Bella Vista Church of Christ

Vacation Bible School

7/17/18 Adult Class

Randall Caselman

 

Noah – One-In-A-Million

 

Thank you for being here tonight…

 

Our intent in this adult class is to strengthen and solidify our faith in scripture using the Noah Narrative.

 

We want to leave this series of lessons convinced that this Biblical Narrative is factual…That it could have happened… That it did happen.

Knowing this truth helps us better understand God…

• His existence…

• His love and concern for mankind.

• It solidifies our understanding that faith is a must for us…

• The narrative tells us that… If we are to have a relationship with God… Our faith must be strong enough to… Compel… Produce… Obedience.

 

Noah is proof positive that this faith/obedience formula makes us pleasing to God… And… And facilitates God’s promised reward for our faith in Him.

 

It all started in the sixties… A group of men led by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb… Started what was known as the Creation Science Research Facility in San Diego.

 

It was their desire to prove that the Genesis record could be and was scientifically plausible. This research group was spurred on by the publishing of this book… The Genesis Record… by Henry Morris.

 

They both did a lot of research on the Ark… And the Noah Narrative… Out of this grew a desire to build a model of the Ark that would prompt faith in God and draw people to Jesus and Him crucified.

 

It was in a storming session with Johan Huibers…The suggestion was made that it would be neat to build a model of Noah’s Ark for people to visit… Then came the unthinkable idea… That if they were going to build a model… Why not build it to Biblical specifications.

 

Wow… What a giant project… It would be the largest wooden structure in the World…

• The length of one-and-a-half football fields…

• Taller than a five story building…

• 100,000 square feet of floor space… One-and-a half million cubic feet of storage space.

Several of our church family have visited this structure in Williamstown, Kentucky.

 

The latest being Jerry & Barbara Orr… They have graciously loaned us a video of some of the more interesting aspects of building this giant structure…

 

Come Let’s See What We Can Learn…. START THE VIDEO…

 

Our part of tonight’s class is titled ONE-IN-A-MILLION…

The idea being that Noah and His obedient faith in God was One-In-A-Million.

 

The first point I want to make tonight is this… history can and will have a beneficial impact on our lives… If we will let it… If we will learn from IT.

 

• Listen to Paul … For everything that was written in the past was written… Listen now!!... Was written for our learning… to teach us… So that through endurance… And encouragement of the scriptures… We might have hope.

 

• In First Corinthians chapter ten… After reciting some things that happened in the history of Israel… Paul says… These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us.

 

Think about this class… God chose to write these historical facts for our learning.

 

The entire Old Testament was written just for us as Christians… To teach us how to respond to His love and grace.

 

C.S. Lewis said… For children of God… History is our divine plot.

 

Point two… I want you to take this thought… Set it aside… Let it soak… As we work our way through the lesson… Here’s the thought…

• God is interested in one person...

God is interested in one person... That’s you and me!!

 

Yes…God loves the world... But... God loves one... He loves each of us... As much as He loves the world.

 

I don’t know how He does that… But God can see six to seven billion people in our world…Yet focus on each of us individually… He is omnipresent… And omniscient.

• God can use the world…

• A whole nation…

• A family…  

To accomplish His purpose… Or… Or… He can use one person to accomplish the same purpose. The lesson is about our challenge of becoming that ONE... One in a million.

 

Point three… Sociologists and Anthropologists tell us there were approximately one million people on the earth during the days of Noah... Or at least this number was possible.

 

And when God decides... Because of ever increasing evil… To wipe the slate clean and start all over… He chooses Noah to be the one to initiate this new beginning.

 

So we can say that… Noah was one in a million.

The question is WHY... Why does God choose Noah?

 

Who is this guy that God chose out ofa million people?...

 

• Perhaps more importantly... How can we become such a person?.. god’s one in a million.

 

Well… What characteristics did Noah have... That allowed God to use him?

More importantly… What characteristics do we need... For God to use us…

For us to become God’s One-in-a-million?

 

Imagine now that God is about to destroy the earth again... And He is searching for one person... One family to start over. Do you think He would pick... You and your family? That makes us a little uncomfortable... Even thinking about it... RIGHT?

• Why Noah?....

• What kind of people can God use?...

• What kind of folk is HE LOOKING FOR?

 

Listen as I read from the text… Genesis chapter 6... Beginning with verse 5… 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....Sounds like our generation... RIGHT?

 

The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them.... But… (This is the key word in the whole chapter)... But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

 

So… What does it take to be God’s one-in-a-million?

 

First...God uses people who are available.

We must know tonight that God is not looking ...

• For the most extraordinary person...

• For the most talented...

• The most qualified…

• The richest...

• The prettiest...

• The most educated or intelligent.

After all... God is omnipotent!

 

He has the power to bless & equip anyone with everything needed to serve Him.

 

What God does not do... Cannot do... Because of His own restrictions... Is violate our free moral agency.

 

He created us with the freedom of choice…

• We can make ourselves available to God...

