Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 8: Jesus' Return)


Bright sun rising on the horizon of a heavily shaded beach and ocean in the lower third of the image and a deep blue sky partically covered with orangeness from the sun and a few streaks of cloudswith orange coloring from the sun and a few clouds to the sidewith sun rising at the horizon

A new day is coming. Just like with Noah aboard the Ark who knew he would someday step onto dry land, everyday life will change. The sun will rise. Jesus will come again. The truth of God’s promise will ring clearly in the hearts of all people.

All people!


This post is the final episode 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 and set aside time to read all 8 episodes. Otherwise, sit back and experience the final episode. 

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

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return

Do we believe Jesus will come again? His return is not good news for everybody. He will come to bring home those who trust Him as Savior and Lord, but He will also later judge and punish those who do not. This isn’t an arbitrary topic in this series. Noah and the Flood are mentioned in 3 of the Bible passages about Jesus’ return (Matthew 24, Luke 17, 2 Peter 2), so His return is a fitting end to this epic story. (We will expand on these passages in this episode.) When we think about Jesus’ return, we think about the big picture conclusion and what it means for us. In Episode 1 we started at the end of the story with impending judgment, not by water, but by fire. Then, with each episode, we saw the story unfold. Now we know how all the pieces come together and the end of the story makes clear sense.

Here is what we’ve learned from the true story of Noah’s Ark…

We are in a desperate situation (Episodes 2 and 3). We are not righteous as God is and He will punish us for our sins. We can do nothing to save ourselves much like the naysayers during the 4+ decades it took Noah to build the Ark. It had never rained before. The Ark project was easy to joke about. They must have written Noah off as the local loon.

But the Flood did come.

Why was Noah so special that he and his family were spared? Aside from his active faith, he wasn’t necessarily special. God was special. Noah knew this, so he worshiped God (Episode 4). He worshiped aboard the Ark and later on dry land. He was not worthy. God was.

The sweet savor of Noah’s worship pleased the great God of this universe who responded with compassion (Episode 5). As much as the people were responsible for their own demise, the fragrance of worship reminded God of how much He cared for His creation. He cared so much about people, including you and me, that He put rainbows in the sky to remind Himself of His compassion for us (Episode 6). And our lives are so valuable to Him that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son, to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can live eternally with Him (Episode 7).


Click to tweet
Our lives are so valuable to God
that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son,
to pay the penalty for our sins
so we can live eternally with Him



God's compassion is so great that He is withholding His final worldwide judgment of fire (Episode 1). He’s giving us all a chance to embrace the truth: eternal life with Him is ours if we trust in the sacrifice of His Son. Someday soon, His Son will come for those who trust in His sacrifice and we believers will immediately be in God’s presence. What a day that will be!

This is the truth.

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

Is it hard to believe? The Flood was hard to believe, too. Some of us today wonder how Christians like me can believe "something as absurd as the Bible." I agree that some of the events we read about in the Bible are odd, extreme, and humanly – even scientifically – impossible. I agree that sometimes one verse seems to contradict another. I agree that there may seem to be better things to think about than a book that was written by a handful of authors hundreds of years ago telling and foretelling volumes of implausible, bizarre, and fantastical stories.

But they are all true.

God’s truth is not in society’s curriculum. It may seem like it is sometimes, but the truth of the one and only Son of God who died to pay the penalty of sins past, present, and future is often averted. This simple truth is confused by society and sometimes intentionally twisted or countered.

Even the religious leaders, when Jesus stood before them face to face, were confused (Luke 17:20-25). They thought God’s kingdom was something they would see manifest itself as they watched. They expected a military triumph. They were also confused by people who predicted when the Messiah would come. They didn’t realize He would first suffer and die in their place. They didn’t realize God’s kingdom is better understood as something that manifests itself in the hearts of those who trust in the death of Jesus for sins.

Thankfully, there were some who understood the truth and followed Jesus’ charge to spread the gospel across the globe, but even still, some teachers within good churches decided to twist God’s truth for their own benefit (2 Peter 2:1-3). These were churches well established by the Apostle Paul and Jesus’ inner circle of twelve disciples. Of course, when this happened, what was taught was not the truth at all. It may have sounded like God’s Word, but a distorted message is not a true message. The eternal destiny of each and every person matters too much for self-serving teaching to be considered biblical truth. Some of them were even so bold as to reject and insult God and those who hold fast to His Word. And in their boldness, they didn’t even resemble the godly examples of Jesus and His true followers (2 Peter 2:9b-19).

This distortion and defilement of God’s love-filled truth continues today. Paul warned Timothy, as well as us, to guard the good news – the truth that was entrusted to him (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Jesus’ return is inevitable. He will come to earth again. Our eternal destiny depends on our understanding and belief in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins.

Several years ago, in a casual conversation about eternal destiny, my colleague said, “Depending on what you believe…,” and he went on to describe the places one might go after death based on a variety of belief systems. He was joking, more or less, but I responded with something like this: “No. Truth is truth and where we go after death doesn’t change from belief to belief. It’s always going to be Heaven or Hell.”

