A Deferred Sentence or Pardon?Bro. Ron Rupé
2/17/2007 6:00 PM
Even a little child can understand and believe and be saved. Transgressor: one who violates the law; Judgment: a decree by a judge regarding guilt or innocence; Sentence: a decision by a judge regarding your punishment; Condemnation: guilt, under a sentence of punishment; Deferred sentence: punishment that is delayed; Pardon: to forgive someone who is guilty and condemned; Execution: to carry out the sentence.
Genesis 6:3, 5-8, 13-18, 7:1, 15-23
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. … And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. … And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. … And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
In Noah’s day, all mankind was transgressing against God. The earth had been corrupted and defiled. It made God sorry that he had made people because of the mess they had made and how they treated him. Sin makes God sad. Because mankind was guilty of transgression, God passed judgment and a sentence on mankind. He found man guilty and decided to destroy mankind. Even in this he was merciful. He gave them a deferred sentence for 120 years so that they could be saved. He gave them a means for pardon and deliverance – the ark.
1 Peter 3:20-21
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Only eight souls took advantage of the pardon God offered. A deferred sentence is not a pardon. (See Genesis 6:17) God promised it would happen, and it did happen, even though it took some time to happen. When the time had passed, God shut the door and executed his judgment. You can’t bargain with God. The events of Noah’s day are like what God will work in our day.
2 Peter 3:1-10, 12
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. … Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
There is still a sentence on mankind. Perdition: the final judgment, the loss of heaven, final separation from God, the permanent loss of your soul. That day will come. The sentence is deferred, but it will come.
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
The sentence is deferred because God is merciful and longsuffering. He wants you to respond with repentance. How are you responding? Some see the deferred sentence as a pass to do evil. God has provided a means for deliverance. Jesus is the ark of safety.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus is our ark of safety. Because of sin, the world is already condemned. God sent Jesus so that we can be delivered from the condemnation that is already on us. Jesus came to be the means of deliverance. Although pardon is offered to all, it is not received by all. It is up to us to accept his pardon.
For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
It is God’s desire that no one perish, but many will perish because they reject the ark of safety – Christ. There is only one ark. There is only one way to be delivered – Christ.
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
There is only one ark of safety and it is Christ. "…whereby we must be saved…" To be delivered from the sentence, you must be saved. Christ is the only ark of safety.
Revelation 3:7-8; Genesis 7:16-23
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
When Jesus came, the door of the ark of safety was opened. Men have tried to shut the door, but they haven’t been able to shut it. There is coming a day when God will shut the door. When he shuts the door, no one can get it open again. There is coming a day when the sentence will no longer be deferred. Be sure you’re in the ark when that day comes. Accept the pardon while it is yours to take.