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  • Dr. David Jeremiah — Noah: Overcoming a Corrupt World

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    David Michael Jeremiah : One of the greatest joys of my life is that my office is right next to my father's office and, as life goes on and things happen, whether it's with my kids or at work or in our country, I can go in his office and sit down and we can talk about what's going on. So, if it's okay with you, I'm gonna ask Dad if he would come on up and we'll invite you all into his office, and I'm gonna ask him questions like we're sitting at home in San Diego.

    David Michael Jeremiah : Obviously, we're in Hershey, but I think we're all kind of over-chocolated right now. Little amped, little ready to go, excited. Why are we coming to Hershey, or this part of the country, for the "Overcomer" tour?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, David, as you know, one of the ways that we decide where to go is we try to find out where our listeners and viewers are and, obviously, by the looks of things, we've got a few of 'em here. We wanted to come back here because we just have so many friends in this area. I don't know if you guys know it or not, but you live in a pretty good part of America. You really do.

    David Michael Jeremiah : Dad, last fall you introduced us to the world of "Overcomer," and you talked about, "Eight Ways to Live a Life of Unstoppable Strength, Unmovable Faith, and Unbelievable Power". So why did you write "Overcomer" and why did you do it now?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, I travel a lot, I run into a lot of people, I talk to a lot of Christians and a few who aren't Christians, but among the church people that I've been with including the people that I pastor at Shadow Mountain, there are a lot of folks who are struggling right now, trying to figure out what to do in life and many of them are discouraged. In fact, I often talk about the fact that I was talking with one person and asked them how they were doing, and they said they were doing all right under the circumstances. And I said, "What are you doing down there? You don't wanna be 'under' the circumstances". And do you know what the Lord Jesus said? The Lord Jesus put it in perspective. He said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world," amen?

    David Michael Jeremiah : So Dad, we live in a confused society. There's lots of confusion and lots of things vying for our attention today. So how can we, as believers, overcome confusion with wisdom?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, I don't think there's ever been a time, at least that I can remember in my life, when wisdom has been more critical, because you know what wisdom is? Wisdom is doing the right thing without a precedent. Sometimes, we do right things simply because we've studied how other people have done them and we follow them and we end up in the right place. But today, there are so many things that are happening in our lives that don't have any precedent. I mean, what's going on in our country today is unprecedented. And the people who are trying to lead our country, Christians who are involved in ministry in our country, they all say the same thing: we have to trust God to show us because there's no pattern, nobody's left a trail for what's going on right now. Someone once told me that wisdom is knowledge using its head. And when you know some things, that's okay, but wisdom is taking what you know and applying it to what goes on in your life and making good decisions. I always love what James tells us, that, "If any man lacks wisdom, he can ask of God, who will give to all men liberally and he won't scold you for coming". That's literally what the Scripture says. I have often counted on that verse because there's so many days in my life when I see things happening that I've never seen before, issues that have never come up before, relational problems that have never come up before and I've just had to go and say, "Lord, I don't know what to do, but my eyes are on you, and I know that you can help me sort this out". That's how you overcome with wisdom.

    David Michael Jeremiah : Amen, we could all use more of that, so there's all this confusion in all the things that we're talking about and things that we don't understand. Are these signs that are showing us that the end times are near?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, you know, I'm not a prophet nor the son of the prophet, though I do have a prophet's name. But the thing that I noticed in the Bible is the Bible describes that the time before the Lord returns is gonna be a time when things are churning. I think that's a good term for what's going on, right? Things are just churning. Every day you get up and nothing ever gets seen resolved. It churns into something else and, before you know it, you're dealing with another subject. The Bible says that before the Lord comes back, men's hearts will be failing them for fear. And there are a lot of people that are afraid today because they can't see their way past where we are. And I believe that we're living in the time that the Lord predicted would happen before all of the end-time things begin. I've told people, "Historically, I still believe it, that I'm gonna be alive when Jesus comes back". I'm not looking for the undertaker; I'm looking for the upper-taker, amen?

    David Michael Jeremiah : With all this talk of prophecy and all that, I don't know if people know that you've got 43 messages on the book of Revelation, 34 messages on the book of Daniel. Some people may say, you know, you're talking too much about prophecy. You need to, you know, you need to do some other things once in a while...

