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Noah Found Grace

Scripture: Matthew 24:37-39, Genesis 6:1-22, Genesis 7:1-24
Date: 10/28/2000 
Noah’s experience and time are an example for our time. Just as Noah was saved by God’s grace, so are we. A storm is coming and we are safe only in God’s hands.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Thank you Kelly. I enjoy very much having Kelly back with us. You know, of course, she provided the music every night, almost every night anyway, in New York City with John Lomacagn. And they’ll be having a concert here tonight at 6:15. Is that right? And we hope that you folks will come. I really like watching Kelly play because she makes it look so easy. Doesn’t even look like she’s trying. Makes me think I could sit down and do that. It was a joy to work with them as a team and I’m glad they’re back with us for our meetings again. And hope that you’ll come tonight. Our message tonight is how to experience financial freedom and biblical prosperity. What those concepts are and I think everybody would get a blessing from that. And we hope that you’ll come and you can still bring a friend. Now this morning as we promised we’re going to talk to you about how to survive the coming storm. The name of the message is Noah Found Grace. I also would like to invite the studio, if they would turn on the monitor that will also help me to be better prepared in showing you what the slides are that we’re going to be dealing with. Noah Found Grace. You heard in our scripture reading that the first time the word grace appears in the Bible it’s in the context of Noah.

Now that’s very important. We are all saved by grace. Saved through faith, saved by grace through faith and Noah is an example of that. Now many people when they read the story of Noah they say, “Well that can’t possibly be true. Because we all know that the idea the whole world was destroyed by a flood’s just not scientific.” But in fact if you understand real science the geological evidence around the world demonstrates that the world was indeed once destroyed by a flood. And so that is something that I think is supported scientifically. Everywhere that I’ve been in the world I have seen the evidence that there was a massive flood. The fossil record bears this out. I’ve been to Nageezi, New Mexico. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon. I’ve been up 7,000 feet in the middle of the US where you see thousands and thousands of sea creatures that have been fossilized, seashells. And I remember even when I lived up in the mountains in Taquits Canyon how the hills had been washed and it looked to me like a copious amount of violent rushing water could have been the only thing that would have formed some of those canyons. No amount of normal rain could ever have done it. Now I was seeing this while I was still an evolutionist at heart. And I started thinking that it seems like that the fossil record around the world seems to demonstrate that all of these creatures must have died in some catastrophe.

You know for years they said the dinosaurs slowly died out because of environmental changes over millions of years. But then eventually the paleontologists and others were forced to admit they died in a catastrophic flood. Well they didn’t like that because that sounds something like what the Bible says so they said, “It must have been an asteroid. That’s what it was. An asteroid came flinging through space and this asteroid struck the earth and because of that it caused this catastrophic flood and suddenly all of these creatures were died out.” But the problem with that theory is that if all of the dinosaurs died out why would suddenly they’d be replaced with the mammals and the more intelligent creatures? Wouldn’t evolution have to start all over again? If all of these creatures died out that way. But in fact the story in the Bible of Noah and the flood is not only scientific it is socially proven. You can go to at least 145 different cultures in the world and they explain that somewhere in their mythology or in their fables they say that there was a time when the world was destroyed by a flood because of the wickedness in the world. The story of Atlantis, you’ve all heard of that. It’s the story how the world was destroyed because of the wickedness. Some of you are acquainted with the epic of Gilgamesh, which is Babylonian fables that tell about this great flood that destroyed the world because of its wickedness, but there were a few people that were saved.

Even the Hawaiians, in their legends they have the story of a man by the name of Noe. Isn’t that interesting? Who filled his canoe with some dogs and pigs and chickens. And the rest of the world was destroyed by a wave, but he and his family were spared. In the Greek mythology they’ve got the story of a man and his family that entered a great box and they took two of every creature and they were spared and the gods destroyed the world with a flood. The American Indians have another similar account of how the Lord destroyed, the Great Spirit, destroyed all the wicked of the world except this one family. And they say it was their particular tribe. Several tribes of the Native American Indians say, “And the only tribe that was spared was the Navajo.” But you ask the Hopi, they say, “No, the first parents were the Hopi.” And you ask the Cheyenne, they say, “No, the whole world was destroyed except the Cheyenne.” But they all have the same story. And you know usually legends are based in some truth. And I believe that the story of Noah’s flood did actually indeed happen. You know if you go back and you add up the population of people in the world today, based on the rate of the population growth. You know it took the first 4,000 years to get the first billion people. Then it only took 150 years to get the second billion people; 30 years to get the third billion people. I remember when there were only 3 billion people in the world and now there’s six. You can do mathematics backwards.

Look at the current population, look at the trends, calculate and factor in different plagues and wars and based on the population of man in the world all history can be based back about 5,000 years ago, 4,500 years ago there was a flood or something happened because it seems like that the human race started over again back then. Written history cannot be dated back any further than that. And there’s so much evidence in science that tells us that man had to start over again about 4,500 years ago. Well of course this is what the Bible teaches. Let’s go back to the very beginning though to get the whole story. In the beginning, of course, God made Adam and Eve in His own image. He placed them in this paradise. Man chose not to listen to God. He chose to listen to the devil. And because of that rebellion he was expelled, man was evicted from the garden of God and the whole purpose of the plan of salvation is how to get back to the garden. The sacrificial system was instituted. Even back in the world then contaminated by sin it was still a very beautiful creation. Lots of creatures that do not exist in the world today existed then. A number of animals were rendered extinct not just by the flood, but even after the flood there were very few samples of the surviving creatures. And some of them, either by accident or extermination, were destroyed. And that’s why you can see all through the fossil record there’s these examples of animals of great size and proportions. People say do I believe the dinosaurs actually existed?

