Saturday, April 23, 2016

The World Can Leave a Bad Taste

I was reading the story of Noah again this week, and like never before it struck me that, like Noah, we live in the midst of a perverse generation.  A generation that calls evil good, and good evil.  A generation that fines a Christian baker $135,000 in Oregon for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding, and then glorifies musicians for canceling concerts in venues where the states have decided that men should use “Men’s” restrooms and women should use “women’s” restrooms.  It’s like I woke up one day and found myself in an alternate universe.

The truth is however; this hasn’t come upon us suddenly, we’ve just been passively allowing it to happen.  And if the Church continues to allow "cultural norms" to infiltrate our lives, it is my opinion that it won't be long before our women look like Ellen DeGeneres and our men look like Bruce Jenner.

Proverbs 30:11-13

11 There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.

But really for a student of the God’s Word, none of this should come as a shock:

II Timothy 3:1-5

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

God has called us to be separate, different, and distinct from the world!

Romans 12:1, 2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Philippians 2:15

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”

Peter wrote that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, God chose Noah to build the ark for that reason, and when the flood came Noah and his family rose above the destructive waters and were saved.  Noah built the ark, but God chose the material (gopher wood) that Noah used and God gave Noah the instructions (pitch it from within and without) on how to build it.

God has likewise given us the material to build a life that will allow us to rise above the destructive forces of evil that are destroying our world today:  He has given us His Word.  It is up to us to build upon what He has given us.  To pitch our lives with His Word, from within and from without.  To pitch means to seal.

There are some things we need to seal in: character, integrity, dignity, holiness, compassion, and forgiveness.  These things must be an inside job.  And there are some things that we need to seal out: Fear, doubt, anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness, things that stir up the carnal man, and the works of the flesh.  We’re in the world but not of the world.  We need God’s word to seal us, to pitch us from within and without so that we rise above the destructive waters in the ark of His protection.  I don’t care how good a swimmer you are; you can’t swim across an ocean of sewage without getting some of the waste in your mouth.

Genesis 7:18 - “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth;”

There is no doubt about it, the waters of sin, and ungodliness, and perversion are increasing greatly upon the earth, but listen to the last part of that verse: “and the ark went upon the face of the waters.”

That means the ark rode over the top of the waters of destruction.  It is still true today that those who live righteously, and holy, and separated lives unto God, are going to rise to the top.  The darker it gets the brighter our light shines, the higher the waters of sin rise, the higher we will rise.  Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world.

Like Noah, we must be willing to be thought foolish for the sake of the gospel.  It must have seemed foolish for Noah to be building an ark when it had never even rained upon the earth.  They made fun of him, but he kept on building.  He didn’t compromise, he didn’t deviate from God’s plan, he didn’t let his culture and their criticism interfere with his commitment to God’s plan because Noah knew the rain was coming.

We must look a lot like Noah prophesying to the world of a coming judgement, that Jesus is coming back, that only those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb, and who have turned their back on sin can enter into heaven.  But, like Noah, our message must be pure, our message must be powerful, and our message must be plain.

I Corinthians 14:8 - “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Our message must be consistent!  Like Noah, we must be disciplined, motivated, and encouraged by the Word of God.  We must be holy, "for without holiness no man shall see God." - Hebrews 12:14. Holiness is not just an internal state of change, it's a lifestyle that says, "I belong to God."  We must become the pure and spotless bride of Jesus.  We must allow His Word and the Holy Ghost to pitch us from within and without.  We are building for future generations.  We must be willing to work without Immediate reward.  We must Finish the race!

What a tragedy it would have been for Noah to build on this ark for 85- 90 years then quit, and say It ain't worth it, or I don’t believe it’s coming.  It wouldn’t have mattered how great his start was, because finishing that was all that really mattered.

Matthew 24:13 - “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

1 comment:

  1. Preach it brother! Another good and timely word. Thank you for you obedience example and intent...we should follow as led and equipped in the effort of loving and serving the Lord God who saved us.