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Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle - Part A

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December 2, 2020 2:00 am

Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 2, 2020 2:00 am

Noah's faith allowed him to look to the future as he refused to be conformed to the world. In the message "Fact-Checking Your Lifestyle," Skip encourages you to follow Noah's footsteps and not be afraid of going against the flow of popular culture.

This teaching is from the series Fact-Check.

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Most people are willing to blend into the background of culture and not stick out. It's easier to do that. Go with the flow. But you know what?

Any dead fish can float downstream. It takes real faith and stamina and guts to say, that's wrong. I'm going to go a different way. God calls all believers to be holy, which simply means set apart.

We should live differently than the world. Today on Connect with Skip Hitek, Skip inspires you to step out in faith and shine for Jesus and the world through the story of Noah. But first, we want to tell you about where you can learn about God and His Word in a flexible academic environment. Are you looking to pursue biblical studies beyond church and personal Bible study? Take your learning and your life's purpose to the next level with Calvary College. Registration for the 2021 spring term is open now, and the curriculum features both online classes and onsite classes at Calvary Church Albuquerque. Classes include biblical studies like Spiritual Foundations and The History and Authenticity of the Bible, plus classes and key books of the Bible like Daniel, Romans, and Revelation, with video content from world-renowned biblical scholar Skip Hitek. Calvary College partners with Veritas International University and Calvary Chapel University, so you can earn an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree or simply increase your knowledge in biblical studies. The deadline to get your application in for the 2021 semester is December 4th. Find out more and apply today at calvaryabq.college.

That's calvaryabq.college. Now, we're in Hebrews chapter 11 as we dive into our study with Skip Hitek. We're doing a study called fact check, and I love the whole idea of fact check because it's something that is a recent phenomenon. You can't say things today and get away with it unless it's true.

You've got enough people out there with a phone who can Google you right away to make sure you're not lying. And so you fact check. And in our life of faith with the Lord, it's essential that we stop with all the messaging the world is giving us to see if that's accurate or not.

Usually it's not. And to fact check that with truth that we find in the Word of God. Well, we come to a story tonight found in one verse of Hebrews 11, in the seventh verse. As I was reading this week, my mind went back to the scene in a movie called Jaws. You guys see that movie? Do you know I refused to see that movie when it first came out because of where I lived? I lived four blocks from the ocean. I wouldn't see it because I knew that people wouldn't go in the water.

A lot of my friends wouldn't do it, so I just refused to see the movie. But when I did see it, there's one thing in the movie when Brody, I think Brody is like the chief of police, he's on the boat and he sees that big shark, that big monster come by and he says to the captain, you're going to need a bigger boat. And usually that's come to become a catch phrase for if something goes wrong, you're going to need a bigger boat. But in the case of Noah, whatever he thought were the instructions from the Lord to save he and his family, it was more than that. He was going to save the inhabited world, all the animals included. He was going to need a bigger boat. You have to admit it takes enormous faith to build a boat, to build a box the size of an aircraft carrier inland in Iraq where there is no body of water for anything that size.

Noah, through the building of this ark, preached the coming judgment of God upon the earth. Most people in that day and age, they'll believe the fake news. The fake news is you can live any way you want to live, didn't matter.

As long as everybody's doing it, just go with the flow. Noah was one of just a very small people, a minority report, who said that's fake news. Fact check, we have to walk with God. Fact check, we have to be pleasing in God's sight.

Fact check, we have to go his way. So that's sort of it summed up in a nutshell. Tonight we're going to look at that fact checking your lifestyle. Your lifestyle, the manner of living. You and I can't live any way we want to live, doesn't matter if everybody's doing it.

Most people are willing to blend into the background of culture and not stick out. It's easier to do that, go with the flow. But you know what, any dead fish can float downstream. It takes real faith and stamina and guts to say that's wrong, I'm going to go a different way. Here's the biblical mandate, we know it all so well from the book of Romans. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. I believe Noah really encapsulates that in his lifestyle.

