The Day is approaching. Just as in Noah’s day, judgment will not tarry for long. It is coming as sure as the Sun will rise. God told Noah to prepare a massive wooden ark in which he and his family would escape the global cataclysm. The ark had a single door that was so large only God could shut it (Gen. 6:16, 7:16).
Likewise, in our time God has prepared another wooden object that we must cling to in order to escape the second global cataclysm: the cross of Christ. The ark rose above the floodwaters and Noah and his family were lifted to safety while the world perished down below. Christ our Savior was lifted up on a cross, paying for all of our sins. When we trust in Him alone we will also be lifted up, but this time not just above floodwaters, but far above the earth into the heavenly realms.
Just as Noah and his family entered the ark seven days before the flood came (Gen. 7:7-10), so those clinging to the cross of Christ must enter Heaven seven years before God’s judgment is completed. Noah entered through a single, wooden door in the ark. We must enter through a door into Heaven by means of a wooden cross:
I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name… Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
– Revelation 3:8, 10-11
After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’
– Revelation 4:1
How do you enter through this heavenly door?
‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
– John 14:1-6
Let there be no doubt that in John 14 Jesus is speaking about the fulfillment of a prophecy first written over 700 years earlier by the prophet Isaiah:
Like a pregnant woman
who writhes and cries out in her pangs
when she is near to giving birth,
so were we because of you, O Lord;
we were pregnant, we writhed,
but we have given birth to wind.
We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the earth will give birth to the dead.
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
and will no more cover its slain.
– Isaiah 26:17-21
God’s children are raised to life and then hidden away behind closed doors before God’s judgment is unleashed upon the earth. The door into Heaven is Jesus:
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
– John 10:9
There are two groups of people that still haven’t boarded the ark of Christ. Both groups are unbelievers, but some claim to know Christ. They are the lawless and the legalists. Both reject the atonement that Jesus offered on their behalf. Both bring a strange fire before the altar of God and offer only the fruit of their own labors rather than the Lamb of God. All it takes to board the ark is a saving faith in Jesus Christ and the humility to recognize your personal need for what only God can provide. Sadly, surveys now show that a great many Christians have abandoned their hope and are trying to enter Heaven by their own effort. This is an apostasy even worse than homosexuality or worldliness, because this apostasy negates grace (Acts 13:39, Rom. 3:20, 3:28, 11:6, Gal. 2:16).
When God’s children are taken from the earth, the greatest heartache will be felt by those who thought they knew the LORD and who were prophesying, casting out demons, and doing many mighty works, but who had never entered God’s rest (Matt. 7:21-23, Heb. 3:7-4:16, 9:11-28). They rejected God’s grace – knowingly or unknowingly, it won’t much matter at that point. Remember that the wicked and lawless people of Sodom will certainly suffer a future judgment, but the judgment of the self-righteous religious hypocrites will be far, far worse (Matt. 11:23-24, 23:15, 23:33, John 5:39).
The message is the same for all – for the prostitutes and junkies, the homosexuals and pornographers, the liars and slanderers, the self-righteous and prideful, the hypocrites and Pharisees: repent (change your mind) and believe the Good News! God loves you in your present state (Romans 5:8), but He will not force Himself on you. You MUST repent and come to Him to receive the grace that only He offers.
The door to the ark is closing fast. Get on board now.