TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, February 28, 2021 | Surviving the Storm | Why You Must Be Different

 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Noah. Jesus had an interesting thing to say about the days of Noah. In fact, Jesus spoke about the days of Noah with a prophetic tone. It's in Luke chapter 17, verse 26, it says, “As it was in the days of Noah,” everybody say the days of Noah, “so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.” Most people believe that what Jesus is referencing in this passage of text is the last days. And that what Jesus is saying is that there are going to be some parallels between the days in which that Noah was building the ark, and when time comes to an end. Jesus says, as it was, in the days of Noah, so shall be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man; they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the very day that Noah entered the Ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. We know that Noah wanted to help as many people as possible. He seems to have tried to share the message of this opportunity to be saved, but people rejected it. Like people wouldn't listen to him, people wouldn't respond, and they just chose to maybe mock him, maybe ridicule him. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

There are some people that believe that maybe the earth had never experienced rain up until the point that the earth began to flood. So, Noah may have been preaching about something that humanity had never experienced. And because they had never experienced it, they couldn't comprehend it. And therefore, they just kind of cancelled it out and felt like that, that had absolutely no meaning for their lives. And they just kept going on doing whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it, and ultimately, it proved to be a huge mistake. And Scripture says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Jesus also made a reference in that same passage that we just read from Luke chapter 17, about a man named Lot. Here's how it reads, verse 28, “Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, so is it going to be when the Son of Man comes when the last days appear. They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day, that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. So will it be at this second coming of Christ.” Lot was associated with Sodom and Gomorrah. Again, you may not even be a seasoned student of the Word, maybe you've not hung out around church a lot, but you've probably heard of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah was wicked. It was a place that was destroyed. There was only one family that was saved, and that family was led by a man named Lot, who was a nephew of a guy named Abraham, who prayed that Lots' family would be saved. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So, what Jesus is doing is he's drawing parallels. He’s saying, in the last days it's going to be much like what happened with Noah and Lot. But there is a difference between what happened with Noah and Lot. You see, with Sodom and Gomorrah, God was upset. God was very aggravated with the wickedness in Sodom and Gomorrah. And so what the Lord did is he destroyed two cities. But in the days of Noah, God did more than destroy two cities. He destroyed the entire world. And so what we learned is that in the days of Noah, there was a level of sin on the earth that maybe some of us have never actually tried to think through, or process, how bad the wickedness really had become. Because one of the things that we learn in Scripture about the days of Noah is recorded in Genesis chapter six, verse number five, and this is what it says, “And then the Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the whole earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually.” And so what God is pointing out about the days of Noah is that the thought life of culture had become completely wicked, to the point that the only thing that people thought about was sin and doing things that were increasingly wicked. And what we learned about the days of Noah, is that these people's minds had literally become corrupt. And that's one of the things that God was really upset about, is that it wasn't just that their actions were wrong, it's that their thoughts were wrong. It wasn't just that they were doing sinful things, it's that they were thinking sinful things.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Paul talked about how you can evaluate a culture's status with God. It's recorded in the book of Romans, chapter number one. Paul is writing a letter to the church at Rome. And in the first chapter of that letter, he begins to lay out for them the status of a culture spiritually, you should spend some time in Romans chapter one, you should read through it, you should meditate on it, you should give it some strong consideration for evaluating your own life, your own nation, the world that you live in. Romans chapter one, here's what he says, Paul lays out that the way that a culture spiritually progresses downwardly is the first thing they'll do is they'll start turning God into an image. They'll try to create some kind of idolatry. And God doesn't want them to do that, but they eventually keep doing it to the point that he's like, fine, if you want to live in that level of wickedness, then just have your way. Then he says, the next thing that happens is sexual perversion will become prominent in that culture. And God doesn't want them to do that, but because they so strive for it, because that humanity so long, or eventually, God just says, fine, if you want to be immoral in your sexual choices, if you want to be confused in your sexuality, then fine, have your way. Live in that sin, deal with the repercussions of that wickedness. And the next thing that happens is Scripture says that people, humanity, culture, will get so far from God, that they don't even want to think about God anymore. And so what God does is he removes a God consciousness, Scripture calls it a reprobate mind. In other words, God stops speaking to them