Yes, I do. I believe they exist today. They’re just much smaller. We call them lizards. Everything was bigger before the flood. You look at the Mastodons and all the fossil record of the mammals as well as the reptiles, were much larger than they are today. Something catastrophic happened to the environment of the world. And I’ll get to that in just a moment. But the point that I want to especially dwell on here, we’re looking at how to survive the coming storm, how Noah survived by grace, because Jesus said that Noah is an example for us to remember. Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” The Bible tells us that Jesus has given Noah as an example. Matthew 24:38-39, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark; and did not know until the flood came and took them all away. So also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Over and over again Jesus tells us that just before the end there will be a flood. His closing parable in the Sermon on the Mount tells about the wise man who builds on the rock, the fool builds on the sand. The one thing they share in common, it says, “When the storm came.” There’s a storm that is coming. God washed the world before with water. You could say He baptized the world with water. When Jesus comes the next time the world will be baptized in fire. But there is going to be a storm just before the Lord comes. Noah survived.

How many here want to survive the coming storm? Then we should learn some lessons from Noah that may help better prepare us. Well as we study the Bible we can get the idea that shortly after Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden that the people were divided quickly in two distinct camps. Cain killed his brother Abel. But Adam and Eve had another son named Seth, in the image of Adam. And he continued in the worship of the true God. And the children of God, the sons of God, the children of Seth and Adam and Eve that wanted to worship Jehovah, they lived primarily up in the hills. They were more nomadic, agricultural. And they were offering unto God. They remained separate and distinct from the daughters of Cain and the children of men that lived in the cities. The first city in the Bible mentioned is built by Cain who ran from God, who murdered his brother. And the Bible tells us in Genesis 6, it’s a scripture that often confuses people, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all they chose.” They lost this distinction and they began to intermarry. The children of Seth, the sons of God, saw the daughters of men, the descendants of Cain, and when they begin to marry and they became unequally yoked together then instead of the righteous influencing the wicked, as so often happens the wicked influenced the already natural carnal nature’s that the righteous were wrestling with until pretty soon the Bible declares that the world was full of evil.

The earth became full of violence. The sons of God were not aliens or fallen angels that had intimate relations with humans as some people teach. Even some Bible commentaries say that. It’s absurd. If you want to know who the sons of God are you go to I John 3. It says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God.” Those that worship God are adopted into the family of God. They are the sons of God. Isaiah tells us that we are His sons and His daughters when we worship Him. And so when the sons of God, the children of Seth, began to lose their distinction and they intermarried with the daughters of men. Then wickedness filled the land. Some people said, “Well why and how can you explain when it says, ‘the sons of God married the daughters of men,’ that the children were mighty men, renown, giants?” Well that’s a very common scientific fact. It’s called genetic vitality. That when there’s a lot of inbreeding within just certain tribes or certain breeds that certain traits become prominent. And you can have genetic vitality and you can have extra beneficial features through crossbreeding. Now they genetically have great advantages. But spiritually they were worse off. And that’s what the Bible is talking about there. Again, it tells us in the scriptures in Luke 17:26, Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” They ate and they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, they began to intermarry, polygamy, multiple marriages, giving up on marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark. Life went on as normal until the day that Noah entered the ark. And the flood came and destroyed them all.

There’s going to be a day of judgment and a great time of reckoning. The Bible says some of the saddest words in scripture are in the context of what God had to do because of the wickedness in the earth. Genesis 6:6, “And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart.” Does God have feelings? Here God made this paradise, He created these creatures. He said, “Trust me. Obey me and you’ll be happy.” They did not trust. They did not obey and man was unhappy. The earth was full of violence. They had forgotten about God. And the Lord was grieved and the Lord was sorry. The Bible says, “it repented him that he had made man.” And God had determined that a day of judgment must come. He was going to put these creatures that were just completely overwhelmed with lust and violence out of their misery. Bible goes on to say in Genesis 6:3, “And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he is indeed flesh,” he’s mortal, “his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Now some are wondering, “Did that mean that God was now saying that the life span of man was to be 120 years?” No, much later in the Bible God says that’s to be threescore and ten as an average. When He said, “his days will be one hundred and twenty years,” from the time that God made this utterance man had 120 years of probation until the day of judgment came. That God is longsuffering is something that nobody here should doubt. Now the environment in the world was very different back then than it is today.

The Bible says it had never rained before. “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth. But instead,” the Bible tells us, of having regular rain, “a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” The best explanation that I’ve ever seen for this is that before the flood there was an envelope of water that was perpetually separated from the earth, a cloud layer, if you will. But not like the clouds and the vapor that we have now. It was much more substantial and something held it up there. Bible in Genesis says, “The Lord separated the waters below from the waters above.” And this envelope of water that encompassed the earth polarized the rays of the sun. A lot of the harmful rays that people suffer from now are because we no longer have that consistent envelope of water. The harsh climates that we have in the extreme north and the extreme south of our planet are the result of their separation from the sun. But before the flood this envelope of water polarized the rays and the temperature so there was a beautiful, paradise like, uniform climate all the way around the planet. How else can you explain when they do this research in Siberia they find these mastodons that are munching on ferns, tropical ferns up in Siberia? Something radical happened to the environment. And the best explanation I’ve heard is these Christian scientists and doctors that say there was an envelope of water that surrounded the earth. And every morning it naturally drew the mist out of the ground and it was just this morning mist and humidity that irrigated this beautiful paradise and it was like a rain forest, a garden and a jungle all over the world. Things were much different then than they are now.

