My friends, we have sailed the seas of Bible prophecy in a study called Looking for the Blessed Hope. Our cruise ship has sailed into harbor and found its way to our pier, but we’ve got a boatload of important things to discuss before we disembark. It will take two days, so while the crew secures our vessel, let’s examine part 1 of “A Tale of Three Cruises.”
Yes, this particular cruise is coming to an end, but we’ll look at two other cruises that help us put our cruise into perspective. Let’s consider the very first cruise in history. Do you remember a man named Noah? For sure, he was aboard the very first cruise in history! Does that cruise add any significance to our cruise? I believe so, so let’s turn our attention to Genesis 6 for details.
In verses 5-6, we learn that the Lord saw wickedness in the earth and was grieved. I wonder…how grieved is the Lord today as He looks at the wickedness upon the earth? I think particularly of the Supreme Court’s decision two days ago to legalize gay marriage in the United States. I can’t imagine that our foray deeper and deeper into immorality doesn’t grieve the Lord.
Verses 7-8 describe total destruction of man, animals, creeping things and birds. Yet, Noah found favor with God. As we’ve studied, destruction is about to come upon the earth once again. Wickedness will ultimately lead to total destruction and we are seeing unimaginable wickedness in our world today. Noah was a righteous man who heeded God’s instructions. I wonder…who among us will find favor with God when He allows destruction to be unleashed on earth.
God gave specific ark-building instructions to Noah in verses 14-17, providing the only way of survival. Likewise, God has given us instructions for survival. But I wonder…are we hearing and heeding His instructions? If so, are we sharing those instructions with a lost and dying world?
Verses 18-22 tell us of God’s covenant with Noah. Do you realize that the New Covenant was given to us in the form of Jesus Christ who died to save us from our sin? Have you entered that covenant with Him?
So, what are the lessons of Noah’s cruise? Well, the Lord responded to the wickedness He saw in Noah’s day by sending judgment by water: a world-wide flood. But the Bible speaks of two other judgments as well: a judgment of fire and a judgment of blood. Let’s consider those judgments.
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
~2 Peter 3:3-7
Notice that Peter reached back in history to Noah’s day, recalling the judgment of the world by water. He, then, reached forward in history to the future day of judgment when the world will be judged by fire! Jesus Himself reached into history past and future to make the same point in Matthew 24:37-39! Judgment is coming…and it is horrific!
But prior to that, notice that Peter tells us that mockers will come, just as they did in Noah’s day. As Noah was faithful to build a boat bigger than any vessel ever seen or imagined, people mocked him. Imagine their sarcastic smirks of, “You’re crazy…there has never been enough water to float a boat that large! Who told you to build that!?!” Likewise, in the last days, mockers will say, “You’ve been saying for years that Jesus is coming back. Where is the promise of His coming?” Friends, we’ve seen that mocking. Someone wrote a book entitled “88 Reasons Jesus will Return in 1988.” Of course, He didn’t and the title was revised to “89 Reasons Jesus will Return in 1989.” Y2K was supposed to bring an end to the world, as was the Mayan calendar that ended in December, 2012. Neither did. Harold Camping predicted Jesus’s return on May 21, 2011. He “miscalculated,” though, and revised it to October 21, 2011. Wrong on both accounts!
Beyond that, we have blatant mockers today. Following the news of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage, I heard comments such as, “To [expletive] with God! Now we can do what ‘love’ leads us to do!” Mockers. They are everywhere.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
So, a judgment of water in the past, a judgment of fire in the future. However, in between, there is a judgment by blood. Ezekiel 38 describes the Northern Invasion of Israel by the Russian-Iranian coalition. In verse 22, the prophet tells us that God Almighty will enter into a judgment of blood with Gog, the leader of that coalition.
But friends, God Almighty has already entered into a judgment of blood with us! Our sin is no different than Gog’s or anyone else’s, and the Bible tells us that the punishment for sin is death. (Romans 6:23) But God provided an ark of salvation to Noah, and by the blood of Jesus, He is our ark of salvation as well! Furthermore, God shut the door of the ark to secure Noah and his family while destruction raged upon the earth. Likewise, Jesus is the Door of salvation for us, protecting us from the destruction that is to come! As believers in Jesus Christ, we have entered the Door of salvation and will be raptured from this earth prior to the destructive end known as the tribulation!
Jesus Christ is our Ark of Salvation, and He is the Door through which we enter and are saved. Those are lessons from the first cruise in history…Noah’s cruise! We need to share those lessons!
Tomorrow, we will end our study with a bang. This is “A Tale of Three Cruises” and we have one other cruise to examine! To miss part 2 tomorrow is to miss the crown jewel of our study together. So, join us for the finale of our study.
See you then!