There was a French philosopher who said those who walk on the well trodden path always throw stones at those who are walking a new road. The road that Noah walked was the road of obedience and that's because he had insight into the future. He had foresight and insight because of a revelation that God gave him of something that was coming down the pike that would wipe out the whole world. I'm reading an article about eagles, not that I read articles about eagles necessarily a lot, but this one article said that eagles have the ability to see so well because they have eight times the amount of visual cells per cubic centimeter, eight times than a human being. So what that translates into, an eagle at 600 feet can spot an object the size of a dime in six inches of grass. Because of that construction of the eye, an eagle can spot a three inch long fish jumping in a lake five miles away. Don't you wish you could see that well? The older I get, I always remember the days when I could see better than I do, but I could never see that good. None of us could.

But an eagle can. Now faith gives you a certain amount of foresight, a certain amount of insight, an ability to see what people can't see. So we look at that in verse seven. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. So far we've looked at a couple other examples in the book of Hebrews chapter 11. We've looked at Abel, we've looked at Enoch, and now we look at Noah.

He is the third example in this list. Abel is the example of worshiping faith. Enoch is the example of walking by faith. And now Noah is the example of working faith or faith that works. James said faith without works is dead. So whatever you believe should be translated into your behavior.

Belief will correspond to behavior of its genuine faith. Now we're looking at verse seven, and I just want you to think about this as we're delving into it and unpacking this verse. We're looking at one verse. One verse to sum up the entire story of Noah. So think of it, the author of Hebrews is summing up in a single verse, Genesis chapter six, chapter seven, chapter eight, and chapter nine by this one verse.

Forty-one words he tells the entire story of Noah, all those four chapters. Now because he does that, there's an assumption that is made. He is assuming that the audience to whom he is writing has a working knowledge of the story, because he's summing it up. He wouldn't just tell a story of some obscure name and no reference at all.

He's assuming that they already know the story. And that's because he's writing to the Hebrews. So because they are Hebrews, this is their history. They all knew the story of all the people he mentions. The list here in Hebrews 11 would be considered a cryptic list.

It's not an exhaustive, detailed list. It's just, you know, we'll talk about Abel in a couple of verses, and then Enoch in a couple of verses, and then one verse of Noah, assuming that the audience knows all these stories. And of course they did. They were Jewish people who knew their history and he's working off of that. Noah is the man who put feet to his faith. He walked in faith. His faith produced action. Now faith is the only way to reach God.

Not religion, not ceremony, not ritual, not effort. But there was a Judaism that had been sort of accepted by the time that the author writes this in the New Testament that it was a corrupted, perverted form of Judaism. And that perverted form of Judaism had come to believe that you can be pleasing to God by your own effort, by your own works, by your own rituals, by circumcision, by ceremony, etc. What point the author is making is that God never allowed that. God always and only accepted people by faith, not just in the New Testament, but Old Testament as well.

It was always salvation by grace through faith. And he quotes, back in chapter 10, the book of Habakkuk or Habakkuk, depending on what part of the country you're from, chapter 2 verse 4, the just shall live by faith, or my righteous one shall live by faith, back in chapter 10 verse 38. So that's an Old Testament thing. And so he's saying this idea of faith isn't new, although a lot of them were thinking, boy, this just trusting in Jesus for my salvation. This is new doctrine.

He's saying, no, no, no. It's all the way back to Abel and Enoch and Noah. That's the example he is using to show them and to undergird the idea that salvation by faith was always God's plan. Now this perversion of coming to God by works is something Paul said was part of his own personal experience.

He gives his testimony in the book of Philippians. And he says, I was circumcised on the eighth day of the stock of Israel of the tribe of Benjamin. I was a Hebrew of the Hebrews as touching the law of Pharisees concerning righteousness which comes from the law. I was blameless or perfect, but then I made a discovery.

