Condemn the world by coming to Christ.
Life became hard after the Fall. In cursing the ground, God made it become uncooperative and frustrating for man to work with. For all his effort he would get thorns and thistles more than fruit and vegetables. When you think about it you might see that it is so appropriate for God to do this to man. After all, God was not getting much “fruit” from man. After all His divine labor for man, man had only produced “thorns and thistles” for God.
One man keenly felt this struggle: Lamech. Reading 5:28-29 we see that Lamech had a son and named him Noah. Noah’s name means “comfort.” What did Lamech need comfort from? Lamech explains in 5:28-29“…..” [Read]. Life was hard after the Fall. I don’t know what Lamech knew, or merely hoped for regarding his son. But, we see Lamech clearly felt the bitterness of the curse God put on the ground.
We will be sailing through three points: the flood of sin, the flood of judgement, and the flood of mercy. Truth be told, we’re only getting through the first. So consider yourself in a sermon series. You’re thinking, “I thought we were already in a sermon series?” Yes, but my preaching is like the movie Inception, it can end up a series within series within series. You’re never going to wake up.
THE FLOOD OF SIN
Sin has come a long way since the Garden. By Noah’s day the world had become flooded with wickedness.
FIRST WE SEE SIN IN ACTION. Actually, God sees it. Notice verse 5, “The LORD SAW how great man’s wickedness had become…” Then verse 11, “Now the earth was corrupt IN GOD’S SIGHT” and then verse 12, “God SAW how corrupt the earth had become…” God sees what’s going on. “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere” Proverbs 15:3 says, “keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” In Revelation 1-3 Jesus spoke to 7 specific churches and to each one He began by saying, “I KNOW your deeds…”
APPLICATION: God sees everything in everyone’s life. Do we live like we know this? Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
The reason this matters is because what God sees He is judging. He is the holy Judge and everything is being judged by His holy standard. So it is not some indifferent, passive observation of all that happens on earth. God actively watches everything and is making a judgment on whether what He sees is in line with His holiness or if it crosses it. Make your life holy! Be like Noah, not like the world Noah lived in.
The evilness of the world in Noah’s day was plain as day. In verse 11 God says the earth was “full of violence” and in verse 13 he said it “is filled with violence.” Man has continued what Cain began and taken it to astronomical levels.
Notice the language: “FULL of violence” and “FILLED WITH violence…” Its like saying “Church was FULL this morning” meaning rather than a couple people showed up. It’s like saying “The refrigerator is FULL of food” as opposed to having just a few things in it. The fig tree has figs growing on it or it has nothing. The earth was FULL of violence. It’s not like the world was a good place and it was just that there were a few bad areas in the world that you just had to make sure and avoid. Everywhere you went it was the same corruption and violence and immorality and wickedness. Everywhere. Everyone. You couldn’t get away from it.
It reminds me of what God told Abraham in Genesis 15, verse 16, “.…for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” Their sin was in the process of growing and maturing. It was spreading far and wide and deep and high. It’s like 1 Thessalonians 2:16 when it says, “they always heap up their sins to the limit” or when Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:32, “Fill up then the measure of the sin of your forefathers!” Their sin added to their forefathers and God was keeping a record of each wicked generation’s sin and adding up to the previous generation’s until He finally decided to bring judgment. I believe this is related to the principle of “the children will bear the sins of the father” in that when God finally decides He is going to judge a nation the generation He chooses to do it to He is fully just in doing so. That generation is just like the previous generations, fully deserving punishment and
Sin is violent. The earth was filled with VIOLENCE it says. In Mark 7:20-21 Jesus lists a bunch of the sins we commit: “…evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, MURDER…” In Romans 1 Paul describes those whom God has given over to a depraved mind and he says in verse 29, “They have become FILLED with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are FULL of envy, MURDER….” (Rom 1:29-30) Describing the Pharisees Jesus said, “You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning.” (Jn 8:44). People murder out of hatred and jealousy and greed and fear.
