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Whatever Floats Your Boat

Yoo-Hoo!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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(Ideas: conscience; love God (Valentine’s Day); imagination; repenteth (God); grace)
What if we turn from God? What if we fill our imaginations and lives so much with other things that we no longer hear God? Is that even possible?
Genesis 6 begins telling us the sad answer.
The Bible describes a time when people no longer thought about God. Their imaginations were evil. God said, “Yoo-hoo! Turn back to Me!”
Stand and read text.
ILL: The Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Much of the life-size museum reminded of God’s provision for Noah to build a boat. It was available to save people from the worldwide flood. The flip-side of the museum is that it is hated by secularists who, by their own existence, are a proof of why the ark was needed and why the flood occurred. If the story we claim to be true was no more than a Disney fairy tale, then people would flock to the ark as an adventure park.
The story of the flood and Noah’s boat are a reminder of an event which proofs are all around us. But the story is not just a supposed “natural” event—it is an event where God got the world’s attention.
By now, we can see that throughout history mankind has often gone through cycles where there is spiritual energy and then spiritual lethargy. Except, it seemed by this time there’s was no hope of people changing for the better. They were just a handful of generations from the Garden of Eden, and people turned from God to evil inventions.
God says He repented of creating mankind (Genesis 6:7), meaning He was grieved by His creation’s sin. Mankind kept choosing to go farther away from God. As Adam and Eve showed us, choices have consequences.
God wants history and life to petitioned us by His love, His plan, and His invitation.
The people had known, know of, and heard truth from Adam and Eve and the first descendants.
The people had a long time to hear Noah’s sermons before the flood came. We don’t know how good of a preacher he was, but his big boat made a great object lesson.
There are several parallel thoughts from that day to ours. Indeed, as we study the Bible, Scripture ties the days before His coming as being like the days of Noah.

Proposition: Turn to God.

Remember that God is God alone. Others have power, but only God is the Lord. Let’s see three ways mankind turned away from God, so then God got man’s attention with the flood.

1. The World Turns Away From Its Creator.

Genesis 6:1-4
People lived a really long time then. Adam was alive during the days of Noah and his generation’s parents.
They had heard the creation story, and mankind, made in the image of God, is a creative creation.
There seems to be a connection with the longevity of life and a growing disbelief and lack of faith for those who did not follow God. The longer we dismiss God from our imaginations and thoughts, the easier it becomes.
Life must have been difficult, yet in what was a pre-flood world, people had obvious health, people were strong and smart—they were imaginative and inventive.
ILL: “Necessity is the mother of all invention.”
People were not neanderthal-like cavemen who had trouble communicating. They were brilliant and powerful. Before the flood, it is very possible that mankind had advanced science and technology to further society and exercise dominion over the fallen world. They did have families, but they did not have human governments yet.
Conscience of the fall and of sin was powerful, but it was not powerful enough to keep men and women from sinning.
Mankind is given the gift of creativity from his Creator. The gift of creativity and invention resides in the imagination.
Frankly, people today are not as strong and smart as God originally created us to be in a perfect world. Then, God limited the life-spans of people. Apparently, there is a correlation between long lifespans and evil inventions.
God said He would reduce their lives to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). This was much shorter than the 969 years Methuselah lived!
The fact remains: God created us. As our Creator, God has rightful ownership over us.
Our imaginations are powerful. You’ve heard things like, “Believe and ye shall achieve.” While it is limited, the fact is we are powerful creatures created to make positive change, and it all starts in the mind.
1 Chronicles 28:9 KJV 1900
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Romans 1:21 KJV 1900
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Why is the story of evolution so powerful? Because it makes mankind the author, judge, and compass of his own destiny. Tell people they are merely an animal at the top of the food chain, and they will act like it. Their imaginations will be limited to the animals they are.
God expects the mind, the imagination of His children to be different and changed to reflect His mind.
Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2. The World Turns Away from Its Judge.

