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IGNORANCE OF THE FLOOD

(SERMON #45 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, April 27, 2008

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11).


Dr. H. C. Leupold says,

We are here now definitely informed of the [universal] corruption of mankind. Outstanding examples of wickedness had been mentioned in the beginning of the chapter [Genesis 6]. In verses 1-8 we are informed how deep sin had penetrated. Now we are shown how far it spread. Since a judgment of moral values lies before us, “earth” must be used [to describe] the “inhabitants of the earth.” [“The earth also was corrupt before God.”] “Before God” means “in the judgment of God.” Here is, therefore, not merely a pessimistic utterance of some disgruntled individual…In God’s esteem devastation had [occurred]. Man had received the earth [from God] and had sadly ruined his heritage. The second half of the verse marks a climax: “the earth was filled with violence.” Chamas is highhanded dealing; violating the rights of others…Nor were these cases isolated: the earth was filled with deeds of this sort (H. C. Leupold, D.D., Exposition of Genesis, Baker Book House, 1984 edition, vol. I, pp. 266-267).

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11).

Dr. Morris said:

In such a corrupt world we marvel that the sons of Noah had somehow escaped corruption…One factor which possibly helped was that their father probably kept them busy for many years in building the Ark and making preparations for the Flood (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 edition, p. 179).

That is a wise statement, filled with food for thought. I think Dr. Morris was right. Noah’s sons were so busy building the ark that they had no time to fritter away with the world, and be corrupted by it, as other young men were at the time. The Hebrew word translated “corrupt” means “ruin,” “wasted” (Strong). Many young people ruin their lives and waste the precious years of youth because they are corrupted by associating with the world.

I once complained to my mother that I spent too much time working in a certain ministry, but receiving little help for doing so. Mother said, “But it kept you out of mischief, didn’t it?” Of course she was exactly right.

So, I say to each young person in our church, “Throw yourself into evangelism. Put a great deal of work into your church. It will do you a great deal of good. It will build your character, and, most of all, ‘It will keep you out of mischief.’” Both of Dr. Morris’ sons are in the ministry. Their father, Dr. Morris, kept them so busy in their own church that they were kept free of the corruption in the world. Every young person here tonight should do the same. Don’t just come to church. Come every time the door is open! Don’t just sit in a chair and listen. Throw yourself into the work of Christ. It will keep you out of mischief and you will not be so influenced by the corruption of this world. Make this church your second home. Work for its advancement. Sacrifice to build it up. Throw yourself into the work with all your might!

But tonight I want to deal with the corruption of Noah’s day.

“The earth also was corrupt before God” (Genesis 6:11).

Why did the people become so corrupted, so ruined, living wasted lives? There are four places in the New Testament that give us the answer, and a warning to us all today as well.

I. First, they were corrupted because they were materialistic.

Please turn to Luke 17:26-27.

“And as it was in the days of Noe [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).

This sounds like the people before the Flood were engaged in normal enough activities. What’s wrong with eating? What’s wrong with marrying? But Jesus knew the background of these activities from the sixth chapter of Genesis. Jesus would have known Genesis six well and He would have known its implications. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ brought out the most innocent-sounding activities of the people before the Great Flood to prove His point – that they were so focused on the material things of life that they had no time for God. In their materialism, they were totally corrupted. There is no greater corrupting influence than materialism – living only for what one can get out of this world, and for the passing pleasures of life.

Noah’s sons were busy, far too busy for this foolish partying and running around with women that are implied in Jesus’ words in Luke 17:26-27. Thus, they were separated from the world by the work they were doing “in church,” building the Ark during their spare time. Doubtless, too, they met girls who caught the vision of building this great work for God called the Ark. These were girls that came and helped Noah’s sons, doing what they could for God.

Young man, that’s the kind of girl to look for – one that throws herself into the work of Christ, one who loves God and works hard in the local church. One who is deeply concerned in building up the church, as these young people in Noah’s day were in building the Ark. Their lives were centered around building up the Ark, “the house of the living God” in that time. Girls should look for a man whose life is centered in evangelism and church work. Men should look for a girl who thinks the same way. My wife, Ileana, is a great help to me in the ministry. I was drawn to her because I saw she loved God’s work. If you do the same as Noah’s sons and their wives you will find the right person to marry, and working together for God, you will be saved from the corruption of this evil time, as in the days of Noah

“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27).