The truth is relevant regardless of what we have been taught or what we believe. It doesn’t depend on our opinions or emotions or circumstances. It doesn’t change according to where we have arrived in our quest for knowledge and the meaning of life. The truth doesn’t change and doesn’t depend on us, but it  affects us critically. God’s truth matters for eternity.

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The truth doesn’t depend on our opinions
or emotions or circumstances.
It doesn’t change in conjunction with our
quest for knowledge and the meaning of life.


Don’t let God's message catch you by surprise because you may be too late. The people in Noah’s days went about life as usual. By the time the waters fell from the sky and rose from the earth, it was too late. God had already shut the door to the Ark (Matthew 24:36-39, Luke 17:26-30). We may not leave this earth suddenly or unexpectedly, but at some point, we won’t have the opportunity to believe the most decisive truth (Matthew 24:40-41, Luke 17:34-35).

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

God’s plan demands a response from all people, Christians and non-Christians alike. So, what is our response?

Let me speak first to Christians – those who trust Jesus as Savior and Lord. I include myself, because I do things my own way – the wrong way  sometimes. The Apostle Paul urged us to not let God’s kindness be wasted on us. He heard our cries for salvation, but what are we doing to further His offer of reconciliation to others? Are we spreading the good news of Jesus as we go about our days (2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2)? I confess that I do not do this as often as I can.

We can follow Paul’s example. He was a great teacher of truth who dispelled myths, exposed false teaching, and clarified the gospel. He did this by relating to people and their communities, not by belittling or slandering them. He saw people, not tradition, religion, social classes, or other characteristics that divide or distinguish people (1 Corinthians 9:18-23).

Now, to those who do not know Jesus. This may be something you don’t want to hear. Society doesn’t want you to believe it, but you probably know by now what God wants you to do: Step aboard the figurative Noah’s Ark. God invites everyone into right relationship with Him through the sacrificial death of His Son on the cross some 2,000 years ago.

Simply believe and rely on this:

  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

We are condemned by our sins, not by the one and only righteous God. Open your heart to hear His truth.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:18


So, don’t gloss over the story of Noah’s Ark. It’s not just based on actual events. It occurred just as we read in the Bible, and it’s the story of our lives.

Listen to this song as you think quietly about God’s truth. It embodies John 14:6 and Acts 4:11-12 as well as other key biblical truths.

The Truth
by The Belonging Co
(featuring Lauren Strahm and Andrew Holt)



The entire series:

Episode 1: TheStory of Our Lives

Episode 2: ADesperate Situation

Episode 3: Islandsand Lifelines

Episode 4: OurResponse of Worship

Episode 5: God’sCompassion

Episode 6: TheValue of Life

Episode 7: VictoryOver Death

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return (this post)


If you want to dialog more about Jesus’ return and the truth of God’s Word, feel free to leave a comment or email me at 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.



  1. God's message for His people is found in the Bible. He loves us more than we can comprehend. Great message Stephen.

    1. You summed it up in 2 sentences. Yes, and God's message is the absolute truth. Thank you, Melissa.

  2. Your title, The Ride of your Life, really pulled me in. God does give us such an amazing journey. As I look back, I see all the loving care and grace He has granted me. What a joy filled ride even when not how we wanted it. Great post Stephen and thanks for sharing

    1. It's great to look back and recount what God has done and how He's led us...and surprised us! He certainly does give us an amazing ride. If there was a Noah's Ark ride at an amusement park, it would have to be different for each one of us, though there are elements that will be the same.

  3. Stephen, this was a powerful conclusion to an important series of messages. It is easy to go about our days like the people in the days of Noah. With little or no thought of God. He went to such lengths to save us through Christ, at great pain to Himself. We are loved with an everlasting love. But God's plan does require a response. Lord, help us shine like a beacon in the storm for those who don't yet trust Jesus for this life and beyond.

    1. Yes, Melissa. May we be the gentle and courageous lights that are just right for those God places in our lives. He loves others just as much as He loves us.

  4. This is very powerful. You are right that we either go to heaven, or we don’t. And the alternative to heaven is hell. It’s a scary but sobering thought! We cannot afford to be lukewarm about this.

    1. Amen, Jessica. For the sake of those we know and meet, we must be courageous with the gospel.

  5. Stephen, I've so enjoyed this series. And I love how it clearly ties the gospel message to not only Noah's story, but to life itself--eternal life in Jesus Christ. This is powerful, "No. Truth is truth and where we go after death doesn’t change from belief to belief. It’s always going to be Heaven or Hell.” Thank you for this series and spreading the good news of the gospel. Not sure why my Google account is not loading-Karen Friday

    1. Thank you, Karen. The gospel message is what our salvation and our life journey is about - help other people hear and understand it better. God wants a relationship with His creation and people are the biggest part of it. Praise Him for opening the door to restoration. It's the truth and it matters.


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