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Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Noah’s Ark: Cute and Cuddly, or Wrath and Fury?

Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Noah’s Ark: Cute and Cuddly, or Wrath and Fury?

What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of Noah’s Ark?

Is it cute bunnies, giraffes, and kangaroos; or is it the death and destruction of sinners at the hand of God?

If you are like most, your mind immediately goes to the various childhood images of a lot of cute animals on a large boat. However, despite its overemphasis, the preservation of animals is not the primary lesson to be learned from the story of Noah’s Ark.

Both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter taught about the flood, yet neither of them even mentioned the animals. Instead, they used the flood account to teach on more serious matters such as sin, judgment, and salvation. 

Let’s look at what Jesus and Peter said about the flood to discover what they found to be of most importance. 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him (1 Peter 3:18-22).

  1. God’s people were, and are, in the minority.

Peter’s audience of believers were the minority in their society, yet God was with them. Peter used the ark account to remind his audience that counting heads is not the way to determine who is right and who is wrong. The most important factor is to be right with God; even if that does put you in the minority view. 

Think about it. Only eight people in the entire world were following God in the days of Noah. As it was in the days of Noah and Peter, the same goes for us today. Christians may not be in the majority, but we are right with God. 

  1. God’s method of salvation was, and is, exclusive.

Out of His mercy and grace, God provided the Ark. No matter what other ways people thought they could be saved by, in the end, they were proved wrong. 

Perhaps some of them did not believe that God would judge their sin like He said He would. Perhaps others trusted that they were good enough to escape God’s judgment. And still, others may have thought that if God is good and loving, then surely He will not really bring destruction. However, God provided only one way for people to be saved: the ark. 

So it was with Peter’s audience, and so it is for us today. The exclusivity of salvation by God’s ark points to the exclusivity of ultimate salvation from sin, judgment, and wrath through Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father accept through me” (John 14:6). 

  1. God’s method of salvation was, and is, 100% effective.

God put Noah and his family on the ark and sealed them the door. The rest of the world received God’s wrath, but those on the ark were safe. The ark floated perfectly through the storms, and by the hand of God, all of its inhabitants arrived safely. Its passengers had weathered the storms, were spared God’s wrath, and were saved just as God said they would be. 

Peter reveals that the ark was a type, or shadow, of the ultimate Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ, who will succeed in preserving, protecting, and bringing all of His elect safely home to God the Father. 

Peter reminds his audience that Jesus suffered God’s wrath for their sins to bring them safely to God. We can also fully rest in God’s method of salvation. As he clarified earlier by writing,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

  1. God did, and will, punish sinners.

Sinners hope that God will not judge them for their sins. However, the global flood and consummate death reveals that God does not wink at sin. He wiped out all people on the earth, except for eight, due to their sinfulness. It was a catastrophic event brought about by the anger, wrath, and judgment of God against sinners. 

Both Peter and Jesus Christ use the story of the ark to reiterate that the Day of Judgment is coming for all sinners. And as bad as dying in a flood was, it will be nothing compared to the coming final judgment of God. 

Jesus said, 

“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:37-39).

Summary:

Jesus, God in the flesh, and the Apostle Peter clearly taught that God really did judge sinners by causing a global flood. They also taught that a greater judgment and punishment is coming for all sinners. 

The good news is that God has provided the ultimate Ark of salvation, Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, the entire event of Noah’s ark and the flood points not to cute and cuddly animals, but to sin, judgment, wrath, and God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ. 
~ Trey Talley


Six Ways to Grow Closer to Other Christians

Six Ways to Grow Closer to Other Christians

Many professing Christians will walk into church this Sunday, smile at a few people, shake a hand or two, talk about the weather a bit, listen to a sermon, sing a few songs, and walk away believing that they have just fulfilled what it means to live in Christian community. Is this all there is, or should we be looking for more? 

The Apostle Peter addressed the Christians of his day, and us, to go far beyond merely being in the same room as one another for one hour per week. He calls believers to be deeply involved in one another’s lives. 

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9).

In this passage, Peter gives six back-to-back instructions that we all should be striving to possesses personally, and as a local church.

  1. Unity of mind: Sometimes translated, “harmony.” It has been said, that people can only live in harmony by themselves.
    Put any two people in a room for a long enough time, and very soon they will not be in harmony. For Christians, this should not be. We must always let our unity in Christ supersede our differences. The world is a hostile place full of people who are dividing, and fighting, over all kinds of issues. Believers are to strive to live in unity, peace, and harmony with one another. As Paul writes, “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
  2. Sympathy: To sympathize with another Christian is not to just be aware of other’s needs, but a deep desire that also results in taking action to help. As believers, we should make sure that no Christian is suffering alone.
    Look at the high level of sympathy which Paul exhorts the Corinthians to express, “but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
    If you are the one suffering, let others know about it. If people don’t know, then they cannot help. 
  3. Brotherly love: While we are to honor all people, there is extra special love that we are to have with those who are in the family of God. We are commanded by God to love one another. Other Christians need the love that only other Christians can provide, and loving others is a vital part of fulfilling your purpose in life. Brotherly love cannot, and should not be confined to a building referred to as a “church.” It is a love that should be active all week long.
  4. Tender-hearted: Be sensitive to the needs of others. This is the opposite of having a hard, calloused heart. There is a dire need among Christians to open our hearts and to be sensitive towards one another.
    Is your heart tender towards Christians in your local church? Do you seek to know them and understand their hurts, pains, trials, and sufferings? As a Christian living in community with other Christians, be on the lookout for those who are needing sympathy. Those who hurt the most often hide it the best.
  5. Humble mind: Humility is considering others more important than yourself. This is the polar opposite to the way the unsaved world thinks. They put themselves first; however, you are commanded to put others first.
    Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).
  6. Do not repay evil for evil: Sadly, it appears that this command was given to those within the church. Is it possible for Christians to say bad things about a fellow Christian? Of course, and anyone reading this knows that such a thing can and does happen, but how are you to respond? Peter is very clear. We are not to repay them with evil. He had just instructed the believers to not repay non-believers with evil, and how much more forgiving, patient, and long-suffering should we be with our fellow Christians. 

Summary:

These exhortations by Peter are a punch in the gut to modern Christianity, and maybe even to you personally. Are you striving to live in Christian community with unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, a humble mind, and not returning evil for evil? 

If you have been thinking that attending church is the extent of your involvement with your fellow believers, repent and start incorporating Peter’s instructions immediately. 

Do you want to have a stronger, heathier, more intimate church? Well, it starts with you. 
~ Trey Talley



 

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