through their conscience. And Scripture says that at that point, what happens is they become inventors of evil, and everything that they think about is increasingly wicked. That's what happened in the days of Noah. Undoubtedly, they walk through that spiritual progression. And the Scripture tells us that in the last days, it's going to be just like that, that you're going to find yourself in a culture that has the removal in many instances of a God consciousness, where people around you just become increasingly wicked, and increasingly vulgar, and increasingly perverse. And God doesn't want them to do that. And God longs to save them. God longs to give them an experience in the salvation of his Ark called heaven. But for whatever reason, people just keep on marrying, and they keep on going about their business, and they keep on planting and building and living life the way they want to. And then the next thing you know, their thoughts are so far from God, that they don't even realize how far removed they actually are from the Lord's will for their life. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But here's what we learned. Genesis, chapter six, verse nine, this is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on Earth. Here's what we know. Everybody else was thinking wicked. Everybody else was thinking perverse. Everybody else was consumed with their own ambition and their own agenda. But Noah chose to think differently. Noah thought differently. Tell that to somebody, Noah thought differently. Despite the fact that everybody around him is thinking evil, despite the fact that wickedness is abounding on all sides, it's all around his cul de sac, Noah thought differently, to the point that God saw that within his thought life, it could be considered blameless. Here's the thing. If Noah could think differently, you can too. I’m gonna say it again for the sake of emphasis, if Noah could think differently, you can too. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so here's what you need to realize is that in that day, is how it was and God says that in the last days, it's going to be much like the day of Noah. If God could find a man and Noah who would think differently, then God can find a man he can find a woman, he can find a family at your address, who is also going to think differently. Here's the way Paul put it. He's continuing that letter to the Romans. Remember what he had to say in chapter one? Well, by the time he gets to chapter 12, he's talking to the Church. And this is what he says in verse two. He says, don't copy the behavior in the customs of this world, but let God transform. I just feel like saying that like a preacher sometimes, you know. Let God, hallelujah. Let go and let God, just preaches better that way. I don't know, let God! Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. You're not going to think like the world, you're not going to process thoughts like the world. Your perspective is not going to match the perspective of the world. He will change the way you think, and then you will know God's will for your life, which is good and pleasing, and perfect. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

2 Corinthians chapter 10, verse five, Paul speaks more on the subject about how that you can think differently. This is what you have to do is you have to cast down arguments, vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. That what begins to happen when your thought life starts to go to a place that you know is not pleasing to God, and you sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit. With the help of God's grace, you grab hold of that thought, you take it captive, and you let that thought know, we don't think like that here. We think differently in this life, this family; take it captive. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I think maybe what some of us have to begin to realize is we're going to have to change what we meditate on. We're going to have to meditate on the right things. Psalm 19:14, said, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in the sight of God.” You know what's going on in the days of Noah? God was not pleased with what they were meditating on. You're thinking, well I don't know, what are you talking about preacher, meditating I don't I don't know how to meditate. Do you worry? I'm gonna help somebody this morning. I said, do you worry? I just don't know how to pay all these bills and how my kids are driving me crazy. And this man, I've married, I'm telling you, I'm about to lose my mind. What in the world. Oh, you know how to meditate. You do understand that when lust goes to the place of sexual fantasy that in many ways that is a form of what you are meditating on. What you are pursuing in your mind. And so what the writer of Psalm says is even what I'm meditating on, like, I want it to be pleasing to God. Joshua 1:8, it says, “Keep this book of the law always on your lips, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything that is written in it, and then you will be prosperous and you will be successful.” 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I was talking to one of my mentors yesterday while I was in some travel time on the road, and he was talking about what he is going to preach, and I was talking about what I was going to preach it amazingly, we were planning to say the same Scripture with some of the same emphasis and I kind of considered that confirmation to parenthetically insert it this morning. It's Ephesians chapter six, and Ephesians chapter six is about the armor of God. It’s where that we're told that we need to take the armor because we're gonna have to stand against wicked stuff. And the way that it reads is like this, verse 12, it says, Ephesians 6, “We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness. I’ve been meditating on this verse. See what I did there? I thought it was too, Larry, but I couldn't get no help. Spiritual hosts of wickedness, spiritual hosts of wickedness. I don't want to host wickedness. I don't want to give wickedness, a hospitable dwelling place in my mind or my heart. