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Courageous Faith



"By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us.
I would like to encourage all of you to please visit our Prayer Wall, as there have been a number of new prayer requests. Please add any prayers or concerns that you may have as well. We are all called to pray with and for one another, in keeping with the commands of our Lord. 

In the book of Genesis 6, we find that God told Noah to build the Ark. God laid out every detail, from the dimensions, to he was to build it from gopher wood and make rooms inside the ark, even how he was to seal the Ark. Noah was to seal it tar, pitch inside and out. It was to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high, it was said to have weighed nearly 14,000 pounds. 

Many modern ship builders today, have said, say given the dimensions of the Ark, it was made to float. But what I want you to see is that the ship was big enough to accommodate anyone that wanted to get on board. Even while the people were laughing at and mocking Noah, the Ark was big enough for them to get on board. God was saying whosoever will, let him come aboard and be safe from the judgment that is on the way.

Every day that Noah went out to do his work on the Ark, it was a testimony to those around that judgment is coming. Every day that Noah woke, he was closer to the coming of the judgment. That is exactly what the cross means today. The death of Jesus on the cross and faith in His finished work has made it possible for us to come aboard and be saved from the judgment that is on the way. 

Noah not only hear God's Word, he heeded the Word of God. Noah’s walk of faith became a working faith, even if it caused others to make fun and scorn him. His belief in God caused him to do exactly as God asked. I believe that is desperately needed in our world today.

 Let us pray.

 Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You for this Word, this great truth, may it speak to our hearts clearly and with power. We rejoice in its truth on one hand, grateful that we have found our way into the ark of safety who is Jesus Christ. Yet, at the same time, we weep for those who will perish in the devastation of that final judgment.

Your Word teaches us that as it was in the day of Noah, so will it be in the coming of the Son of Man. People will be going about the business of every day life, marrying, given in marriage, doing all their daily tasks, then suddenly, they will be swept away in fiery judgment, just as they were swept away in a flood of judgment.

Lord, we pray that we would be faith, to speak the truth boldly, courageously, warning them of the impending judgment that is to come. May we call them to the gospel of grace and the righteousness, which is imputed to those who have faith in Christ. We pray that many would come to the greatness of Your salvation. 

Father, reveal to us, those whose hearts You have prepared to receive the truth. May it all be for Your great glory and for Christ's sake.

In Christ's name we ask and pray
Today's Message: Courageous Faith
As we continue our walk with God through the marvelous book of Hebrews, today we will be looking at chapter 11, verse 7 and the courageous faith of a man named Noah. The theme of salvation has always been faith. As we have seen throughout our study, faith is not new. And faith is the point of this wonderful chapter, so we are given  a list of all those who can be classified as men and women of faith. The means of righteousness, both in the New Covenant and the Old Covenant was faith.
So far in this chapter, we have seen the great example of Abel and the life of faith. So have we seen the example of Enoch and the walk of faith. And now we come to Noah and the work of courageous faith. I believe that Noah’s story is really an amazing one. 
The writer of Hebrews provides us with the only detail here, and that is that he prepared an ark. He doesn't even tell us what for, because he knows they know the story. Like most of you, you know the story of Noah. His story refers to courageous faith, in light of things not yet seen. God told Noah, that something was going to happen, something that had never happened in the history of the world. He had nothing to go on except for God's Word. And Noah believed.
Open with me your Bibles to the book of Hebrews chapter 11. Before we begin, let’s go to the story of Noah in Genesis chapter 6, in order for us to get the full account, and better understand Noah’s faith. I believe, that in many ways, Noah's story in one of the most remarkable Old Testament illustrations of faith and one of the most remarkable in all of history, because of what it involved. 
I'll just read to you verses 9 through 13, no need to turn there. Genesis chapter 6:9-13
"These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth."

More than a thousand years have passed since the beginning of creation. The condition of the world had become worse and worse since the Fall, sin was running rampant. And, God comes to Noah and tells him He’s going to destroy the entire earth. God delivers a decree to Noah, that He is going to destroy the whole earth. He tells Noah that He is specifically going to do this by water. He is going to drown the entire human race, sparing only Noah and his family.

I believe that this is certainly the most remarkable judgment event in the Old Testament, the destruction of the entire human race, with the exception of Noah and his family. Every sinner faces the judgment of God, in fact, the Bible clearly tells us that God will judge sinners. History tells us that God is going to judge sinners.

