'Tis the season to be jolly — in September? 

I have a son-in-law who loves the Christmas season and decorating his home; he's already making preparations and testing sound equipment. His zeal and joy over this is exciting and, I must admit, contagious.

Incidentally, this is also the bow-hunting season.

It seems that everyone is preparing for something — a holiday, special event or retirement.

In the Bible, Noah was told to build an ark for a promised flood.

I can imagine God telling Noah it would rain — and Noah nodding along, all the while wondering what rain was! After God explained, the prospect of water falling from the sky must have been very frightening to Noah. (Editor's Note: Some Christians believe scriptures support the notion that it did not rain before the flood.) 

I can also imagine those around Noah, scoffing at his work to build the ark, stating that "rain" could never happen.

I believe that Noah and his family got a lot of grief for their belief, simply because others could not — would not — grasp the concept that water could fall from the sky, or even that God would destroy them for their wickedness. 

Still, Noah built the ark. God filled the ark with animals, and Noah's family, and shut the ark.

Picture those scoffers as they realized that what Noah heard had indeed come true; imagine their panic as they raced toward the ark with hopes of salvation.

I wonder if Noah and those inside heard the screams and pleas of rescue, the banging on doors and walls — the absolute terror of those who did not heed the cry.

Dear friend, there is coming a judgment from God's throne, and we have been given an ark of safety called salvation. We did not build it, but we embrace it. 

We may be accused of judging people, but we still must warn of sin's consequences and salvation's rewards.

To not  "push our beliefs upon others," as is often stated, is to show that we do not care for them. 

I've had the agony of being beside individuals who left this earth, screaming and begging to be saved from the stench, the flames, those things tearing at them. 

This sobering sight strengthens my resolve to do better to warn others. 

I have also had the opportunity to sit beside those who have accepted His offer of salvation as they too leave this earthly realm. Their bodies relaxed, they smiled and their hands reached out in joy. 

At that time, you can almost sense that someone greater has entered the room to lovingly take that person home. 

Christ, walking into the room, is who we seek.

Keep warning, preaching and testifying while you can. Stay prepared. Look for God, and take as many as you can with you. 

Be blessed. God does love you!

The Rev. Richard Helms serves at Miracle Acres Ministries, 3187 E. James Lee Blvd., in Crestview.