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, you know, I don't preach on prophecy all the time, I just preach on it like it comes in the Scripture. I have preached on it probably more than many do. I believe that the prophetic word is important. It's more than a fourth of the whole Bible, so if you say you're not gonna preach on prophecy, you've just cut a quarter of the Bible out and pushed it... Some of my pastor friends say, "Jeremiah, I don't preach on that stuff. It's not relevant". And I say, "Well, hang on, it's getting more relevant all the time," you know? But the Bible is God's gift to us, and the prophetic word is very important because God wants us to see the future through his eyes. He wants us to be ready for the things that happen, and when we know what God has planned for us who know him, it's not frightening, it's just thrilling. It's really great to know that God has such a wonderful plan for his own, and that he's one day going to do the right thing as to what's wrong with this world. When you read that in the Scripture and you get invested in it, you can see it's all wonderfully planned, it's organized. It's pretty cool.

    David Michael Jeremiah : Yeah, amen, so how does the age of signs and overcomer intersect at this point?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, he asked the question how does being an overcomer intersect with the signs, and I like to answer that question like this. How many of you know if you know where you're going, makes the journey a lot more fun, you know? If you know what God has planned for you, you can get up every day and maybe things aren't going so well for you right now, but you don't worry too much about that because, according to the old song, this world's not your home, you're just passing through, right? So if you know what God has planned for you in the future, you can live every day victoriously, no matter what's going on because I wanna tell you something. If you look into heaven today, the throne of God is occupied. He's sitting on the throne and he's in control.

    David Michael Jeremiah : Amen. For everybody here, if they walked away and they just took one thing home with them tonight from you, what would you want that to be?

    Dr. Jeremiah : Well, we know from the Scripture, men and women, that God has called us not to be downtrodden, not to be sad. I mean, sometimes when you get around Christians, you know, you ask them if they're okay and they say yes, and you wanna say, "You need to tell your face". A lot of times, you know, Christians can be pretty sour. Have you noticed that? I try to be happy and have a lot of fun along the way 'cause I believe that's what God wants us to do, but I really believe that when we know that God has planned for us the future, we can be overcomers. And what I hope will happen tonight is when you leave here tonight, you'll be standing a little taller, your shoulders back a little bit more, not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God and the salvation, that you will walk out of here victorious. The Bible says we are not conquerors; we're more than conquerors, amen? So that's where we're headed, amen.

    Last year, a woman named Flora Lunsford in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, pulled into a convenience store and ducked in, leaving her purse inside of her locked car. When she came out, she realized a thief had broken into her car and stolen her purse. The police came, but the thief got away. Now, Flora works as a waitress at a café about two blocks from the convenience store, and two days later, she waited on a man who ordered and ate his meal. And when she gave him the bill, he handed her a credit card. When she looked at it, her name was printed on the credit card. It was her credit card and he was the thief.

    Not having any desire to pay for his meal, she called the police who quickly showed up and arrested the man, and then they found all of her other possessions including her driver's license in his car with her picture on it. Not a very smart thing to do. But before we chalk this up to another dumb criminal incident, let me suggest that this story is the story of millions of people today, for the Bible warns there is coming a day of judgment, and we don't hear many sermons on that subject anymore.

    I remember growing up, my father was a preacher and we'd have evangelists come and they'd preach on the judgment of Christ, the judgment of God, and people would just come forward in tears, shaking in repentance. We've almost forgotten what that's all about in our churches. We always try to be so positive, we don't wanna ever say anything negative. But the prophets of the Old Testament wouldn't have done their jobs if they hadn't warned Israel of the judgment that was to come. And Paul warned in Romans 2:5 that those without Christ are, "Treasuring up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God".

    The most traumatic moment in antiquity when God judged an entire world occurred as it's recorded in Genesis chapter 6 through 9 in the account of Noah's flood. This is one of the most famous stories in the Bible and I find it really interesting that many parents tell this story to their children. Perhaps because of the animals going into the ark two by two, has a certain childish charm about it. You can go to toy stores and find play sets of Noah's ark with all the animals. Many daycare centers have titles or symbols about Noah's ark. I pass day centers called Noah's Ark, the Noah's Ark Preschool. And around the world, there are examples of people who have actually replicated Noah's ark, including our friends at the Ark Encounter in Kentucky.