There’s plenty of beauty in the world today, but nothing compared to what it was like before the flood. Now I want to bring out ten points regarding Noah and his example that we might learn from and hopefully we will know as we study these things and his life how we might survive the storm. First of all, the Bible says Noah walked with God though surrounded with evil. The Bible tells us that the world was filled with violence. That, “the thoughts of men’s hearts were only evil continually.” Now some of us might think we haven’t come to that day yet, but I would beg to differ. I believe we are again at that day where the earth is filled with violence. What do you think? I believe again that if people had little speakers wired to their foreheads and you could hear their thoughts; first of all, you wouldn’t want a speakers on your forehead that was broadcasting everything you thought, would you? But if we had a little speaker and everybody could hear what it was we were thinking we would quickly come to the conclusion that the thoughts of men’s hearts were only selfish.

That’s the same as the word wicked. The thoughts of men’s hearts were only selfish, continually motivated by selfishness. In spite of the fact that Noah was living in a violent, wicked, selfish, sinful world he managed to walk with God. You remember when Nathaniel said to Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” “Nazareth, it’s got a reputation for being, it’s the slums and they’ve got the crime and they’ve got the drugs in Nazareth and you’re telling me the Messiah is in Nazareth?” You think it’s an accident that the Son of God came from Nazareth? Or is it an example for you and me that if Jesus could grow up pure and holy in that environment, if Noah could walk with God in a world full of violence then there’s hope for each one of us to live separate and distinct. You know there’s an amazing fact right now I wish I had plugged this in to the presentation.

They’ve got these spiders called water spiders that they live in a bubble under the water. They actually build their webs below the water’s surface. They carry the air from above down in little bubbles and they shake it off their legs. They build this bell under water in a lake or a pond. They attach their web to the reeds and the grass that grows underneath the surface there and they draw the air from above and they bring it below and they shake it off until they build this beg bell, this chamber of air that’s held in this unique web that they’ve created. Here they are living below, yet their breathing the atmosphere from above and they manage to stay perfectly dry while living below the surface. And I thought well that’s a little illustration of how you and I can live in the atmosphere of heaven though we are in a world filled with sin. It is possible for us to, through prayer, through communion with God, to walk with God the way that Noah did. The Bible tells us that Noah, his family became a sample of the redeemed. God saved a remnant and He will save, as He saved Noah He will save us. “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Now the Bible tells us that Noah found grace.

I wonder, did Noah find grace because he walked with God, or did Noah walk with God because he found grace? Did Noah find grace because grace fell on him, or did Noah find grace because he was looking for it? The Bible says, “Seek and you’ll find.” I believe in a world of wickedness Noah continued to search for God and Noah found the Lord. And when he found the Lord he found grace. And he found grace to walk with God and to live a holy life. You see how that works? God did not arbitrarily look down from heaven and see a whole race of wicked people and say, “I think I’ll make one of them holy.” He looked down from heaven and He found somebody that was looking for grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because he was looking for God. And because he found grace God gave him power to live a holy life. And the Bible says he, “was a just man, perfect in his generations.” That means he was perfect as he could be in the world that he lived in. And because of this God could use him. You know there’s a scripture in the Bible, I think it’s II Chronicles.

The exact passage escapes me right now, but I can quote it to you. “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the earth looking for somebody through whom he can show himself mighty.” God is looking for people who are looking for Him. And when He finds those people He does great things through them. I believe that we are still going to see miracles in the world today when God finds people who have the faith of the patriarchs that we’re talking about. Something else about Noah that we discover, point number two, is God communicated with Noah. Noah was looking for God; he found God and God spoke to him. The Bible tells us that God told Noah what He was going to do in advance. Has God told His people what’s coming in advance? Has He spoken to us so we know what the future holds? Has He told us so we can prepare in advance? God gave Noah this information. He gave him clear instructions how to be saved just as He gives us in His word. God did not simply say to Noah, “Yep, I’m going to wipe the world clean. I’m going to destroy it with a flood and you’re on your own.”

He said, “I’m going to destroy the world, but I’m going to tell you how you can survive if you want.” And Noah was given very specific instructions on how to build this ark. And you know the word ark; it never says it had a rudder. Because God was the pilot. Never said it had a steering wheel. Never says it had a keel, that it had a bow. It’s described as a box. And I know all the pictures you see will vary from these cute little chubby boats that look like the kind of thing that a kid would play with in a bathtub. They had these long old oil tankers and all the different images that we see of the ark are unique. It did have dimensions, but the dimensions were very box-like. It wasn’t’ made to plow through the water. It was made to stay above the water. God was the pilot of the ark. And so he was given these clear instructions how to build the ark.

Which brings me to the next point. When Noah received the instructions what did he do? He built exactly according to the design that God had given him. Very simply, Noah obeyed God. Not only did God speak to him, Noah responded to what God said. He listened to the instructions of the Lord. Now this is where you separate the mice from the men, so to speak. They’re s a lot of people in the world who say, “Lord, Lord,” and they hear the Lord and they talk about the Lord, but they’re not doing anything to prepare for the end. Noah, in his life, focused on spending his time, his energy, his voice, his influence, his means, Noah invested all he had and all he was in taking the word of God seriously. His whole life was poured into preparing for what God said was coming. Now here’s the question. Has God told you and me that there’s a day of judgment coming?