All these things that I thought were gain were actually rubbish. And I pushed them aside that I might gain Christ and be found in Him not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but the righteousness which comes by faith in Jesus Christ. That's Paul's experience. He is saying what the writer of Hebrews is saying, they may be one in the same, they may be different.

I talked about that a few weeks ago. But he's saying that God always and ever and only allowed people to approach Him not by works, not by religion, not by ceremony, not by circumcision, but only by faith. So he's giving these examples.

That's part of the fact check. So we're given one verse to sum up four chapters. So what we need to do is go back to chapter six of the book of Genesis to kind of fill in the details so that we really understand. I'm going to read verse seven again then we're going to go back. By faith Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen moved with godly fear prepared an ark for the saving of his household by which he condemned the world and became heir to the righteousness which is according to faith. Now go back to Genesis six and let's not sort of dig into the story and get the details and I'll kind of give you a working outline. First of all, Noah witnessed a deterioration.

His culture, you're going to see, is very similar to our culture. And why am I bringing this up? Because Jesus made a promise, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. He's referring to His second coming.

So he's saying here's the tip-off. When the world gets as bad as it was in the days of Noah before God judged the world, that's how it's going to be in the very end. So the days of Noah, the coming of the Son of Man. Noah experienced and witnessed a deterioration. Noah lived at one of the worst times in human history.

Let me rephrase that and say probably the worst time in human history except for the time of the end. Because God destroyed the entire population base of planet earth, it was that bad. So back in Genesis chapter 6 verse 1, it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful and took wives for themselves, of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his day shall be a hundred and twenty years. There were giants on the earth in those days and also afterward when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them.

Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth and he was grieved in his heart. So the Lord said, I will utterly 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. The chapter begins by talking about an increase in population. It says men began to multiply on the face of the earth. Now without going into too much detail, let me just assume that you have a working knowledge of some of the earlier chapters of Genesis, so you know that people at that time were living enormous lifespans, you know, 800 years old, 700 years old, 600, 900, Methuselah, 969. You can have a lot of kids if you live that long.

There can be a lot of multiplication if the lifespan is that high. And it was during that time, and I've written a book on Genesis that explains how that worked and how it is possible and filled in all those details. So there was a massive increase in population. There's a great book called The Genesis Flood by Dr. John Whitcomb and Henry Morris.

And these are two scientists who apply their science to the text of Genesis. They took the geological tables found in the book of Genesis and calculated the longevity and average number of kids per family, probably, and they came up with a figure that at the end of 18 generations there would be 774 million people. At the end of 18 generations, 774 million people, and that a conservative estimate of the earth's population at the time of the flood, or by the time of the flood, could easily have been one billion people, one billion people, and could have even far exceeded that. Now just think about that for a moment because at the time of Jesus Christ, millennia later, the earth's population, we figure, is about 250 million. So it had gone down from a billion.

That's because God destroyed everybody. It took till the time of Christ to get 250 million people. It took till 1804 to get one billion people again back. So if there were a billion people at the time of the flood, I don't know, but if there were, it took till the year 1804 to have that happen again. Now today there are 7.8 billion people on this dirt clod in the sky called the earth. It's estimated that by 2150 there will be far more than 11 billion people.

We are multiplying on the face of the earth. Now I'm bringing this up because this makes Noah's walk with God all that more noteworthy. If there were a billion people, there were only eight out of all the people on earth who walked with God. And really, I think they got in because they were related to Noah. Noah walked with God.

He found favor in God. So talk about a minority report. Everybody is going one direction.

Noah said, not going to do it. So there was an increase in population. Second thing to note here in our text is there was an increase in sexual depravity. It says in the next couple of verses, the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful and took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

Now this is actually one of the most asked questions I've ever gotten by people. Who are the sons of God? Who are the daughters of men? And who are these giants? The Hebrew word Nephilim.