    So we have to ask ourselves this question: How did the story of the destruction of the world and the drowning of the human race become so iconic and popular? How did a story of justice and annihilation become such a favorite bedtime story theme and Sunday School lesson in many of our churches? Well, the answer, of course, is that the ark is a symbol of hope and the story of Noah is a story of a man who walked with God and he was an overcomer. He overcame the corruption of the world in which he lived. He was a loner, but he was an overcomer. And I wanna tell you that story tonight, briefly, and draw the applications to our own lives today.

    If you wanna know what it's gonna be like before the Lord Jesus comes back to take us home, if you wanna get ready for that moment when the sky is opened and the trumpet sounds, here's what the Bible says about that, and we can go all the way back to Genesis 6 to find the answers. The first thing that we notice is that the world in which Noah lived was a world that grieved God.

    The first thing we see is in Genesis 6:5 where we read that, "The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth". You don't have to make too many assumptions to connect that to where we are. The Lord had created the heavens and the earth only five chapters earlier in the book of Genesis. He had created an ideal environment for humanity, a literal paradise, without fault or failure or sin or suffering. There was no death. He created Adam and Eve to enjoy his fellowship, to make them heirs of his love, but when they rebelled and sinned against him, everything changed.

    As you know, sin entered into the human bloodstream like a deadly virus and things got worse and worse as the population multiplied until we find this verse: "That the wickedness of man was great in the earth". The Bible tells us four things about the people of Noah's day. They have applications to our day as well. First of all, their cravings were unrestrained. Genesis 6:5 says that, "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".

    Is there a worse verse in the Bible than that one? Listen to it again. "Every intent of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually". What a statement. Every thought, every intent, every imagination, only evil continuously. The Lord created you and I with certain needs and desires. He made us to need food and other necessities of life. And he made us capable of enjoying these things. We're not like electric cars that have to plug in to some power source and stay there, sitting still while our energy is restored. God created food to give us fuel and sleep to give us rest. But when our appetites and our desires overtake our disciplines, they enslave us.

    And when we read this phrase that every intent of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil continually, we know ourselves well enough to know that includes the element of rampant sexual sin. This was an orgy in the days of Noah. Our world today is becoming more and more filled with this level of lurid evil, for we're living in an age in which cravings are unrestrained. I've been a preacher now for almost 50 years, and it's overwhelming to me how our culture has changed in five decades since I started preaching. Every day, you as a believer have to fight for the purity of your mind and the purity of your soul. You can't just be casual about it. You have to be proactive about it, or you will be caught up in the unrestrained cravings of our world.

    The second thing we notice about the time of Noah was that their corruption was uncontrolled. It says in verses 11 and 12: "The earth was also corrupt before God, so God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth". This speaks of the breakdown of ethics and morality at every level. If you google the word "corrupt" to see how the word is used today by the news media, you'll read about all kinds of corruption or alleged scandals in political life, in public life, every life of society, and none of this escapes the eyes of Almighty God because Hebrews tells us that there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. God sees all this.

    You know, we may like to shut it off, and we should. I told some people the other night, I've been kind of on a fast for television. Just go on a fast and don't even turn any of it on because even if it's a good channel, the good channels are gonna tell you about all the bad things that the bad channels have already reported, and you can't escape it, just mind gets overwhelmed with the evil and corruption of our day. Imagine the world right now as God looks at it from heaven. Their cravings were unrestrained, their corruption was uncontrolled, and their cruelty was unrelenting. God sees all the cravings and corruption in the world, and he sees its unrelenting cruelty.

    "The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence". In verse 13, the Lord said, "The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them". Makes perfect sense that when your cravings are unrestrained and your corruption is uncontrolled, your cruelty will be unrelenting. We see this in our headlines every day, but I've also noticed that the themes and depictions of brutality have become more pronounced even in our entertainment choices, including television shows and video games. And then, of course, perhaps the cruelest aspects of society is the way we treat millions of our preborn children.