APPLICATION: We are supposed to be the opposite of sin and violence: we are to be peaceful and promote life. Sin promotes death and discord and violence. Righteousness promotes peace and life. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peace-makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” Like Jesus said (and we memorized this last year) in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.” We don’t do physical or verbal violence to each other. In Noah’s day there were no peacemakers – only violence-makers. Let us not be among those
SECOND WE SEE THE SOURCE OF SIN: MAN’S HEART. The reason the WAYS of man were so corrupt is because the HEART of man was so corrupt. Look at verse 5 with me, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that EVERY inclination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY evil ALL the time.” Turn over to 8:21 with me and see what God says, “…even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.” The motions of evil are in every heart in every human being every day. This is the testimony of Scripture from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation – that every man is evil without exception:
- Jesus said to the rich young ruler “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)
- Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”
- Proverbs 20:9 condemns us all when it says, “Who can say ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’?”
- Turn with me to Romans 3:10-18, and 23. Notice two things: first, every single individual person is evil and second, notice the violence that is the result of sin.
This is not “them” back then. This is them then and this is us now. Everyone of us. If you are a descendent of Adam this is you and me. The Bible says this about you: You don’t care about God. You don’t care about righteousness. God’s holiness means nothing to you. Your hands are not clean. Your heart is not pure. You are not good. You are not righteous. You do sin – and sin and sin and sin and you will continue to. Your thoughts are sinful, your ways are sinful. You are morally wrong before God and there is nothing you can do to stop being morally wrong before Him. You do not please Him. You do not love Him. You please only yourself and you love only yourself.
Come clean with all this and confess it. You think God has no right to expect righteousness from you while you expect things from God all the time. The worst thing you expect is that He should accept the pitiful crumbs of “good” you toss to Him when you find it convenient. Do not think you can point to others who are worse than you. Do not think you can hide what you’ve done from Him. Do not think He is like you and so quickly and easily excuses what you do. Do not make the mistake of underestimating how holy He is and how serious he takes your sin.
There is no “gratification” in saying all this. This is meant to shake you up so you wake up and come to your senses and come to Christ. You are wasting time. You don’t have time. You think you do have time but what are you? You’re a vapor, a wave, a blade of grass, you are here right now but you’ll be gone in the next moment. That’s all you are – you’re a moment.
THIRD WE SEE HOW SIN SPREADS. It started with a single bite from one woman. But everywhere Noah looked everyone feasted on sin all the time with an appetite for more, more and more! Like Lot in Sodom, Noah’s righteous soul was tormented every day living in the midst of the filth and lawlessness all around him (2 Pet. 2:7-8).
Sin begets sin. It doesn’t stop or rest. It’s like COVID, or mold it’s spreads. Or as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:6, “a little yeast works its way through the whole batch of dough.” It spreads in communities from person to person. One of the reasons for Church discipline is to stop sin from taking over a church. If sin isn’t dealt with in a church it grows. Those who want a holy fellowship leave and those who don’t care start sinning more.
It spreads in us too individually. Go ahead and let a little sin in and watch how more follows. We get comfortable with a little bit, then a little more, then a little more, and one day we “wake up” and see how far from Jesus we’ve gotten.
Its like something that grows. It doesn’t stay a seed. It doesn’t stay an infant. Like an infestation begins with one bug. Like It doesn’t stay small and “contained.” It starts small but gets bigger. It grows and grows up. It goes from “managable” to out of control.
APPLICATION: Choose your friends wisely. As your friends go so go you.
APPLICATION: kill sin in the egg. Do not let it grow in your life. The best lawns are the ones that regularly are tackling weeds before they appear or before they can spread. The best Christain life is one that is dealing with sin when its small and subtle. Do not Deal with sin in its infancy. One of the most foolish things you can do is think you can “manage” sin and keep it at a manageable “size”.
CONCLUSION: HEBREWS 11
Noah condemned the world by building an ark. What a statement. I say the same thing to you today: condemn the world by coming to Christ.