It has always been really frustrating to me that this subject must even be discussed among fellow believers. To be honest, I would rather argue with naturalists and whether there was even a flood at all. That seems to be a more fruitful argument. It just drives me crazy that a discussion among Christians concerning whether the flood was global or local must be had. The folks at Reasons to Believe have long held to a local flood viewpoint. At the link provided, they seem to present a fairly convincing argument with their interpretation of the passage as depicted in Genesis. However; many, including myself, will find problems with their interpretation of Genesis, but in this day and age this should not really surprise us. A continued sacrifice of the plain reading of Genesis continues to be a growing problem today.

I believe the answer to this question can be easily answered in Jesus’ words.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matthew 24:36-38

Luke records it this way;

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:  They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” – Luke 17:26-27

I know, I know; passages like this are difficult for many to interpret. The reason is, they are prophetic passages and there are always many different conclusions people come to when reading prophetic passages. Is Jesus referring to the Rapture here? Is He referring to His Second coming? I have my own conclusions, but I will withhold them from this writing. Let’s just say that pertaining to this passage Jesus is speaking of a time when He will come back.  When; rapture in the air or physical second coming to earth? Not important for our purposes today. I simply want to point out that Jesus is speaking of a future return of His, who will survive it, who will not, and what event He compares this too.

Let’s just keep this simple.

  1. Those saved during the flood (Noah and his family) were the ones who heeded God’s warning and believed.
  2. Those who perished during the flood were those who chose not to believe.
  3. According to the above passages, when Jesus returns, those spared are those who believe in Him.
  4. According to the above passages, when Jesus returns, those destroyed are those that choose not to believe.

Luke’s account above is important to note that those destroyed during the flood were “all.” This would imply that all who believe are spared from being destroyed. We know that Jesus died for allpeople, for all sins. One day Jesus will return to earth and all people caught not believing will be destroyed. If Noah and the flood that Jesus refers to was just a local flood then not all creation was destroyed; therefore, only some were saved and some destroyed. It would then necessary follow that Jesus did not really die for all mankind. Since we know this to be false…

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world…”

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned…”

2 Corinthians 5:14 – “…that if One died for all…”

John 1:29 – “”Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

1 John 2:2 – “And He Himself is the propitiation of our sins, and not ours only but also for the whole world.

1 John 4:14 – “…the Father has sent His Son as Savior of the world.”

…then we must conclude that either Jesus lied (or was mistaken) concerning the flood, or the flood was global. Since a lie would be a sin, His death and resurrection would have been pointless (1 Corinthians 15:12-14). By the verses mentioned above, we know that to not be the case; therefore, the flood of Noah that Jesus refers to must have been global in order to properly reflect His global salvation He provides to all who will believe.

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Comment by Travis Smith on February 27, 2013 at 1:51pm

Thanks for all the great comments and opportunities to sharpen one another. I typically deal with atheists and all around skeptics on my website. It sure is nice to have some "peaceful" conversation for a change in which I am not referred to in some derogatory fashion. Praise the Lord for fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. 

Comment by Lolita Hayes on February 27, 2013 at 1:42pm

Hey Travis;

I just want to agree and support your views on a world wide flood versus a local flood, and about God's redemptive plan for mankind. When we open up and share our veiwpoints however, I have leared that people can respond to our opinions in various ways and so to them I just say that we agree to disagree. Keep up the great posts regardless of the repsonses. God calls us to obedience, and you never know how just one of your posts may effect someone in a positive, life changing way!

Comment by James (Jim) Brenneman on February 27, 2013 at 1:36pm

Different men of great sincerity and godliness have different readings of Scripture. These are true Christians and great biblical expositors and exegetes. They have different interpretations.

However, while skilled men of the Word seek exegesis, nonetheless, there are others not so skilled who impose eisegesis, based on the most recent scientific discoveries of supposed new facts. Godly interpreters will always seek to avoid eisegesis, seeking instead a sound and solid exegesis. Godly interpreters and godly students of the Scriptures will humbly solicit from their peer saints a pointing out of any straying into the error of eisegesis.

While the vocabulary of the Bible often warrants a number of different possible translations for a particular word, nonetheless in every passage and in every usage of Scripture there remain a single and particular sense that is correct and that is the intent of the author. It is the task of linguists and grammarians to honestly seek the one and only proper meaning for the word in question for each passage of Scripture. It is not like a multiple choice game or a smorgasbord, in which the reader is free to scoop up whatever meaning suits his or her fancy. There is a single correct and proper sense for each word in each and every passage.

The translation and sense of the word "EARTH" even in English is not uncertain. And in the case of the Hebrew word 'Erets, the meaning intended may be determined by several factors:

  • The immediate context
  • Modifying numbers and descriptive terms
  • Parallel passages elsewhere in Scripture
  • AND the whole of the Bible.