    We are living in a very harsh, coarse, violent world, very similar to the world into which Noah was born. And then their carelessness was undeniable. This is one that kind of escapes most people because we have misinterpreted a verse that leaves us with the wrong impression. There was another element to human society in the days of Noah that shows up in the teachings of Jesus, and that was carelessness. Now, I know you've read this verse from Matthew 24 where we read: "In the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away".

    Now, I remember growing up, hearing preachers preach on that and say how awful it was in those day. They were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, like there's something wrong with eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. But the verse isn't there to tell us that those were some things that we shouldn't be doing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with eating, drinking, and getting married. People were eating and drinking. "How awful," some people say. No, that's not what Jesus was saying. He was pointing out how people did these things without regard to God. They went about their lives without any spiritual point of reference.

    All these things I've described were happening, and what did the people of Noah's day do? Just kept doing what they always did: they ate, they drank, they got married, as if nothing was wrong. They were careless and cavalier, and they went about the issues of life without regard for the message of God. And men and women, that's a generation that grieves God, and that's pretty much the generation in which you and I are living today. The whole idea of right and wrong as a part of the moral fabric of our nation is no longer a history fact. There is no consensus of right and wrong.

    When I was growing up as a boy, and even as a young man, and even as a young preacher, there was still a sense that while you might not believe in God, you respected others who did. While you might not believe in this, you would give people the credit that they were due, and they would say about somebody, "Now, that's a good man," or "That's a good woman". That whole consensus of right is gone. Now there is no right except whatever right you wanna make it. There's no truth unless it's your truth. Everybody does that which is right in their own eyes and they not only do it, they brag about doing it.

    Just as in Noah's day, there was this cavalier attitude as we see it today. Isn't it interesting that so many evil things go on in our world and nobody seems to care. There's obviously nothing wrong with eating and drinking, nothing wrong with marrying and giving in marriage. But that verse was to remind us how easy it is for us to become comfortable with what's wrong in our world. The world that Noah was born into was a world that grieves God just as it grieves God to see what's happening. I don't know how affected you are about this, but this whole business that's just happened about the possibility of killing babies after they've actually exited the womb, how could that be any worse? How could God not look at that and say, "How can I allow this to happen any longer"? The day of judgment surely must come when we're doing things like that. But how many people talk about it?

    First of all, Noah was saved by faith in God's grace. The Bible says in Genesis 6:9: "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation". Now, that doesn't mean he was sinless. He wasn't a sinless man. There has never been a sinless man to walk upon this earth except the Lord Jesus. But it does mean that he was a man who stood above others in terms of his ethics and his character and his quality of life, and his godliness.

    Let me put two verses together for you as if they were welded together in the Bible. One is Genesis 6:8 and the other is Hebrews 11:7: "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and by faith Noah became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith". Everybody who becomes a Christian, whether they're Old Testament or New Testament, comes to God by grace and through faith to walk with him. Think of what it means to walk with God. Think what it meant for Noah to walk with God, when there was no one else walking along with him. Think of what it means for us today. Think of the disciples who walked with Jesus through Galilee.

    Every time I go there and I walk these places where the Lord Jesus walked, I wonder what it must have been like for him and especially for his disciples to follow him every day through his journeys in the Holy Land, the places where the Bible itself was born. What it means to walk with God. Let me ask you this question. Are you walking with God? So often, we become Christians, and if we're not careful, we don't change our walk and we don't even change our talk. We're Christians only because we've accepted Christ. We're on our way to heaven, but we're not walking with God. We're walking with the world. We're doing the comfortable things.

    Perhaps Noah was inspired by his great-grandfather Enoch because this is what it says about Enoch: "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him". I love that verse. Listen to it: "Enoch walked with God; and he was not," he just disappeared, "for God took him". One of the early illustrations of the Rapture is Enoch. There's no record of his death. He walked so close to God that one day God said, "Enoch, come on up here," and he was gone. And he disappeared from life. He walked with God and he was not. Even in this corrupt world, Enoch and Noah tell us we can be overcomers. We don't have to be corrupted by what's around us. We can walk with God.

    Noah was saved by faith in God's grace and he was sustained by faith in God's Word. That leads us to the second thing about his life. Hebrews 11 tells us that "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".

