Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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That old big boat started making big waves again. Noah's Ark riding again! Hollywood was hoping it would bring in a flood of money. And you know what? Word was that the telling of this iconic story started with the Bible account, and then added a heavy dose of Hollywood imagination with great special effects. Probably no match, though, for the original. With Noah showing up in TV ads, it made me go back to the non-fiction, original narrative. Bible-style.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Noah Lives!"
I found more than a story. I found insights as current as today's news. If old Noah showed up today, he'd be blown away by all that's changed. And all that hasn't. Like the five game-changers I found for any generation.
1. God still has His Noahs.
The original Story says, "Noah was a righteous man...and he walked in close fellowship with God." The moral heroes in any generation are the ones who stand for what's right when no one else is, even when they stand alone. They're rare, but they're like uncommon collectibles, they're really valuable. And "Noah (maybe like you if you're standing for the right), found favor in the eyes of the Lord."
2. God still has boundaries.
In the Bible's words, "The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth...that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence." He'd set boundaries. They didn't care. Sounds familiar. The culture doesn't decide what's right. Polls or politicians may tell us what's politically correct, but not what's wrong. That's up to the One who put us here. We may not think we're out of bounds. Like Noah's contemporaries, we can always find a way to justify our "I don't care what You say, God." But His boundaries don't move. He's God. And I'm pretty sure He reacts to our rebellion the same way He did in Noah's time. The Bible says, "It broke His heart."
3. God still has penalties for going out of bounds.
God promised Noah He wouldn't do the flood thing again. But there must be a Judgment Day. I think a lot of us know that deep down anyway. When I dethrone God and crown me #1 in my life, it messes up everything and it invites judgment. The Bible says, "It is appointed to man to die once, and after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). I'll bet the Noah Gen folks told Noah, "We're getting away with it, old man." They were wrong.
4. God still has an Ark.
A safe place. Noah and his family it says, "went on board the boat to escape the flood." Like countless people over 2,000 years, I ran to the haven that God has provided from His judgment. It's not a ship. It's a Savior. The Bible says in our word for today from the Word of God in Romans 8:1, "There is now no condemnation (That means I'm safe!) for those who are in Christ Jesus." How can God say that when I have rebelled against Him? I've done many wrong things. I've broken His laws. I've defied His rulership of my life.
There's a death penalty for that. How can He say there's no condemnation? It says, "For those who are in Christ Jesus." Because Christ Jesus, His Son, paid the penalty that I deserve. I did the sinning. Jesus did the dying. And when you open up your life to Him and put your life in His hands, you are in essence entering the ark of safety where you will be eternally safe with Him forever. He paid such a high price for that. If you've never opened your heart to Him, do it today. We'd be glad to help you be sure you belong to Him. Just go to our website, ANewStory.com.
5. God still has a "rainbow."
In the biblical account, God says, "This rainbow is a sign...Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life." That's a guaranteed future anchored to a promise. I know that feeling. The Bible says, "Anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life" (John 3:36). It doesn't get any better than that. So, as the cultural spotlight kind of brought everybody back to Noah, I wonder how many moviegoers did what I did and will do what I did; check out that original story again. If you do, you'll be surprised at what's there. It's a mirror to see our time; to see ourselves.