God leaves sinners to their own devices, the fulfillment of their own lusts and desires, and then God suddenly and devastatingly intervenes in human history in cataclysmic fashion. In order to fond out what brought about this catastrophic judgment by God, let's look at verses 5-7. 
"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
God saw that the iniquity, the wickedness of man was great on the earth, that is what did it! And, verses 11-12, adds, "Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth."
Here, it describes the depravity of man. In other words, every thought, every idea, every motive, every imagination and therefore, every deed, the result of every thought was an expression of the fallenness of mankind. Man's heart was only evil continually. God, looked upon the earth, He was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. This is a kind of Hebraic way to express consummate grief.
As a footnote, the Hebrew word for violence is chamas, it is used of abuse of people and general rebellion. 
Notice in in the first half of verse 7, "The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land." The words "blot out,"  is very strong language. It is the Hebrew word, machah, it is precise, graphic language, that expresses the idea of erasing something. To remove it all together. 

God then speaks to Noah in verse 13, and tells him, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth."
In order to tell you just how bad it was, let's look at the opening four verses, "Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.  Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;  nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown."
In other words, people were literally welcoming demons to come into them, men welcoming demon-possession, cohabitating with women. And the fruit of those satanic alliances, were horrendous children that carried on the wickedness to its extreme levels.   
In verse 13, God speaks personally, for the first time to Noah, and He will speak to him three more times, in chapter 7 verse 1, chapter 8 verse 15, chapter 9 verse 1. And the message that God gives to Noah is the continuous message of a coming massive judgment upon the earth. By this time, there were millions of people in the world, though Scripture does not give us the exact number. However, is must have been terribly devastating for Noah to hear. And, for Noah to believe that this is actually going to happen, that this devastating judgement was going to occur, was certainly a great act of faith. 
The same skepticism, as Peter, in II Peter chapter, when he says "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation," must have existed in the mind of Noah. It had to be hard to swallow. 
Then, in verse 14, God tells Noah, "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch." Now, remember, in verse 13, God told Noah, that He was going to destroy the earth and all of the human race, but up to this point, He hasn't said how He was going to do it.  So, God gives Noah the command to build the ark, and without an explanation. That doesn't happen until verse 17. The word used for ark, was te·vat, which actually means chest or box. By the way, that word is only used one other time in the Old Testament and it is used in Exodus chapter 2, verses 3 through 5 to describe the box that baby Moses was put in, to float down the Nile. God used a box to save Moses so he could save Israel.  And, God used a box, to save Noah and his family, therefore saving the entire human race.
This was an immense task for Noah, even with his son helping him. Keep in mind, Noah was not a builder, he would have likely had to hire people to help him. He was to create many rooms, cover the inside with pitch, to keep it from leaking.  This would have been an enormous task. He just knows that God told him to build a giant box, 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high. In verses 15 and 16, he is told how to build it, still, he doesn’t know what the box is for.  
I find it interesting, that it is the largest vessel ever built until the nineteenth century when giant ships were built because steel was used, iron was used. The largest ship ever built, it was called the Himalaya and was launched by the P&O Line,. It was 240 feet long. That was the largest ship in history. Later that year, in 1858, they built the Great Eastern which was almost 700 feet long, a massive ship. And when that ship was built, historians say it was five times the tonnage of any ship previously built. It was so big that it was bigger even than ships that were built after it. 
 The ark then is way ahead of its time, its length is six times its width and keeps it stable in the midst of tossing seas. As a rectangle it has more stability. And because it’s a rectangle and doesn’t have pointed ends and then rounded sides, it is one third larger in capacity than a similar sized ship with a hull. The gross tonnage, 1415 thousand tons. The internal space, a hundred thousand square feet. The volume, 1.5 million cubic feet. Because God knows a thing or to about stability. In fact, ship builders even today will tell you six to one to eight to one is required for stability.
It could handle as many as 125 thousand animals. Some have calculated that the capacity was equal to five hundred and twenty-two boxcars. There were thousands of compartments inside this box, and still, no one knows for what. This was, in today's vernacular, a long term project, the flood is still 120 years out.And, we really don't know if Noah began building it right away, or if he thought about how he was going to build it for a while. I would tend to believe that he began construction on it fairly soon after God commanded him too. Nor do we know how long it took to build it.
