Thurday, April 3, 2014
“In the Ark”
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It’s Thursday, April 3, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood… (Gen. 6:13-14).
The story of Noah has been getting a lot of attention lately since the film starring Russell Crowe debuted at the end of last month. A flood of discussion has ensued (see what I did there?) about the biblical accuracy of the film. Frankly, I don’t understand why anyone is really surprised that Hollywood produced a film that is the farthest thing from biblical truth.
Those who live under the New Testament law are benefited by the Old Testament when we learn the lessons that it teaches (Rom. 15:4). I know this for a fact: the story of Noah is most beneficial to us because of the lessons that it teaches us. May we listen carefully.
Today, we’ll highlight three very practical lessons that you and I can learn from the Old Testament account of Noah and the flood found in Genesis 6-8.
First, note that Noah’s ark was to be made of specific materials, giving special care even to the measurements of these materials. Noah was to fashion the ark out of gopher wood, creating a structure that was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. There was to be a window, a door on the side, and three total stories.
Second, note that everything outside of that ark would perish. Genesis 6:17 confirms this, where God says “I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.” Verse eighteen, however, states that everyone inside the ark would live.
Third, note that only certain people were permitted to go into the ark. What made Noah eligible to be saved from the destructive flood? Genesis 6 draws an important contrast. There was the worldly majority, whose heart was consumed with wickedness, then there was the pious minority: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen. 6:8). Noah was just, blameless, and he “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
Let’s review and apply.
Inasmuch as the ark was to be built using specific materials and careful measurements, God’s place of salvation today has been fashioned just the same. The church is God’s place of salvation today. Ephesians 5:23 says that Jesus “is the Savior of the body.” Ephesians 1:22-23 teaches that the church is Christ’s body. Therefore, it follows that Jesus is the Savior of the church. Add to these thoughts the words of Acts 2:47 which says that “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” What’s the point? All the people in the church have been saved, and all the saved people are in the church. The Lord’s church is made of specific materials: baptized believers, and is identified by distinct New Testament characteristics.
Just as those outside of the ark perished, so those outside the church will eternally perish. Those in Christ (that is, baptized believers, Gal. 3:26-29) are those who will be caught up to meet the Lord when He comes in the clouds (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Finally, only certain people will be permitted into the church. Here’s what I mean by that: only those who obey the Lord can be added by Him to the church (Acts 2:41, 47), thus entering the only place wherein is salvation.
Let’s wrap it up: They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In the case of Noah, that saying is true but only in a certain sense. Genesis 9:13-15 records God’s covenant with His creation that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” The sign of that covenant is the rainbow that you and I can still enjoy today.
But let’s not be too hasty in dismissing all other applications! Remember why God chose to destroy mankind with the flood: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). And remember that, just like the world in Noah’s day, those who are unrighteous and disobedient to God’s Will will not be in the place of salvation, and, thus, will not be saved.
Memory Verse: These facts make this week’s verse all the more important.
Ezra 7:10: For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Sometime today: Head over to Hebrews 11 and meditate on verses one through three. Tomorrow, we’re talking about faith! How does the Hebrews writer describe a Christian’s faith in that passage?
Before I go… Let me tell you once again about an upcoming debate. This Friday, April 4, Dr. Bart Ehrman will debate Kyle Butt, of Apologetics Press, on this topic: “The Pain and Suffering in the World Indicate that the Christian God Does Not Exist.” Kyle, a New Testament Christian and an apologist, will be denying this proposition. I’ll be there along with the entire team from The Light Network. Perhaps we’ll get to see you there! For more information about our coverage, visit thelightnetwork.tv/debate.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I need your questions for the future of Q & A Saturday. Do you have a Bible question or thought? Send them to me for this week’s edition of Q & A Saturday! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.
Today, make sure you are in that place of salvation, and then work to help someone else come into Christ. Let’s go to heaven together!