Is life as we know it going to go on indefinitely? Or will there by a day of reckoning? Is there going to be a day of destruction? The Bible tells us that what happened in the days of Noah is going to happen again. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be again.” Friends, we are in that day now. And if we would find grace and if we would survive we need to learn. Did Noah just hear God or did he do what God said? Genesis 6:22, “Thus Noah,” say it with me; “Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” Can the Bible be more explicit than that? He did what God commanded him. You know it’s not religiously correct, even in Christian communities, to say too much about the commandments of God. Even in our own denomination it’s getting to the place where it’s not considered politically correct to accentuate the commandments of God because somehow people got the idea somewhere along the way that obedience is legalism. That being obedient is being legalistic.

Those of you who are parents, when you ask your children to perform some certain task, do they turn at you and say, “You’re being legalistic,” or do you have reasons for asking them to do what you want them to do? And God has told us what He wants us to do. He’s given us some very basic commands and as a very minimum the Ten Commandments He expects us to perform. They’re not ten recommendations. They’re not ten suggestions. They’re Ten Commandments. Noah did what God commanded and there is a connection between his finding grace and his being willing to do what God commanded him to do. Noah’s obedience was not subject to popular opinion. Now were those around Noah encouraging him on? Can you imagine how ludicrous and ridiculous it must have seemed to people, living contemporaries of Noah, to see this formerly intelligent man, a patriarch, building this great big box that was supposed to be seaworthy? He made it out of a wood, we’re not exactly sure what gopher wood is. Some commentators speculate it was some sort of cedar.

The wood grain that existed before the flood was different than the kind of trees we have now. Think about this, if God made Adam 30 years old, let’s say the optimum age is 43. I just happened to pick that out of nowhere. Let’s just suppose that’s the optimum age. You know this really is a great age. I’ll tell you why this is a great age. Because you still have enough of your health to do what you’ve discovered the priorities to be. And you’re old enough now to know how to stay out of trouble. You don’t know that when you’re 20. When you get 40 you’re old enough to; they say your person’s greatest earning power is in his 40’s. Because you’ve got the potential, you’ve got the experience and you haven’t lost all your gray matter yet. Who was it, James Dobson, that says, “As soon as you’re face clears up your brain gets fuzzy.”

It’s one of the problems with life. But if God could make man, 30, 33, I don’t know. Whatever the optimum age is. When He first made the trees, think about the Redwoods now. Some of them are 4,000-5,000 years old based on their aging the grain. There must have been some massive trees, based on some of these petrified forests. And the grain of the tree was not subject to the weather conditions being bad because they were made with so many years of grain built in to them. See what I’m saying? Those were some tough trees. Matter of fact, I read in an inspired commentary called Patriarchs and Prophets it says the wood that existed back in the days of the flood much more resembled stone in its durability. So we’re not exactly sure hat gopher wood is, but I can promise you there’s nothing in the world quite like it today. And here he begins to build this massive structure on dry land. And do you think he was able to hide that for very long? His sons are cutting down trees. They’re starting to assemble this great big box.

Friends and neighbors are coming around. And remember, they’re people like you and me. They weren’t all foaming at the mouth and sprouting horns. When the Bible says the world was full of violence it was pretty much like your neighborhood. And the neighbors came by cordially and said, “Don’t mean to pry, but what are you doing?” “I’m building a large box.” “What for?” “God has told me He’s going to destroy the world with a flood.” “A flood. How’s that going to happen?” “Water’s going to cover the earth.” It had never rained before. Now that must have been some spectacle. Noah, the Bible says, built that ark under great opposition. Peter tells us that there will arise scoffers in the last days walking after their own lusts, mocking the second coming. And he says that in context of Noah’s building the ark for that day of destruction.

In other words, he was being mocked. He was being derided. He was being scoffed at. He was being laughed at. Pastor Mike, when I was telling him about the sermon this week, he said, “You know, if Noah was building the ark today there’d be graffiti all over the side of it. And they’d all be making fun of him.” “Noah’s folly.” Here he’s building this massive vessel. Now the Bible says it was 300 cubits, but keep in mind, a cubit was a distance based on the measurement of a man’s arm. Depending, Noah, you know he lived over 950 years, I believe it is. Longer than that. They may have been 20 feet tall back then. They’ve found skeletons of people that are nine and 12 feet tall. They say, “Well they were freaks.” They were much bigger. A cubit must have been bigger. The ark, massive vessel, looked like the Titanic on dry land. It’s hard to hide that. Now can you imagine bearing up under that kind of ridicule? You are daily going and you’re working and you’re slaving, you’re obeying because you want to save your family. You want to obey God, you want to preserve life and every day people are laughing at you and throwing stones and mocking. You are the laughing stock of the planet. And you’ve got to put up with that for 120 years. Did Noah continue to obey even though it was not popular?

Obedience was not subject to popular opinion. If we are going to make our choices about obeying God subject to what the religions of the world are doing, or the people of the world are doing, you’re not going to make it. Because if you’re waiting for the truth and the remnant message to be popular, the Bible has already told us in advance it will not be popular. We are going to be the minority right to the end. That’s what a remnant is. It’s a remainder of faithful people. An so, friends, if you’re going to obey God you’ve got to obey what God says, follow what His word says, follow Jesus’ example. Then you’re safe. You can’t go by what the world says or even the religious world. Remember it was the religious world that crucified Jesus. Cain was very religious. He offered a sacrifice and then he killed his brother. So religion, prophets of Baal were ready to kill Elijah. Religion cannot be the criteria. Number four. God made a covenant of salvation with Noah. Now has God made a covenant of salvation with us? Yeah. He made a promise.

