Summary: In Noah's day, God destroyed the earth with a flood. In the last day, God will destroy the earth with a fire.
Last week we addressed the wickedness in the days up to Noah. Why weren’t there more people on the ark? I believe because the peoples’ hearts had become hard and didn’t believe the warnings of the coming destruction. Last week we looked at the progression down the path of hard-heartedness:
Forgetfulness > Deception > Disobedience > Unbelief
This not only takes place individually, but collectively, where an entire family, people group, or nation moves from forgetfulness to unbelief over the course of time. Perhaps you see this in your family’s heritage: where you have godly ancestors, but over the course of generations, your family forgot the Lord, fell into deception and disobedience and then unbelief. The Lord rescued you to put a stop to your unbelieving lineage, and wants to use you to begin, yet again, a lineage that honors and serves the Lord God! We see this concept in Deuteronomy 5…
Deuteronomy 5:9-10 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
So, that is where we are in the ancient Genesis account: forgetfulness, deception, disobedience, unbelief. God’s judgment is coming with the flood. Not a local flood; a catastrophic, dreadful, earth-shattering, world-wide flood.
And that is where we are in our modern day account: forgetfulness, deception, disobedience, unbelief. God’s judgment is coming with the fire. Not a local fire; a catastrophic, dreadful, earth-ending fire.
To talk about the flood without talking about the fire is irresponsible. Remember, Jesus connected the two…
Matthew 24:36-38 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 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; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”
Latest prediction of God's judgment on the earth: May 21, 2011. This date is 7,000 years from Noah’s flood. We may roll our eyes or scoff at people who try to predict the end of the world, but we have to remember, it will take place on a specific day, and that day is coming. It may or may not be May 21, but there will be a day in history when God pours out his judgment; just like there was a day in history when God sent the flood.
How do we know the second judgment is fire?
2 Peter 3:6-7 “By water also the world at that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
So we’re in the same boat as Noah and his family. They awaited God’s worldwide judgment of water and we await God’s worldwide judgment of fire.
Let me highlight some key moments of Genesis 6 & 7:
In Genesis 6:3, God begins the final countdown to his worldwide judgment: “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’” The flood is coming in 120 years. Has God begun the final countdown to his worldwide judgment of fire?
And then in Genesis 6:13 “God said to Noah, ‘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. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood…’”
For Noah, God puts in motion his plan of salvation – an ark. For us, God has put into motion his plan of salvation – Jesus. We’ll talk more about this next Sunday.
In Genesis 6:22 we see the faith of Noah, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” God provided the plan of salvation, Noah put his faith in God and this plan – this is saving faith! The same saving faith God requires of us – to put our faith in God and his plan of salvation through Christ.
Now we move into Genesis 7: God instructs Noah to go into the ark with all the various animals.
Once Noah is in the ark, God gives him more details in Genesis 7:4-5 “’Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.’ And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.”