That being said, there is no way to seriously suggest that there is any uncertainty as to what the writer of Genesis 19 meant to convey in reporting the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah ("When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed it referred to the whole world, what world?") How do we know the answer to the question "what world?"

We know from numerous verses in the passage that Lot and his family fled to a nearby region that was not destroyed. Noah did not have this option.

We know from modifying descriptors that the area of destruction was a limited portion of the whole earth:

  • "Sodom," "vale of Siddim," "this place," "this city," "the city," "in all the plain," "upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah," "those cities," "all the plain," "all the land of the plain," "the county" [which Abraham beheld from a safe place], "the cities of the plain," "the cities in which Lot had dwelt,"

THEN BY CONTRAST there were regions delineated as unaffected by the judgment:

  • "the mountain," "forth abroad," "this city near," "a little one," "this city for the which thou hast spoken," "thither," "Zoar," "the place where [Abraham] stood before the LORD," "the mountain" [where Lot went to dwell], "a cave"

However, in the case of the Flood narrative, there are no such qualifying delineations, and there are no safe places anywhere mentioned. The only place of safety was the Ark. That is what the whole Bible teaches. AND as Travis noted, there is no point for building an ark if there was some place to flee.

There is a right and a wrong meaning for the word Earth in every passage where it occurs. It is usually quite knowable as well. And this is certainly the case in the Flood narrative. Certainly we should extend grace and kindness to those who do not see it this way. But we cannot allow that there is any legitimacy at all to their eisegetical imposition of their arbitrary assignment of meaning to the word 'Erets. We do need to have grace toward those with whom we disagree. We should never call them nasty or evil or dishonest or less than Christian just because they disagree with us. And likewise we should never treat them as less than true Christians just because they are wrong about the intended meaning and sense of the word 'Erets.

It certainly does have an effect on the whole Bible and the message of the Bible if the narration of the Creation in Genesis One and Two is really an allegory, or if it refers to an origin that began to take place billions of years ago, culminating in the "creation" of modern man only about 100,000 years ago or so.

Likewise it certainly does have an effect on the whole Bible if the simple account of the Global Flood is not taken as stated. And if the global flood is removed from our view of science, then every thing about fossils and geology and earth-history becomes jumbled and confused.

This not to say that those who have an inadequate view of the Global Flood are not sincere, or that they are not "good Christian men." Not at all. But they are still wrong.

And it is still true that the local flood view does do damage to the rest of the revelation. It makes Jesus mistaken. It allows the possibility that the judgments of Christ will not be upon the whole world, and that His salvation is not offered to the whole world, as you Travis, well pointed out in your opening statement to these comments.

One's view of the Flood has a profound influence on one's outlook toward the whole of Scripture, and toward science. If one denies the Global Extent of the Flood, then we are forced to engage in all sorts of machinations to account for the evidence of catastrophe within the young earth time-frame. It doesn't matter whether you include 10,000 years, or 50,000 years within the pale of Young Earth Creationism, there is still no room in that brief length of time to  account for all the phenomena of geology (fossils and strata and plate tectonics) within any YEC model. Indeed we know that even four billion years cannot be enough time for the proposed processes of the secularists to produce the geological record of the earth.

NO ONE who is a creationist has EVER suggested as we have so often been accused that "all Christians that have a local flood view [are] fools, liars, purveyors of a false gospel?" No one on this site has ever made that claim. Frankly I am a little tired of hearing the indictment being leveled again and again and again. It is a violation of rule engagement to make that claim in the forums and discussions of this Creation Conversations site.

NONE of us here at Creation Conversations believes that "saved born again believers of any sort are suddenly lost or have an evil desire to pervert the word of God" just because they are wrong about the Flood. They are saved persons who are wrong about the Flood. Yes they are born again believers, but they are still wrong about the Flood.

It is those who reject the Global Extent of the Flood who apparently lack grace toward those of us who accept the plain narrative in its direct sense as conveying that the world that then was perished to be replace by the world that now is. Please have grace toward those of us who disagree with the local flood views. Accept us as true godly believers who partake of the character of Christ by His indwelling Holy Spirit. You don't have to agree with us, but you do need to accept us.

Yes one's view of the Flood does reflect on one's view of the whole of Scripture. And what we are saying is that by inference, if one approached the rest of Scripture in this manner that allows a mere local flood, then logically one would be left with local salvation.

Yet thankfully, most local flood proponents limit their shoddy exegesis to the Flood passages, and they are indeed able to compartmentalize and they do retain a sound theology of Christ and Soteriology, and these who are in error about the extent of the Flood, are not in error about the extent of the Gospel, and as Lou as well said:

They serve a risen Savior who is Christ the Lord and has wrought in them by His grace the same work he has produced in you and I.  Cheers!!!!