Noah acted on the promise. The Bible says again in Genesis 7:5, “And Noah did according to all the Lord commanded him.” That’s two times now we find out one of the characteristics of Noah was he was willing to obey what God told him to do. He not heard God’s word; he was willing to act out God’s word. Point number five. Not only did Noah build this great vessel, Noah stored food for the coming storm. Now this is something that I don’t want to rush past. I think it’s very important. In the same way that Noah built this ship, God instructed him also to make a provision on the ship. Psalms 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart.” For what purpose? “That I might not sin against you.” Jesus says, Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Notice what God told Noah in Genesis 6:21, “And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten.” Not just the clean food the humans might eat. All food that’s eaten by the various creatures. All food on the planet that is eaten. That’s a pretty big order. “You shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten and you’ll gather it to yourself and it shall be food for you and for them,” meaning the creatures. He was not only to be storing food for himself to survive the storm; he was to be storing food for others to survive the storm. Now what’s the food that you and I are to store that’ll get us through the storm? “Thy word I have hid in my heart.”

Not only are we to store the word in our minds and our hearts that we might claim God’s promises when the storm comes that our house does not fall, but you and I need to store not only for ourselves, we need to store for others. We need to be ready to give an answer to others that might ask us for something to eat spiritually. That might give them hope. If we’re going to make it through the storm, friends, you can’t grab your Bible when you see the wave coming towards you. Tsunami of fire and destruction and say, “I’d better start reading my Bible now and find out what the truth is.” Now are the precious moments that are slipping away when we should be capitalizing on the freedom we have to read our Bibles. You and I don’t appreciate what opportunities we have; a lot of countries do not have, to acquaint our self with God. He says, “Come now, let us reason together.” We need to capitalize on these times, to store away for the coming storm. Amen? Next point, number six. Noah’s actions demonstrated or followed his faith. Noah showed that he believed. Now Noah was saved by grace through faith. But how do you know Noah had faith in the word of God. Because he said so? Or because he did something about his faith? “Thus also faith by itself if it does not have works,” James tells us, 2:17, “Faith without works is,” what? “it’s dead.” What if Noah had said, “I believe you Lord. I believe there’s a flood coming. I believe I need to build an ark. And I’m going to do something about it one of these days.”

Would Noah have been saved? He aced on his faith and the word of God. Real faith will be demonstrated in a change of behavior. “By faith,” the Bible says, this is in Hebrews 11, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen.” Let’s put this in today’s perspective. By faith, Doug, by faith, Marty, by faith, Doug Hill, you’re tall so you stand out. Different ones here that I happen to know. Mary Ella, by faith. By faith we have been warned of things not seen. Who here has seen the second coming? Who here has been warned of the second coming? By faith we have been warned. We need to prepare for what we’ve been warned about by faith. “Noah being divinely warned of things not seen, he moved with godly fear and he prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” Now you are called the household of faith. Did you know that? And so in a sense the church is the family of God. And we are to prepare by faith that we are saved through that storm. Amen? Furthermore it tells us, “By which he condemned the world and became heir of righteousness which is according to faith.” Are you aware that in the same way that everybody. Oh, you know, I always like saying something so simple that – I like the look on some people’s faces. They never thought about it. I remember the first time I thought about it. Maybe many of you have grown up in the church and this is old for you. But are you aware that we’re all related? I always think it’s funny. I’ll meet somebody and their name is either Batchelor.

I got an email from somebody today, Bonnie forwarded, somebody named Batchelor. I don’t recognize the name. We go back far enough, I’m sure that we’re related. If you go back far enough we’re all related. Right? So if that’s true is there any reason for racism? I like it when people come up to me and say, “Are you from the Batchelors from Oklahoma or are you from the Batchelors from Minnesota?” If we go back far enough we’re related and I say, “That’s right. If we go back far enough we’re all related.” We’re all brothers and sisters. The whole world was repopulated through Noah. The new earth is going to be repopulated through the redeemed. All those that walk in the new earth are going to be related by faith. We are all children of Abraham. So he became an heir of righteousness. Furthermore, II Peter 2:5 tells us that “he did not spare the ancient world.” God did not spare the ancient world. “But saved Noah,” one of eight people, “a preacher of righteousness.” Now that tells us that Noah was a preacher. It tells us what he preached. He preached righteousness. Know what that means? He preached that people should do right. How many of you would say that Noah was a successful preacher? How do you measure success? How many people do you think were living in the world back in the days of Noah? I don’t know. The Bible says Adam and Eve had Cain, they had Abel, then Cain killed Abel, then they had Seth. You go to chapter 5 and it says, “they had sons and daughters.” How long was it before Eve went through menopause and stopped bearing? Well, I don’t know. Adam lived 930 years. So let’s be conservative. She had 400 years of childbearing potential. Karen is really interesting, you know. Whenever Karen sees a big family she instantly mathematically calculates in her head how many years this person has been pregnant. I don’t ever think that way. She says, “Oh, eight children. That means she’s been pregnant for six years.”

I would never even think that. That’s right. I’ve never been pregnant. But I tell you what. I’m come as close as any man can come to being pregnant. If you can do it vicariously I’ve been there. In any event. So here Eve’s got 400 years of fertility. And they didn’t have to [go to] the doctor because of infertility problems back then. You realize that bingo. I mean all they had to do – it says he knew his wife and she conceived. They didn’t have to work at it. They were perfectly healthy. All the plumbing was working. I’m not trying to be too graphic, but I want to get to a point here. Their children also had that same capacity. Matter of fact, they were all living roughly 900 years before the flood. And if they had two, three, four hundred years of fertility and they started having children after they – they waited until they were about 100 before they started their families. You do the math; there could have been 2 billion people in the world. By conservative estimates. It only mentions the firstborn. Now, Noah was a preacher of righteousness and when he makes his altar call the only people that come forward is the family and their spouses. Was he a success? If he saved his family he felt like a success. Some evangelists would probably argue that point. When Jesus on the day of Pentecost had 120 in the upper room, best evangelist that ever lived. Out of the thousands of people that He fed and thousands of people that He preached to there was 120 that were ready to put themselves on the line for Him.

