Summary: Our past; our present; our future. Our past doesn’t have to count. The only thing that really counts is where we are today, because where we are today determines where we will be tomorrow.
There were two men out in the country hunting one day when all of a sudden they came upon a very large grizzly bear. They could instantly tell that the bear was looking for lunch. And so, they began to run with all their might.
While they were running away from the bear, one of them yelled out that they had to run faster than the bear. The other yelled out that the only thing that mattered to him was that he run faster than his friend.
Isn’t that like many people today? They would easily choose to see their friends suffer as long as it meant they were safe. But there is a much bigger problem than that. The bigger problem is that society, as a whole, has the same attitudes. It is the old “nobody matters but me” syndrome. But the hidden danger is that friends do matter. I had a young boy in the Sunday School class I was teaching once put it this way: "Jesus is going to treat you like you treat other people. Do you want that?"
Were you aware that no matter where you are, or what you are doing, you are standing in a doorway? And there are three things about those doorways we need to pay attention to: One; a doorway has the place you are walking out of (the past), it has where you are presently standing (the present), and it has where you intend to step into (the future).
Tonight, I would like to take the time to talk about people. Not individuals so much as groups of individuals, or societies in general.
When talking about the past, let us see it as our:
Ba’hal, the head of the household, looked outside his tent to see it still raining for the third consecutive day. Where only puddles existed the day before, there now was a small stream. His wife commented that if it did not stop raining soon, they would have to move to higher ground. He knew in the back of his mind that there was something unusual about to happen.
He went back in his thoughts to the week before when the heads of the tribal council met to discuss the crazy man named Noah who had just finished his monstrosity, called the ’Ark.’ After 120 years, Noah had earned the reputation of being the village idiot. Not only had he built this Ark, but he had preached about how sinful the world was and how people needed to repent and change or suffer the consequences. Yes, this man was truly crazy. Ba’hal could not wait for things to dry up so he could get on with his normal daily routines.
A few weeks later, Ba’hal was dead. He had drowned in the unexpected flood, as did everyone else on earth, with the exception of one family; Noah’s family.
The Great Flood destroyed the corrupt society mankind had built apart from God. It was such an impacting event in history, even most cultures yet today have some kind of "legend" or "myth" they still teach to their new generations about the flood.
If you are unfamiliar with the vivid details of this punishment from God, you can read them in GENESIS, chapter 6 through chapter 9. Without trying to use it as a pun, it was truly a “watershed” moment in our history.
Jesus even alludes to it in MATTHEW 24:36-39, when He said:
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Let me explain to you that in the days of Noah, civilization was absolutely corrupt and sinful. It was a very rare person who even thought about the Lord, much less believed in Him. And nobody was aware that the end was quickly approaching. Yet God gave them time, over 120 years of time, to repent; but they ignored the warnings.
And finally, the day of the flood came, catching everyone off-guard. Everyone died, except for the family of Noah. He was a righteous man and God saved him and his immediate family.
When Adam and Eve made the fateful decision to do what God had told them not to do, sin entered into the entire world through their actions. This led to God making them leave the Garden of Eden.