Genesis 6:5
Why did God ask Noah to build a boat? A flood of judgment was coming.
Hebrews 9:27 KJV 1900
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
The flood was not merely an act of “mother nature.” God brought the flood to destroy sinful humanity. Sin had gotten out of control. What mankind was floating in his imagination was sinking the world.
ILL: Friday, my phone ran out of memory, so I tried to reboot it. The problem was, it didn’t have enough memory available to turn on, so it kept powering up and off in a cycle. I connected it to my computer and tried to reinstall the operating system while keeping all of my files and photos intact, but it didn’t work. I had one option: Start Over. I reinstalled the operating system and wiped out all my files and photos. God did this when He brought the flood. As cold as it seems, God in His authority and love for the future of mankind reset the world, and He placed limits on the times of our earthly influences.
In the world, the people were not seeking after God. They went about doing their own thing. God Knows Our Actions and Imaginations.
Hebrews 4:13 KJV 1900
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
In Noah’s day, people were thinking, saying, and doing what they wanted—what they imagined.
Romans 1:28 KJV 1900
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
When God was going to judge Israel, many false prophets rejected God’s prophets. God told Ezekiel...
Ezekiel 13:2 KJV 1900
Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord;
When mankind sinned in the garden, the primary way people knew what was right and wrong was through the conscience God gave them. Unfortunately, over time, their memories and their consciences did not serve them well. They chose to ignore truth. They chose to live in ways they hoped the consequences would not be real. Their imaginations ignored the truth about responsibility.
Friends, does this sound like our day? Who would have ever thought such things as: a rainbow, which is God gives as a promise to not destroy the world with a flood due to sin, would be the symbol for sin? a family is two dads, two moms, or a multitude of each, or a person and a pet? Boys can declare themselves to be girls and compete in female sports, and (by the way) use the female restroom and locker room? Children can begin transgender drug therapy by visiting a Planned Parenthood location? People who are gender-confused, called gender-dysphoria, are able to say and do what they want, but others are supposed to not do or say anything about their confusion?

Ignoring Truth Does Not Make Truth Disappear

The world is absolutely beautiful, but in the beauty we behold, the world is also absolutely corrupted by a curse. It is a reality.
Jesus tells us John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
God wants people to know He is holy, and we should as His creation be holy, too! (1 Peter 1:15)
In Ephesians 4:17-32 through chapter 6, God describes what our walk with God ought to look like.
Ephesians 4:23–24 KJV 1900
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
One of the reasons God wants us to live differently is because we are “Yoo-hoo-ers!” It is a walk that is different than the world. Our walk as believers is meant to reprove and correct and wake up the minds of those who have turned away from God.
Ephesians 5:7–11 KJV 1900
Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
This is why the Apostle Paul addresses the areas of church unity, speaking truth, anger, diligent work, giving, godly speech, submission to the Holy Spirit, kindness, forgiveness. He reminds us to walk in love which produces holiness. Holy thankfulness that fills us rather than seeking the emptiness of sexual sin, sin, and covetousness, which is idolatry. God reminds us to not walk after those who follow things contrary to His Word. We are lifted in grace to produce the fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law but glory. He speaks of submission, the Godly wife, husband, children, and employee. Then he tells us how to fight in the spiritual war.
Why? Because we are called to live lives of truth based on His Word. And, because one’s knowing he is sinner who has sinned against God is needed before salvation can be received. If the world stays in the dark about sin and its offense to God, then it cannot be saved.
John the Baptist was a prophet much like Noah, proclaiming sin is real, and a Savior was coming.
Luke 1:77 KJV 1900
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people By the remission of their sins,
Peter describes Noah as a preacher this way:
2 Peter 2:5 KJV 1900
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

3. The World Turns Away from Its Savior.

Genesis 6:8 KJV 1900
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Every story in the Bible has a silver lining because of God’s grace. It’s the Good News in the midst of the doom and gloom.
Sadly, the people tried and tried, but the inventions of men could not save them.
We live in a time with advanced technology. But our inventions cannot save us from the wrath that is going to come. There must be another way!
There was a way for them, and it is the same way for us.
The story of God’s plan to redeem the world was known by the people. Noah was about 10 generation from Adam, but due to their long lifespans, think of this:
Adam lived 930 years, which was long enough to be alive when Noah’s father was alive. Adam died only 126 years before Noah was born.
It was not uncommon for many generations to know each other, as in father, grandfather, great grandfather, all the way to great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather.
Most of the world knew their common parents, Adam and Eve. They knew God’s promise.
Sadly, the world would not turn to God and wait with faith for God’s promise, they tried to invent what they wanted. They created their own gods and their own ideas about culture.
Like those who thought in the 19th century that industrialism was going to usher in a new utopia for the world and even a “War to End All Wars,” people keep on inventing religions.
And religion keeps on telling people what they need to do.
But God tells us it’s already done.
2 Timothy 1:9 KJV 1900
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
What makes the world’s story so sad is that when we turn away from God, we turn away from the only source of help, change, forgiveness, and salvation we need.


In the end, it was God’s boat that was still floating, not the world’s. Let’s turn back to Him!
ILL: Sometimes we look at the story of Noah’s ark, and we wonder, where is the grace? How may people have been saved? When we toured the Ark Encounter, there it was...the door with the cross. Jesus is the Door, and He invites you to know Him. Turn to Him. There’s a coming time we all wish we had. Christian, turn to God, so we might remind the world through the changed lives He has given us that there is a God—He is our Creator, Judge, and Savior. Will you turn to Him?
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