    Let's unpack that for just a moment. Noah saw no evidence of the coming flood. The skies were clear, nothing in earth's history indicated a flood was even possible. Most biblical scholars, including a man who went to my church until he went to heaven: Henry Morris. Henry Morris says that up to the time of Noah, no rain had ever fallen on the earth. Some scientists believe before the flood that the world was enclosed within a vapor canopy that provided an ideal atmosphere, and the flood, when it came, represented the collapse of the vapor canopy. If that's true, Noah would have been operating on sheer faith.

    If somebody said, "Noah, it's gonna rain," and he would actually have said, "What is that? What is rain?" God made a promise to him. God instructed him that even though it might not have made any logical sense, the Bible said Noah obeyed God by faith. He did what God told him to do, even though he couldn't figure out what it was all about. God had given Noah his word and, by faith, Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, he trusted God's Word and believed in God's unseen realities.

    Listen to me, Noah didn't have a Bible like we have today. He didn't even have the book of Genesis; he's in the 6th chapter of the book of Genesis. But God had spoken to Noah and God's Word was directly from God to Noah, and God so impressed Noah with the divinity of his speaking, that Noah took it as from God and obeyed it as if he were reading a verse out of the Bible.

    You know, here today, you and I, we have Genesis and the other 65 books of the Bible. God provided Noah with a shelter in the time of storm, but how much more blessed are we? In a world that grieved God, men and women, there was a man who walked with God. In this world in which you and I live, that surely grieves God with just a few of the things we've mentioned tonight, how blessed we make Almighty God when, in spite of all that's going on around us, we walk with God and keep ourselves undefiled from the world in which we live. Today, after all these centuries, it's just as simple as that. Walk with God and you won't be corrupted by the world.

    The third thing we notice about this is this was a world that grieves God. It was a walk that pleased God and it was a work that honored God. Here's the amazing thing about this story. Noah didn't just sit around waiting for the flood. He threw himself into a work that honored God. The Lord gave him two jobs to do and he did both of them together. He did them faithfully, listen to me, for 120 years. He pounded nails. That was the first thing. He pounded the nails and built the ark.

    I don't know if they had nails back then. If they didn't have nails, they had something that held it all together. And we aren't really told how Noah fastened the timbers, but according to Genesis 4:22, they were forging copper and iron tools, and Noah and his sons pounded away, fulfilling the exact specifications God had given them. Look at Genesis chapter 6 with me for just a moment. Let me put it up on the screen.

    God said, "Noah, make yourself an ark of gopherwood, with rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it. The length of the ark shall be 300 cubits and the width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks".

    Now, I don't know if you've been to the replica of Noah's ark in Kentucky, but if you ever get near there, you should go. Let me tell you something that's astounding. Noah's ark was 500 feet long. That's five football fields end to end. It was 85 feet wide, 51 feet high, which is higher than a four-story house, and the ark had as much storage capacity as 450 standard semi-trailers. Over 3 million board feet of timber was used in the construction of the ark, and even today the exact replica of the ark in Kentucky is the largest timber-framed building in all the world. That was the ark.

    And Genesis 6 ends with these words. Listen carefully. "So Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did". Now put yourself in Noah's place. There's never been any rain, nobody knows what it is, there's never been a flood. Nobody's ever seen an ark. And if you're gonna build a boat, for Pete's sake, get it near the water. But he was building this boat right out in the desert. And it wasn't just a boat, it was humungous. Five football fields long, higher than this building in which we are meeting tonight. And every day, though he didn't understand it and couldn't comprehend the implications of it, God said it, he believed it, and that settled it. And he did it.

    How many of us can come to this place in our lives when we hear God say something to us. Somebody once told me, "If what God is telling you makes total sense, it's probably not God you're listening to". Most of the time, when God tells me something, it isn't logical that I go, "Oh, yes, God, that makes perfect sense". He's telling me to do something I would never think to do. And he said to Noah, "Build this ark and stay after it". And it took him 120 years to build this ark. He was totally obedient. There wasn't one detail that he omitted. He did everything God told him to do, and it goes without saying that people who walk with God work for God.

