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Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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December 3, 2020 2:00 am

Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 3, 2020 2:00 am

It takes enormous faith to build a boat hundreds of miles inland. But that's what Noah did in simple obedience to God's call. In the message "Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle," Skip shares how you can live with this same strong faith.

This teaching is from the series Fact-Check.

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Noah's righteous life, cutting down those trees, putting nails or putting wood pieces together, putting pitch on it to glue it together and hold it together, all of that as an act of obedience rebuked their lifestyle. His righteous lifestyle was a rebuke to their wicked lifestyle.

Black looks always blacker when you put something white next to it. Every day we face a choice, to conform to the world or to stand out as a beacon that points to Jesus. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how you can live with a bold and unyielding faith just like Noah did.

Then, at the end of today's program, Skip and his son Nate share some encouragement with you so you can make a lasting impact on the world. You know, when you sow seed, it doesn't grow right away. It takes time. It takes a harvest season. So don't be discouraged now while you're sowing the seed.

Let it grow. Watch what's going to happen in your parents' or children's life. Thank you, Skip. Be sure to stay tuned after today's message to hear the full conversation. Now we want to tell you about a special resource that will help transform the way you pray and the way you live. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said, It is possible to move men through God by prayer alone. Ian Bounds, who authored nine books on prayer, said, God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be. And Billy Graham said, To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.

Here's Skip Heitzig. You know, the Bible says that we will experience God's peace when we pray, and it tells us to pray about everything. We want to help you know how and what to pray and what to expect. That's why we're offering Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days by Kay Arthur when you give to support this ministry. Prayer is meant to up the game of peace and joy in our hearts. Lord, Teach Me to Pray is our thanks when you give $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, connecting you and others to God's Word.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're in Hebrews chapter 11 as Skip Heitzig starts today's study. The Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and he was grieved in his heart. Let me just quickly explain that that is an anthropomorphic statement. It's an anthropomorphism. It's God expressing himself so humans can understand it. God never does things differently or go, oh, shucks, I shouldn't have done it that way. I'm really sorry.

Let me take a different act. God does not repent. He is not a man that he should repent. This is simply a human way of stating it so we get the emotion that God was grieved by what he saw and the choices that man had made. So the Lord said, verse 7, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them, but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And then it gives a brief genealogy of Noah in the next verse. So except for Noah, there were no God seekers on the earth.

They went from bad Cain to worse where God has to destroy everybody. It says Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the very first time in scripture the word grace appears, and it appears with Noah. God is going to show grace by lifting him off the earth in a box, and he's going to save Noah in that box in his family, and by saving Noah, he's going to save the world. By the way, the only other time the word ark is used, the word in Hebrew for ark is literally box because it was a rudderless ship, so it really wasn't like a ship like we know it.

It was a big box. And it is when Moses' mother, Jacob, made a little basket or ark for Noah and put him down the Nile River. So like that, God used an ark to save Noah to save Moses, and then God used Moses to save the children of Israel. Like that, God saved Noah so that God could use Noah to save the earth and restart the population, an ark, a box. So he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The Living Bible says, but Noah was a pleasure to the Lord. Think of your life being a pleasure to the Lord. God looks at you and goes, oh, you are, you know, you are a treasure to him. You are so valuable to God that he wouldn't spare his only son, but he gave them up for us all. That's how much God treasures you.

I hope that you are not only a treasure to God, I hope you live a life that you become a pleasure to God, like Noah, where he looks at you and goes, oh, I'm so pleased, a diamond in the rough, a diamond in the black coal dust of disobedience of the human race. Here's what it shows us. One single person can stand alone, and one person can make a difference. One of my favorite stories about the Roman Colosseum is from around the year 400 A.D. The Roman Colosseum had been packed for decades, for actually a couple centuries, where people would be watching humans fighting beasts, humans fighting humans, killing humans, killing beasts, beasts killing humans, all for entertainment value in the Roman Colosseum. One day a Syrian monk came to the Colosseum, saw what was going on, jumped his seat, ran down the aisle, jumped out onto the floor of the Colosseum, and waved his arms, this little Christian monk from Syria, waved his arms and said, in the name of Christ, forbear, in the name of Christ, forbear.

