Noah, You Have Got to be Kidding!

I.         Most are familiar with the story of Noah, the great flood, and the ark Noah had to build

            A.        However, Noah was also a preacher of righteousness - II Peter 2:5

            B.        The world Noah lived in was a moral cesspool.

                        1.         Some scholars estimate that the world’s population at that time equal or exceed our current world population.

                        2.         Yet, listen to its description - Genesis 6:5-6, 11-12

                        3.         Could you imagine living in a world where everyone was totally given over to evil, except yourself?

            C.        Truly, Noah stood out in a crowd

                        1.         He received no sympathy. He was given no support.

                        2.         He taught a truth, while building the ark, that no one heeded.

            D.        Imagine, if you will, the excuses Noah must have heard.

II.        Noah, you have to be kidding! It has never rained before.

            A.        Until the building of the ark, rain was never mentioned in the Bible.

                        1.         We are told that plants were watered by mists each morning - Genesis 2:4-6

            B.        Noah had to warn a world that a flood was coming. Water would fall from the sky and wipe out all living creatures. Yet, the people lived all their lives never seeing rain.

            C.        It is not so different today.

                        1.         We have to warn a people that Jesus will come to judge the world. When he comes, everything will be destroyed by a fire that will melt the very elements.

                        2.         The attitudes are just the same - II Peter 3:3-7

                        3.         God has clearly and firmly said that judgment is coming - Heb 9:27, Rom 14:10-12

                        4.         II Pet 3:10 - This world will end. No doubt about it.

                        5.         But try to make people see the truth!

            D.        The world scoffed at Noah and his teaching. They did not believe Noah, but Noah did not stop his work on the ark. They did not believe God, but God did not relent from the destruction.

III.       Okay Noah, I’ll buy the story that a flood is coming, but surely you don’t mean that I have to get into that big box you are building to be saved!

            A.        I’m sure many could not believe that an ark would be necessary.

                        1.         Couldn’t God save the righteous without using an ark?

                        2.         “You know, that old Noah, he just preaches boat salvation! He is limiting the power of God!”

                        3.         Yet the ark provided safety for Noah and his family - Heb 11:7

            B.        Many today deny the necessity of the church.

                        1.         Why should I belong to group? Can’t God save people who are good, but didn’t go to an organized church? Aren’t you limiting the power of God?

                        2.         They are blind to the value God has placed on the church.

                                    a.         It was purchased with the blood of the Son of God - Acts 20:28

                                    b.         The price of the church was God’s Son - Eph 5:25

                                    c.         We are not talking about the death of some man. People die every day. We are talking about the death of God! - Col 2:8-9

                        3.         God, in his wisdom established the church - Eph 3:3-11

                                    a.         Yet people today don’t see a need for such an institution.

            C.        Is the church necessary? Why don’t you ask those who were knee deep in water outside the ark?

IV.      So a flood is coming and I have to get in a boat. Aren’t other boats just as good? Do you think your boat is the only one that will float?

            A.        Some accept that judgment and destruction is coming. They are willing to admit that a church is necessary, but isn’t one church just as good as another?

                        1.         I don’t doubt that in Noah’s day that people owned boats to travel the waterways.

                        2.         I am sure that as the waters came, people clung onto anything that would float – rooftops, trees.

                        3.         Yet only the ark survived the year-long flood. Was one boat as good as another? What made the ark so special?

            B.        Is one church as good as another?

                        1.         If by this you are referring to the various denominations, then you are probably right.

                                    a.         One rooftop was as good as another during the flood.

                                    b.         One denomination is as good as another – they are all equally bad.

                        2.         Look at Ephesians 4:4-6

                                    a.         Is one God as good as another?

                                    b.         Is one Lord as good as another?

                                    c.         Is one faith as good as another?

                                    d.         Is one church (body) as good as another?

                        3.         Look at Ephesians 2:11-16

                                    a.         What had happened? We were reconciled (made friends again)

                                    b.         Who? Both Jews and Gentiles, in other words all the world

                                    c.         Where did this take place? In the one body (the church)

                                    d.         How did it happen? Through the death on the cross? Was it any old cross? No the one Jesus, the Son of God died upon.

                        4.         It has to be the one church that Jesus established and bought with his precious blood.

            C.        Will any church do? Why don’t we ask those clinging to uprooted trees during the flood if they thought any boat would do?

V.        But Noah, if I get into your boat, I’ll be condemning others in my family who won’t get on your boat.

            A.        How much do you value heaven?

                        1.         If you were the only human who made it to heaven and all the rest of mankind went to hell, would it be worth the struggle?

                        2.         When Noah walked on that ark, he condemned the rest of his world - Heb 11:7

                        3.         Do you think Noah thought it was worth entering?

            B.        But my dear granny and my sweet aunt Mae are (fill in the name of your favorite denomination). If I become a member of the Lord’s church, it would just as if I was condemning them to hell.

                        1.         If your dear granny or your sweet aunt Mae preceded you in crossing the river of death, and they now see the truth that you are beginning to understand, what do you suppose they would urge you to do?

                        2.         The rich man, after his death, was concerned that his family not follow him - Luke 16:27-31

                        3.         Most will be condemned. Most will not reach heaven. Are you going to be so stubborn that if granny is going to hell, then I’m going to?

                        4.         Luke 14:26 we cannot let family stop us from loving our Lord.

            C.        I wonder how many were worried about offending dear old Granny or sweet aunt Mae as the waters swirled below their chins?

VI.      Okay, Noah, I believe the flood is coming and I see there is safety in the one true boat, but we have to make some changes. I’m not getting in a boat with snakes, spiders, and insects. Let’s build a small boat for them to drag along behind. Oh, and those skunks! You know you only have one window! They can have a little boat all to themselves. But you know it would be nice to have more windows. . . .

            A.        It seems that people can’t leave a plan alone without “improving” it.

            B.        If Noah started altering the ark, then it would have been just like all the other boats. It would not longer be the ark that saved.

            C.        When men start altering the church, then it becomes something else. It is no longer the church that Jesus bought.

                        1.         Jesus did not die for a church bowling league.

                        2.         The church Jesus bought was told only to use vocal music. A church that uses instrumental music is a different church.

                        3.         The church that Christ built was not a social institution. When we change the work of the church, we change the nature of the church.

            D.        God has clearly said that we are not at liberty to change His plans

                        1.         Every thing we do must be with Jesus’ approval - Col 3:17

                        2.         We cannot be without the law (plan) - Matt 7:21-23

                        3.         The Israelites learned the hard way that they could not substitute man’s teachings and works for the works of God - Matt 15:8-9

            E.        Perhaps you don’t fully understand God’s plan. You may think of ways to “improve” things to your liking. But without God’s blessing no plan but His own will succeed.

            F.        The ark may not have been the most pleasant place to live for a year, but there was no safety outside of that one ark.

VII.     Jesus died a cruel death upon a cross that we might be saved.

            A.        We proclaim this one message, even if it makes us unpopular in the eyes of the world.

            B.        Will you not swallow your pride and accept the plans of God? Will you not walk in accordance to the pattern God has laid before your feet?

            C.        Join us in proclaiming righteousness to a lost and dying world.

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