• Or... We can resist Him...

The choice is ours.

 

But... If we choose to be available... Then He… can... Will... promises...

• To empower us...

• Equip us...

• Enable us.

 

Class…Listen to these verses…

First Corinthians 9.10-11... God who gives seed to the sower... And bread for food… Can and will supply our needs for a harvest of righteousness.

 

Paul is saying that God will equip… Will supply us with whatever we need to serve Him…To produce His harvest of righteousness… Good deeds… etc!!

This Scripture is teaching us that whatever is needed… God will equip us… Empower us… To accomplish the task.

 

Ephesians 3.20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… God is at work in us.

 

Philippians 2.13… For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose… This passage tells us that God helps us to will and act… To desire and work according to His purpose…According to His Word.

 

Hebrews 13. 20-21… May God… That great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Here it is class… God doesn’t call the qualified… He qualifies the called.

 

He called Moses… And Moses said… I can’t… I’m not qualified.

God qualified Him… What is that in your hand?... Throw it on the ground… It becomes a snake… Pick it up… And it becomes a shepherd’s staff again. Put your hand in your coat… Take it out… And it was leprous…. Put it back… And it was healed.

 

God was saying to Moses… I qualify those I called… I will equip you with whatever you need to do the things I’m asking you to do.

Then God qualified Moses with ten Plagues!

 

You see…

Availability is much more important than ability.

Attitude is more important than aptitude.

 

God will supply the… THE aptitude... The ability... He will gift us…But we must be available…

• Noah was available...

• Abraham was available...

• Moses… After some reluctance… Was available...

• David was available...

• Peter... James... And John… Were available...

• Paul was available...

• Barnabas... Silas... Timothy... Titus… Were available...

• Dorcas was available...

•The women who served Jesus were available…

Am I?... Are you?... We must be like Isaiah… Be available… And found saying... Here am I Lord... Send me... Use me… Qualify me.

 

Class…When God providentially places before us...

• Opportunities to do good...

• Opportunities to serve others.

• Opportunities to speak a word of encouragement...

• To forgive...

• To mention Jesus to others...

• Opportunities to find our place in Kingdom work... Will we... Like Noah... Be AVAILABLE?... I pray that we will.

God help us be like these Historical people that God found available... AMEN?

 

Secondly... God uses people who are willing to be peculiar… Who dare to be different.

Look at verse 9... Noah was… A righteous man... Blameless among the people of his time... And he walked with God… Righteous… Blameless… Walked with God.

 

Class.. How many of us are willing to be… peculiar… Different… distenctive… Regardless of the… thoughts… disposition…Behavior… Of those around us?

 

It was Peter who wrote… You are a chosen generation…A royal priesthood… An holy nationA peculiar people… A different people… Belonging to God.

 

Paul tells us in Romans chapter six and twelve… That the people God can use as His instrument… As a living sacrifice…Are those willing to be… Different… changed… transformed… METAMORPHOSED… People.

 

2 Chronicles 16.9 says... The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

• God's eyes searched the earth that day five thousand years ago… and found Noah.

• God's eyes are searching the earth… Today… Tonight… Right now… Looking for the righteous… Those willing to become His instruments… His living sacrifices.

• Do God’s eyes come to rest on… ME... YOU?

 

Here it is class… We need to understand that… One person and God make a majority… Do we believe this?

• Do we teach our Young people that... At school… They and God are a majority?

 

• Fellows… At work... Out on the golf course... Do we believe that we and God are a majority?

 

• Ladies... In your friendship... Family... Social circles... Do you understand this principle?

 

• Does this church know that if we stand with God... In His Word... That if we walk in the Light… That we are a majority... Regardless of what other churches do?

 

I gotta tell you this is a real problem today... Even in our own brotherhood…Political correctness is conforming to the world… Not standing as… Different… Peculiar… Holy… Set Apart… Walking with God.

 

Noah confirms that God uses people who dare to be different... I hope that includes us!

 

Before we leave this point… I want to notice the points we made last night… That Noah was different… Pecular… Walking with God… Because he was…

Righteous...

Blameless...

Perfect…

The genuine church of Christ doesn't have to SEARCH for ways to be different.  We are not commissioned to point out our distinctive differences as a church.

 

My good people when we are... Righteous...Blameless... And walk with God... We will be distinctively different and… Everybody will know it... And notice it… Amen?

 

Conformity to this world was a sin in the day of Noah... And is a sin today… Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Number three... Noah was patient… God uses people who never give up.

If we understand verse three of chapter six correctly… God is saying that in 120 years… He will destroy the wicked.

 

Moses worked on his project of leading Israel to the promise land for forty years.

That's a long time for one project... But Noah bettered Moses by three times that.

 

Noah was on his project... Preaching… Proclaiming… God’s coming Judgment upon the wicked… And building the Ark...For 120 years.

 

Did Noah become discouraged?... I'm sure he did... But he never gave up.

