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Noah Confronts a Worldwide Catastrophe Part 2

Overall View of Noah's ark
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Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Summers in the East Coast were often a treat for me as a young boy. I treasured spending those hot, humid days visiting my grandparents in Coney Island in New York. Besides cooling off in the Atlantic Ocean, the main attraction was Steeplechase Park. The assortment of rides this park offered to a young starry-eyed boy was dizzying. Of course, I was ambitious enough to think I could enjoy them all in one outing.

One go-to amusement was the swing ride. According to an online history of carousels, the “swing ride is a variant of a carousel ride – a fairground ride that has chairs suspended by chains from the top of the carousel . . . This ride is also called a swing carousel, wave swinger, yo-yo, Chair-O-Planes or a swinger”.

This mechanism operates on a principle of a spinning central core powered by a motor that forces the swings to extend outward on wires or metal chains. The faster the central core spins, the farther out the swings stretch.

What does this sentimental childhood memory have to do with Noah’s situation or any spiritual truths? Let me suggest our relationship with God begins with a person’s central core fixed on the Lord. From this connection to our Creator, we discover a powerful, inner centrifugal force that drives our spiritual aspirations. When that inner connection to God is fractured, there are grave spiritual consequences-lack of purpose, extreme self-centeredness, depression, broken relationships, and involvement in destructive sins. This truth brings us to the reason why God brought the Flood upon our planet.

Sadly, this catastrophic event in Noah’s day was due to man’s lack of any desire to enjoy a relationship with God. The human population refused to see their need to have God as that centrifugal force. Instead, they attempted to enthrone themselves at the core of their souls. We too are fooled by the same self-deception. As long as we keep the swings in motion, we are convinced we can be the “captain of our own souls.” Despite our sincere endeavors, we default to arrogant pride, extreme self-centeredness, and a refusal to believe there is Someone in the universe greater than ourselves.

From this breakdown in man’s bridge to God in Noah’s day, humanity spiraled out of control. The downward thrust of mankind was enough for God to respond with a promise of a worldwide Flood. Like the motion of the carousel swing ride from the central core, our trouble is due to a failure to see the need to allow God to become part of our energizing inner core.

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Noah Confronts a Worldwide Catastrophe Part 1

Our world is facing an unprecedented crisis with the Coronavirus outbreak. Currently, close to 1,911,407 people have been confirmed to have developed the virus; 118,623 have died and 446,366 are recovered. By the time you read this article, the figures will have changed.

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While the confirmed cases of COVID-19 exhibit tragic numbers along with the subsequent deaths, the responses to the virus by different segments of society are extremely disturbing.

Since ScriptureSolutions is concerned with how evangelicals react to various disasters, the focus of this article zeroes in on how the church is handling the coronavirus. To be clear, the majority of large and small evangelical congregations are heeding the state, city and federal orders to refrain from large group meetings to stave off the spread of the virus. Yet some churches and their leaders have a different take to this pandemic.

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Becoming A Warrior of Peace

Peace Not Always Possible

Christians have digested the idea that the majority of our contacts with other individuals should be peaceful and non-offensive.  After all, Romans 12:18 reads,” If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men (NASB).”

However, notice the important two words, “if possible.” In other words, it’s not always possible.  In fact, Paul lays the responsibility upon every follower of Christ to “be at peace with all men” so far as “it depends on you.”

What is a true peacemaker?

Do what you can to establish peaceful relationships with people at work, individuals who attend church with you or persons you come into contact with in your everyday world of shopping, driving and working out at the gym.

Just today I sat next to a Korean War veteran at the Veterans Administration who was attempting to collect vacation pay from sixty years ago when he served in Korea. His greediness upset me and I told him that the government is not his mother and father.  I was not too peaceful. I firmly told him that his reward as a Korean vet was the privilege of serving his country.

Was I a peacemaker?  Better yet, is a peacemaker someone who never voices a contrary opinion?

Many pastors have misunderstood  passages like Matthew 5:9 in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus pronounces a blessing on “the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” In contrast, Jesus says in Matthew 10:34 that He did not come to to “send peace on earth . . . but a sword.”

Why the apparent contradiction? On one hand, the gospel message describes how one can find peace with God by accepting Jesus as Redeemer and Lord. Actually, the one who shares the message of redemption through Christ is true peacemaker.

However, this peace-giving message is also a stumbling block to those who do not want to humble themselves and recognize their own sins.  Families, according to Jesus, can be torn apart by His saving message of grace (Matthew 10:35-36).

Jesus’ message can be reconciling to some and divisive to others. Why? Because the gospel exposes the darkness of our own hearts. Rather than repent and accept the knowledge of the truth through the Son of God, people would rather gravitate towards darkness and animosity towards Jesus and His followers.  (more…)




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