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know what happened in the days of Noah, people decided to host wickedness in their heart and in their mind, and it ultimately fulfilled their actions. I think you have to be careful when you start hosting wickedness in your mind and in your heart. So what we know is that Noah was successful because he chose to think differently. But when you read Genesis chapter six, verse nine, you'll realize that not only did Noah think differently, Noah walked differently. Genesis chapter six, verse nine, and this is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on the earth, here we go, and he walked in close relationship with God. He walked in close fellowship with God. He walked with God. So what I know that we're all striving for is that we would think differently. But also there has to be a motivation in our heart that we're also going to walk differently. This is where my friend Rich, I thought he had some really good things to say on the subject of walking with God. One of the things that he shared that I want you guys to get is he believes that one of the mistakes that people made in the days of Noah is that they chose to not value a relationship with God, and that caused them to miss the rescue attempt.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So what I would say to you this morning is that if you want to walk with God, then you have to choose to experience God in relationship, not just rescue. There's so many people that aren't interested in God until they need a rescue. But here's what you got to be careful with. If you don't value their relationship, you might miss the rescue. Can you imagine what it was like when those doors closed on that Ark? And here's ole Noah, he's been thinking differently, and they made fun of him. He tried to keep his family straight. His kids don't do what everybody else's kids do. His family don't act like everybody else's family acts. His family thinks differently. His family walks differently. People had said all kinds of stuff about them. They had mocked them. They had ridiculed them. They'd call them a fool. Nobody wanted anything to do with them until it started raining, and the water started rising. Can you imagine after the door shut on that boat? People were throwing everything they had towards the windows of Noah's Ark. Man, let me in. What does it cost? I'll give you anything I got to get a ticket on that boat. Let me, man, I need to be rescued! Help me shape my family! Help me save my kids! Like, I'll give you everything in my bank account alright, just let me in! It's too late. They chose to not think differently, they chose to not walk differently. Why? Because they did not value a relationship with God, and it caused them to miss the rescue. If you're going to walk with God, you have to experience Him in relationship, not just rescue. And the incredible thing about that is that you will learn before pain teaches you.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You do realize pain doesn't have to always be your teacher. Okay, I'm talking to all the hard headed folk, right now. Like, pain is not the only way to learn. And it'll teach you. Put your hand on a hot stove, I bet you don't touch it again. Pain will teach you. But that's not the only way to learn. When you walk with God in relationship, you get the help of the Holy Spirit to teach you. It's time to really focused on getting this ark done. It's time to really focus on getting the family ready for what's next in their relationship with God. And so I believe today that I get the privilege of preaching to a lot of folk who want to walk with God. And you need to realize if you're going to do that, it starts with choosing to think differently. And don't always live your life in a rescue mode but really start to value the relationship with God. Because when you think differently, and you walk differently, and you're not intimidated or afraid to be different, you will discover there is nothing you will face in life that you can overcome by walking with God. There is absolutely nothing that will ever come your way that you will not be able to overcome if you will just choose to keep walking with God. Come on, look over at somebody and tell him walk with God.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Like if I were to give you a bottom line of everything that I'm trying to say today, and if you had to walk out of here, and the only thing you heard this preacher say, take this with you; there is nothing you will face in life that you cannot overcome if you will just walk with God. Help me preach one more time, tell somebody “walk with God.” And that means you're going to walk differently than the world. It means you're going to think differently from the world. It doesn't mean you'll never experience suffering. It doesn't mean that you will never experience pain. It doesn't mean that there won't be moments where stuff goes wrong. But when you choose to walk with God, there is nothing, nothing that you can't overcome. The Roman Empire learned, lions can't eat it, fire can't burn it, and water can't drown it if people walk with God. And I know the enemy's trying to intimidate you, he's trying to come over the top of your life, he's trying to show you there's more that's against you than there are for you. He's got you trying to evaluate every scenario of your life of like, man, it just seems like wickedness is becoming so vulgar. And like, what kind of generation are my kids going to be raised in? And like, what is this thing going to look like 10, 15, 20 years from now? I can't tell you any of that. All I can tell you is that if we are in the last days, it'll be the same as it was in the days of Noah, it'll be the same as it was in the days of Lot. It's probably going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. But I came to tell you, if Noah can think differently, and Noah can walk differently, then you can think differently, and you can walk differently because you have the power of the Holy Spirit, not just with you but in you. Changing the way you think, changing the way you walk, changing the way you approach life. There is nothing you will ever face in life that you cannot overcome if you will just walk with God. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