In verse 16, we know that God gave him more detail. "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks." It is my understanding, that the roof overhangs the box and just below the roof there’s an opening all the way around for much needed ventilation. I'm sure you can imagine with all of those animals on board. Now, the word used here for window, tsohar, there are 24 occurrences in Scripture. It is very obscure but it appears to connect with sources that mean light.
So, the window opening would be around 18 inches wide between the roof and the sides of the ark just under the roof and interrupted only by the posts, to provide much needed ventilation and light, set back just under the roof so that the rain wouldn’t get in. The, God also tells him to "set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
I find it interesting, tat through all of these instructions, all this great detail on how Noah was to build the ark, he never asked God, even once "What am I doing all this for?" He just did exactly as God commanded him to without question. Then, in verse 17, we get the answer, "Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish." I love this beginning, “Behold, I, even I,"  Judgment is coming. Supernatural judgement, I am going to drown the planet.
As a footnote, the word "flood of water" it is the term, mabbul, and it is used only in Genesis 6 through 9. It is as though God picked a term exclusively to describe the catastrophic Great Flood.The only other use is in Psalm 29, where God's purpose is to destroy all air breathing creatures, everything excluding those in water who will survive. Everything that is on the earth shall perish. This is a worldwide flood because all of humanity, every person on the face of the earth dies. We also know it was a worldwide flood because it covered Mount Ararat, which is more than 17,000 feet high. By simple mathematical calculations, that would will tell you that if the flood water rises to above 17,000 feet, it isn’t going to go down just like that. It would spread over the planet. And, we know it’s a worldwide flood because its duration is 371 days, a little more than a year. 
Now, besides all that, I believe that Scripture is very clear when it discusses the theology of the flood, that this is a universal flood because it compares it to the coming destruction, II Peter 3. No need to turn there, I'll just quickly read that to you, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For  when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." That is a universal, worldwide destruction in both cases. Then, of course, there is the most obvious one, and that is because that’s exactly what the Bible says, only eight people survived, Noah and his family.
Then, in verse 18, we see a promise, this is the first-time covenant appears in Scripture, it is a covenant with Noah and his family, a promise to spare them. I'll just read verses 18-20, "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive." 
I have to be honest, if God told me to bring two of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive, I would have to ask Him, "Hello God, I hear you loud and clear, I know what You want me to do, but  just how am I to do that?" Then, of course, we see a bit later in the verse, that God is going to gather them.It says they "will come to you." But I imagine, if it were any of us, we would have said, Um, God, could You just go over that again? I mean, Rain? A flood? A giant Box? Two of every kind of animal?" Then, in verse 21, God says "As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them."
Then, we find the most remarkable statement in verse 22, "Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did." Noah did all that God commanded him to do. This is not a man to be underestimated. This is a man, Noah, believed that what God said was true, and he acted. What an act of courageous faith. 
This is the kind of courageous faith that the world needs to demonstrate today! God says it, so go do it. Period! Noah obeyed God’s Word when it was well beyond anything he could ever conceive or comprehend. He obeyed God. For no other reason, than because God told him to do it. You see, I believe that true faith doesn’t need to comprehend, true faith doesn't have to understand. Faith reaches out for something that is beyond what can be seen. After all, that is the essence of faith, isn't it?  That's why we walk by faith and not by sight.
Look, there is soon coming a day of divine judgment on the earth in the future by fire. We believe that, we have not seen that. But we believe because we live in faith and by faith we obey the gospel which is the ark of safety for us. God has provided for us an ark to rescue us from the coming day of future judgment and we have entered into that ark, the ark that is Jesus Christ. 
So faith is demonstrated by our obedience to God’s Word in a matter which we have not experienced or can even conceive. 
In Closing...

For 120 years Noah preached that judgment was coming in the form of a flood. You can imagine the ridicule that he received. I mean, people would probably come out and say, "Hey Noah, there is not a cloud in the sky and you say it is coming a flood to destroy the world. You must be crazy!"  Yet, not only did Noah preach but he was preparing a ark of safety for his entire family. He preached by both word and deed.

However, much like today,, none of the people believed the message that was being preached. There was only 8 people to escape the flood; Noah, his wife and his three sons and their wives. That's not a lot of converts for 120 years of preaching! But Noah was called to preach the truth and leave it to the Holy Spirit to impart that truth.

I know every Lord’s Day I preach the Gospel message that the time is soon coming when all the preaching will cease, and the judgment of God for those who reject Jesus Christ is on the way. But I can only offer you the ark of safety, and the way on board is by faith in Jesus Christ. I have been called to preach the truth in God's Word, its up to you to choose to get on board. It is my heart felt prayer, that you will..


May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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