Faith in the Unseen

February 05, 2024 00:23:31
Faith in the Unseen
Covenant Words
Faith in the Unseen

Feb 05 2024 | 00:23:31

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Hebrews 11:6-7

Pastor Robert Ulrich

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Please be seated. [00:00:20] I have a bad habit of losing bulletins. Don't know how about you, but I tend to put them in something and then not realize that I left it there. [00:00:35] Thank you, Pete. Pete told me if I ran into any problems, just to point at him and he would take care of it. Okay. I need to put this up there so I can keep track of where we are. [00:01:02] It looks here that we are to stand for our prayer of illumination and the reading of God's word, which you see there. Chapter eleven is not a long reading there in the book of Hebrews. But please stand as we look to God in prayer this time. [00:01:29] You, Father, as we come before you. And as we have confessed in this psalm that we sang, that you are the one who's in charge of everything. [00:01:40] That there are not even small details that escape your notice. [00:01:48] Nothing is too little, nothing is too great for you to handle. [00:01:57] And so, Father, we come with these prayer requests for paper, for the salter hymnal. Such a simple thing. [00:02:06] And yet we know that, Father, if you will provide that which is needed, that these books can go out and have a wonderful, wonderful ministry in the church of Jesus Christ. We pray that this book will continue to go out even beyond the two denominations that constructed it to be a blessing to your church. [00:02:37] And, Father, I ask you for my daughter in law, Heather. [00:02:44] You have seen her through difficulties in the past. Having been in a bicycle accident that was quite severe. [00:02:52] And now this. [00:02:54] We pray, Father, that you will be with her and give her strength and healing. [00:03:04] And, Father, for Susan Dugan and this threat to her eyesight. [00:03:15] Father, we ask that you would give wisdom to the doctors who deal with this, but that you would also give her grace to accept whatever the outcome may be in this situation. [00:03:32] And, Father, we also ask for Patty come to a serious matter with her kidney, that she has to have it removed. [00:03:43] We thank you, Father, that you've given us two kidneys and that one can be removed without resulting in death. And yet we know that these things are difficult to go through. And any kind of surgery has its problems. [00:04:05] But we pray, Father, that things would go smoothly. The recovery would be quick. [00:04:12] We ask now, Father, as we come to your word, that you would open our hearts and minds to what you have for us here. In your word, we recognize that your word is true. [00:04:27] And your word is there for our benefit. [00:04:33] That you have had these things written down. [00:04:37] The holy spirit moved men of old to write these things down. That we today, reading them and considering them, would profit from them. [00:04:50] We ask these things. In Jesus name. Amen. [00:04:55] Please remain standing for the reading of the passage. [00:05:05] Hebrews eleven, verses six and seven. [00:05:11] And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him by faith. Noah, being warned by God concerning the events as yet unseen, in reverent fear, constructed an ark for the saving of his household. [00:05:42] By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. [00:05:53] Please be. [00:06:04] We're told that Noah had faith in the unseen. [00:06:13] If anything, the world ridicules it's the idea of believing in something you can't see. [00:06:23] We live in an age, and it's been quite a while that this has been true, that worships science. [00:06:36] And yet the very people that worship this science violate the very terms of science. [00:06:44] Science has a very limited purpose. [00:06:48] It's not the source of all truth. [00:06:53] It's something that is physical that you can demonstrate, that you can repeat. [00:07:01] And if you think about a lot of the things that are claimed to be science in our day and age, none of those things are true. [00:07:09] Evolution, for instance, I saw a cartoon. It's a cute little cartoon. This kid was talking to this evolutionist, and the evolutionist, the kid said, do you think you could prove evolution? [00:07:29] And the guy said, yeah, I could prove evolution. [00:07:36] Then the kid said, could you prove it without using God's creation? [00:07:45] The very things that they seek to prove their theory on were created by. [00:07:54] So when we come to Noah and his faith in the unseen, we need to be careful that we understand what faith is all about. [00:08:09] I was a philosophy major in college. I probably should have warned you folks of that before I went to seminary. So I got proper training there. But the philosophy major and when I was a young man, there was a very popular philosophy. They're still kicking it around. It's called existentialism. [00:08:32] And one of the things in existentialism is the notion that faith is a leap in the dark. [00:08:53] Or as one little kid, I heard one time that a kid was trying to explain that to someone, they'd heard about that, and he said, well, faith is believing something you know isn't true. [00:09:05] That's not what faith is. That's not what faith is here. [00:09:11] Just because something is unseen does not mean it is unknown. [00:09:26] Turning back there to Genesis in the part that I read there. [00:09:34] And by the way, I'm not going to give a verse by verse exposition of this passage. [00:09:41] Fear not. [00:09:47] But Noah. [00:09:52] Noah had never experienced a worldwide flood. [00:09:59] Now, I know there are some debates among creationists whether Noah would have ever experienced a flood period, because there's some of a theory that, as in the Garden of Eden, where it's spoken of in the creation, that the earth was watered from below, that rain as such, did not exist before Noah's time. I don't know about that theory. I'm neither here nor there on that. But certainly Noah had never seen a flood that destroyed everything. [00:10:45] Why is it that Noah believes, we're told elsewhere in the New Testament, in second Peter, that Noah warned the people of his age about the coming blood and they didn't believe