Summary: The people of that day were unbelievably wicked, but was there a chance God would have spared them? Did God want to? And what can the flood tells us about the coming judgment at the end of time when Jesus returns?

Someone put together a list entitled:

"All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Noah's Ark"

o Noah didn't wait for his ship to come in, he built one.

o Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

o Stay fit. When you're 500 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.

o Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board the ark, but so were the snails.

o Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.

o No matter how bleak it looks, if God is with you, there's always a rainbow on the other side/

o And above all else... don't miss the boat.

There are many things to be learned from this story of Noah and the Ark, but most folks won't learn them because they don't believe what the Bible said about it.

The Bible is very clear about the facts of the story:

Mankind had become unbelievably evil... so much so that God was grieved and filled with pain and decided to send a flood to destroy all of mankind. BUT God found one man named Noah, and his family, who were worth saving.

God instructed Noah to build a huge box of a boat called an ark and brought the animals to be saved to Noah. The floods came, the ark rose, and the whole earth was covered with water. Noah and his family stayed on board the ark for the better part of a year, and once they came off the boat God promised He'd never flood the earth again.

And you know it really isn't that hard to believe the Bible account. Over 270 cultures around the world still have ancient stories about a great flood, and most of them tell the same story:

* Man became corrupt

* The Flood was worldwide

* Eight people were survived the flood

* Representatives of all land animals were saved

* A dove was released to find dry land

* The survivors came down from a mountain to repopulate the whole world

* And the hero's name is often a variant of Noah:

Nu-u; Nu-Wah; Noh, Nos; and Nuh

Historians have a rule of thumb they follow when encountering stories that are repeated across many cultures which seem to agree on so much. If there are this many facts that agree... the story's probably true.

Now, the question for us this morning is this:

What does God want US to learn from this true story?

Well 1st, God wants us to understand that Mankind had become unbelievably evil.

You gotta be really bad for God to get THIS ticked off.

God described it this way: "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Genesis 6:5

And just in case He wasn't clear enough, God repeated Himself a few verses later:

"Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth." Genesis 6:11-13

There was no kindness in these people.

No compassion.

Genesis 6:5 sums it up this way:

"... every inclination of the thoughts of (man¡¦s) heart was only evil all the time."

They couldn't even THINK clean thoughts. Unless they could hurt someone, or gain advantage over someone, or they could tell a foul joke or make an obscene gesture... they just weren't happy. Life was cheap and honor was despised.

You can see evidence of this kind of thinking down through history.

Just in the past century we've had Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Cambodia and North Korea. These were entire societies that considered others to be worthless and disposable.

Even our own country - a land dedicated to freedom and dignity - we've had slavery and Ku Klux Klans and Black Panthers and that doesn't even begin mention all the children who have been killed by abortions in the past 5 decades.

Then there have been politicians and judges and religious leaders who have betrayed us and abused our trust.

THAT was what it was like in the world of Noah's day.

Anybody who had any trace of niceness just didn't have a chance.

Nice folks were either corrupted or killed.

Morality was not to be tolerated - it made too many people uncomfortable.

After all, who appointed YOU to be judge over me?

Who made YOU God with the right to say what was is moral or immoral?

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