Genesis 031 – The Security of the Believer

Genesis 031 – The Security of the Believer
Genesis 7:13-24 • Dr. Andy Woods • April 11, 2021 • Genesis


Genesis #031 – The Security of the Believer

Genesis 7:13-24

Dr. Andrew Woods

April 11, 2021


Well, good morning, everybody.  If we could take our Bibles this morning and open them to the book of Genesis 7:13.

The title of our message this morning is The Believer’s Security, The Security of the Believer.  Does anybody in here need to feel secure in something?  I do.  We’re going to be talking about how we can find our security in Christ Jesus that is not based on our performance but on the promises that He has made us.  I hope you’re living your life as a Christian based on promises, not on your performance because if you’re always looking to your performance for security, you’re going to be a very distraught person.  We live our lives based on His promises.

God cannot lie, and we live for Him based on what He’s given us.  I don’t perform and live for Him because it’s some kind of conditional agreement where God says, ‘You do X, and I’ll do Y; if you don’t do X, I’m going to rip the carpet out from under you.’  So many Christians live that way, and they’re living beneath their privileges, as we’ll see.  This is all going to come up in the book of Genesis 1-11, the first part of the book. We’re gradually making our way through it.  It’s the beginning of the human race.  It has four events:

  1. Creation (Genesis 1-2). What the world was like before sin entered the picture, and then…
  2. The Fall (Genesis 3-5). What went wrong?  I hope we also understand that the world we’re living in now is not God’s original design.  Something went terribly wrong in Eden with the Fall of man and yet God, in Genesis 3-5, after describing that, also says in Genesis 3:15, that there’s hope because there’s coming a Redeemer.  We know Him today as the LORD Jesus Christ, but for the first time, He is promised in Genesis 3:15, to restore everything to its rightful order.

So, the first event is Creation (Genesis 1-2), the second event is The Fall (Genesis 3-5).

  1. The Flood (Genesis 6-9) is what we’ve been looking at of late as the third event in part one of the book of Genesis. We have events before The Flood, we completed those, and now we’re moving into The Flood itself—the actual breaking forth of the floodwaters where God intervened in His creation and brought terrible judgment.

We’ve seen God’s instructions in Genesis 7:1-4 for Noah and his family to enter the ark.  They do the smart thing.  They obey God.  Wouldn’t you say obeying God is a smart thing to do?  They did that in 7:5-12.

Now we pick up with God Seals the Ark (Genesis 7:13-16) and notice, if you will 7:13:  On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, … So, this is one of those scriptures you can use to demonstrate that there were only eight saved souls in the ark. Peter is going to bring up these eight persons in his description of the ark in 1 Peter 3:20. It says, “…eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” And 2 Peter 2:5 mentions Noah in the ark with seven others.  These are the eight total:  Noah and Mrs. Noah, Ham, Shem and Japheth, and their respective wives.

Notice, if you will, 7:14-15 it says, “…and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, and all sorts of birds. So, they [7:15], went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.”  Notice there in 7:14, I think it’s used probably 3 or 4 times—the reference to ‘each went in after its own kind.’  I bring this up because skeptics like to say, ‘Well, it’s so ridiculous. You don’t believe these Bible things, do you?  How could Noah have fit all of the animals into the ark?’  And in fact, the Bible never says that.

He never put into the ark every kind of dog that existed—the poodle, the Chihuahua, the Doberman Pinscher. It’s just a dog. Mr. and Mrs. Dog. And from Mr. and Mrs. Dog, there was genetic information already inside of them to replicate the dog species after the flood subsided.  He didn’t put every kind of bear into the ark.  ‘Shoot, we’re missing a polar bear.  Somebody look around here. Let’s get a polar bear.  Mr. and Mrs. Polar Bear, we need you in here.’  No, it’s just a bear, and from Mr. and Mrs. Bear came forth all of these different varieties.  I bring these things up because skeptics like to constantly attack the Bible to make it sound ridiculous.  We believe this.  How could Noah have put all of the animals in the ark?  It never says that.  It says, ‘different species or kinds of their species were placed into the ark.’

The ark, as we have talked about, was 450 ft long, 75 ft wide, 45 ft high, capable of holding 125,000 animals, according to John Woodmurape’s study, “The Feasibility of Noah’s Ark.”  According to his study, there were only conceivably 16,000 animals in an ark capable of holding 125,000 animals.  So, there is no problem related to so-called science of the ridiculousness that Noah put all of the animals in the ark.  Hopefully some of that is review, because we’ve gone over that previously.

But what I want to draw your attention to is Genesis 7:16. That’s why I’ve entitled this message, “The Believer’s Security.”

