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PORTRAIT OF A DOOMED WORLD

(SERMON #41 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, April 20, 2008

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).


There have been a great many views concerning this passage of Scripture. The Scofield Study Bible (note on Genesis 6:4) gives the two most prominent ones. I am not going into all the pros and cons of these views because I feel that would take away from the main thrust of the passage which is,

“God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

How did mankind get into this deplorable condition? The human race had become so obnoxious to God that He was about to destroy mankind in the Great Flood. But how did that happen? How had the human race become so miserably wretched? I believe there are three explanations in Genesis 6:1-4.

I. First, they were demonized.

Please read Genesis 6:1-2 aloud.

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Genesis 6:1-2).

I think Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck’s commentary is correct when it says,

The sons of God were not divine; they were demon-controlled. Their marrying as many women as they wished…was to satisfy their baser instincts. They were just another low order of creatures, though powerful and demon-influenced (John F. Walvoord, Ph.D., and Roy B. Zuck, Th.D., The Bible Knowledge Handbook, Old Testament, Victor Books, 1985 printing, p. 36).

That seems to me a sensible explanation of Genesis 6:1-2. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown said that the idea that the “sons of God” are fallen angels “is of great antiquity,” being held by early Jewish rabbis, the historian Josephus, and early Christian theologians such as Justin and Tertullian, as well as more modern commentators such as Dr. Franz Delitzsch (Robert Jamieson, Ph.D., A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976 reprint, volume I, p. 87). This view is also given by Dr. John MacArthur. Although I think he is wrong on the Blood of Christ, he correctly says,

The sons of God [are] identified elsewhere [in the Bible] almost exclusively as angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7)…the passage [Genesis 6:1-2] puts strong emphasis on the angelic vs. human contrast. The NT [New Testament] places this account in sequence with other Genesis events and identifies it as involving fallen angels who indwelt men (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur Study Bible, World Bibles, 1997, note on Genesis 6:2).

That, in my opinion, was the case. The “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2, as the Walvoord and Zuck commentary says, “were demon-controlled…and demon-influenced” (ibid.). Thus we see the first reason that the human race was in such a deplorable condition before the Flood.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Is there any application of this in our day? I believe there is. Jesus said,

“As the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).

Man has always been subject to Satan’s influence. The Apostle Paul tells us that Satan

“Hath blinded the minds of them which believe not”
      (II Corinthians 4:4).

The Gospel is, thus, “hid to them that are lost” (II Corinthians 4:3). The Apostle Paul also spoke of

“The prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).

These passages refer to the blinding and enslaving work of Satan in those who are unconverted. But the Bible prophesies that such Satanic activity will increase at the end of this age,

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”
      (II Thessalonians 2:11-12).

We seem to be living in that time in history. Satan is more active than ever.

“As the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).

In these evil days, you must turn fully to Christ, receive Him as your Saviour, and come into the full membership of the local church, as Noah entered into the ark. Only Christ can save you. There is no other way to escape the coming judgment.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

In the days before the Flood, there was a great deal of demonic activity, blinding the minds of men, and leading them into Satanic captivity. That’s the first reason this passage gives us for the terrible state of mankind before the Flood. They were demonized.

II. Second, they resisted the work of the Holy Spirit.

Please read Genesis 6:3 aloud.

“And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3).

Dr. Henry M. Morris said,

The most natural reading of the passage refers to God’s Holy Spirit in His ministry of “convincing the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). As the moral and spiritual character of the antediluvian world degenerated, especially following the demonic takeover first described [in Genesis 6:1-2], it was apparent that the people had become so hopelessly corrupt as to be beyond reclamation. They had completely and irrevocably resisted the Spirit’s witness…God has always been long-suffering, even under such awful conditions as prevailed in the days of Noah (I Peter 3:20). Though all had rejected Him, He still granted 120 years to mankind in light of the bare possibility that some might “come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). This was more than adequate time (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 edition, pp. 170-171).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee had great insight into the activity of the Holy Spirit before the Flood. He said,

We believe that Noah preached for 120 years, and during that time the Spirit of God was striving with men. Peter makes it very clear that back in the days of Noah the Spirit of God was striving with men that He might bring them to God – but they would not turn… (I Peter 3:18-19). These spirits were in prison when Peter wrote, but they were preached to in the days of Noah. How do we know that? Verse 20 [I Peter 3:20] reads, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” When were they disobedient? During the longsuffering of God in the days of Noah – during those 120 years (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981, volume I, pp. 36-37).

