Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Apologetics - The Flood

Apologetic Thought – The Flood

“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook 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 (2 Peter 3:4-6).”

It is with these words that Peter makes clear the connection between the Flood in the days of Noah and the judgement at the end of the world when Jesus comes back. It is perhaps this connection that leads people to want to pretend the worldwide flood never happened. If that great example of God’s judgement never happened, maybe the second world ending judgement won’t happen either.

The Bible is quite clear, however, that the flood did happen. Not only is there a detailed historical account in Genesis, there are also mentions in Psalm 104:9 (never again will [the waters] cover the earth), 1 Peter 3:18-22, and Matthew 24:37-39. All of these have at least a passing connection to judgement.

Psalm 104 ends with this line: “Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!” Consumed, perhaps, by the fire in the coming judgement.

In 1 Peter, the events of the flood are connected to Baptism. Just as Noah and his family were saved by the Ark from the coming judgement, so too are we saved through our Baptism. It is in Baptism that Jesus’ death and resurrection are applied to us. It is through Jesus' death on the cross that we are saved.

Matthew 24:37-39 is part of a larger lesson by Jesus on the end times. “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Just as God judged the whole world during Noah’s day, so too will He judge it when Jesus comes back. And just as in the days of Noah, it will sneak up on us, so be prepared. Make sure you are in the ark (the Church) and not like the scoffers, who think judgement will never come.

There is great danger in ignoring parts of the Bible. As we talked about the very first week of this devotion regarding Creation, when you start picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to believe, there can be unintended consequences regarding important doctrines. With the flood, you’re dealing with God’s judgement and patience, the end times, and Baptism. There are even indirect issues, like the trustworthiness of Jesus and the Bible itself. If you aren’t going to believe in a miraculous flood, why believe in a miraculous rising from the dead? If you aren’t going to believe in one part of the Bible, why believe any of it?

Again, as with the creation questions, we have to ask the question “Doesn’t science prove the flood never happened?” Actually, there is quite a bit of evidence that the earth was covered with water at some point in the past. Marine fossils found all over the place, even on the tops of mountains. Huge rock layers that spread across continents. Rapid burial of animals (there’s a fossil of an animal giving birth, a fish about to eat another fish, and soft animals, such as jellyfish). The problem isn’t with the evidence, but how you view that evidence. If you start with the idea that the Bible gives an accurate history of the world, you will see a worldwide flood. If you think that God doesn’t exist or that the Bible isn’t true, you will have to come up with an alternative explanation.

If you want to learn more, Answers in Genesis has a lot of research and information on the flood that you can check out on their website. You can also find the Lutheran Hour Ministries study called “Noah - The Man, The Ark, The Flood” here: www.lhm.org/studies
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