Was He a success? Yeah, He was. He did what God commanded Him to do and then you leave the results with God. Noah faithfully preached for 120 years. And you know what? Even if the world wasn’t watching his kids were watching. And they said, “You know, Dad really believes this. Dad really means this. Dad is putting his heart and his soul into this. He’s serious about it.” I worry sometimes because I run into families periodically and they say, I’ll say, “We’ll see you Sabbath.” And they say, “Well, we’d like to come to church Sabbath, but we’re going to do something – we’re having a family outing. We’re going water skiing for Jesus on Sabbath.” Or something like that. And it’s getting easier and easier for people to find things to do other than come to church. And you know what? That sends a signal to the kids that church is optional. “If the water’s calm we go jet skiing, we go water skiing. If there’s fresh powder we go snow skiing for Jesus.” And what you do is you send a message to the kids that, “When it’s convenient we’ll go to church. It’s an optional thing.”

With Noah getting ready for the end was not an option. It was all consuming. He took it seriously and it’s important we send those kinds of messages to our family. That our whole lives are invested in preparing for the end. The Bible tells us that Noah was mocked. “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking after their own lusts, saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’” Just like they said to Noah. “For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” They said, “Everything’s going on as normal. Talk about this flood. The water’s never passed their banks. Water’s never come down from the sky. It’s never jetted up from the earth.” They got all the scientists together. They listened to Noah tell what God was going to do and the scientists began to hold their bellies and laugh and say, “Oh, it’s so unscientific. It could never happen.” They consulted the priests and they said, “God is far too loving. He would never do that. And if He was going to do it He would have told us, not Noah. Noah’s a kook. Everyone knows that.

He’s building a boat on dry land.” And they had all the rationale and all the arguments to refute the claims of Noah. And you know what? It looked like the evidence was on their side. It looked like the evidence was on their side. But God was on Noah’s side. And I heard someone aptly say, “Noah entered the ark a minority, but he exited a majority.” I’d like to thank Pastor Branner for reminding me of that. But one day something out of the ordinary started to happen. The animals began to come in droves to this vessel. After Noah had finished building the ark the Bible says that he covered it inside and out with the equivalent of asphalt. It wasn’t just tar. It was asphalt. He pitched it. You might think, “Wouldn’t that be heavy?” Yes. I saw a man make a sailboat out of concrete once. Are you aware that a concrete sailboat floats just as well as one made out of fiberglass? If you displace the right amount of air, an iron ship floats. So here Noah built this very sturdy structure out of this very hard wood covered with asphalt. And all the skies began to grow dark as the birds filled the heavens and these creatures began to swarm. The clean creatures came in sevens. The unclean creatures came in twos. Most of you know that. You’ll hear it again if you keep coming to the meetings.

Some people have a misconception. They think that Noah had a big rodeo and God commanded him to go round up two of all the unclean, seven of all the clean creatures. But notice what the Bible tells us about how the creatures came. God brought the animals, “Two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female.” Now God did tell Noah, “Receive into the ark.” That means when they came maybe he was to direct them to their various pens and stalls. I don’t know exactly what the Lord was meaning or maybe he was to open the door and receive them. But Noah and his sons did not spend 20 years rounding up all these various species of animals. Something else I need to address because it’s going to come up. It says, “Each one after their kind.” Do you know how many kinds of dogs there are in the world today? Because built into the genetic code of those first two wolves that the Lord made was the possibility for a daschound. Now it’s hard to believe that in the genetic code of wolves, through crossbreeding and stuff, you could come up with a poodle or you could come up with a Yorkshire terrier, one of those yapsuapso-floppy skinned dogs. You’ve got all these weird. I mean, they look like aliens, don’t they? Really wired species of dogs. Do you think Noah took two of all of those things on the ark?

No, he took two dogs and then all the dogs you see today are. Look at all the people around you today. Talk about diversity. Just look around you. No, don’t look too hard. But look at all the diversity we have in humanity. It shouldn’t surprise us. And that all came from the genetic code of not only Adam and Eve, it came from the genetic code of Noah and his family. So don’t think that he had to get thousands of different kinds of dogs and thousands of different kinds of horses and thousands of different kinds of cats. The varieties were probably simpler than they are today. A lot of the complexity has come from breeding that you see in the world today. But he took two of every unclean, seven of every clean species in the boat. “Male and female he received them.” He didn’t have a big rodeo. Point number 7. There was one ark with one door. The Bible tells us how many ways of salvation are there? There’s only one name, one faith, one hope, one baptism, one Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the door. If any man enters by me he will be saved. There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.” This wishy-washy theology that all the rivers lead to the ocean, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere and God loves you in your religion. He loves me in my religion.” And it is true; God has His people in different religions. But you know what? Before the end came there was only one way of escape. And I’d like to submit to you that’s going to be the same way it is before Jesus comes.

