Summary: People are blaming heredity, environment, job pressures, poverty, prejudices, abuse, & anything else they can think of for their problems today. But the Bible very clearly teaches that we’re responsible for our choices. (Powerpoints available - #119)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at email@example.com and request PP #119.)
A. Have you noticed? Our society has produced people who ignore their responsibilities & then blame others for their problems. “If I get into financial trouble, it’s not my fault, it’s because of easy credit. And the government needs to do something to protect me.”
Again, “If I develop lung cancer from smoking, it’s not my fault. I blame the cigarette companies, & they need to pay.” Or, “If I go into a rage & grab a gun & start shooting people, I’m not responsible. It’s in my genes, & I just can’t help it.” And again, “If I practice sexual perversion, it’s not my fault; God made me this way.”
As a society, we have become expert at blaming others. And that can even happen in the church. We begin to fall away from the Lord, & we say, “It’s not my fault. I’m not to blame. It’s the church’s fault. They aren’t friendly enough, or the church didn’t meet my needs, or it’s the preacher’s fault. But it’s not my fault.”
SUM. People are blaming heredity, environment, job pressures, poverty, prejudice, abuse, & anything else they can think of for their problems today.
B. But I want you to know that the Bible very clearly teaches that we’re responsible for our choices. Romans 14:12 says, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” God is going to hold us responsible for the choices we make.
ILL. There was a story several years ago about twin sisters who had an alcoholic mother. One of them became an alcoholic, but the other didn’t drink at all.
When the alcoholic one was asked why, she said, “Well, my mother was an alcoholic, so what can you expect?” When the other was asked why she wouldn’t drink she said, “Well, my mother was an alcoholic, so what do you expect?”
APPL. You see, the choice is ours. Now if you’re a lettuce seed, you really have no choice. They’ll plant you in the ground, water you, & you’ll become a lettuce plant. You don’t have any choice about that.
But God says that as human beings we’re created higher than plants & animals, & we make choices. We can choose to be good or to be bad. We can choose to obey God or to disobey. But remember, we’re responsible for the choices we make.
PROP. With that in mind, let’s look at the story of Noah & the ark found in Genesis 6. Now this is more than just about a man who built an ark. It is more than about the animals that were saved. It is about man’s accountability to his creator, about a human race engrossed in sin, & about God’s judgment, mercy, & grace.
I. THE WICKEDNESS OF NOAH’S DAY
A. The first thing we notice in Genesis 6 is the absolute wickedness of Noah’s day. Vs. 5 says, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, & that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”
Did you hear that? “Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” The Living Bible paraphrases that as, “Man was rotten to the core.”
And vs. 11 adds, “…the earth was corrupt in God’s sight & was full of violence.” God had created man in His own image, pure & holy. God had created a world of peace, & placed man in it. But by the time of Noah wickedness was everywhere.
And I’m convinced that what was happening in Noah’s day is happening today.
Listen to Jesus in Matthew 24:37, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Have you ever seen violence as widespread as it is today? We have mass murders, school shootings, & gang violence. We’re getting closer & closer to the coming of Christ because our culture is becoming very much like the culture of Noah’s day.
God saw all that in Noah’s day & vs. 6 says, “The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, & His heart was filled with pain.”
Can you imagine God’s heart being “filled with pain”? If you’re a parent you can probably understand it. If you have ever watched your son or daughter make bad choices, you know what it is like to have a heart that is filled with pain.
And the wickedness on earth became so overwhelming that as God looked at man He saw that “… every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” God’s creation had truly become “…rotten to the core.”