In other words, stop this senseless violence. An order was given from the legions of Rome to thrust him through with a sword and kill him. They killed him on the floor of the Colosseum, his blood drained into the sand, but something happened. The games went on that day, but as the months went by, because of that one man and that one incident, it so jarred the population of Rome that the games at the Colosseum dwindled in numbers of people who went.

They didn't become as popular. And eventually, after several months, they were stopped altogether because of one man saying, in the name of Christ, forbear. One person can make a difference. So the fake news is one person's actions don't matter. Who cares if I live this way?

Everybody's living that way. It matters. The real news, the faith check is one person's life matters. It can spur on a whole example for people who are watching, and it can change a culture like it did with Telemachus, the Syrian monk. So Noah witnessed a deterioration.

Let me take you to a second thought. Noah walked in submission. Back to our text in Hebrews 11, it's best if you just have a place setting it both at this point. In verse 7, he said, By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark. When Noah received a warning from God that judgment was coming, all Noah had was God's word. All Noah had was God's promise.

This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to destroy the earth. At first, God didn't even tell him how. He just said, I'm going to do it. Because if he would have said it's going to rain, Noah would have said, what's rain?

It hadn't rained yet. I'll explain that in a moment. He just said, I'm going to destroy the earth. And so build an ark. And then he went on to explain how he was going to do it. So all he had was God's word. The question is, would he obey it?

What would he do with that word? Well, it says, By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved, that's his motivation, with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household. God told him to do something because something was going to happen that had never, ever happened in the history of the world. The world was going to be destroyed. Verse 7, the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing, birds of the air, for I'm sorry that I made them. Down in verse 13, God said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. And behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Verse 17, and behold, I myself am bringing flood waters on the earth to destroy from under heaven all flesh which is in the breath of life.

Everything that is on the earth shall die. Verse 22, thus Noah did. Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so he did. God said, I'm going to bring flood waters on the earth.

No, it's going to rain. Now it had never rained before, I mentioned. Up till this point, the Bible tells us the earth was, there were no polar caps, there were no extreme temperatures, there was a mild universal temperature on the surface of the earth. The Bible says the earth was water with the mist that came out of the ground, so there was this temperate temperature around the globe, and so that's how it was watered. It had never had the cataclysm of rain before, and so this was new.

This was all brand new. And what God says is, I'm going to bring water down from heaven, and He brought it from the earth and heaven, and I'm going to drown every single person on planet earth, except eight who are in this little box. This then is the most remarkable event of judgment ever up to this point, certainly in the Old Testament.

God is enacting His right of capital punishment on the creation that He made. Now the flood was the second major catastrophic event in history, or second greatest cataclysmic event in history, the first being creation. So creation gave us the first earth, we don't know that because we're post-flood, the flood gave us the earth as it is today. So those two events, creation and the flood, inform us as to the earth in its present place.

And that's the world that we know and experience, the post-Diluvian world after the flood. Now back in Genesis chapter 6, in verse 14, God says, Make for yourself an ark. In Hebrews 11, He says, He prepared an ark. Back in verse 22 of chapter 6, last verse, Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Now please grasp this. This is an incredible demonstration of faith. Cutting down the first tree was a demonstration of faith.

Think of all the trees to make this huge ark. Now it says, He was moved with godly fear, back in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 7. He was moved with godly fear. What that means is, He had reverence for God, that's the fear of God, a holy reverence for a loving God, a holy reverence that brought humble submission to a loving God.

He was moved with godly fear. In other words, God's revelation was enough to prompt His demonstration. God's revelation of the future was enough to prompt Noah's demonstration of faith. God said it, He did it. He honored God's word. God did not have to give him a second warning. He didn't have to give him a sign from heaven. I think God speaking to you is like a sign in and of itself, so God gave him information he's going to destroy.