Everybody’s going to be polarized. You will either be with Noah in the ark or you’ll be with the scoffing crowd on the outside of the ark. Now there may be some of Noah’s children that had doubts about the flood and stuff, but they were in the ark. And there may have been some of the scoffers who were on the outside that were yearning to get inside, but they waited too long. And even after the evidence of all these animals coming supernaturally to the ark people hesitated. You know why? Because they kept waiting for the rain to start. Human nature is we want to wait until the deadline before we file our taxes. Finally, Noah stood there at the door of the ark and he, preaching 120 years. Can you hear the pathos in his voice? Can you hear the tears in his pleas as he looks at the scoffing crowd out there, hurling eggs, laughing? They’re selling t-shirts that say, “I survived Noah’s folly.” And he’s pleading and says, “I realize that it’s not raining yet. I realize I can’t explain how God’s going to do it, but God said it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen. If you want to be saved the door is open. Come.” And there were people in the crowd, their hearts were stirred by the Spirit and they wanted to get on board. They looked at their family. They said, “You going?” “Not now.

The sun’s still shining.” “Are you going?” “I would, but my family’s going to laugh at me. They’ll chase me out of the church!” And they all kept waiting for someone else to make their move. Nobody got on board but Noah and his family. And so when Noah and all the animals and all the food was secure in the ark the Bible says God shut the door. The Lord sealed them in. Those saved were saved. Those lost were lost. And the point that’s very interesting is, several days went by before the rain came. Noah and his family were safe in the ark. They were saved. Those that were on the outside said, “Well, if he wants to lock himself in the boat and look like a ninny then that’s his business.” And they went back to their revelry. And they mocked and scoffed with more boldness than ever before. They had parties and they celebrated and they laughed. Life went on for seven days. You know a time is coming when probation will close for the church and the world. Those that are saved are saved. Jesus said, “Let he that is clean be clean still. Let he that is filthy be filthy still.” Right now the door of the ark is open, on the hinges of mercy. But the day is going to come when grace will not be found by anybody who looks for it. “People will look for death and not find it,” the Bible says. We presume upon God’s grace until it’s too late. We think we can wait until we see Jesus coming and then we’re going to repent. Like the sign I’ve told you about in front of the Baptist church. It says, “Repent now and avoid the rush.”

Everybody waits until it’s too late. And then one day in the midst of all their revelry and their mocking and their laughing and their scoffing the clouds begin to become mutated. They had never taken – this envelope of water began to swirl and take on a new form. And electricity seemed to be shaking in the air and the animals started to stir and get restless, running in every direction without any specific direction in mind. And the lightening began to flash and crack from the sky. And the ground began to shake. And suddenly with great calamity jets of water began to fire down from the sky and water began to explode from the caverns of the earth and water was shooting in every direction until it began to rise. And I can just see right now the response of the people. They must have run to the door of the ark and started knocking and saying, “Noah, can we have a word? Noah, open up.” But it was too late. They had waited too long. And that tells us God is merciful. He waited 120 years. And if they would not listen during 120 years when the door was open then there would be no grace for that seven days once the door was shut. God does not want us coming to Him because we’re afraid. He wants us to find grace because we believe. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing.”

So many people are going to wait until they see the evidence of Jesus coming, but I’ll venture to say that that will be too late. And the Bible tells us that the water continued to come down and the people were pounding on the door of the ark. You read in the book Patriarchs and Prophets, “When they could see that there was no access to the ark parents desperate to save their children would strap their children to the backs of animals that were tenacious of life knowing they would find themselves to the highest points. People were climbing these lofty trees and fighting for every square inch of ground on the highest points.” And it must have been a pitiful scene because I don’t think it happened instantly. The waters may have slowly rose over a period of days. The rain came down for 40 days and 40 nights until ultimately the highest mountains were covered. You know there’s going to be a time of trouble such as there never has been. We don’t know how long that time’s going to last. My speculation is it’ll be about as long as the plagues that lasted on Egypt. Or the time of Job’s trouble.

A few weeks. I don’t know. But during that time it’s going to be a time of great calamity. Jesus said there’s never been anything like it. There’ll never be anything like it again. It is going to be the storm of all storms. You know, I heard that they came out with a movie called The Perfect Storm. I haven’t seen it, but I heard the advertisements. It’s supposed to be based on a true story of a great storm at sea. And I was tempted to title this sermon “The Perfect Storm” because I’ll tell you, if there was ever a storm, there’s never been one to top this except the one that’s coming. And the only way we’re going to survive that storm is by following the example of Noah. Eventually as the rain continued to come down waters covered every square inch of the planet. The mountains were covered. Everything that did not know how to swim indefinitely eventually drowned.

Now this brings me to point number eight. Noah, he rode out the storm. It must have been awful there. You know, Karen and I went on a cruise during our honeymoon and the ship that we were on had what they called stabilizers to keep the boat from rocking. Nothing in the design that God gave Noah said there were stabilizers. That big boat built of pitch was pitching and it was rolling and it was heaving. And the animals were probably moaning. And here Noah and his family, not only did it rain 40 days and 40 nights, they had to feed the animals. And they had to take care of themselves. And here you’ve got eight people who’ve got a pretty heavy farm schedule. Now it is a fact that when animals are at sea, I don’t know if you know this, but something about the rocking motion. Any of you have a dog and whenever you put him in the car he goes to sleep?

How many of you have kids whenever you put them in the car they go to sleep? Something about the motion, it makes people sleepy, they sleep more, they eat less. Unless you’re on a cruise then you eat much more than you’re supposed to eat. But they probably didn’t have to feed the animals the same amount as they normally would have. We don’t know what God did, but they were on that ship for almost a year. Now Noah may have thought about jumping overboard, but he stuck with it. That ark probably – the lowing of the oxen and the mooing and the screeching of these tropical monkeys could drive you crazy and the croaking of frogs and the smell.