It’s interesting that Peter, in his two letters, particularly 1 Peter, will use the ark as a type of our salvation.  The ark made of wood saved Noah and his family.  Now, obviously they weren’t saved in the sense of going to heaven because they built an ark and went into it.  They were saved in the sense that they were protected from the flood waters.  So, metaphorically, we are going to, on planet earth, experience floodwaters coming in judgment.  These are coming upon the human race, and humanity is protected from those floodwaters when we are in our ark that is also made of wood—the Cross of Jesus Christ.  We’re not going to be protected from water as was Noah and his descendants, but we are going to be protected from the judgment to come.

God does something very interesting there in 7:16, after everyone is in the ark:  the different kinds of animals and the eight human beings, and I want you to see this as a lot of people miss it, but it’s so important. It says, “Those that entered [the ark], male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; … [Now look at this] …and the LORD closed it [the door, there is only one door in] behind him.”  God closed the door.  God didn’t say, ‘Okay, everybody get in there and pull that door shut.’  The LORD Himself closed the door.  How did God close the door? I don’t know, it doesn’t say. Was it some kind of miracle?  Something obviously supernatural happened, I’m not sure exactly what or how, but the Bible is very clear that it was God who shut the door, indicating that from God’s perspective, the Day of Decision had passed.

You see that Noah, per 2 Peter 2:5, was a preacher of righteousness.  And according to Genesis 6:3, God’s Spirit, prior to God closing the door, was striving with man for one-hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3 says, Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, … [And we’re seeing that here because now the Day of Decision is over] …because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’

You get a one hundred and twenty-year grace period, but don’t assume that God’s grace continues forever.  Eventually it stops, and the judgment of God comes.  This is not just true for those in the days of Noah.  It is true for our generation as well.  We are so comfortable in the grace of God, in which it is good to be comfortable because if we didn’t have His grace, we would have nothing.  But we are so accustomed to His grace, and so well-studied up on His grace; we are so used to God’s grace, that the deception arises in our minds that this age of grace will never come to an end.  It will come to an end as it came to an end in the days of Noah.

This is why the Bible is very clear about the foolishness of presuming on tomorrow.  The Bible calls that the sin of presumption.  It says ‘Don’t boast in tomorrow.  For you don’t know what a day will bring forth.’  The error in our thinking is to assume that yesterday is just like today, and that today is going to be just like tomorrow.  That is a wrong way of looking at both life and the world.  Countless people, even in our congregation in the ten years I’ve been here, thought they were going to wake up but passed on, and we’ve held memorial services for many of them.  In 2 Corinthians 6:2 it says, “…behold, now is the day of salvation… You know the foolishness of saying, ‘Well, I’m going to postpone receiving Christ by way of faith as my Savior because I’ve got tomorrow to do it.’  That’s the sin of presumption—assuming that tomorrow is going to be just like today.  It may be.  It may not be.

Here we are in April of 2021.  Do we not see how different our world is today than it was a year ago in January of 2020?  The whole world is different. Everything has changed. The mandates, the vaccine, the lockdown, global events are all shaking our planet.  And if I had stood up somehow under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and predicted all of those things in the year 2020, people would have thought I was crazy.  They’re committing the sin of presumption assuming that tomorrow is just like today. And today is just like it was yesterday.  Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.  But don’t bank your eternity on it.  ‘Oh, the floodwaters, they’ll never come.’  Why not?  ‘Because they haven’t come today.  They haven’t even come for one hundred and twenty years.’  But they did come.  The door was shut.  You reach a point where the Day of Decision is now a thing of the past.  This is why Psalm 95:7 says, “Today, … [It’s interesting how the Bible puts such an emphasis on today] … if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” by thinking, ‘Oh, I can not listen to God today because I’ll always have tomorrow.’  The sin of presumption.

We‘re studying the book of James Wednesday nights, and eventually we’re going to come to this passage here in James 4:13-17, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.Yet you do not even know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this, or also do that.”  But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.  Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

The folly from the human viewpoint of saying, ‘Well, I’ve got next year or next month or next decade to make a decision for the Lord Jesus Christ by way of faith.’  The foolishness of that.  You’re assuming a lot of things that may not be a reality that you can’t even see, because you’re finite.  But God sees them and that’s why He keeps emphasizing, ‘Today is the day of salvation.’

I think we need to start upping our games as Christians in the sense that we need to start acting as if all of these things that we’re talking about are urgent.  This is urgent stuff.  Noah, as he was making those preparations for one hundred and twenty years and being mocked by the antediluvian world, was in a state of urgency.  No one believed.  But Noah believed what God said would happen, and he was not wasting any time.  He was not letting the grass grow under his feet because the grass and the earth and the animals and everything therein were going to be destroyed.  He acted as if God knew what He was talking about, and he was urgent.

