By Chelsen Vicari, Juicy Ecumenism blog
Following Sen. Rubio’s keynote address to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Catholic University of America’s joint “upward mobility” symposium was a panel discussion featuring faith leaders including, Russell Moore, president of Southern Baptist ERLC, Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, and Sister Ann Patrick Conrad, associate professor of Social Work for Catholic University.
A key purpose of the panel was to uncover whether or not there is a link between the breakdown of marriage and our country’s pressing economic decay. But marriage’s current state of decline and the value young people place on marriage captivated the attention of most of the panelists.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” (Matthew 24:37). Then, the world was destroyed by a flood; in our day, it is to be destroyed by fire. The message of warning is going forth to the world, to prepare a people who will be saved out of the general ruin of earthly things. We are living in a very solemn time, and solemn thoughts should occupy the mind; the earnest inquiry should be made by every soul, “What shall I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). The message that the coming of Yahushua is at hand, is not received. The thought that he is at the door, is not a welcome thought. As the message of the coming deluge was rejected, in the time of Noah, so the announcement of the final destruction of this world, is disbelieved. Thousands will reason after the same manner as did the people in the days prior to the flood. The message of truth is refused; and one turns away to his merchandise, another to his farm, another to his cattle, and another to the pleasures of life. While one is absorbed in business, and in the cares of this world, another is taken up with thoughts and plans for marriage, and he has no disposition to heed the warning of truth. He responds to the invitation of Yahuwah to come, for the feast is now ready, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Luke 14:20).
Yahushua declared, “For as it was 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 24:38-39). He foresaw that men would be engaged in every selfish work, living without fear of Yahuwah, eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, when the day of final judgment was about to break. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false-accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Yahuwah.” (2 Timothy 3:1-3). And while they are crying, “Peace and safety,”sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape.
In the days of Noah, the earth was filled with violence. Is it not in a similar condition today? Of the vast population in the world before the flood, only eight persons were saved from the general destruction. In the days of Noah, the mass of mankind would not listen to the warning of the servant of the Master. In our own day, the majority of men will “turn away their ears from hearing the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:4). In the time of Noah, the people were intensely worldly. They were without the fear of Yahuwah. Yahuwah was not in all their thoughts. They had no care whether he approved their course or not. They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, with no thought of their Creator, or of their responsibility to him.
There is in itself no sin in eating and drinking, or in marrying and giving in marriage. It was lawful to marry in the time of Noah, and it is lawful to marry now, if that which is lawful is properly treated, and not carried to sinful excess. But in the days of Noah, men married without consulting Yahuwah, or seeking his guidance and counsel. So it is at the present day; marriage ceremonies are made matters of display, extravagance, and self-indulgence. But if the contracting parties are agreed in religious belief and practice, and everything is consistent, and the ceremony be conducted without display and extravagance, marriage at this time need not be displeasing to Yahuwah. “But this I say, brethren, the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).