it. [00:11:10] They didn't believe anything like that. [00:11:13] I mean, they must have thought he was really crazy, because here's this guy building this huge boat on dry land. [00:11:30] The reasons that Noah believed were told in verse eight, where it says, but Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Now, a lot of you probably remember, and I remember the King James version. [00:11:52] I kind of prefer the word grace because it has theological context to it. But I want to explain to you that there is nothing wrong with translating this with the word favor, because favor is grace. [00:12:11] I paint houses for a living and I always thank the people when they give me the check, but I never have felt that they were doing me a favor by paying me. [00:12:36] God chose Noah and his family. [00:12:45] That's what this passage is telling us. [00:12:49] It speaks of Noah in terms that we saw a couple weeks ago with Enoch, that he walked with God. [00:12:59] Now, Enoch walked with God, and then one day he was no more. [00:13:03] God took him directly to be with him. [00:13:08] I don't know what all that involved, but Noah was not taken because Noah had a task. [00:13:17] He was a man who also walked with God, but he was a man who was a righteous man in his generation. [00:13:26] He stood out from the crowd. [00:13:33] I hope that that is true of every one of us here this evening, that we would see ourselves. [00:13:45] If God has called you, then he has chosen you and you stand out in this generation. [00:14:04] God tells Noah. [00:14:06] He doesn't tell the others. You notice that, that God did not make some public announcement to all the people on the earth, that he was going to destroy them. [00:14:18] He only tells Noah because he has a purpose for Noah. [00:14:25] And that purpose is that the human race would continue. [00:14:35] And when God tells Noah what he's supposed to do, did you notice the line that kept repeating? [00:14:44] Verse 22 of chapter six? [00:14:47] Noah did this. He did all that God commanded him. [00:14:56] Why did he do what God commanded him? Because he believed in God. Because he had faith in God. [00:15:05] One of the points in Hebrews, chapter eleven of listing all these Old Testament saints is to make it clear that they were saved on the basis, the same basis as you and I. [00:15:24] You notice that if you were here this morning for our morning service, the passage was from chapter ten, and I really appreciated what was said about that. Matter of fact, I went up to the pastor afterwards and told him that he presented something that with good solid background for what I would be presenting this evening, that it's that one sacrifice of Jesus Christ. [00:15:55] Now, you notice when God sends Noah to collect the animals, I'm not sure how that occurred exactly, whether did Noah collect them? Did God send them? But they were provided there. There was going to be seven pairs of clean animals. And what are clean animals for? [00:16:22] Sacrifice. [00:16:25] So there was provision made there that Noah would be sacrificing. He does that in the later chapter when the ark arrives on Mount Ararat. [00:16:40] But he's sacrificing, looking forward to that one final sacrifice. [00:17:08] By faith, Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen in reverent fear, constructed an ark for the saving of his household. [00:17:28] If you turn with me to two, Peter, chapter three, I think this makes the case even clearer that we are in a very similar situation to Noah and his day. [00:17:52] Two, Peter, chapter three. [00:17:55] This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved, in both of them, I'm stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and savior through your apostles. [00:18:14] Knowing this, first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their very own sinful desires. They will say, where is the promise of his coming forever? Since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. [00:18:40] For they deliberately overlooked this fact that the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these, the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. [00:19:03] But by the same word, the heavens and the earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of the judgment and destruction of the ungodly. [00:19:20] What happened in Noah's day is going to happen again. Not a flood, but fire. [00:19:29] And this time it's not going to be just one family that survives. But the Church of Jesus Christ will survive, but the wicked will perish. [00:19:46] Jesus said that the coming of the son of man would be as in the days of Noah and I know some preachers make a big point about how wicked it was in the days of Noah. But if you look at the list of things he mentioned, they're marrying and giving. In marriage, the normal activities of society go on as if nothing is going to happen. [00:20:11] And then comes the end. [00:20:16] God has warned us, and we need to exercise that same faith in things we have not seen. I have not seen the second coming of Jesus Christ, not yet. [00:20:36] But I believe it because God says so. [00:20:46] And I believe it because of God's grace and that we will be delivered not because of our works, but because of our faith. [00:21:12] We are saved by grace and not in that. Not of ourselves, but the gift of God. [00:21:36] Let's look to God in prayer, Father, as we consider Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives, that very small family who stood alone in the world. [00:22:06] But you delivered them. [00:22:10] You did not forget them. [00:22:13] That when that storm was over, you had preserved that ark and you delivered Noah and his family. [00:22:29] And, Father, we rejoice in that. [00:22:34] We ask, Father, that we may see that in our own lives, that the faith that we have would be passed on and encouraged in our children and in our grandchildren and even to great grandchildren. [00:22:56] That as your spirit works and you choose those that you are saving. [00:23:03] We pray, Father, that we might rejoice in this good work of yours, even in this perverse and crooked generation, that there would continue to be a faithful witness of your church and to the end of this age. [00:23:27] In Jesus name we pray. [00:23:30] Amen.

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