There's this passage of text in the book of Philippians, and I think it's a really powerful passage of text, because Paul goes through a chapter of just telling those people that they need to think differently. And as he's talking to them about how they think that they should meditate on these things specifically, and this is the way that they should approach their thought life, you get kind of to the end of that passage, and he makes this statement in Philippians chapter four, verse 22, he says ”And all the rest of God's people send you greetings too, especially those in Caesar's household.” Everybody say “Caesar's household.” That is important. You can't just read the Bible, you got to read the Bible. Meditate on it. I did it again. Nobody was…Caesar's household. Caesar's household. You know who the Caesar was at the time Paul wrote, it was a joker by the name of Nero. Wicked aint a strong enough word. Evil beyond your wildest imagination. You know what he did for sport? He took Christians, put them in this thing called the Colosseum and said everybody come watch the lions and the bears eat them for fun. Watch the gladiators drive their swords and their spears through their heart and spew the blood just while we mock the Christians. Can you all put the verse back up again, Philippians chapter four, verse 22, “And the rest of God's people send you greetings especially,” you got to love Paul, “especially those in Caesar's household.” In other words, if this letter is intercepted, and it does not make it to the church at Philippi, because I do understand that Philippi is under Roman control, I want Caesar to get the message that lions can eat it. I got cold chills on top of cold chills, because I feel the unction of God, somebody needs to hear this. I kind of want Caesar to get the memo; water didn't drown it, and fire didn't burn it. So when we're passing greetings around to the churches, and all the other Christians, somebody needs to let Caesar know there are steel, people who profess the power of the name of Jesus even in his own household. And they're not afraid to send greetings and let somebody know that they still serve God Almighty through the resurrected power of his son. Come on, you need some of that faith on the inside of you. Especially Caesar's household.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It sounds to me like some people who chose to think differently. Some people who chose to walk differently, some people who were willing to risk everything, to think differently, and walk differently, and to put God first. I don't know what your house is like, it may not be a fun place for some of you, you're even dreading going home, but I doubt Nero lives there. I thought it would too, and I still couldn't get no help. I need Pastor Curt to come back right now and give me an amen. Whole idea is canceled, Curt's coming back to give amen's, that's all he's gonna do, just give amens. You get it, right? Like you may be going home to a bad situation but there might be a roaring line. You're probably not headed to the Colosseum today.


Pastor Eric Gilbert

If Noah could think differently, if the Christians in the household of Caesar could think differently, you can think differently. And if you can think differently, you can walk differently. And when you walk differently, there is nothing hell can do with you. The gates of hell might come at you that might send stuff your direction, but they cannot prevail. Weapons might be formed, but they cannot prosper, bad things can happen, and God will take it and say, I'll work it to your good. It may not make sense to you, that's why he said, don't lean to your own understanding. Spiritual wickedness will increase. Darkness will become more perverse. But there's no greater time for the light to shine than when things get increasingly dark. And it's your moment to shine. Hey, Noah, maybe nobody at your workplace will listen to you. Hey, Noah, like, like maybe you haven't been successful in your locker room. Hey, No, No, Noah, maybe you haven't been able to get through to your neighbor. You keep working on your family if you can't win nobody else. Because at the end of the day when that door closed, Noah had his wife and his babies right there beside him able to say this family has chosen to think differently, walk differently, and we have been saved because of it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I don't know. They're gonna play some music. I pray for this all the time. I pray the Lord Let me have a soft heart and thick skin. Some of you should pray for it too in case you’re wondering. Soft heart, thick skin. I mean, I pray for it a lot, just about every day in my life. A lot of days before I even get out of the bed, I'm like, soft heart. thick skin. I have lost count of how many times I have been cussed out online this week, just preaching. Preaching about love. Mean, hateful. You know what we're gonna keep doing? We’re gonna be kind, we’re gonna be gracious, we're gonna speak truth, we're gonna package it in love, gonna have speech that’s filled with grace, seasoned with salt. And we're gonna let people know everyone needs Jesus, and nothing's gonna stop that. Because lions can't eat it, water can't drown it, fire can't burn it. There is nothing he can do with a man or woman who chooses to think and walk differently. There will always be an ark coming. The kingdom of heaven. You will survive the storm. Just choose to think differently, walk differently, with the help of God. I know it's tough. I get it. Trust me, I get it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You've been made and appointed to the earth for such a time as this. So if, as it was in the days of Noah, that's how all the bad stuffs described. You know what you're supposed to look like right? Noah. Nice to meet you. Make your back like a T-rail. Think differently, walk differently, and watch God be God in your life.