To say that our society tolerates evil is an understatement. The definition, these days, seems to be limited to things such as mass shootings and racism. While these are definitely evil, the world’s understanding of that word doesn’t take God and His Word into consideration. For instance, our culture’s general acceptance of abortion as women’s healthcare rather than the slaughter of innocent children. It’s as if the culture of Noah’s day has a strangle hold on our culture.
Genesis 6:5 describes the times in which Noah lived, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Only God gets to define what is evil and what is not. So, redefining sin is nothing more than tolerating evil, which is always dangerous. The Bible gives two somber examples of how tolerating evil darkens the understanding and dulls the conscience.
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).
I’ve often read this passage and wondered, “How did they not understand?” A man takes 120 years to build a boat in the middle of dry land; all the time warning people of the coming flood. Then when animals start loading the boat only eight people get on? They were only aware of what their physical senses could comprehend with no realization of the consequences or spiritual risks. But perhaps the greatest example of a collective dull conscience is Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s story serves as a warning that even the righteous can become accustomed to all kinds of evil if it’s tolerated long enough. Our present culture helps me understand why the people of Noah and Lot’s day were confused.
Today’s confusion has been aided by American Christianity. With few exceptions, our churches have gotten comfortable with making people comfortable instead of challenging and equipping them to be godly. Church members are often told to accept those who ignore the Bible for who God made them to be. As a result, a large segment of the American church has grown more accepting of same-sex relationships and the transgender movement. Yes, we are to love them. However, we are also commanded to present biblical truth—not in order to condemn but so they’ll repent and be saved.
The consequences of tolerating evil haven’t changed. Our nation’s lack of spiritual understanding and moral conscience isn’t just growing—it’s multiplying. I want to understand the times in which I live through the lens of Scripture. And I’ll continue to preach that understanding to the lost. Simply put—I want to be more like Noah than Lot.