Again…We must understand that… Walking with God… Christianity… Is a religion…

• Of Patience…

perseverance…

• Ofkeeping-on-keeping-on…

• never giving up.

 

It was Jesus who said… Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you… The devil will put some of you in prison to test you… And you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful… Even to the point of death… And I will give you the crown of life.

 

The Book of Hebrews was written to encourage perseverance… Listen to these verses… Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with

those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So… Listen now!!... So… do not throw away your confidence… it will berichly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

 

Discouragement... Wanting to give up... Is one of Satan's most powerful weapons.

But Paul admonishes us in the church… Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord… Because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain… Let us not become weary in doing good… For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

 

Know this… You can tell how big a man’s faith is by what it takes to discourage him... What it takes for him to give up.

 

God help us to be like Noah… To learn Patient perseverance.

 

Numberfour... God uses people who will followHim completely

God uses those whose faith is… Big enough… Strong enough… That it prompts them… Nudges them… Into a certain life-style…Compels a certain behavior.

 

Lookat verse 22 of Genesis  6... Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Chapter 7... Verse 5 says... And Noah did ALL that the Lord commanded him.

We call this... Obedience!!

 

Noah is proof positive that…

• Faith is more than mental assent to some Bible facts.

• More than simple intellectual acceptance of some doctrines.

• Faith is doing what God asks of us.

• Faith is following instructions even when they don't make sense.

 

Did it make any sense to build a boat when it had never rained?

 

Did it make any sense to build a boat bigger than a football field... When the largest body of water… The Mediterranean… Was over 500 miles away?

 

Yet men and women of God say...

• With Abraham… Lord... I'll follow your lead... Wherever you may lead...

With David… Your Word is a lamp to my feet… And a light to my pathway…

• With Isaiah… Here am I… Send me…

• With Samuel… Speak Lord... Thy servant hears...

 

Is there something… Anything…That you and your preacher… Need to do tonight... To complete our obedience to God?... Is there?… Will we do it?… Will we… Really?

 

God uses people who believe in the impossible.

We don’t get this from one verse in our text… But from the context.

How do you build a boat the size of a football field…

• Without a chainsaw… table saw… skill saw?

• Drills… hammer and nails?

• Without bulldozers and cranes?

Noah had none of these… Yet there is no indication that he even flinched at this awesome task.

• How do you cross the Red Sea on foot?

• How do you lead close to two million people through the Sinai Wilderness for 40 years?

• How do you cross the flooded Jordan?

• How do you conquer the walled city of Jericho?

• How do you slay a giant whose is nine feet tall… Whose armor weighs more than you do?

• How do you rebuild the wall around Jerusalem in 52 days?

 

Jesus gives us the answer… With man some things are impossible… But with God all things are possible.  

 

Here it is church… The task ahead of us is never as great as the power within us.

 

If I had one wish for our brotherhood… For the church in Bella Vista…It would be this… That we return to a belief in the impossible.

To a belief in the fact that whatever God asks us to do… He will empower and provide so we can accomplish… Do you believe that?…I hope you do.

 

WELL!!… The bottom line to the lesson is this...

Ordinary People… ordinary people…

can become God’s one-in-a-million.

 

Let me draw your attention to Genesis 9 and verses 20 and 21.

If I had been writing the Bible... I would have left this part out… OK?

In chapter six... Noah is giant in God's world... One-in-a-million.

Then in chapter nine... Noah gets drunk and makes a fool of himself.

• Noah gets drunk.

• Abraham lies about Sarah being his wife.

• Sarah laughs at God.

• Jacob lied to his father... Cheated his brother… Stole from his father-in-law

• Moses tries to excuse himself at the burning bush.

• Rahab is a prostitute.

• David is a murder and an adulterer.

• Peter denies Jesus three times.

 

Yet...We turn to Hebrews chapter eleven...  And read the list of God's Hall of Faith... These men and women are there…

• Their story is told for our learning…

• They are our examples…

• Their historical account serves as our pilot.

 

Here’s the good news... Here’s the good news… Ordinary people... You and your preacher... Can become one-in-a-million.

• Have we blown it?... Probably so!

• Have we been involved in some ugly sin?

• Have we brought reproach upon the church?

• Have we become criticizers… Instead of encouragers… In His Kingdom?

• Have we been guilty of being… Complainers… Judgmental… Gossips… Discouragers?

• Have we ever allowed Satan to use us to mislead others in their Christian walk?

 

Not to worry!… Not to worry!!… God can handle our sins...

• He did with Noah...

• Abraham...

• Isaac...

• Moses...

• David...

• Peter...

• Has with your preacher...

And he will handle it with you.

 

Come now, let us reason together… Says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet…They shall be as white as snow… Though they are red as crimson… They shall be like wool.

 

Our challenge tonight is to…

• Be like Noah…

• Find favor in God’s Eyes…

• BECOME His ONE-IN-A-MILLION?

 

May God bless our study together.