Who are they? Well there's a few different views. View number one there are fallen angels who married human women. Fallen angels, demonic angels who married human women. That's the interpretation because in the Old Testament the term sons of God is usually most always a reference to angels.

In fact probably without exception. In the book of Job the sons of God appeared before the Lord. And Satan was among them and had to give an account of God in chapter 1 and chapter 2. Also in 2 Peter chapter 2 and in the book of Jude verses 6 and 7, it identifies angels with this incident in committing some grave sin. So that's one interpretation. Now the response to that interpretation, and I don't want to get bogged down in the weeds here, but the response to that is angels don't reproduce. Jesus said in the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be like the angels.

So because angels are non-corporeal beings, you like that term, non-corporeal, means they don't have a body, because they're spirit beings, non-corporeal beings don't mate with corporeal beings and have offspring. So that's one thought. The other problem with that is the idea of Nephilim, these giants, they appear, the same word is used, of the giants in the land of Canaan when the 12 spies go out to look at the land of Canaan and bring back a report, they saw giants in law, Nephilim, in Numbers chapter 13 and chapter 14, and so if they were destroyed by the flood, what are they doing, the giants, doing here at that time?

So that's one idea. They were demonic beings, fallen angels, marrying human women. Interpretation number 2, these are godly descendants of Seth marrying ungodly women from the lineage of Canaan. So godly Sethites marrying ungodly Canaanites. Now the response to that, against that interpretation, is that sons of God in the Old Testament. That would be then an exception to the term sons of God in the Old Testament, which is used almost exclusively to refer to angelic beings.

So you see the problem we have. Here's a third interpretation. These are rulers who married women, dynastic rulers, human rulers who married women. They may have been controlled by demons, controlled by fallen angels, but they are just simply human rulers who marry women, because in ancient literature, the term sons of God is often given to rulers of kingdoms. So the idea then in this interpretation is these are simply kings wanting to build up their harems. And so the sons of God went to the daughters of men. The problem is the term Nephilim. These are big people.

They're called giants. But it also says they are men of renown. And so this interpretation favors, they're just simply talking about powerful giant-like, in their stature, militarily powerful military leaders. So I've given you three interpretations. I haven't told you which one I believe. I'm just going to let that kind of, you can argue among yourselves.

I do lean to an interpretation. I won't tell you what it is. And here's why. I want to get to the meat of this without distracting from it. Whatever it was, it was bad. Whatever it was, it was immoral. Whatever it was, it was sexual. Whatever it was, it was against God's original design.

Simply put, at the time of Noah, there was a breakdown of the traditional family, replaced by a wholesale sexual freedom. Now does that sound familiar? Does that sound contemporary?

That's Skip Heisig with a message from the series Fact Check. Right now, we want to share about a helpful resource that will help you rediscover the power of prayer. Recent research has found that Google searches for the word prayer have surged worldwide, alongside the spread of the novel coronavirus. In fact, Google Trends data shows that the search intensity for prayer doubles for every 8,000 COVID-19 cases. But is there a right way or a more effective way to pray?

Here's best-selling author Kay Arthur. Where the battle's raging, we're to be on the front lines. On the front lines on our knees, on the front lines standing in the full armor of God. Kay's book, Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days, offers simple but powerful instruction on how and what to pray, and what to expect when you do. And it's our way to say thank you when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. We're excited to share how God uses support from friends like you to connect others to His Word. Just listen to this letter one listener sent in.

Thank you so much for your clear, true, precise, interesting, and challenging messages. There is nothing I enjoy more than good preaching and teaching of God's Word. I'm so thankful a friend at church put the word out about your ministry on 91.3.

You make stories like this possible when you give to connect more people with God's Word. So we invite you to continue that support by giving today at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow. As Skip Heisick shares how you can live with a bold and unyielding faith just like Noah did. 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. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection. Connection. Connect with Skip Heisick is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-20 09:05:40 / 2024-01-20 09:15:07 / 9

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