Noah and Christians in the 21st Century
It is easy to become discouraged when you look around you and see the lax morals, the injustice and violence in our present society, and the lack of folks who will cry out against these things and offer a remedy for them. However, what we are facing is not new. It has happened to others. In the book of Genesis we read of Noah and the great wickedness that was prevalent in his day. The God of the Bible is a loving and merciful God who is patient with sinners, but He is also a holy and just God who will punish wickedness that is not confessed and from which people fail to repent. God's punishment of the wicked is not due to Him being a bully or Him being unloving and unreasonable. Heinous crimes and brutality occur daily. Innocent people are greatly harmed. God would not be very loving if He did not punish wickedness.
God had a remedy then and He has one now. God empowered Noah to build an ark, to preach judgement against wickedness, and to proclaim a remedy which was an open door to enter the ark. Those of us who are in Christ have the same calling and the same empowering. We are to proclaim God's holy and righteous character, his wonder and his glory. When we do so many will see that they fall short of God's holy standards. This is when we are to compel them to come to Jesus, the Ark of safety and experience the joy of salvation in the midst of judgement. As we compare Noah's experience and our present day situation we will see that there are five things that were true of Noah's ministry that also apply to us today.
First of all, there was only one window in the ark. It opened at the top. The only hope in Noah's day was to look up. The only hope in our day is to look up and behold Christ (Hebrews 12:3). Generations later Babylon's King discovered the glorious truth of looking to God. In Daniel 4:34 we read, ""But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation."
Second, the ark had only one door. There was only one way to enter Noah's ark. Everyone that came in had to come in through it. There is only one door to enter to avoid God's judgement against sin and find safety and peace and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 10:9). Jesus Himself said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
Thrid, everyone who entered the ark was changed in nature. Animals that would normally fight and eat one another had to have a change of heart in order to survive on Noah's ark. Likewise, those who enter Jesus Christ, God's Ark of safety, will experience a change of heart. One of the reasons there is so much fighting and grumbling in professing Christian circles is that there are many in our midst who have never known the changing power of the gospel. It is not enough to profess. You must also possess. The inhabitants of Noah's ark were there for 40 days and 40 nights. Many folks in the church have a hard time sitting next to certain fellow church members. What about you? Have you experienced the glorious change that the gospel makes? We've not arrived, but there should be progress from the day we entered the Ark of safety until now. Christians are the happiest, most miserable people on earth. Happy that Jesus has saved us and that we are not what we once were, but miserable about the slow progress in becoming more like Christ. Salvation results in a change in the one who receives it and it keeps on changing us.
Fourth, everyone who entered the ark had to pass through the water. They sailed on the seas. The one who has come to Christ has experienced the waters of baptism. Baptism signifies that one has died to herself and has come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The old flehsly nature has been put to death and Christ is now being formed in the believer.In Romans 6:4 we read, "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
Fifth, the time came when the door was shut in Noah''s ark. Noah preached 120 years while building the ark, but then the time of building was over, the animals and Noah's family entered the ark and then God shut the door. Likewise, while true believers are sharing the gospel, some folks of coming to Christ and others reject the message, but the day is coming when the last appeal to come to Christ is over. God will shut the door of opportunity either through death or Christ's return and the physical Kingdom of God will be established. The time for heeding the gospel message where you agree with God that you are a sinner, trust in Christ's death on the cross as punishment for your sin, turn from your sin and place your trust in the resurrected Christ who will impart new life to you and turn you from the ways of sin and death wil be over. God will one day lock the door of opportunity. You won't be able to enter the Ark of Safety, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7 we are compelled to enter in at the strait, gate, which is the narrow gate. There is a day of reckoning coming. May such truth compell the unbeliever to run to Christ and sue for mercy. May this message compel us to passionately pursue lost people in our communities and spread the message of salvation through Christ so that our friends and loved ones, our neighbors and co-worker, our fellow students and church members will escape God's judgment and know the glorious joy of having a personal relationship with the Christ who died and rose again to bring us to Him.
The video below features the song The Perfect Lamb of God. Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God, is God's glorious remedy for the coming storm of judgment.