It’s not just Noah being given these commands; we are given them as well, and we need to act as if these things are going to happen.  We need to be actively sharing the gospel, not pretending as if tomorrow is going to be just like today, committing the sin of presumption because we can reach a point where it’s too late.  Remember [in Luke 16], the rich man who died and went into Hades; his tongue was in anguish, and he wanted Lazarus to come over to him and cool his tongue, but it was not within the realm of possibility. The response from Abraham was, ‘That can’t happen.’ Besides, Abraham said to the rich man, “‘…And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross from over from there to us.’”  You see, what’s happened is that you’ve crossed over by way of death into the eternal realm.  The opportunity you had when you were alive is gone.  ‘Well, at least send Lazarus back to warn my brothers, who are on the same course of unbelief that I’m on.’ And the response again was, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. They have the Word of God. They won’t believe the Word of God so it wouldn’t matter if somebody came back from the dead to warn them.’  It’s interesting how urgent this man became in the next life.  You wonder how much good he could have done had that same urgency transferred while he was in this life.  Because now it was just too late.

Hebrews 9:27 says, And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.  Is God loving?  Of course He is.  Is God gracious?  Of course He is.  Is God longsuffering?  Of course He is.  Is God patient?  Of course He is.  All of those attributes of God were manifested prior to The Flood, but the door shut.  The grace of God; the forbearance of God reached a point where it was no longer accessible.  It was no longer available.  And this is why the Bible keeps emphasizing ‘today.’ ‘Today, if you hear His voice, today is the day of salvation.’ Don’t be foolish and commit the sin of presumption and think that tomorrow will be just like today.

So, they were put safely and securely in the ark.  The Day of Decision ended—probably when that door closed.  It was probably a tremendous sign to the believing remnant, the eight in the ark, of God’s protective care for them.  After seeing no action and receiving nothing but ridicule for over one hundred and twenty years, they probably needed the extra evidence from God that they were on the right side of history because they were in the ark going against majority opinion.  By the way, there are a lot of people who think the majority is right, and that’s why they’re always quoting these opinion polls.  ‘Polling data suggests’ as if man’s opinion can somehow collectively outvote God.  Eventually you have to reach a point where you forget all of these polls, opinions and editorials, because at the end of the day, God is going to be right.  It doesn’t matter if the majority is on His side or not.  In fact, the majority was not on God’s side here.  The minority was vindicated.   Jesus was very clear in Matthew 7: ‘Broad is the road that leads to destruction.  Many there are that go that way, but narrow is the road that leads to life, and few are they which find it.’

So, it was a sign, I think, of protection to this believing remnant that they were in God’s will.  Now look very carefully there at Genesis 7:16 where it says, ‘…and the Lord closed it [the door] behind him.’

God never said to Noah, ‘Okay, here’s how it’s going to work.  I’m going to close the door.  I’m going to do My part on the outside.  But there’s a handle on the inside.  And you better hang on to that handle and keep that door shut.  Because if you don’t keep that door shut, the waters are going to get into the ark.‘  God never said that.  What God said is, ‘I will shut the door.  You go inside the ark.  I will close the door behind you.‘  ’Well, Lord, what if I’m not hanging on to the handle?’  ‘Doesn’t matter.  I shut the door.’  Well, what if Noah got into the ark and then he was somehow unfaithful to God?  Doesn’t matter.  God shut the door.   Now, I hope you can see a type of our salvation in this.  Galatians 1:4 says of our salvation, …who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, …

The ark and the floodwaters are a type of the salvation that we now have in Jesus Christ.  And I want you to understand that as you stand today in Christ by way of faith, your ability to stay in Christ is not based on your ability to stay in Christ.  It is completely and totally based on or built around what God has promised to do for you.  God never says, ‘I’ll save you, but you better not mess things up or the carpet is going to be ripped out from under you.’  God never says that to us any more than He would say to Noah, ‘Okay, I’m going to close the door, but you better make sure you’re pulling on your end when the floodwaters hit because this whole thing could open up.’

