Warning from the early Church.
APOSTATES, In the time of Noah and after the flood until the Second Coming of Christ when He condemns them for eternity – ACCORDING TO St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Gaul (France) - 180 A.D.
Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blindmice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance—in fact, as nothing;”
That before the Lord’s appearance Satan never dared to blaspheme God, inasmuch as he did not yet know his own sentence, because it was contained in parables and allegories; but that after the Lord’s appearance, when he had clearly ascertained from the words of Christ and His apostles that eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition. Just as it is with those who break the laws, when punishment overtakes them: they throw the blame upon those who frame the laws, but not upon themselves. In like manner do those men, filled with a satanic spirit, bring innumerable accusations against our Creator, who has both given to us the spirit of life, and established a law adapted for all; and they will not admit that the judgment of God is just. Wherefore also they set about imagining some other Father who neither cares about nor exercises a providence; and there is therefore in this beast (the Antichrist), when he comes, a recapitulation made of all sorts of iniquity and of every deceit, in order that all apostate power, flowing into and being shut up in him, may be sent into the furnace of fire. Fittingly, therefore, shall his name possess the number six hundred and sixty-six, since he sums up in his own person all the commixture of wickedness which took place previous to the deluge, due to the apostasy of the angels. For Noah was six hundred years old when the deluge came upon the earth, sweeping away the rebellious world, for the sake of that most infamous generation which lived in the times of Noah. And [Antichrist] also sums up every error of devised idols since the flood, together with the slaying of the prophets and the cutting off of the just. For that image which was set up by Nebuchadnezzar had indeed a height of sixty cubits, while the breadth was six cubits; on account of which Ananias, Azarias, and Misaël, when they did not worship it, were cast into afurnace of fire, pointing out prophetically, by what happened to them, the wrath against the righteous which shall arise towards the [time of the] end. For that image, taken as a whole, was a prefiguring of this man’s coming, decreeing that he should undoubtedly himself alone be worshipped by all men. Thus, then, the six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception; for which things’ sake a cataclysm of fire shall also come [upon the earth].
This is what is left of the Tower that had stood that God punished the people in the plain of Shinar for building and divided their language into many conflicting tongues to prevent them from accomplishing their aim of storming heaven and acting as gods over the whole earth.
Romans 1st Chapter
THE GOSPEL: THE POWER OF GOD FOR THE SALVATION OF
ALL WHO BELIEVE
I. Humanity Without Christ
The Pagans Adore Idols
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those men who in wickedness hold back the truth of God, 19. seeing that what may be known about God is manifest to them. For God has manifested it to them. 20. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen - his everlasting power also and divinity-being understood through the things that are made. And so they are without excuse, 21. seeing that, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless minds have been darkened. 22. For while professing to be wise, they have become fools, 23. and they have changed the glory of the incorruptible for an image made like to corruptible man and to birds and four footed beasts and creeping things.
Punishment of Idolaters
24. Therefore God has given them up in the lustful desires of their heart to uncleanness, so that they dishonor their own bodies among themselves- 25. they who exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, amen.
26. For this cause God has given them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature 27. and in like manner the men also having abandoned the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity. 28. And as they have resolved against possessing the knowledge of God, God has given them up to a reprobate sense, so that they do what is not fitting, 29. being filled with all iniquity, malice, immorality, avarice, wickedness; being full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity being whisperers, 30. detractors, hateful to God, irreverent, proud, haughty, plotters of evil disobedient to parents, 31. foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. 32. Although they have known the ordinance of God, they have not understood that those who practise such things are deserving of death. And not only do they do these things, but they applaud others doing them.
6 Seeing it is a just thing with God to repay tribulation to them that trouble you:
7 And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of his power:
8 In a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his power:
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed; because our testimony was believed upon you in that day.
11 ¶ Wherefore also we pray always for you: That our God would make you worthy of his vocation and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.