He said he's going to destroy by water, so he did everything God told him to do. Didn't have to reinforce it, didn't have to give him a sign. There was a time when the IRS sent a man a letter and the envelope said, Second Notice, on the front of the envelope, Second Notice, IRS, opened it up and says, You owe back tax if you don't pay by this time, we're going to come and get you. Well, he went to the IRS office and he said, Man, you know, I didn't even know I had to pay this. I never remember seeing the first notice. Otherwise, I would have paid it. And the IRS said, Well, we ran out of first notices.

And besides that, we've discovered that second notices are far more effective than first notices. Well, God didn't have to give him a second notice. God just said, I'm going to destroy the earth. And he prepared an ark. And God gives him in this chapter blueprints for the ark.

Its dimensions are given. That's important because Noah didn't know how to make an ark that size, a boat that size, a box that size. He didn't know marine architecture.

He had no expertise in displacement of water. The ark was 450 feet long. So that's one and a half football fields long. It was 75 feet wide.

That's seven parking spaces wide, roughly. And it was 45 feet high, which is between three and four stories high. It was the biggest vessel ever built until the 19th century. Now there have been far bigger built since then. But it was the biggest vessel ever built till the 19th century. Just the sheer magnitude of this project must have been overwhelming. It took Noah the Bible says 120 years to build it. It had three decks, 15 feet high with rooms and over 100,000 square feet of deck space, 1.4 million cubic feet of storage space, the equivalent of 522 standard railroad boxcars capable of holding 125,000 sheep. Now sheep are used as the animal because it's sort of a medium-sized animal.

There's some much smaller and some much larger but 125,000 animals. Plus Noah and his family could safely, easily be aboard the ship and float this box. So he witnessed a deterioration. He walked in submission. Third, he warned of devastation. I want you to go back to Hebrews 11 verse 7 and I want you to notice the way the author writes this. By faith Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, here it is, by which he condemned the world. By which he condemned the world. How did he do that? By what means did Noah condemn the world? By two means. First of all, just by building the boat.

Just by building the ark. As I said, it was a demonstration of faith to cut down the first tree. So he cuts down a tree. That's a lot of work, just to cut down one tree. Because he's cutting down a tree and his neighbor goes, what are you doing? I'm building a boat. A what? A boat, a pretty big boat.

Why? So just building that thing for 120 years showed his faith in God's promise and just building that was a testimony to the people of his generation. In Genesis 6, 9, again it says Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Just his lifestyle. Just his obedience to God. And in verse 18 of chapter 6, God says, I'm going to establish my covenant with you. Noah's righteous life, cutting down those trees, putting nails or putting wood pieces together, putting pitch on it to glue it together and hold it together, all of that as an act of obedience rebuked their lifestyles. His righteous lifestyle was a rebuke to their wicked lifestyle.

Black looks always blacker when you put something white next to it. The young men of Athens, one of them said to Socrates, I never like being with you because whenever I'm with you, you show who I am. It's hard to be next to somebody who's perfect. Noah was not perfect. I mean, he sinned.

I'll mention that in just a moment, but he wasn't perfect. But he did walk with God and compared to the generation in which he lived, he was blameless. So he obeyed God's word. He's working on a 15,000 ton ship in the middle of the desert because God said do it. And just by building that boat and living a righteous lifestyle, I believe God said this, I'm going to do it, was a rebuke to them. So just building the boat, number one. Number two, by preaching.

So what do you mean by preaching? Well, 2 Peter 2, verse 5 says, God did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly. So people must have asked Noah, what are you doing? I'm building an ark.

Why? Because God said so. Who's God?