Thus, the people in Noah’s day committed what we now call the “unpardonable sin.” Concerning Genesis 6:3, Dr. John R. Rice said,

An unpardonable sin? Yes, and even today, no doubt the Spirit calls and calls. But a heart may become so set against God and no longer amenable to His sweet insistence and thus pass beyond the time he can ever be saved. God does not change, but when it is no longer possible that one can be saved, the Spirit of God quits His calling: “My spirit shall not always strive with man,” the Scripture says (John R. Rice., D.D., In the Beginning, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1975, page 190).

There is a great warning in those words, “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). Dr. Rice made that warning very clear in one of his famous songs:

You have waited so flippantly, refused Him so lightly,
You have sinned long and dreadfully, your heart is so wrong.
Oh, if God grows impatient, the sweet Spirit offended,
If no longer He calls you, doom is yours when He’s gone.
Then how sad facing judgment, you’ll recall with no mercy,
That you tarried and lingered till the Spirit was gone;
What reproaches and mourning, if when death finds you hopeless,
You have tarried and lingered and have waited too long.
   (“If You Linger Too Long” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

Yes, they waited too long. They resisted the work of the Holy Spirit. They remained blinded by Satan. But there is a third explanation of our text,

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

III. Third, they were fallen creatures.

Please read Genesis 6:4 aloud.

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4).

This is one of the very few places that I think the King James Bible needs clarification. The Hebrew word “nephilim” is translated “giants” here. This is because the King James translators were influenced by the Septuagint Greek translation of “nephilim” as “gigantes.” But the original Hebrew word “nephilim” does not indicate that there were gigantic people before the Flood. I think Dr. Henry M. Morris gave a clear picture of what this means when he said,

The word in the Hebrew is nephilim and comes from the verb naphal (“fall”). Though some commentators suggest that the word means “those that fall upon” – that is, “attackers” – the more natural and probable meaning is “those who have fallen” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., ibid., p. 172).

Notice that the “nephilim” existed before the demonic entrance,

“There were giants [nephilim – ‘fallen ones’] in the earth in those days [the days of Noah]; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4).

Dr. McGee said,

These were not monstrosities; they were men. The record here makes it very clear that the [“fallen ones”] were in the earth before this took place [Genesis 6:2], and it simply means that these offspring were outstanding individuals (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., ibid.).

I believe that the “nephilim” simply speaks of man in his fallen state – the “fallen ones.” I know it would be far more exotic and entertaining to say, as some do, that these men were gigantic monsters, but I cannot find any justification for that in Genesis 6:4. However, we can find many places in the Bible that speak of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says,

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12).

Arthur W. Pink said,

Adam took things into his own hands, revolted from God and trampled His law beneath his feet…Through the sin of its head [Adam] the [human] race was ruined and fell into a state of most horrible moral leprosy. Ours is a fallen world; averse to God and holiness, iniquity abounding in it, death reigning over it, lust and crime characterizing it, suffering and misery filling it (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings From the Scriptures: Man’s Total Depravity, Moody Press, 1981 edition, p. 46).

Pink describes man's fallen nature, which our text so graphically pictures,

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Mankind is no different now from what it was then. Man is cut off from God by his sin-nature, violently opposed to God in his heart, and doomed to a fearful judgment in the future. That is why Jesus Christ came to this earth. The Bible says,

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
      (I Timothy 1:15).

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He rose from the dead to give you life. Turn to Christ and He will save you, and wash your sins away with His precious Blood.

In times like these you need a Saviour,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the one;
This Rock is Jesus, the only one!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
   (“In Times Like These” by Ruth Caye Jones, 1944).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 6:1-5.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“In Times Like These” (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1944).


THE OUTLINE OF

PORTRAIT OF A DOOMED WORLD

(SERMON #41 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

I.   First, they were demonized, Genesis 6:1-2; Matthew 24:37;
II Corinthians 4:4, 3; Ephesians 2:2; II Thessalonians 2:11-12.

II.  Second, they resisted the work of the Holy Spirit, Genesis 6:3;
John 16:8; I Peter 3:20; II Peter 3:9.

III. Third, they were fallen creatures, Genesis 6:4; Romans 5:12;
I Timothy 1:15.