Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 7: Victory Over Death)

 

Cross atop a hill nestled amidst boulders with massive stairs leading to it. People stare and some walk to it and some are near it.

No survivors.

If you weren’t on the ark, you didn’t survive. It’s the unfortunate truth. We have an ark today. Jesus built it with His life and it is life-giving. Think of it as the cross. In the past 6 episodes, we have seen how Noah’s Ark is the ride of our lives because the true story from ancient times is the same story for us today. Come to the cross. The door is open. Step aboard the Ark and live.

 

This post is Episode 7 of an 8-episode series about boarding and deboarding Noah’s Ark. If you’re visiting this series for the first time, you should start at Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives. Otherwise, sit back and experience Episode 7.

 

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

Episode 7: Victory Over Death 

As I mentioned in Episode 6, Noah’s story didn’t end when his son found him naked and drunk. His other sons covered him through an act of honor and forgiveness and his story is remembered even today as a reminder of God’s judgment upon the unrighteous and His promise to all life. Noah himself is remembered as a righteous man of faith who trusted God to spend possibly over 100 years building an ark to God’s specifications. During that time, he warned people about the Flood and urged them to return to God (1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 11:7).

This man of faith had a very personal relationship with God who blessed him with inner peace that passes understanding to endure decades of what must have been misunderstanding, rejection, and ridicule, among other things (Philippians 4:7). But Noah’s faith and relationship with God could not satisfy the judgment carried out on his contemporaries. Every one of them was responsible for their decisions to accept or reject God’s invitation to board the ark.

This is a somber reality and many, many more seemingly innocent bystanders are in this same situation today. Every one of us is individually responsible for turning to God. No one can rely on the faith of another, not even a spouse or parent, to save them from God’s judgment. It’s also not enough to attend church. It’s not enough to regularly invite the pastor or chaplain for visits. It’s not enough to be the kindest and most sacrificial people we can be. We need to personally rely on the saving work of Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. God will save and hold each one of us who turns to Him for His gracious salvation.

***
Click to tweet
God will save and hold each of us
who turns to Him for His gracious salvation

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For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,
putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;
 

if he did not spare the ancient world
when he brought the flood on its ungodly people,
but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes,
and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed
by the depraved conduct of the lawless

(for that righteous man, living among them day after day,
was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials
and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:4-9


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

 
Noah got his family onto the ark, but his wife, 3 sons, and 3 daughters-in-law each had a decision to make (Ezekiel 14:12-20): trust God and follow Him or do life and death without Him. In the long run, with respect to Heaven and Hell, Noah’s righteousness only saved himself. Presumably, we expect to see his entire family in Heaven, but we really don’t know if each of them individually trusted God for everlasting life.

If you haven’t put your trust in the blood of Jesus to pay the penalty for your sins, do it now. Because it’s not a life of faith that sets your path toward Heaven. It’s faith in the saving work of Jesus on the cross and in His resurrection. This is what you must believe and rely on:

  1. I am not righteous and I fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23)
  2. My sin, including my sinfulness, is punishable by death (Romans 6:23)
  3. God’s Son Jesus satisfied the penalty of my sins by giving His life (Romans 5:8)
  4. Jesus rose from His grave and defeated death (John11:25)
  5. Jesus is Lord of all and Lord of my life (Romans 14:8-9)


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17


Eternal life in Heaven is available to everyone but only given to those who put their faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It’s a gift of compassion for all of us who are born into a bloodline of sin due to the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12-21).

 

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

I’ve been struggling with how to write this post because it puts a difficult question on the table. Will I trust Jesus and live forever in Heaven, or will I decline His gift and suffer eternity in Hell? I don’t want to tell people they are condemned, but they are (John 3:18). I don’t want to offend anyone, but it’s actually God who’s offended. He set life in motion and He waits with open arms for people to lean in to Him in faith, but far too many have not done that. Despite this rejection, the invitation stands. God still gives the opportunity to live in the midst of death.

***
Click to tweet
God gives the opportunity to live
in the midst of death

****

 

Let’s see how this worked for Noah.

Faith led Noah to listen when God warned him
about the things in the future that he could not see. 
He obeyed God and built a ship to save his family. 
Through faith Noah condemned the world and
received God's approval that comes through faith.