The God who created heaven and earth, the God of Adam and his wife and the God of Seth and the God of Abel and the God of Enoch. You know that Noah would have been the subject of conversation by everybody, certainly around that area of the world. They were talking about him, it was a 120 year building project. And you know that they heard Noah preach and they saw the ark going up and they probably laughed and scoffed at him. But imagine the look on their faces the first time a rain drop fell. It never happened before, they'd never seen rain. All of a sudden, what's that?

And then another and then another and then another and then so much water. And don't you know when that ark started just lifting up a little bit off the earth, the panic that set in, all of the lifestyle in building the boat, all of the preaching of the coming judgment now being brought to bear. Back to that minority report thing. It is possible for the entire world at large to be wrong. The majority is not right.

In fact, the majority is seldom right. Third to the last verse in the book of 1 John chapter 5, it says, we know that we are of God little children, listen to this part, and the whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one. The whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one. Now think of Noah in his generation. Eight people, really one who was walking with God, brought his family in with him against the whole world that God destroyed.

The whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one. So by building a boat and by preaching, he became this testimony of warning of devastation. Now remember, the preaching started before Noah. The preaching started with Enoch, who had a son named Methuselah, whose name means, when he is dead, it shall be sent. His name was a prophecy of the coming flood because the year Methuselah died, after his 969th year, the year he died is the exact year, if you do the chronology, the timetable, that the flood came.

When he is dead, it shall be sent. So that's when the preaching began and then it really continued in the building and the preaching of Noah. So he witnessed deterioration. He walked in submission. He warned of devastation.

I'll give you a quick fourth point here. He won a reputation. Now all that's in one verse. Back in verse 7, by faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became the heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Now that's really the thrust of what this author is all about in this chapter, giving examples of people who are heirs of the righteousness of faith. Back to Noah, back to Genesis chapter 6 verse 8, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Chapter 7 of Genesis verse 1, God said, come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have found you righteous before me in this generation. The world found Noah ridiculous. God found Noah righteous.

You're a nut. You're saved. Come aboard the ark. Why was he righteous? Because he received grace. Why was he righteous? Simply because he believed. He believed that God was going to judge the world before God judged the world.

He believed rain would destroy the world before rain ever happened. He built a boat to prove his faith. Faith without works is dead. He wouldn't save by building the ark. He was saved by faith. He was an heir of the righteousness of faith, but that faith produced works, an obedient lifestyle.

That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Fact Check. Now let's go in the studio with Skip and Nate as they share some encouragement with you so you can make a lasting impact on the world. In today's teaching, we saw how God can use one person to make a world of difference. Skip, there may be someone listening right now who, being the only Christian in their family or in their workplace, might feel that they just can't make a difference for Jesus, even if they try.

Can you share some encouragement for that person? Yeah, first of all, recognize that the majority opinion isn't always the right opinion. In fact, usually it's the wrong opinion. Just because a lot of people believe in one thing doesn't make it right. In 1 John 5, John says, we know that we are of God, little children, and the whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one.

That's quite a statement, and it's an all-encompassing statement. So, given the fact that the world is often wrong when it comes to God, and you have a unique opportunity to shine the light in darkness, realize the darker it gets, the more noticeable the light. And right now, I'm talking to people who are sowing seed. You're sowing right now. You're speaking truth into the lives of people, and when you sow seed, it doesn't grow right away. It takes time. It takes a harvest season. So, don't be discouraged now while you're sowing the seed.

Let it grow. Watch what's going to happen in that. Your parents' or children's life, and the Lord's going to bring a harvest. That's good. So, in answer to that, they probably are making a difference, even if they don't think they are. Thanks, Skip and Nate. We love hearing amazing stories about how lives around the world are being impacted through this ministry, and you are a vital part of making that happen. Your support helps expand the reach of this ministry so more listeners can connect with God's Word and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite you to continue in that partnership today. Just visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give now. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or you can call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for connecting more people to Jesus. Tune in tomorrow as Skip shares how God works powerfully in your life when you choose to live by his promises. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-20 00:03:04 / 2024-01-20 00:12:35 / 10

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