John 10:27-29 talks about our Door.  In fact, it’s in this chapter that Jesus calls Himself the Door.  It says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; I give eternal life to them, … [Who’s doing the action?  God is] …and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  29 My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” [ou mē; aiōnia]

I wish everyone could read Greek because the English translations, in my opinion, don’t do the job. They don’t mistranslate it, but they don’t bring out what the Greek says about our security.  When Jesus says, ‘I give to them eternal life and they will never perish,’ notice in brackets the Greek word [ou mē; aiōnia].  It’s two negatives back-to-back.  In the Greek language, when you have two negatives back-to-back, it’s like saying ‘there’s no possible way that you could perish.’  It’s a ‘no!’ with the strongest exclamation point after it.  Imagine that the exclamation point would just go on and on and on forever, based on how this is written in the Greek language, so it’s an absolute impossibility that once you receive Christ as your Savior that you could ever perish.  It’s impossible.  It can’t happen.  It will never happen.  Spanish version: ‘No way, Jose.’  You will never, absolutely never, perish once you have trusted in Christ as your Savior. You are completely and totally secure just as Noah was completely and totally secure inside the ark once God shut the door.  Nothing could open that door until God was ready to bring them out into the new world.  The floodwaters can come, they could be torrential, and they were as we’ll study, but they were completely safe and secure in the ark.  It didn’t even matter if Noah and his family became a bunch of carnal God-haters in the ark.  Now, fortunately, they didn’t.  But God never conditioned His promise on that. He conditioned His promise on His Word, which cannot lie.

In Greek, not only is there a dual negation here, and for the life of me, I don’t understand why our English translations don’t bring this out, but it’s a double negation, and right next to it is the word ‘aiōnia,’ which means ‘forever.’  It’s the same word used to describe God Himself, the eternal God in Romans 16:26.  It is saying that once you are in Christ by way of faith, once the single condition of salvation has been satisfied, you will never, never, ever, ever perish!!!!… with countless exclamation points after it.   And that’s true forever because it’s something that God promised.

So, you are in the hand of Jesus Christ, and nothing can take you out of His hand.  Now, I’ve argued with people for years who deny eternal security, ’Well, what if Satan takes us out of God’s hand?‘  ’Well, is Satan not covered here by ‘no one’?  ‘Well, what if I become wicked or I mess this up or that up?  Can’t I take myself out of God’s hand?’  ‘Is ‘ourselves’ not covered here by ‘no one‘?  Nothing or no one can take you out.  Now, you’re not just in the hand of Jesus Christ.  If you look at this very carefully, in John 10:27-29, you’re also in the Father’s hand.  So, two members of the Trinity have you in a tight grip.  I mean, one member of the Trinity would be enough, right?  God the Son.  But God the Father says, ‘Let’s do a double grip here.’  I like to call this the double grip of grace.  You are in the double grip of grace as a saved person, and there is absolutely nothing—not Satan or yourself…there’s nothing you or he can do to reverse it.  Now, the reason we teach this, and the reason we believe this is because it says, in John 10:28, “…I give eternal life to them.”

There is nothing here about a reciprocal promise.  If the promise says, ‘I give if you do that,’ which it doesn’t, then there would be reason to panic because we do mess things up.  Amen?  Maybe not you guys. You guys look very spiritual out there with your Bibles dressed up for church.  But I mess things up.  I mess things up as a Christian.  I mess things up even as a spiritual leader.  But God never says, ‘Okay Andy, you’ve got eternal life, but you know you better mind your P’s and Q’s because you might go too far and take yourself out of My hands.’  That would be to rewrite the Bible to make it say something it doesn’t.

If you are living Christian life looking at yourself, first of all, that’s a very depressing subject. Secondly, you’re looking at the wrong source.  You’re looking at yourself to keep yourself.  And Jesus says, ‘Look at Me, I can’t lie.  I’ve got you in the grip of God’s grace, the Father’s got you in the grip of God’s grace.  There is absolutely nothing you can do to take yourself out of God’s grace.’  ‘Well, gee, Pastor, you better not teach this doctrine too aggressively because people are going to live like the devil Monday through Saturday, if you teach them something like this on Sunday.  How are you going to keep people under control?  How are you going to keep the offering filled with money by talking about things like this?  How are you going to get people to serve in the church?’

Here’s the great secret, folks.  The doctrine of grace, if you understand it, will not quench your service unto the Lord.  It will unleash it like never before for the simple reason that your motive for service and for giving has just changed.  You’re no longer doing it because, ‘Oh, gosh, I’m living in fear, and the carpet’s going to get ripped out from under me.’  You’re now serving the Lord—not out of fear but out of worship; out of gratitude.  You’re serving the Lord because you just can’t believe the gift.  The only way I can describe this is that it’s a gift that you’ve been given.  I frankly don’t know of anybody that can look at this gift and rationally understand it, and say, ‘Okay, I’m safe so I’m going to just live like the devil.’ To me, it has the exact opposite effect on people.  You will completely and totally consecrate yourself unto the Lord because it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever heard and have ever been given.  In fact, no amount of religiosity and good works are somehow going to pay God back for what He’s given to you.  You start to understand that and say, ‘Wow, the Lord, and I don’t know why, but He really loves me for some reason to give me something like this.’

