In the days of Noah, the Lord saw the condition of mankind. All were thoroughly corrupt in their desires, thoughts, words, and deeds. All men and women were totally depraved. They were like their father — the devil.
Toward them, God looked with regret and anger. He pronounced his holy judgment. These violent men and women would receive what they deserved. They would be destroyed, They were damned.
However, toward them, God also looked with grief and grace. He was not content to shower justice upon all. Some were destined to receive his undeserved favor.
Therefore, God provided the means of salvation. For Noah, his family, and anyone else who would heed his preaching, they could find salvation by getting into the ark provided by God’s prophetic mediator. They could be saved from damnation as long as they entered before it was too late.
For 120 years, Noah worked with his hands.
For 120 years, Noah labored with his lips. He preached the good news of God’s salvation to his neighbors.
Then, when God determined the time was right, he kept both of his promises.
He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground … Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:23)
Consider the vantage point of God: He sees all of our transgressions.
Consider the emotive posture of God: With all of his holy being, he still loathes sin.
Consider the judgmental promise of God: Spiritual, emotional, relational, vocational, global, physical, and eternal curse continue to fall upon all who sin.
Consider the salvific promise of God. Jesus is the True Prophet who saves through his work. He is the one who preaches, offers, invites, and commands all to come to salvation through him. And in the end, he is the one who provides salvation for all in his family.
Consider the longsuffering pause of God: In Noah’s day, God paused for 120 years. In our day, God still pauses, but who knows the length of his longsuffering stay of execution. Is Jesus coming soon? Is the determined number of our days coming to an end? How much longer till our neighbors succumb to cancer, tornadoes, poor driving, or the latest virus?
Well my friends, we who are wise will respond in three ways:
First, let us believe the bad news of our transgressions, believe the Gospel of Jesus’ free pardon, fall on our knees, confess our sins, kiss his ring, swear allegiance, and joyfully profess his name as we join his salvific family — the church. Friends, today is the day of salvation. Today is not too late. Jesus has still not shut the door of salvific possibility. Please, come join the merry band of Christ followers, and if you do, please email me and let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org) How fun it would be to celebrate with you and help you enjoy the journey.
Second, let us celebrate. We have the immutable promise of God that all our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus. Just as God promised he would never again pour out his global and watery wrath upon the earth, so he promises there is no condemnation for all who are united with Christ. The flood of his damnation has been poured out on Jesus. As Christians, we are free. We are saved. We are deemed holy. We’re OK. There is no double-jeopardy. Smile. Relax. Rest. Sabbath. Worship well!
Third, let us spread the Gospel and tell our friends about the one way of salvation. Let’s walk in such a way that people ask us questions. Let’s let our light shine before men that they may see our good deeds and be tempted to glorify our Father in heaven. Let’s invite to lunch, to small group, and to church. Let’s worship in such a way that arouses their interest. Let’s give verbal testimony to what the Lord has done in our lives, and when our neighbors ask questions we can’t answer, let’s introduce them to some of our better-equipped brothers and sisters. Let’s utilized technology. Let’s post our hope. Let’s share various blogs. Let’s mail good books. Shoot, let’s glue Christian fishes to our bumpers, wear “Jesus Saves” sandwich boards, and hold up “John 3:16” signs at football games if that helps. (I’m not so sure it does.) However, let’s do something. Let’s go to work. We have family, friends, and neighbors who are depraved and perishing. We have a God who does not lie, and we have a God who mercifully saves. And as of today, time keeps ticking. For those about us, time has not yet run out.