    If you're walking with God, and God has something for you to do, he's gonna tell you, and when he tells you to do it, don't argue with him, just do it. "Well, Pastor, I don't understand why he would ask me to do that". Doesn't matter. Do it anyway. Do what God tells you to do. So we need to keep pounding nails, building the ark that God has called us to build, whether we work out of an ark or out of a church or out of our home, God has a need for each of us. Don't worry about what you're gonna be doing for the Lord ten years from now. Just look around and say, "Lord, what do you want me to do today," and then get busy and do it. If you're gonna walk with the Lord, you're gonna have to work for the Lord.

    As I look back over what God has done at Turning Point and the two churches that I've pastored, most of the things that we've done have not been logical. And my wife's one of the most believing and supporting people in the world, but I've had a couple occasions when I told her what I thought God wanted me to do and she says, "You're gonna do what"? And it's such a wonderful thing when you walk with God. He gives you his daily plan for your life and you get something to do.

    One of the wonderful things that I get to do every day is I get to work for God. And you know, there's only two things in the world that are indestructible, two things that will be here after everything else has gone: the Word of God and the people of God, and I get to work with them every single day of my life. I am a blessed person. So Noah and his sons pounded nails for 120 years. And then secondly, he preached the gospel. Noah was not just pounding nails, he was preaching the gospel. We know that because Peter wrote, "God did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness".

    I don't know how this looked, but I have a feeling it was a ministry that grew with time. When Noah began, an occasional passerby might ask, "What are you doing, Brother Noah"? And I suppose Noah would pause his work long enough to say something like, "Well, the God who made this world is grieved at the evil that has gripped it and the day of judgment's coming. You must turn to him and find favor in his eyes by turning to him while there's still time. One day the heavens are gonna rain down judgment and it will be too late". "See you tomorrow, Noah". "There's a crazy man out there building a boat. There's no water. He's talking about rain. What is that? Nobody's ever heard of it. And even though we come every day to discourage him and tear him down, he keeps building it, and if you stop and talk to him, he's gonna start preaching to you".

    As the ark began to grow larger, I suppose it attracted more attention. Maybe Noah started having greater crowds. I can see Noah standing in front of it, pointing to the door, and telling people to consider their eternal destiny. Perhaps his sons kept pounding nails while Noah paused to preach. And when you consider it, the door of that ark is a perfect representation of the gospel.

    One of the men that I had greatly loved in my earlier years of preaching and today still do, was the famed and beloved W.A. Criswell, and this is what he wrote. He said, "The entrance into that ark of hope was through one door. There was not a door above for the birds to come in, nor a little hole in the floor for the humble creatures of the earth to creep in, nor a big door for the elephant to lumber in. There was one door. And everyone that was saved entered that door. The great eagle swooped out of the blue of the sky and entered in that door. The little wren hopped to safety through that door. The snail crawled slowly through that door. Noah and his wife, Shem, Ham, Japheth and their wives, all alike, entered one door". Jesus said, "I am the door". If you wanna be saved out of a corrupt generation, you have to get into the ark of salvation, and the only way you could get into that ark is through one door.

    Ladies and gentlemen, there are not many ways to God. The ark didn't have many doors for a lot of different opinions about what should happen to get you in the ark. The ark had one door, one door only. If you missed that door, you would perish in the flood. Today the Bible teaches us that there is no salvation in any other. And Jesus said that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no man comes to the Father except through me". Maybe you came here tonight and you're among the sophisticated people who say, "It's really unusual for anybody to be so bigoted as to say that there's only one way to heaven".

    Well, I don't think it's bigoted at all. It makes perfect sense. Did you know that when you become a Christian, the Bible says you were born again? When you came into this world, you were born physically. Did you know there's only one way to be born physically? It takes a man and a woman and there is a birth. I know all about the stuff they're trying to do, but say whatever you want to, it takes two things to be born: the woman and a man. And you can't get born any other, don't you think that's rather narrow of God? Don't you think that God is being rather restrictive? What do you mean there's only one way you can be born as a human being? No, so if God says you can only be born physically one way, what shakes us up so bad if he says you can only be born spiritually one way? You can only be born spiritually through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

    Two things necessary to be born again. And there isn't any other way. There isn't any other door. You may not like that, you may not agree with it, but it doesn't make any difference. Somebody say, "Well, I don't believe that". You know, that doesn't make any difference at all. It's God's truth. God's truth, and it's proven in his Word. So if you wanna come to Christ tonight, you have to come by his rules. You don't get to make your own rules. You don't get to say, "I don't like that. I'm gonna do my own thing". You're gonna drown. You're gonna drown in the judgment of God if you don't follow God's instruction. So that brings us to the wrath that proceeds from God.

