Commentary on "The God of Grace and Judgment"
Day 4: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - The Flood
It seems that every lesson departs from Scripture at some point during the week. Today is the day that this lesson ran off the tracks.
This lessons claims that "By building the ark, Noah was giving the world a warning about judgment. What's implied, too, is that there was a grace period, a chance for the world to turn from its evil ways and accept God's salvation." The lesson then goes on to provide Ellen White quotes that describe exactly what they claim Scripture "implies". This is actually a perfect illustration of how Ellen White is unconsciously used to re-write the Bible by SDAs. The "implication" comes directly from Ellen White. Once it has been read and understood in Ellen White's writings as truth, then it becomes obvious that, even though Scripture doesn't say a single word about the subject, Scripture must still be implying what Ellen White said. So the meaning and content of Scripture is determined based on Ellen White's writings, instead of examining her writings based on what is said in Scripture.
This lesson claims that "grace was offered to all (of Noah's contemporaries)…until it was too late and the door of mercy was shut."
Please read Genesis chapter 6 and quote a single verse where anyone besides Noah and his family were invited to enter the ark. It simply isn't there. Noah is called a "preacher of righteousness" but there are no verses in Scripture indicating the he preached repentance and salvation by entering the ark.
Let's look at what Scripture does say in Gen 6:
"13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
According to this verse, God had already determined His verdict and made the plan to execute His judgment. There is no indication of some additional period of grace, and certainly no "door of mercy" described in this passage. The door of mercy is an SDA concept that is linked to the Investigative judgment. It does not have a Scriptural link to this passage but the authors have tried to force this doctrine into Scripture.
Gen 6 is also clear on who God had determined to include in the salvation.
"18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you."
God established a covenant with Noah. This covenant did not include others. Just as God's covenant with Abraham did not extend the same promises to Lot. God made a specific covenant with a specific person, telling that person that he and his family were the only ones to go on to the ark.
Rather than looking to Ellen White or to some fabricated "implications" of the passage, we should rely on what the Word of God actually says. The Word of God is both accurate and completely sufficient.
The lesson ends with the question:
"How can you learn to better surrender to that grace and have it mold you into the image of Christ?"
I discussed in yesterday's lesson the difference between the Biblical/Protestant meaning of grace and the Roman Catholic view of grace. Notice how the term "grace" has shifted here to that power for "inner change"?
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