Probably not too many of us would like to book a cruise on Noah’s vessel. Am I right? Even if there was a discount. But in spite of all that, as bad as it must have been, nobody jumped overboard. Now you know the ark is a symbol for the church. Sometimes the church rocks and rolls and sometimes the church smells. Sometimes the church goes through storms. But it’s still God’s church, isn’t it? And as difficult as it might be, God wants us to stay on board if we’re going to survive the storm. Amen? Jesus tells us, “He that endures to the end will be saved.” There’s a storm coming. The Lord is saying, “Hang on. Don’t jump ship.” You remember when Paul was trying to make his way through the storm. Some of the sailors tried to cut away the little dinghy so that they could jump overboard and abandon ship. And Paul said, “Unless we stay in the ship together nobody’s going to be saved.” You know I think that’s a message for the church today, friends. Unless, that’s incidentally in the book of Acts. I think it’s chapter 27. Unless we abide together in this ship we cannot be saved.

Something else about Noah that you’ve got to remember is eventually the water subsided, after almost a year. Noah had to continue waiting on the ark. Nine, Noah was patient. Even after the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. God didn’t say, “Okay, the rain stopped. You can get out now and sunbathe.” He had to wait for God’s timing to get out of the ark. You know one of the very important elements God’s people are going to need in the last days is patience. James 5:7, “Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.” Noah needed patience while he preached, while he prayed. He needed patience while he was waiting out the storm. He needed patience for ultimate deliverance. But finally that day came when – you know he released the raven, the raven didn’t come back because there was plenty of carrion to eat. Ravens eat grain and they also eat meat. But the dove came back.

There was nothing, no vegetation alive. And finally he released the dove and the dove came back with a little olive leaf in its mouth signaling that finally vegetation had begun to sprout. God told Noah when it was time to break up the roof of the ark and to make his exit. Which brings me to the next point. You already heard me say he entered the ark a minority and exited a majority. Noah sacrificed to save life. Noah invested everything he was and everything he had in building that ark. He had no money left in the bank when the rain came. You know the secret for the Christian is to utilize all of our gifts and all of our talents and all of our time and all of our resources in saving the lives of our family and others. Do you think Noah was sorry as the ark rose up on the stormy billows? Do you think Noah was saying, “Dear, look at this. The checking account is empty. What have you done?” Do you think they were regretting that they had invested everything in the ark, in saving life? No. What should be the attitude of Christians? We should be willing to invest.

Noah, because of his faithfulness, became an heir of all life. Everybody in the world today, of course, is related to Noah. All the animals that you see in the world today can trace back their ancestors to the ark. Even Newsweek magazine had an article that said they’ve proven that everybody in the world through their DNA can be traced to one woman, they call the original Eve. Now I wondered, was that Eve or was it Mrs. Noah? Today that ark is still resting somewhere up on the mountains of Ararat. You know the rainbow is the covenant that God made. That’s another reason I believe that it had never rained before. They’d never seen a rainbow before.

The mist in the atmosphere in the waters below and the waters above had never appeared before. You and I can easily make a rainbow by having a spray with our hose on a sunny day. But they had never seen that before. And this rainbow in the heavens, that those beautiful colors where God’s water acts like a prism to break up the spectrums of light, is a perpetual reminder that He will never destroy the world with a flood again. It’s a reminder that we can find grace for coming judgment. We can find mercy, that we can obey like Noah did. Now all those lessons are there because the Bible tells us that what happened to Noah is an example of what’s going to happen again. Not only did Jesus say this, but the Bible tells us in II Peter 3:6-7, “The world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word,” it’s the word of God that preserves us now, “are reserved for fire until the day of judgment of perdition of ungodly men.” Is there going to be another day of judgment?

As truly as it happened back in the days of Noah, as real and scientific a fact as it is that it happened back then, it’s going to happen again, friends. And the Bible tells us that it grieved the Lord that any should perish. “God is not willing that any should perish.” The Bible says in II Peter 3, “But that all should come to repentance.” You think the Lord was happy when people were destroyed back in the days of Noah? Of that tremendous loss of life? No. Jesus came that we might not perish, but that we might have everlasting life. There’s a storm coming. And in the story of Noah God has given us an example of how we might find grace through faith in God’s word. That we might find power to be obeyers and doers of the word and not hearers only. That we might survive the coming storm, with our loved ones, with our church. And I’d like to ask in closing today, how many of you would like to lift your hands and say, “Lord, I’m willing to get on board. I’m willing to enter in through Jesus who is the door of the ark. I want to be ready when the storm comes and know that my house is built on the rock so that the flood will not wash it away. If that’s your plan please reach for your hymnal we’re going to sing about it, The Lord is Our Rock and that’s, is it 523? 528. Let’s stand together as we sing.

Verse.

Not only does the Bible teach us that there is a storm coming in the last days for the world, some of us are going through our own personal storms right now. And I want you to know that Jesus is a shelter, not only then in the future, but He can be an ark of safety for you right now. There may be some here today who have not yet hidden in the ledge of the rock, the cleft of the rock, that they might be safe when the storm comes. There may be some of you who are going through storms of various sorts and you’d like to bring your needs to the Lord. There may be some here today who have not yet accepted Jesus. I'd like to invite you to respond. If you want to come we’d like to have special prayer for you. I want to direct your attention now to the third verse, dealing with the raging floods that could beat around us and let’s sing that together. If you want to come for special prayer the pastors will meet you at the front and pray with you.

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Patriarchs and Prophets Audio CD Set by Ellen White

Patriarchs and Prophets Audio CD Set by Ellen White
God's Promises




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