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HomeAll The NewsSTAND FIRM: The Epic Story of Truth (Part 3): Continued Sin, Judgment,...

STAND FIRM: The Epic Story of Truth (Part 3): Continued Sin, Judgment, and Creation

      In Acts 20, Paul tells the gathered believers that in his teachings he had not shrunk back from the whole counsel of God. We should have that same goal. The whole counsel of God is the whole Bible, but there are parts of the Bible narrative we tend to push off as fringe subjects, such as prophecy, the unseen world, God’s continued plan for Israel and other culprits. If you’ve followed my articles, you may think the opposite of me — I seem to only focus on the overlooked and left-out parts of Scripture. That might be a fair assessment, but we must see how these often forsaken aspects of the Bible fit into the whole narrative. In this series, I’m telling that complete narrative.

      We started at creation and saw how, even as the earth is cursed and man is cast out of the Garden of God, there’s a promise made. That promise, found in Genesis 3:15, is that a promised one will come and defeat the serpent — Satan. Then the curse will be lifted. That’s found in the first of the Bible. In part 2, we flipped to the back of the Bible to the Book of Revelation, where we’re told of the Promised One coming and defeating Satan. Then the earth is made new, and we’re restored to that walking-with-God-in-the-cool-of-the-day relationship with the Father.

      Flipping back to Genesis the narrative continues from Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden and their consequences, and there the same theme (sin) continues. For 1,600 years, sin continues to permeate the world until God says enough and sends the judgment of the flood. Though mankind continued to sin and rebel against God, some godly people remained. In extra-biblical sources, they talk about men such as Adam, who lived 930 years, and over half of that period warned against turning from God. Seth, Enoch, Methuselah and Noah all preached against wickedness, but mankind still failed to repent. In Peter’s second epistle, he calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. Methuselah’s very life was a prophecy, as his name meant, “When he dies, judgment will come.” Interestingly, he was the longest-living man in history which, even in warning of judgment, points to God’s grace.

      Along with the sin of mankind, there’s also the strange account of a possible angel rebellion in Gen. 6:1-4 that led to the ones referred to as the Nephilim: “When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.’ The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown” (Genesis 6:1-4 ESV).

      Of course, that’s a loaded subject (speaking of avoided topics) with different views that I’ll tackle at a later point.

      In Genesis 6, God refers to the world as corrupt and sends the judgment of the flood: “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways” (Gen. 6:11-12 NIV). Through it, He saves Noah and his family in the ark. Following the flood, when the ark comes to rest on dry land, Noah and his family, with the preserved animals, deboard and restart creation again. Of course, this is a story we’re all very familiar with, but in the closing of the flood account in Genesis 9, God drops a hint to more of the story. It’s there where we see again how the return of Jesus and prophecy fits in the epic story of truth.

      Since we’re familiar with the New Testament prophecies, it’s easy to gloss over the “easter egg” tucked away in the flood account. Following the flood and in the giving of the rainbow, God promised Noah: “Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you — the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you — every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth’” (Gen. 9:8-11 NIV).

      Did you see the “easter egg”? God promised Noah that He would not destroy the world again with water. Wouldn’t it had been more comforting if God said He wasn’t going to destroy the world again period? He couldn’t because that’s not what lies ahead. Here 1,600 years into human history and nearly 4,400 years ago, God hinted that there would be another judgment on the world that would lead to destruction. He doesn’t tell what that will look like, but just that it won’t be by flood. That means a destruction lies ahead, and it’s the prophecies of that destruction to which we’ll turn to in the next article.

      Dive into the Epic Story yourself by reading Genesis 6-9.

         — Jake is a state missionary and would love to share about the work in Northwest Arkansas and encourage your church to stand firm. (