    When it comes to the matter of global judgment, the Bible comes full circle. At the beginning of Scripture in the book of Genesis, we're told how God destroyed the world by a flood. At the end of the Bible, we learn how God will judge the world by fire. Notice, it says in Genesis chapter 7: "And the Lord said to Noah, 'Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.'"

    And you know that Noah went into the ark with his sons, his wife. A total of eight people were saved in the ark. And the rain began to fall and you can imagine the knocks on the door by all the inhabitants of Noah's community who had heard him preaching for all these years, telling them what was gonna happen and they had laughed at him and scoffed at him, like some of you laugh at preachers like me when we tell you that God will judge this earth. If you don't repent you can't go to heaven. And one day, it was too late, and the door was shut and the rain came and the floods came up, and all those who had refused to repent were lost.

    The Bible says that one day, though God will never again destroy this world by a flood, he's gonna destroy it by a fire. If you trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you won't be here then. You will have gone to heaven to be with the Lord. You'll have gone into the ark and be saved. But if you do not believe, you say, I get so frustrated because people tell me all the time, "Well, I just don't believe that," like that makes it untrue.

    You know, it doesn't matter whether you believe it or not. If it's true, it's true. And when you get to heaven and he asks you why you should be let into his heaven and you don't have the right answer, he's not gonna care whether you believe you have the right answer or not. You either have the right answer or you don't. The right answer is, "I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. I went into the one door of the ark of salvation". The wrong answer is, "I've tried to be a good person. I've done my way the best I know how".

    A lot of people that stood outside of that ark when the rain began to fall, and all of a sudden there was enough water for that huge thing to start to float. What they remembered most were all the sermons they had heard from Noah that they had not believed. One of these days, if you don't receive Jesus Christ, the Bible says you will spend eternity in hell. And one of the things about hell that will be so awful will be the memories of all the times you had a chance to repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ and you didn't do it.

    Noah teaches us that we can live in this world surrounded by corruption and be full of grace. And Noah teaches us that there is coming a time of judgment upon the earth just as surely as the judgment of the flood, there will be a judgment of the fire. You can read about it in Peter's Epistles. And the world will be burned up and everything in it and on it, and only those who have entered the ark of salvation and have gone to heaven, only those will be saved.

    So let me ask you this question tonight: Where are you in all of this? God brought you here for a reason. I don't know any of you. I don't know what's in your life or what's going on. Some of you are Christians, but you are not walking with God. I wanna talk to you for just a moment. If you wanna know the joy that God intends for you to have, you need to start walking with him. You need to walk with him every day. When you start walking with God, he'll give you something to do. And when he gives you something to do, you're gonna find such joy. The greatest joy I have as a believer is serving Jesus Christ.

    Why do I do these events? I love coming here to preach. God has put that in my heart. This is what God has called me to do. This is what I do, and I love to do it. And when you start to walk with God, you may have been a Christian for many years, and you've been sort of a spectator, maybe you've been a secret service Christian. I know a lot of people like that. Nobody knows who you are. Maybe tonight's the night when you start to walk with God and begin to live for him. And if you start to walk with him and you simply say, "Lord, I wanna walk with you in my life. Show me what you want me to do," I promise you he will do that. He's obligated to do that. Not only will he show you what to do, he'll help you do it. And it will bring such joy to your heart, you won't be able to contain yourself.

    Maybe you're here tonight and you're just a interested person who came to this event. You don't know much about the Bible, you don't know much about God and Christ, but right now you understand that there's a way for you to go to heaven and that's through putting your faith in Jesus Christ. I'm gonna ask you to make your decision to come into the ark and be saved. To come to Christ and ask for forgiveness and become a Christian. The Bible says you will go to heaven and there you will live with the Lord forever. It's your choice.

    Just as the people of Noah's day had a choice, and no one made the right choice but eight people in his family, and I'm gonna ask you, I'm gonna plead with you, I want to spend eternity with you. I want to be in heaven with you. I don't want you to leave here without absolute certainty that you're on your way to heaven when you die.

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