Even though they are simply wrong about the extent of the Flood, they are in indeed our regenerate brothers in Christ. AND we are their brothers. When will they accept us?

Comment by Travis Smith on February 27, 2013 at 1:08pm

Thanks again for your comments. It's great to think through these issues. Pertaining your question at the end, "...why do you believe this???" I believe in a straight forward exegetical (not eisegetical) literal reading of Scripture in a grammatical, historical context. I understand even that can create differences in interpreting Scripture. From Genesis to Revelation we see what is referred to as the "Scarlet Thread" that is woven clear through the Bible. God had/has a redemptive plan for us from day one and that plan includes the entire world. For sake of short time on my part, the reason I believe what I do concerning the Flood, is it simply "makes more sense" when considering God's overall plan for the world and mankind.

Have a good day. Thanks for the challenging thoughts.

Comment by Lou Hamby on February 27, 2013 at 12:12pm

Dear Travis regardless of a local flood or not, and I will just play devils advocate with your post---the bible is clear about the amount of water, and local flood doesn't for me indicate some little rain and a stream of water.  Local could have and very well must have been by the nature of the scriptures huge!!!! But it could have been localized in a large area. All fowl in that area would have been destroyed...???

Was it the boat or the flood or GODs judgement at the time?  God is not a trickster, if he had Noah build a huge Ark cable of accommodating the animals he supernaturally brought  to the boat, GOD new ahead fo time what he was going to bring?  Don't you think?  So no, your inference about building a boat fits totally with scripture but I don't think your arguments is very good because when "you" think of local you think of some big river stream, and that is not what the bible actually implies at all.

So after their time on the water and God "does" send out a bird, it finally comes back with a fully mature branch in its mouth, from an olive tree? A lowland tree that takes years to mature from seedling? The Ark rested on the hills somewhere in the Iran, Turkey area...we don't exactly know.... I think that s enough for me and I will move on.  I think there are a lot of scripture that referes to specific issues that no doubt imply wwFlood. One reason why I don't have a particular position, but I am not going to discuss that on this forum...I just think having grace for others that have invested as much time in study and are indeed believers--for me the question should be----why do you believe this???  Theres enough criticism going around to fill everyones buckets and I have been just as guilty of that myself.....Cheers!

Comment by Travis Smith on February 27, 2013 at 11:23am

Lou, thanks for your comments brother. Good thoughts. There are certainly some very practical questions that can be raised concerning proponents of a local flood. Like, why did Noah build a boat to begin with? Why not just walk to where dry land was going to be? He had 100 years to do it. Or; if Noah's flood was local, why did God provide a rainbow promising never to flood the earth again? If that's the case, then did God lie, for we have had countless local floods over the centuries. Or; why bring birds on the ark? There are certainly some very practical things to think through that would appear to propose problems for the local flood view. Thanks again for your comments.

Comment by Lou Hamby on February 27, 2013 at 10:58am

Different men have different eisegesis of scripture ... Jesus, did not lie.  In that context there are different people that see that differently than you.  First of all when is all mean all?  When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed it refered to the whole world, what world?  The then known world of that day and to that author and peoples of that area.  When we look at the word eretz, (earth) there are 15000 differnt references to earth all implying local or known to the author or those that lived in that area but not the whole world.  So while your some what critical of a different view coming from Christians, I think we should have grace for all in spite of being a wwFLood proponent.  

I don't have a firm position myself, but I can see it from both ways, but some of the published literature by Creationists I don't buy into 100% even though I am indeed YEC and take the Bible very seriously as you do as well.  There are good reasons why some take a local flood view, what bothers me more is old earth and GOd needing long periods of time to accomplish his work.  That, I have an issue with. While some Christians see the whole bible being changed if there was a local flood not saying there was or wasn't, it certainly would affect certain authors and published accounts and inferences.....how is it, that good Christian men who actually take the flood as local are not bothered by any inferences that the scripture are changed and that GOd is a lar or that Jesus sacrifice wasn't perfect? Are all Christians that have a local flood view fools,liars, purveyors of a false gospel? I understand the arguments of the flood clearly, but I don't think that saved born again believers of any sort are suddenly lost or have an evil desire to pervert the word of God. They believe what they do strongly as the rest of us, so I would have grace for those that don't see it that way.  You have a great argument I'd be confident to put your argument across as is and with grace!!!.  The context of comments above are not applicable to this argument, not one jot or tittle of Gods Work in this world through himself or His Son is changed due to a local flood.  I think if men who have a proensity toward a local flood thought they were changing the actual work of God by what they preached or their view, they would not be discussing this view at all....because like you they serve a risen Savior who is Christ the Lord and has wrought in them by His grace the same work he has produced in you and I.  Cheers!!!!

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