America alone has more than 350 sects and cults, and most of them claim to base their doctrines on the Word of God.
We search the world for truth. We cull
The good, the true, the beautiful,
From graven stone and written scroll,
And all old lower-fields of the soul;
And, weary seekers of the best,
We come back laden from our quest,
To find that all the sages said
Is in the Book our mothers read.
—John Greenleaf Whittier
Genesis 6:5–7 (ESV)
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
When you look at Genesis chapter 3 you see the fall of Adam and Eve and death enters the world. You look at chapter 4 and 5 and it’s a series of obituaries that tell you as human society develops, as civilization becomes more and more advanced, as people enjoy the blessing of families and children and all that goes with it, life is punctuated finally by death and it’s a series of obituaries brought about by sin.
As man becomes more creative musically, economically, and poetically, as he becomes more creative in terms of what he can do, he also advances in his wretchedness. He advances in his wickedness. Here in Genesis chapter 6 the Lord is going to introduce to us a judgment that is going to fall.
When society fails to obey the will of God and the Word of God, God can step in and put an end to that society, as He did to the entire pre-Flood earth.
God destroys the entire world, except for eight people and that’s only 1656 years after creation. In fact, there’s only two chapters and a bit in to chapter 6, that’s all we have of that entire pre-flood society.
With the passing of time it became increasingly clear that humanity was unwilling and unable to live out the responsibilities of stewardship. Humans again violated their proper place within God’s order by overstepping the limits God had placed on them.
As a result of the evil activities which the people had adopted. God again saw the need to reassert His lordship and make a fresh beginning that could give the human race another chance at obedience.
The Canaanite cult (and most cults in the ancient Near East) included fertility rites involving the assumption that people are supernaturally affected through an object which represents them. Israel was warned to resist this because it was completely corrupt and erroneous.
It is probable that the corruption of the world, which had now reached its height, had been long and gradually increasing, and this idea receives support from the long interval granted. How wicked the human race had become, and death was its coming punishment as a result.
He is described as about to alter His visible way towards mankind—from being merciful and long-suffering, He was about to show Himself a God of judgment; and, as that sinful race had filled up the measure of their sins, He was about to introduce a terrible display of His justice.
God’s grace has its limits. In an individual’s life it has its limits. There will come a time when God no longer strives with somebody and with man in general it has limits. God cannot change.
Malachi 3:6 (ESV)
6 “For I the Lord do not change . . .
Ecclesiastes 8:11–13 (ESV)
11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
God does not want to punish but he is a just God and must do so when warranted.
Numbers 23:19 (ESV)
19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
In these words we sense the passion of the Lord. He had desired so much from humanity and was overwhelmingly disappointed.
Genesis 6:7 (ESV)
7 . . . for I am sorry. . .
So basically chapters 6–9 of Genesis answer the question, what is the end of man? Can he get away with pursuing life immorally and enjoying the pleasures of this world with reckless abandon? Is this life final or preparatory? God’s judgment makes the answer clear. But the expense seems so great. This judgment seems so harsh.
God had made man by design, but man had taken that capacity given to him and produced evil alone. There is hardly a stronger judgment in the Bible about the sin of mankind.
This passage gives insight into Jesus’ explanation.
Matthew 24:38 (ESV)
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,
Even though swift judgment would fall because God’s Spirit would not always shield mankind, the judgment would be delayed 120 years. During this time Noah was “a preacher of righteousness”.
2 Peter 2:9–10 (ESV)
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
Wilfred Grenfell was once asked what influenced him to give himself unreservedly to Christian missions. Slowly he told this story: “Into a hospital where I was a resident physician, a woman was brought one night terribly burned. Immediately it was evident there was no hope for her. Her husband had come home drunk and had thrown a paraffin lamp over her. The police were summoned and at last they brought in the half-sobered husband. The magistrate leaned over the bed and insisted that the patient tell the police exactly what happened. He impressed upon her the importance of telling the whole truth as she only had a little while to live.
“The poor soul turned her face from side to side, avoiding facing her husband, who stood at the foot of the bed. Finally her eyes rested on his strong hands, following them up his arms and shoulders and then across to his face. Their eyes met. Her expression of suffering momentarily disappeared, as tenderness and love colored her countenance. She looked at the magistrate and calmly said, ‘Sir, it was just an accident,’ and fell back on her pillow, dead.” Grenfell added: “This was like God, and God is like that. His love sees through our sins.”
The bible teaches us Satan is the father of lies.
John 8:44 (ESV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Jesus wants you to know the truth.
John 10:10–11 (ESV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
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