Noah – The Original Doomsday Prepper

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Julie and I occasionally enjoy watching Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo. Gaining popularity through all the recent apocalyptic, 12-21-12, Mayan prophecy hype, each show tells the story of three families and their efforts to prepare for every possible end-game scenario. Some episodes are quite entertaining and others are pretty educational. To conclude each installment, National Geographic’s “preparedness experts” critique each group’s readiness in case of an apocalyptic event. My personal favorite was a guy in Arizona who re-designed the in-ground family pool into a self-sustaining ecosystem stocked with a vegetable garden, suspended chicken coop and Tilapia pond. Several segments I found completely laughable. The couple who turn all the lights off in the house every night and practice navigating through their property carrying loaded hand guns seemed a little nuts until they revealed teaching themselves some obscure east Asian language to communicate without intruders understanding them; that officially crossed the line into psycho-crazy. Then there’s the Faraday cage guy.  He’s built multiple storage facilities and underground bunkers designed as Faraday cages. The Faraday cage, named after its inventor, 19th century scientist Michael Faraday, is composed of chain-linked metal walls that shield its contents from static electric fields and electro-magnetic radiation by redistributing electric charges around the exterior walls. The guy building these is convinced an EMP resulting from a massive solar flare will wipe out all electronic and electrically dependent aspects of  life as we know it, resulting in a world-wide apocalyptic event. The major flaw in his plan was getting to these Faraday safe-houses without today’s computerized automobiles. At least the weather radio buried in the box in the desert will be safe!

We make jokes about people preparing for the end of society as we know it, particularly those who seem to go overboard. However, as we heard in week 2 of It’s Not About You this morning, Christians should lead the preparatory charge because we know what’s coming and we know the warning signs!

I’m sure I would have been one of the skeptics talking about Noah, the crazy old fool in the Old Testament. Noah proposed building a contraption no one had ever heard of for a weather event never experienced in the history of the earth to save people who really didn’t care to listen. Add to that, the earth-encompassing flood Noah prophesied and prepared for did not occur until 120 years after he started construction on the boat! Noah had an endless list of “why not’s” to keep the ark from being constructed, but he moved forward anyway.

Last week, we were encouraged to approach that thing in our gut that seems impossible to accomplish but nags anyway with a “why not” attitude. Today, we take that attitude a step further, turning attitude into action. After we accept our passion as our call to action, true faith responds by turning the vision into reality.

What would today look like if Noah, the great-grandfather of doomsday preppers, had not followed through on his project; building the ark, convincing his family to get on board (not to mention all those animals), and continually sharing the apocalyptic motivations of his mission with the public? According to another NatGeo show, society would now be run by coyotes, but no, the coyotes wouldn’t have survived either!

The historic events of that world-wide flood and Noah’s efforts to rebuild society are both history and prophecy. Speaking prophetically, the impending flood is a coming apocalypse, the ark is Christ, Noah is the Christian.

Are you prepared?

Heaven

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As we finish our series called Afterlife, we end on the subject we’ve built up to over the last three weeks. In week one we talked about the guarantee of death, week two emphasized the reality of hell and the consequences of ignoring it. Two heavy messages that pushed us to the brink of depression. The last message in the Afterlife series changed our outlook like pulling up from the first drop on an electromagnetic roller coaster, the nature of heaven.

There is one explicit guarantee the Bible gives us about heaven, we can’t even conceive how wonderful it is (1 Corinthians 2:9). The wildest imaginations of the most creative people still wouldn’t touch it. My favorite description of heaven penned by William P Young in his novel The Shack. Young describes the main character’s observations of heaven as a rainbow of moving colors. Each soul in heaven generated light, as emotions grew stronger, so would the light emanating from the soul. For any Heroes fans out there, the Emma Coolidge character embodied what I imagine in The Shack’s description.

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Emma Coolidge was an extremely talented cellist. Adding to her amazing musical ability was the fact she

was also deaf. Instead of hearing sound, Emma’s supernatural ability was that she saw sound (scientifically referred to as synesthesia). The more intense and emotional the sound, the more vibrant the colors. As her character developed, she learned to control those colorful sound waves by focusing and directing them in the form of a weapon.

This is the same kind of imagery I pictured when I read The Shack, waves of colorful sound dancing together, reflected in today’s drawing.

I aim to pull your eye with the same centrifugal force as our topics of discussion took through this series. Accomplishing this, today’s is the first drawing since I began making spontaneous visual translations where I use color. I sketched the drawing lightly in graphite during the service, but I pulled out the old Prismacolors and finished the drawing this afternoon. The page is a rainbow of colors overlapping and blending with each other. The swirl of color on the bottom of the page forms the symbol of infinity, representing eternity. A hand reaches down from the top of the page holding a lush new earth. The hand itself is part of the colorful background, defined only by darker values on the edges. This is God’s hand, delivering a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-4). In the new earth, God dwells with His people (v.3) and life flourishes without mourning, crying, or pain.

This is heaven, God physically living with us for eternity.