold on him as waters; a
stealeth him away in the night." So destruction is wont to come on
men, who hear many warnings of approaching destruction, and yet will
not be
influenced by them. For "he that is often reproved, and hardeneth his
neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy," Proverbs
29:1. And "when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden
cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall
escape,"1 Thessalonians 5:3.

Matthew 24:36

36 But of that
[exact] day and
hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only
Father. AMP

Job 27:20

20 Terrors overtake
him like a
[suddenly loosened] flood; a windstorm steals him away in the night. AMP

Proverbs 29:1

29:1 HE WHO, being
reproved, hardens his neck shall suddenly be destroyed — and that
remedy. AMP

1 Thessalonians 5:3

3 When people are
saying, All is
well and secure, and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment
destruction (ruin and death) will come upon them as suddenly as labor
come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for
there will
be no escape. AMP

5. If you will not
hearken to the
many warnings which are given you of approaching destruction, you will
guilty of more than brutish madness. The ox knoweth his owner, and the
ass his
master’s crib." They know upon whom they are dependent, and whom they
obey, and act accordingly. But you, so long as you neglect your own
act as if you knew not God, your Creator and Proprietor, nor your
upon him. The very beasts, when they see signs of an approaching storm,
betake themselves to their dens for shelter. Yet you, when abundantly
warned of
the approaching storm of divine vengeance, will not fly to the
hiding-place from
the storm, and the covert from the tempest. The sparrow, the swallow,
and other
birds, when they are forewarned of approaching winter, will betake
to a safer climate. Yet you who have been often forewarned of the
blasts of divine wrath, will not, in order to escape them, enter into
the New
Jerusalem, of most mild and salubrious air, though the gate stands wide
open to
receive you. The very ants will be diligent in summer to lay up for
winter: yet
you will do nothing to lay up in store a good foundation against the
time to
come. Balaam’s ass would not run upon a drawn sword, though his master,
for the
sake of gain, would expose himself to the sword of God’s wrath; and so
God made
the dumb ass, both in words and actions, to rebuke the madness of the
1 Peter 2:16. In like manner, you, although you have been oft warned
that the
sword of God’s wrath is drawn against you, and will certainly be thrust
you, if you proceed in your present course, still proceed, regardless
of the consequence.

1 Peter 2:16

16[Live] as free
people, [yet]
without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live
at all
times] as servants of God. AMP

So God made the very
beasts and
birds of the old world to rebuke the madness of the men of that day:
for they,
even all sorts of them, fled to the ark while the door was yet open:
which the
men of that day refused to do; God hereby, thus signifying, that their
was greater than that of the very brute creatures. – Such folly and
madness are
you guilty of; who refuse to hearken to the warnings that are given you
of the
approaching flood of the wrath of God.

You have been once
more warned
to-day, while the door of the ark yet stands open. You have, as it
were, once
again heard the knocks of the hammer and axe in the building of the
ark, to put
you in mind that a flood is approaching. Take heed therefore that you
do not
still stop your ears, treat these warnings with a regardless heart, and
neglect the great work which you have to do lest the flood of wrath
come upon you, sweep you away, and there be no remedy.

Sermons of Jonathan


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