I think committed Christians are the true rebels in our culture today. Don’t tell me that it’s rebellious to do what everyone else does, say what everyone else says, be woke and conform to a preexisting culture that is changing before our eyes.
The Bible tells the story about a man who lived during a very dark time in human history, maybe the darkest it has ever been. This was the time before the Great Flood when God brought his judgment upon planet Earth.
Against this very dark background lived Noah, a man who walked with God and showed us that we, too, can live a godly life in an ungodly culture.
In fact, Jesus said, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37–39 NKJV).
Jesus was saying, “Remember how it was in Noah’s day? It will be similar in the time before my return.”
The Old Testament book of Genesis gives us a description of the world at that time: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” (6:5 NLT).
I’m amazed at what I see in the news today, the atrocities, the horrible acts people commit against other people. It’s disturbing, it’s heartbreaking and seems as though people endlessly find new ways to do evil things.
That is what was happening in Noah’s day. As a result, the Bible says, “The Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, ‘I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them'” (verses 6–7 NLT).
Their wickedness was full to the brim, like an overflowing trash can or a septic tank. It was stinking to high heaven. This shows us that God is aware of the wickedness of man. He’s paying attention.
Then the Bible gives us this detail: “But Noah found favor with the Lord” (verse 8 NLT).
Noah was what I like to call a world changer, someone who doesn’t accept the status quo. A world changer doesn’t march in lockstep with current culture. Rather, a world changer wants to change the culture. World changers are followers of Jesus Christ who affect their surroundings more than their surroundings affect them. They think for themselves and do what is right. A world changer is someone who wants to make a difference.
Noah had great faith and a great God, but he was a misunderstood character. Even today, we see him portrayed in films where there are many distortions of his story.
That’s why it’s important to go back to what the Bible says about Noah. Hebrews 11 tells us, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (verse 7 NLT).
We see from this verse that God revealed secrets to Noah. God spoke to him, and it activated Noah’s faith. But maybe you’re saying, “I don’t think God ever speaks to me.”
I remember a story Pastor Chuck Smith told about his grandson. One day he said to his mother, “God never speaks to me.”
She said, “You know when you do something wrong and feel bad in your heart for doing it?”
“That can be God speaking to you.”
He paused for a moment. Then he said, “Mom, God speaks to me all the time!”
There are a lot of ways God speaks to us, but he does speak to us. And the primary way he speaks to us is through the Word of God, the Bible. God revealed his secrets to Noah, and the Bible says that “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14 NKJV).
God reveals things to Christians that unbelievers don’t understand. We know, for instance, that humanity is not basically good. The Bible teaches that humanity is basically sinful. Now, that makes sense, and the world makes more sense when we accept the premise that we’re not basically good. Rather, we’re basically sinful.
But the Bible also teaches that God is good. The Bible teaches that one day judgment will come to the world and that it will get worse before it gets better. The Bible teaches that one day Christ will return and will right every wrong.
So, when you believe the Bible, you know things other people don’t know. In the same way, Noah understood that, and God revealed secrets to him.
Noah also had great reverence for God, which I think is lacking in our culture today. But when Hebrews 11 says that Noah “moved with godly fear,” it doesn’t mean that he cowered before God. We could also translate it to say that he “moved with reverence.”
I like this definition of the fear of the Lord: a wholesome dread of displeasing him. This doesn’t mean that we cower in fear of him, but that we love him so much that we have respect for him. Noah had reverence and respect for God, and he never lost that.
If you want to be a rebel, then follow Jesus Christ. You don’t even need a leather jacket, a motorcycle, or your wallet attached to a chain. A world changer, a real Christian, is someone who believes the Bible and lives by what it says. That is real rebellion in the best sense of the word.
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