This is why you don’t have to threaten people week after week with insecurity to get them to live for Jesus.  I hope you understand that in so many churches, the name of the game is threatening people. And they’re threatened with their security as a means of controlling the masses.  And yet, what does the Apostle Paul say in Romans 12:1-2?  Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, … [What mercies of God? —what we’re talking about here] … to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  Some translations say, ‘which is your reasonable service of worship’ that it’s reasonable to serve God, understanding what you have in Christ.  It’s logical.  It makes sense.  And what you’ve just done through the doctrine of grace, which is not our invention, but what the Bible teaches, is that you changed peoples’ motive for service, and unleashed in them a life of sanctification, a life of worship, a life of holiness, which, quite frankly, cannot be achieved in people by threatening them over and over again.  Their motive for living for God is now different on account of what God has done for them.

Well, I don’t know, Pastor.  These are tough times we’re living in.  I mean, we’ve got lockdowns and masks and mandatory vaccinations.  And, you know, I don’t know, America is falling apart.  We can’t enforce our borders, they’re coming after our guns, terrorists are crossing the border.  I just don’t know if my Christianity is going to work in that kind of climate.’

I just want to remind you of what the Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 1:5, by the way, to a group of people suffering under Nero’s persecution.  You think our sufferings in the United States are bad? Gosh, you should see what Nero did to people—how he would finance the Coliseum for the purpose of seeing Christians devoured, literally, by beasts before jeering crowds.  That Nero would burn Rome and blame it on Christians; he used Christians to illuminate his garden parties by lighting them on fire.  That’s who Peter is talking to in 1 Peter 1:5—to this audience “who are protected by the power of God.”  Your life in that double grip of grace is being protected by “the power of God.” There is absolutely nothing that can happen to you without the permissive will of God.  And, you know, in fact, should circumstances change for the worst in the United States, and should we move into a model where Christians are being persecuted physically and visibly and actually killed, that may not even be the worst thing that could ever happen to you.  Because ‘absent from the body is present with the Lord.’

This promise doesn’t say it applies as long as you have a Republican in the White House.  It says that it’s a promise from God that you are kept in the double grip of grace “by His power.”

That’s what it meant when Noah went into the ark.  He didn’t close the door himself.  God never even told him, ’Make sure you hold on tight, because we have to make sure the door stays shut.’  No, God, just shut the door.  What a model that is for our salvation.  ‘Yeah, but what if we blow it?  What if I make a mistake? What if I go back into sin?‘– 2 Timothy 2:11-13 puts it this way: “It is a trustworthy statement.... [Do you want a trustworthy statement?  Anybody here want someone to tell you the truth?  Here’s the truth:  this you can trust; this one you can take to the bank] … For if we died with Him, … [That already happened, by the way, when we trusted Christ] …we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him,” … [Now, there, endurance is not attached to salvation but to authority— differing degrees of it — that will be wielded in the Kingdom.  To reiterate], “…If we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; … Look at the context.  He will deny us heaven.  That’s not what it says.  He will deny us salvation.  That’s not what it says.  He will deny us reigning, rewards, or authority in the Kingdom.  What is sort of up in the air right now is if we are we going to continue to walk with the Lord in difficult times.  Whether we are or aren’t, salvation is not altered one iota.  How could it be altered when we’re in the double grip of grace?  And here, he uses the strongest negation to communicate the point, and throws in the word, aiōnios.   What is up in the air is the degree of authority or rewards that we will receive once in heaven.  That’s an issue, but not your salvation.

Well, what if I turn my back on Jesus Christ as the Apostle Peter did three times?  What if I do that?  I mean, what if, when it gets tough, I deny Christ?  What then?‘  Look at 2 Timothy 2:13, If we are faithless, … [Now do you know what that word ‘faithless’ is?  That’s alpha privative, which is an “a” in front of a word that negates the word.  So, ‘faithless’ is basically saying ‘without faith.’  It’s like saying atheistwithout God.  Agnostic is without knowledge.  That’s what he means here when he says faithless, that even if we are faithless, unbelieving, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.  If He were to push you out of the double grip of grace based on your lack of performance, then He would be denying Himself.  What does that mean?  He would be denying what He said in John 10, which is an impossibility because God can’t say something on Monday and reverse Himself on Tuesday.

I’m not trying to argue that unfaithfulness in the life of the Christian is inconsequential. It is consequential because it determines [future] authority and reigning—those types of issues.  But it doesn’t determine salvation because you never got your foot in the door through your works anyway.  So, if your good works never got you through the front door, why start thinking that our good works keep us in the door?  I mean, our good works don’t keep us in the door any more than Noah pulling on the other side of the door could have helped his circumstances.  ‘Go ahead, Noah.  Why don’t you tie a great big rope around that handle and just keep yanking it, and make sure you do it for 40 days and 40 nights? Frankly, you need to do it for 150 days, for five months, because that’s how long you’re going to be in here until the floodwaters subside.‘  If Noah had sweated and gritted and pulled and strained, it wouldn’t have changed anything.  And if Noah had done nothing, it wouldn’t have changed that door either because it was God who shut the door.

