Olsen Park Church of Christ

Must Christians Believe in Noah’s Flood?

Introduction. A week ago Friday a movie came out with great fanfare entitled Noah. Many Bible believers have been talking about this movie for some time, because long before its release it became clear that it was not aimed at representing the biblical account of the worldwide flood, but a modern fictionalize account. In fact, its director Darren Aronofsky, bragged before its release that it is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” (Washington Times, March 24, 2014, “Atheist ‘Noah’ director brags film is least biblical Bible movie ever” By Cheryl K. Chumley).

On the morning the movie came out, the Biblical Archaeology Society sent out an e-mail with a tagline “Examining Noah's Flood. Noah movie comes out today—what do scholars say about the flood?” This was linked to an article written in 2003 by a Ronald S. Hendel, a  Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California Berkley, entitled “The Search for Noah’s Flood: Scientists are looking in the wrong place.” In the article Hendel, a supposed biblical “scholar” claims that the biblical story itself “derives most directly not from an actual event, but from earlier stories.” He then proceeds to summarize some Mesopotamian flood stories and concludes with the declaration, “The biblical story of Noah’s Flood is an exemplary and immortal narrative... Even if it didn’t happen, it’s a true story” (Ronald S. Hendel, “The Search for Noah's Flood: Scientists Are Looking in the Wrong Place,” Bible Review 19.3 (June 2003): 8. 39).

In a world in which those considered “scholars” deny the reality of the biblical account we should not be surprised if entertainers, actors, and movie producers find it easier to spend millions of dollars to produce a fictional account rather than a penny to represent what the Bible tells us actually happened.

I have offered studies in the past that address how we can understand the pagan myths that have similarities to biblical accounts. In Jan. 6, 2008 we ran a bulletin entitled “Did Genesis Borrow from Pagan Creation Myths?” which is available on the website: www.olsenpark.com. This morning what I would like to do is simply consider some biblical teachings which make it clear that if we accept the Bible—if we believe in Jesus—it we have a hope of eternal life, we must accept the biblical account of a worldwide flood as a real event that actually took place some 4000 years ago.

I. The Writer of Chronicles Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      He starts with a genealogical list (1 Chron. 1:1-4) and then proceeds to list the descendants of Noah’s sons  (Japheth: 1:5-7; Ham: 1:8-15; Shem: 1:16- 54), offering this as the background of all nations of the earth and the ancestry of Abraham, and the Israelites (2:1-55), and the ancestry of King David and the kings descended from him (3:1-24).

B.      If we believe in Abraham—if we believe in God’s covenant with Israel—if we believe in the Davidic line of kings (which would ultimately be necessary for Christ to act as king)—we must believe in Noah’s flood.

II. Isaiah Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      Most Christians know very well the powerful prophetic chapter in Isaiah 53 that graphically foreshadows Jesus’ death as an atonement for sin.

B.      We may not be as familiar with the verses that follow it (Isa. 54:1-10).

1.      This promises that in the forgiveness God offers in the Messiah, He is granting a restoration of His compassion and care for Israel.

2.      God compares it to the promises He made after the flood not to flood the earth again, after destroying the world of the Noah’s time.

C.      If we believe in the forgiveness of sins that is offered in Jesus—if we believe in the prophetic force of Isaiah 53—we must believe in Noah’s flood.

III. Ezekiel Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      The book of Ezekiel was written during the time the Israelites were exiled during the Babylionian captivity.

1.      This happened because of their sins and would ultimately result in the destruction of Jerusalem.

2.      God refers to His deliverance of righteous men like Noah to illustrate the severity of His judgment and point to His ultimate deliverance of the remnant (Ezek. 14:12-22).

B.      If we believe in God’s judgment against Jerusalem—if we believe in the Babylonian exile leading to the ultimate restoration back to Israel—if we believe in God’s deliverance of Daniel and Job, we must believe in Noah’s flood.

IV. Luke Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      Much like the writer of Chronicles, as Luke begins the gospel account of Jesus, he establishes his ancestry.

1.      I believe, in contrast to Matthew’s record of Jesus’ legal ancestry through the line of Joseph, Luke records Jesus’ biological ancestry through the lineage of Mary.

2.      He goes all the way back to Jacob, Abraham and ultimately to Adam (Luke 3:34-38).

B.      If you believe in Luke’s record of Jesus’ life—if you believe other claims he makes about Jesus—if you believe Jesus is the Son of God—you must believe in Noah’s flood.

V. Jesus Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      In the course of the lesson Jesus gave to His disci0ples from the Mount of Olives Jesus appeals to the flood of Noah to illustrate final judgment (Matt. 24:35-39).

1.      Some debate when Jesus is talking about final judgment and when His is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem.

2.      I believe that He addresses both at different times in this discourse, switching back and forth between addressing one and then the other.

3.      At this point I believe He is talking abut final judgment.

B.      On a separate occasion when asked when the kingdom would come, He used very similar language (Luke 17:20-30).

1.      He may speak of the “Son of Man” being “revealed” as a description of the establishment of the church.

2.      The Jews likely conceived of both things as taking place at the same time—Jesus shows that the kingdom would come before the time of the final judgment—it came on the Day of Pentecost.

C.      If you believe that there will be a final judgment—if you believe that the kingdom of Christ has been established—if you believe that Jesus was God in the flesh with the ability to know what would happen in the future—you must believe in Noah’s flood because Jesus did!

VI. The Hebrew Writer Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      The Hebrew writer lists Noah as acting by faith in order to bring about the salvation of his household (Heb. 11:1-7).

B.      If you believe that faith is necessary to please God—if you believe in salvation by obedient faith—you must believe in Noah’s flood.

VII. Peter Believed in Noah’s Flood.

A.      Peter uses the salvation of Noah as an illustration of the connection between baptism and salvation (1 Peter 3:18-22).

1.      The “spirits in prison” refers to the souls that are now in the Hadean realm. Jesus did not preach to them in Hades but in the past.

2.      Christ preached to them through the inspiration given to Noah. Earlier Peter speaks of the “Spirit of Christ” working in Old Testament prophets (1 Pet. 1:11).

B.      Peter uses the flood of Noah as an example of punishment of the wicked and salvation of the righteous (2 Pet. 2:4-9).

C.      If you believe that baptism is necessary for salvation—if you believe that God will punish the wicked, and yet save His people who are faithful to Him—you must believe in Noah’s flood.

Conclusion. It is sad that not only among Hollywood producers and directors but even among those who put themselves forward as scholars and experts in the Bible they have chosen to reject the clear teaching of Scripture regarding the reality of the worldwide flood of Noah. We have seen in this study that if you believe in the other affirmations of Scripture that lead one to faith in Jesus Christ, you must also accept its claims about the flood of Noah.

Kyle Pope 2014

  Home     Directions     Times     Elders     Deacons     Preachers     Lessons     Members Section     Post Question     Contact Us