Pastor Daniel Kolenda
‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.’ – Hebrews 11:1-7
The writer of Hebrews is holding up the story of Noah as a shining example of faith. This story is one of the most ridiculed and mocked stories in the modern world. Some theologians try to say that the story of Noah’s Ark is a metaphor, but the Bible itself does not shy away from the story. The author of Hebrews doubles down on the story not only claiming but holding it up as an example of the faith you ought to have.
Not only that, but Jesus Christ testified to the veracity of the witness of the story of Noah’s ark. In Matthew 24:36-44, not only does Jesus affirm that the story of Noah’s Ark is true, but He takes it a step further and says it’s going to be like that again before His great coming. You are going to live through something they lived through before the end of the age.
God gives Noah very detailed instructions on how to build the ark. He told him it should be tall and wide, even what type of material he should use. Some people think that’s all the information God gave but it was a sampling of the kind of information that God was giving to Noah every single day as he constructed the ark. Genesis 6:22 says, “So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” God showed Noah exactly what to do. When Noah needed something, God gave him that information.
The author of Hebrews does not try to justify the story of Noah’s ark nor does he try to explain it in a way that we can accept. Instead, he holds it up as an example of what it looks like to have faith.
Isn’t it ironic that Noah could trust God to build an ark but many modern Christians can’t trust God enough to believe there was an ark?
God warned Noah and asked Noah to trust him even though he had never seen anything like what God said was coming. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this, he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
It had never rained yet in history at that point. No one had ever experienced God’s judgment on a worldwide scale. God had never even asked someone to build a boat before. All of this was new.
JUDGMENT IS COMING
Matthew 24:37-39 says, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Some people use verse 39 as a verse to teach the rapture. In their minds, the ones that are taken away are the ones that were raptured and the ones that were left behind didn’t make it. But that is the opposite of what the verse is saying.
The flood is being used as a metaphor and Jesus is saying that just like the flood came and swept a percentage off the face of the Earth, that’s how it’s going to be at the end of the age. The ones taken away are not the ones being raptured away; they are being taken away in judgment.
There is a moment of judgment that is coming on the world that is going to be so swift and sudden just like it was in the days of Noah. Before Noah entered the ark they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. No one even bothered to notice that the season was about to change until it was too late.
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
Imagine standing before God and receiving a breakdown of everything you did over the entire span of your life that will show you the way that you used your time and resources.
Imagine if there’s a heavenly review that is being built for your life right now that is going to show you one day all the time you wasted on mindless entertainment, frivolous conversations, and meaningless efforts.
What if it’s going to show you all the times that God was trying to deal with your heart and speak to you but you were distracted and quenching the Holy Spirit? What if it will show you all the opportunities that you had to respond to the gospel but you rejected these opportunities?
2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
The are two judgments at the end of the age. One is called the Great White Throne, and if you appear before this throne before judgment then it’s over for you. That is the judgment that precedes being thrown into the lake of fire.
The other is called the Judgement seat of Christ and it’s for believers and those who have been forgiven. Apostle Paul says that you must all appear there but it’s not to be punished for your sins. It’s to answer the way you lived your life and account for what you did with your time and resources.
Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” It has been said that faith and fear are opposites. Faith might be the opposite of earthly, carnal, toxic fear but if you have true faith it will produce what the writer of Hebrews describes as a reverent fear that was present in the life of Noah.
Faith is trust and believing what God says is true. And if you believe that what God says is true then you will live in such a way that you will have a reverent fear for what God says is reality. And the reality is that just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before the coming of the son of man.
JESUS IS THE DOOR
The day came when God told Noah to get in because something was about to happen. Noah climbed inside the ark with only the ones that believed the word of the Lord. God shut the door and then the rain started. If the rain had started before then everyone would have come in. But that’s not how faith works. God asks you to believe before you see. In the world we say seeing is believing but in the kingdom, believing is seeing.
After the door was shut and it began to rain, there were probably many persons pounding on the door of the ark to be let in. But it was too late. God shut the door and only God can open it. The only way to get into the ark is by faith.
John 10:9 says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Don’t wait until the rain starts falling and judgment comes upon your life. Now is the acceptable time.
How can you show God that you trust Him even when you don’t know the outcome? Noah obeyed God fully even when others made fun of Him. Show God that you trust what He is doing.
Do you want to be like those standing outside in the rain? It is not too late for you. The door is open for you. You can still come in.