You want something to rejoice about today?  Rejoice about that.  Leave here not beaten and trodden down and worm theology; ‘I-wonder-if-God-loves-me‘-kind of thinking.  Walk out of here exuberant because of the promises of God that are made to you unilaterally.  And whenever you get down on yourself, get your eyes off of yourself and start looking at these promises.  These promises are yours whether you’re faithful or faithless, and for it to be any other thing would be for God to be denying Himself.

You know, if I thought that my ultimate arrival in heaven had something to do with my performance as a Christian, I would be an emotional yoyo because somedays things are going great.  Other days, it looks like things are falling apart.  And God is so good; and He knows we’re going to have ups and downs and victories and defeats, so aren’t you glad that He hasn’t attached your glorification to those ups and downs?  They’re completely attached to Jesus.  So, they are sealed now in the ark, and The Flood, for the first time, is now described in Genesis 7:17-18.  Then the Flood came upon the earth for forty days…. [Why did it come upon the earth?  Because that’s what God said would happen.] … And the water increased and lifted up the ark so that it rose above the earth.  Genesis 7:18 says, The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  To me this looks like a global event because of the size of the ark.  I mean, this water has to be strong enough to lift up this ark.  This is no raft we’re dealing with here.  This is not a Boy Scout sailing project.  This was a a 450 ft long, 75 ft wide, 45 ft high structure, capable of holding 125,000 animals.  And the Flood came, and it was lifted.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, in his book of Genesis commentary on these verses says, “Not only was the ark lifted up off the ground, it also floated on the face of the waters. It sailed only in the sense that it was driven by whatever wind there was; so it began to float on the face of the waters away from its original position.  In fact, it began in the area of Mesopotamia, [modern-day, Iraq, it is generally believed] and floated all the way to the area of Mount Ararat, which could be anywhere in the current countries of Southern Russia, Turkey, or Armenia.” The Bible never says the ark landed on the mountain of Ararat; it says it landed on the mountains.  And as much as everybody thinks they know where that is, nobody knows.

Probably the gentleman that’s gotten closest to finding it is someone that we had come speak here, one of my friends, Dr. Randall Price.  You can find his conference that he did here in our archives.  He claims that where he was, there was something massive underneath the surface.  I think by radar detection, he could figure it out.  He claims that there is a man who actually went into the ark.  Now he’s an old man, but he claims he went into it as a young boy.  There’s just a lot of stuff out there on this.  But the truth of the matter is that nobody knows where the ark is.  In fact, I’m not even sure God wants us to know.  Because to whom much is given, much is is required.

The more light people have and the more they reject it, the more it ups their accountability on the day of judgment.  This world is already moving into a very severe judgment based on rejection of the revelation that God has given.  Could you imagine the accountability on the day of judgment if Noah’s Ark was discovered?  They would find some reason to explain it away because that’s how unbelief works.  Unbelief is not neutral.  Unbelief is a God-hating heart that denies God.  Well, how could they explain away Noah’s Ark?  Look at what they’re doing with Creation.  They won’t even acknowledge God is the Creator.  Now, how can you get that one wrong?  Given the fact that there are roughly 8 billion people on planet earth and that no two fingerprints are alike, no two snowflakes, when examined under a microscope are alike, that the earth revolves around the sun yet we’re not so close to the sun that we burn to death, nor are we so far away from the sun that we freeze to death.  We’re orbiting, we’re moving, even as I speak, around the sun at exactly the right length to sustain life.  And you’re going to tell me God doesn’t exist?   That’s like looking at a card house in your house that your kids or grandkids put together, and coming in and saying, ‘Well, isn’t it interesting how the wind and everything came in here and assembled this card house?‘  It’s ridiculous—you would be certifiable to say something like that.  Yet that’s what the unbelieving mind does with Creation all the time.  Why do they do that?  Because they hate God.  And the reason they hate God is because if they acknowledge God’s existence, then suddenly they’re not God anymore.  And that involves submission to His authority and to His moral will.  If they’re going to write off Creation, my goodness, what would they do with Noah’s Ark?  Maybe God will allow Noah’s Ark to be discovered.  Maybe He won’t.  If I had to bet, I would say the reason no one has discovered it is because God doesn’t want it discovered, as the only thing that would do in an unbelieving heart is to increase their accountability on the day of judgment, and they’ve a lot more things to answer for already.

