Sermons

Summary: By faith pursue salvation and the city of God like Noah and Abraham did.

Who needs a parachute when you’re jumping from a plane at 25,000 feet above the ground? Apparently, not Luke Aikens. He did it two years ago on August 1, 2016. Take a look! (Show Video: Skydiver Plunges 25,000 Feet with No Parachute; www.youtube.com/watch?v=-67NC9F-_NU)

Luke Aikins plummeted from an airplane at 25,000 feet without any kind of parachute, landing neatly in a square 100-foot by 100-foot net set up to catch him. He landed at a terminal velocity of 120 mph.

Utterly crazy and even stupid, right? The guy has a wife and a four-year-old son. But his jump did not come without a ridiculous amount of training. For starters, Aikens had over 18,000 jumps to his name. Then according to CNN, “He prepared for the stunt by doing dozens of jumps – each, naturally, wearing a parachute – aiming at a 100 square foot target, opening his chute at the last possible moment. In his practice jumps he would pull the cord at 1,000 feet… He said in the runup to the jump that he had consistently been hitting a much smaller target, giving him greater leeway with the full-sized net.”

Aikins said, “Whenever people attempt to push the limits of what's considered humanly possible, they're invariably described as crazy. I'm here to show you that if we approach it the right way and we test it and we prove that it's good to go, we can do things that we don't think are possible.” (Euan McCurdy, “World first: Skydiver plummets 25,000 feet – with no parachute,” CNN, 8-1-16; www.youtube.com/watch?v=-67NC9F-_NU)

People of faith are often described as “crazy,” but if they approach it the right way, they can do amazing things!

The question is: What is the right way? What is the right way to approach life? What is the right way to take risks for God? What is the right way to attempt amazing things? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 11, Hebrews 11, where we see how two men of faith pursued some amazing things in their lives.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (ESV)

By faith, Noah pursued salvation and righteousness, not only for himself, but for his family, as well. Now, to the unbeliever, Noah was absolutely crazy! But his “leap of faith” (so to speak) was based on God’s explicit instructions, so it wasn’t so crazy after all.

God told Noah it was going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, but Noah had never seen rain before. Genesis 2 tells us that before the great flood, “God had not caused it to rain on the land… [but] a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:5-6).

I can imagine God’s conversation with Noah. “Noah, guess what. It’s gonna rain.”

“Rain? What’s that?”

“Well Noah, it’s drops of water that come from the sky. I’m going to drop so much water that it will flood the entire earth.”

“You gotta be kidding!”

“No, I’m very serious. This world is so corrupt, I’m going to destroy everything in it.”

God warned Noah about something he had never seen before. And then God gave Noah explicit instructions as to how to save himself and his family. God told Noah to build a huge ship in his back yard – 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

Imagine what the neighbors thought. “Noah, you’re crazy. Why are you building such a big boat? You’re going to have to move that thing. It’s blocking my view.” People, today, still ridicule the idea of an ark. They can’t imagine the idea of one boat being able to save every kind of animal on the earth. Yet that is entirely possible.

Scientist, Dr. Henry Morris, once calculated the volumetric capacity of the ark at 1,400,000 cubic feet, able to hold over 125,000 sheep size animals. By the way, that is greater than the average sized land animal.

Morris says that “there are less than 18,000 species of [animals] living today.” Double that to allow for extinct species – 36,000. Then double that again, because Noah took two (2) of each. That makes 72,000 animals on the ark. Make it 75,000 to allow for the five (5) extra animals in each “clean” species that God told Noah to put on the ark (Genesis 7:2-3).

75,000 animals on the ark. That’s much less than the 125,000 animals the ark could have held. In fact, no more than 60% of the ark’s capacity was used for animals. That left plenty of room for food, living quarters for Noah’s family, and other necessary provisions. The ark was perfectly suited to do its job, and it was a very safe vessel.

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