Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTAND FIRM: The Epic Story of Truth: Part 4 - Sin Again,...

STAND FIRM: The Epic Story of Truth: Part 4 – Sin Again, Judgment, and Restart

      In this retelling of the epic story of truth — the narrative of the Bible — we keep bouncing from the beginning to the end. We started at Creation in the first of Genesis, then jumped to the New Creation at the end of Revelation. In the Creation account, a clue pointed to that New Creation and what brought it about. That clue is the promise of the skull crusher in Gen. 3:15. Then, we went back to Genesis in Part 3 to see how the sin of the Garden continued. God warned, but there wasn’t a repentance of the majority, so God sent the judgment of the flood. Following this judgment, Creation started over with the faithful remnant. In the account of that first apocalyptic judgment during the days of Noah, a hint was dropped of a future one. That “easter egg” compels us to flip to the end of the Bible again to read more about that coming judgment.

      Not only does the foreshadowing in historical events point to the mastery of the Author of Life and Scripture, so does His poetic nature. The Old Testament is full of Hebrew poetry. When we think of the poetry of the English language, rhyme is the key trait. Hebrew poetry is different. The key trait within Hebrew poetry is parallelism. Parallelism is when alternate lines of a poem have a related thought. There are diverse ways in which parallelism appears, but one way is what I refer to as bookending. I’m sure there’s a more technical name, but I like mine.

      This type of parallelism is when a passage, or even a book, has lines that parallel each other in a descending and ascending way. It would look like this:

      “A” Statement…

            “B” Statement…

                        “C” Statement…

            “B” Statement…

      “A” Statement…

      In this case, the central statement is often the focal point. Not only is this how the poetry appears in the Old Testament, but it also seems to be how God masterfully designed reality. Just as this age begins with Creation, it closes with a new creation, and so on. That is why we’re alternating from the beginning of the biblical story to the end.

      So just as in the early parts of this age, sin continues until reaching a fever pitch with the Lord that leads to His judgment, His salvation of the faithful remnant and His restarting of Creation. This age closes in the same way.

      The New Testament prophecies that this age’s sin will increase and reach that fever pitch. In those prophecies, we see direct comparison to the “Days of Noah.” There’s also the comparison to the “Days of Lot,” which was the localized apocalyptic judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      Jesus warned of this increase in sin: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other…Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold… As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:10,12, 37-39 NIV).

      The Apostle Paul shared even greater details of this parallel to the days of Noah: “…There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power…” (II Tim. 3:1-5).

      In God’s promise to Noah after the flood judgment, God strangely doesn’t promise never to destroy the earth again, but rather only not to destroy it by water. So, anyone who fears a global flood due to all the melting of polar ice caps can lay that fear aside. Again, it would be more comforting if God had promised instead never to destroy the world at all, but God knew what was ahead. He knew how the epic story of truth would bookend.

      In the New Testament, through the Apostle Peter, we get the details of the future judgment of the continued sin that will come. Peter’s prophetic words also show how the faithful remanent will be preserved as Noah’s family was saved: “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of Creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (II Peter 3:3-10).

      These verses parallel the judgment of the flood with this future judgment of fire. It also points to God’s grace of giving the world chances to repent. It also expresses that, like Noah and his family, some will be saved.

      Passages we’ve already read in Revelation 21 and 22 tell how, just after the flood, the faithful remnant was used to restart the world, and after the destruction of fire, a New Heaven and New Earth will be created. Unlike the restart after the flood, mankind’s lives will not be shortened, but in this future New Creation, the world resets to that of the Garden of Gethsemane.

      Dive into the Epic Story yourself by reading Matthew 24, II Timothy 3, II Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22.

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

RELATED ARTICLES