So apparently it moved and went to the mountains of Ararat, a great distance away from Iraq, Southern Russia, Turkey or Armenia.  Look here at Genesis 7:19: The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that... [What’s the next word? ‘all’—underline that] … all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.

You’ll notice that there’s an ‘all,’ and an ‘everywhere.’ And that is what we call a ‘double all.’ In Hebrew, it’s a double ‘kol’ used twice.  Why bring this up?  Because there are a lot of people out there telling you that Noah’s Flood never covered the globe; that it was just a local event.  Their argument is that ‘all’ doesn’t always mean ‘all’ in the Bible.  After all, Exodus 9:24 says, “…It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt…” And they say, ‘Aha, there, all doesn’t refer to the whole world; it just refers to the land of Egypt.  Well, there, ’all’ doesn’t mean ‘all’ because it’s controlled by the noun, Egypt.  There is nothing here in 7:19 to shrink the meaning of the word ‘all.’ What it says is that the floodwaters prevailed and covered ’everywhere’ all the high mountains.  There is a double ‘all’; there’s not one ’all’ here; there are two.

HC Leupold, in his commentary on Genesis, comments on this verse, ”…all the high mountains under all the heavens.’ [Double ‘all.’]  He says, ”One of these expressions alone would almost necessitate the impression that the author intends to convey the idea of absolute universality of the Flood…Yet since ‘all’ is known to be used in a relative sense, [that’s what Exodus 9:24 is doing…it’s using ‘all’ in a smaller sense] …the writer [Moses] removes all ambiguity by adding the phrase ‘under all the heavens.‘ A double ‘all‘ (kol) [is what he’s saying] cannot allow for so relative a sense.  It almost constitutes a Hebrew superlative. [Now what is a superlative?  Quoting that great theologian Magic Johnson, it’s the ultimate, is how he said it, it’s the highest.  It’s the ultimate.  And I remember that because I was a Lakers fan, and they had won back-to-back titles.  They put the microphone up to him, ‘And how do you feel, Magic?’ He says, ‘It’s the ultimate.‘  So that’s what a superlative is.  It’s the ultimate.

It’s like saying the ‘Holy of Holies.’  When the Bible calls something like the Temple the Holy of Holies, it’s not saying that this is a holy place, it’s saying this is the ultimate Holy Place.  When Jesus is called the King of Kings and the LORD of lords, it’s not saying He’s just another king, he’s just another lord.  He is the ultimate King and LORD.

So, this is a superlative with the double ‘all.’  In English, you may not pick this up, but it becomes very clear in Hebrew.  So, there is no way, shape or form that you can shrink the word ‘all.’] …

“…So, we believe, [Leupold says], that the text disposes of the question of the universality of the flood. By way of objection to this interpretation, those who believe in a limited flood…urge the fact that ‘kol‘ is used in a relative sense, as is clearly the case in other passages such as … [Exodus 9:24] … However, we still insist that this fact could overthrow a single ‘kol’, [all] never a double ‘kol’ [all], as our verse has it.“

Now, I’m from California and moved to Texas over two decades ago.  I got to the Promised Land just as fast as I could.  I wish somebody had come up with a dictionary to help change my vocabulary from Californian to Texan, because in Texas, there’s a difference between ‘y’all’ and ‘all y’all.‘  Did you know that?  I was confused on this for a long time because ‘y’all’ could mean a smaller group. Like when I look at this group here, I could just say ‘y’all.’ But when I say ‘all y’all‘, I’m talking everybody, right?  So, there’s a difference between ‘y’all‘ and ’all y’all.‘  Now, no one ever explains this.  So, what I’m trying to say here is if we come out with a Texan translation of Genesis 7:19, it’s not just saying, ‘y’all’.  It’s saying, ’all y’all.’  Hopefully, that helps a little bit.

So, there there is a double ‘all’ here in Hebrew, which clearly communicates that this entire earth at one point was under water.  It becomes very clear in 7:20 when it says, “the water prevailed.”  Look at this: “The water prevailed 15 cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.”

Henry Morris, in his commentary on the book of Genesis, says, “The water rise was quickly sufficient to ‘bear up the ark,’ [this is a massive structure] … indicating a depth of at least twenty feet in the earliest stages of the Flood, since the ark was at least forty-four feet high and heavily loaded.”  I mean, this is not a situation where part of it rose first.  You know, ‘the stern rose first, let’s wait for the bow to rise.’  I mean, the whole thing came up.  And he talks here about a depth of twenty feet just right off the bat.  That’s how fast judgment hit this antediluvian world.  And then notice, if you will, 7:21-22 where it says, All  flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts, and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;... 22of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.  ‘All’; ’every’— says it over and over again.