Hebrews 11:7


We remember from Episode 2 that it was Noah’s faith that led to God’s approval (i.e., forgiveness of sin), not his obedience. Though Noah offered sacrifices for his sins, his faith was in God’s promise of Jesus who would someday pay the price for sins once and for all. No need for further sacrifice. Noah trusted in Jesus’ future sacrifice and God approved of his faith.

The Ark provided temporary salvation to Noah and his family and it illustrates the eternal salvation offered to all humankind. The Ark was the vessel that carried Noah and his family to safety by God’s design. God waits patiently for us as He did in the days of Noah. The Ark for us is the death and resurrection of Jesus and it's symbolized by the cross. When we step aboard the Ark, we place our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and in His victory over death when He rose from His grave and returned to the highest position given to Him by God. (See 1 Peter 3:16-22 and Romans6:3-5.)

We can rise above our figurative watery graves through faith in Jesus who didn’t remain buried. He conquered death and has authority in Heaven. Because He rose, He said we can rise, too. We don’t have to remain buried by floodwaters.

There will never be another worldwide flood, but worldwide fire is coming so the time to board the Ark is now. The time to come to the cross of Jesus for everlasting life is now. No one else can do it for you.

God offers victory over death.

 

In the next and final episode of this series, we will read about Jesus’ return for all of us who put their faith in His victory. For now, I leave you with this song about salvation and life that God offers through His one and only Son. It is also for us Christians who desire to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. We praise God and we’re not ashamed of the gospel.

I Believe
by Phil Wickham (with The CBU Worship Collective)

(about The CBU Worship Collective)

 

Other episodes here. Final episode next.

Episode 1: TheStory of Our Lives

Episode 2: A Desperate Situation

Episode 3: Islands and Lifelines

Episode 4: Our Response of Worship

Episode 5: God’s Compassion

Episode 6: The Value of Life

Episode 7: Victory Over Death (this post)

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return

If you want to dialog more about the value of life or Jesus’ blood that covers our sin, feel free to leave a comment or email me at authordlv@att.net. God gave His only Son to pay the penalty of our sins and reunite us with Himself. He did this because He values human life. Read about it at my Good News page.

Read more blog posts here.


THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 


Comments

  1. Thank you, Stephen. I always appreciate evangelistic articles and posts. And you are faithful to the Lord and the Word to pen and express these truths. No one "wants" to remind people of coming judgement, but it's coming and God is a holy God who cannot let sin and evil reign. Amen to this, "Every one of us is individually responsible for turning to God. No one can rely on the faith of another, not even a spouse or parent, to save them from God’s judgment. It’s also not enough to attend church. It’s not enough to regularly invite the pastor or chaplain for visits. It’s not enough to be the kindest and most sacrificial people we can be. We need to personally rely on the saving work of Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen. Noah's story is not just a story. It's true and relates to real life. May more people understand that God judges sin and sinners. In the next and final episode, we will look more into this and acknowledge God's truth and the world's curriculum that confuses His truth. Praise Him for His mercy and grace while we await Jesus' return.

      Delete
  2. I absolutely love your writing, Stephen. I hadn't thought about the fact that Jesus is our "ark" today. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way about your writing, Jessica. Yes, Jesus has open arms for all just as the door to Noah's Ark was open for all. Thank you, Jesus, for your gift of life!

      Delete
  3. Judgement is coming if we don't call on God, humble ourselves, and turn from our wicked ways. Great research and discussion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Nancy. It's a hard truth and prayerfully many will come to Jesus before He comes back for His people.

      Delete
  4. We all have a roll to play to help get people aboard the ark of Jesus before it is too late. Great message Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Yvonne. And we are all individually situated to make the best of our opportunities. Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Powerfully written, Stephen. Thank you for sharing this truth with love.
    I appreciated this section: "I’ve been struggling with how to write this post because it puts a difficult question on the table. Will I trust Jesus and live forever in Heaven, or will I decline His gift and suffer eternity in Hell? I don’t want to tell people they are condemned, but they are (John 3:18). I don’t want to offend anyone, but it’s actually God who’s offended."
    I struggle with this, as well. But to avoid telling the truth is no love at all. I'm praying for more opportunities to share the gospel message as you have here. With truth and grace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, Melissa. Avoiding truth-telling is more about ourselves than it is about other people. Whatever the reasons, we need to put them aside and tell the true gospel story. It's a struggle, but God is gracious and will use us in our failing surrender.

      Delete

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