They were playing instead of praying. They were flirting and fooling around, with lost people, and so they were corrupted.

“The earth also was corrupt before God” (Genesis 6:11).

But there is another reason why they were caught up in corruption.

II. Second, they were corrupted because they were ungodly.

Please turn to II Peter 2:5. Read the verse aloud.

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:5).

This verse tells us Noah was a preacher of righteousness. It is certain that he preached often on the coming flood, and the need for the lost to repent. I am sure that many thousands of people came to see this huge Ark being built on dry land. And I am equally certain that many of them stayed by the Ark to hear Noah preach about sin, righteousness and judgment. But did they pay attention to the preacher? They did not. They had probably heard him preach so often that they “tuned” out his sermons and thought about something else when he preached. Thus, Noah’s sermons had no more impact on these young people than the sermons in many Baptist churches have on the “church kids” who have been there all their lives. Pollster George Barna says that evangelicals now lose 88% of the young people raised in those churches. “They leave,” said Mr. Barna, “never to return.”

Why? Because they become so used to hearing a man preach that they pay little attention. They don’t think about what he said when they get home. They don’t come under conviction. They don’t come to fear God. They just sit like blobs of mud while the sermon is being preached, and then go out to play after the church service is over.

Think how many sermons these young people heard in Noah’s day. They lived longer then, largely because of different climate conditions before the Flood. These young people heard Noah preach over and over again, for 120 years. Yet they were never saved. They were as lost after 120 years of preaching as if they had never heard a single sermon!

The young people working on the Ark with Noah listened. Those young men and women heard what he preached, and, like him, “moved with fear [and] prepared an ark” (Hebrews 11:7). But the lost young people in the world just came to hear old Noah preach, and then went away to snicker and make jokes, and go back to playing and partying and fooling around with the girls. And the girls weren’t any better. So these “church kids” before the Flood never got saved. That’s why the Bible speaks of these young people as “the world of the ungodly.”

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:5).

And the flood of God’s judgment will fall on you too, if you don’t wake up, and come to Christ! Soon the wrath of God will fall on you as the Flood fell on them, and all were drowned, and their souls went down alive into the pit of Hell.

“The earth also was corrupt before God” (Genesis 6:11).

But there is a third reason they were corrupt.

III. Third, they were corrupted because they were ignorant
of the coming judgment.

Please turn to II Peter 3:5-6.

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:5-6).

I will speak again on these verses soon. It is enough to say tonight that those young people before the Flood were as “willingly ignorant” as those today who do not know Christ. They were ignorant of the danger of the Great Flood because they “willed” to be ignorant, they decided to be ignorant of it. They decided in their hearts not to worry about the coming judgment. When they heard Noah preach about it so plainly, they closed their ears and went out and played and trifled and forgot all about the sermon. Therefore, they, like people today, were “willingly ignorant.”

You see, you’ll remain totally ignorant of the Gospel if you don’t think about it. If you don’t go home and think about judgment and Hell, and salvation in Christ, you will remain as ignorant of Christ as they were.

Turn to Matthew 24:38-39. Please stand and read it aloud.

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:38-39).

You may be seated. Notice especially the beginning of verse 39, “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” Why didn’t they know? They saw the Ark. They knew why it was being built. They heard Noah preach about the coming judgment. But they just didn’t listen. Their minds wandered. The sermons went right over their heads. Nothing sank in. There was no fear in their hearts. They felt no conviction of sin. They were unconcerned about judgment and Hell. They thought little about sacrificial blood as a picture of atonement. So, naturally, they “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39).

Some day the judgment of God will fall on you. When it comes, it will come suddenly, as it did to them. If you are not prepared, you will sink down into the flames of Hell, just as they sank down in the waters of the Flood and drowned.

Oh, God! I pray that you will wake up before it is too late! Oh, God! I pray that you will seek Christ and come in to Him, and be washed clean from your sin by His Blood before God’s judgment falls!

(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 7:7-12.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Know the Bible is True” (by B. B. McKinney, 1886-1952).


THE OUTLINE OF

IGNORANCE OF THE FLOOD

(SERMON #45 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11).

I.   First, they were corrupted because they were materialistic,
Luke 17:26-27.

II.  Second, they were corrupted because they were ungodly,
II Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7.

III. Third, they were corrupted because they were ignorant of the
coming judgment, II Peter 3:5-6; Matthew 24:38-39.