And it’s so tempting to look at this and say, ‘Yeah, it was bad back then, sure was.‘  Until you read in the New Testament that the same thing is going to happen.  This time not with the floodwaters but with the events of the Tribulation.  Where, in Matthew 24:21-22, Jesus says of the coming Tribulation, “21For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.  22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.“

Now, there’s a lot to talk about there which we won’t get into.  But I want you to see is that we’re living in a time period where we’re looking backward at a judgment that hit called The Flood.  And we’re looking forward to a judgment yet to come.  And just as that past judgment was serious and severe and required urgency in the lives of people, that’s the message that God has for His church today.  Look at Genesis 7:23, Thus He [God] blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and [look at this] they were blotted out from the earth; …”

Arnold Fruchtenbaum, in his commentary on the book of Genesis on that particular verse, says, “Genesis 7:21-23a describes the universality of destruction… The emphasis is clearly on the destruction of all living things on dry land with the breath of life, again, excluding all fish life…, The Hebrew word means ‘erased.‘  They were blotted out.“  

We might put it this way:  They were canceled.  Because no doubt in Genesis 6, prior to The Flood, they had quite a cancel culture going, didn’t they?  I mean, ‘Let’s push God out of everything, right down to sexuality, because we want to have sex with fallen angels.’  How much more perverse can you get than that where violence swept the whole earth?  If they had had social media in those days, they would be canceling every preacher and teacher that contradicted the new morés, or the new morality or whatever it is they were calling it in that time period, and they thought they were canceling God. And in the end, it was God who canceled them.

See, the cancel culture movement of today may think they’re so smart, tricky and wise, but they are getting away with nothing.  And the fact of the matter is the only thing that keeps those people alive is the grace of God because He loves them, too, and wants to see them come to a knowledge of His Son.  May God help us to understand this.  It says at the end of 7:23, “…and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.”

Again, notice the universal language here: ’every’ human being was destroyed.  And so, all of us owe our heritage to Adam.  It says in Acts 17:26,” …and He made from one man, every nation…” And Adam’s line went to Noah.  And Noah had three sons, and the pre-flood world was destroyed, and the world was repopulated through Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth.  All of us on planet earth today owe our lineage to one of those three sons and to their wives, ultimately coming from Noah, who was connected back to Adam.

Genesis 7:19-23, and we will stop with this; just by way of summation, says, “They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heaven were covered… Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.  23Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground, and the birds of the air were wiped out from the earth.  Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”  If this passage doesn’t communicate the universality of the flood, I don’t know how God could have communicated it.  I mean, if this language doesn’t satisfy you, what language ever would?  God means what He says and says what He means.

Genesis 7:24, “The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.”  This is different than the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, the floodwaters subsisting for five months.

So, the next time we are together, we’ll be having a few concluding remarks to make about The Flood.  And as severe as it is to talk about The Flood, here’s the other side of it.  Yes, God judged the world in the days of Noah.  Yes, God is going to judge this world in the future by fire.  But here’s the best part of it.  The sins of the world were already judged in Jesus Christ.  Every sin that this world has ever mustered up against God was paid for by Jesus two thousand years ago through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  And He says that the coming judgment is real.  ‘But I took your judgment in your place.  And all you have to do to avoid future judgment is to receive, as a free gift, the sting and the penalty I took for you.’  That’s the gospel.  That’s why it’s good news.  He stepped into the line of fire.  He stepped out of eternity into time, into the line of fire to absorb the wrath of a holy God in our place.  And as the Spirit places you under conviction, even as I’m speaking, you can trust, which is another word of saying ‘believing.’  Believe in what Jesus did for you, no longer trusting in yourself or your religiosity, but trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

If you’ve done that, then there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.  Isn’t that good news?  Amen.  So even as I’m speaking [or you are reading this], if you are under conviction, maybe uure listening to or reading this online. Maybe you are going to read or listen to this five years down the road.  Whatever your circumstance, you can trust in Christ now for salvation.

And that’s our exhortation to people here at Sugar Land Bible Church.  It’s not something you raise a hand to do, walk an aisle to do, join a church to do, give money to do.  It’s a matter of privacy between you and the LORD, or if the LORD places you under conviction and you trust in His provision. It’s not just an intellectual understanding of truth, it’s your resting in it by way of confidence.  That, and only that is what will save a lost sinner.  That’s the gospel.

If it’s something you need more explanation on, I’m available after the service to talk.  Shall we pray?

Father, we’re grateful for the past, the record you’ve preserved for us, in terms of prior judgment.  But it also makes us mindful of a future judgment coming.  Help us to live with the eternal understanding of that great truth.  Help us to order our lives accordingly.  We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said, AMEN!