The Stowaway on Noah's Ark
Do you remember preparing to leave with your family on a vacation? Well, this voyage was the vacation to end all vacations! Of course, this was not a vacation at all, but it was Noah being faithful to the command that he received from God to "Make thee an ark of gopher wood;. . ." (Genesis 6:14a). But, I brought up the vacation idea since we likely all remember just how easy it is to forget something behind when we are preparing to leave. Normally, in just a few minutes or hours, or almost certainly in a few days, we remember what we absolutely had to have!
We tend to think that remembering all personal items and all articles of clothing are a herculean task. But, imagine if your 'vehicle' would exceed the size of a football field! Now imagine that you would not only need to pack everything personal, but you would also be bringing along "two of every sort" of animal --"male and female" (Genesis 6:19) and you would "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, . . ." (Genesis 7:2). Thankfully, God did not wait for Noah and his three sons and their families to roam the earth in search of every creature. It seems clear from verse 9 that God directed his creation to file in by twos and by sevens.
Here is the truly amazing thing! With all the seeds, plants, animals, food, personal items, and more, there was something they probably wish they could have left behind--But, it was a stowaway. That something was SIN.
So how did sin get on board? The answer is stated clearly in the Bible. We often hear, and even see at football games and other sports, the waiving of signs about John 3:16. However, 2 verses later in verse 18 we read: "He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (emphasis added). One does not have to do or not do something to be a sinner! Look again at verse 36 of the same chapter: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (emphasis added) Sin and judgment are already there! It "abides" or "remains". Yes, even though we are told that God saw Noah as "righteous", he was still a sinner. The only righteousness he possessed was 'imputed' righteousness through faith, just as it is today through the substitutionary death of Jesus.
The Ever-Present Reality
Bible students recognize the source of today's woes. They show themselves in so many forms as a result of sin. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Sin brings death. We recognize, also, that it brings great strife both internally and externally. It always brings problems at the national, local, and personal levels. It always has and it always will. This is why with joy, we read the words of Paul who wrote, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:54c). Then continuing in verse 57 of the same chapter we read these words of victory---"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ".
Just as the door closed to the ark and there was no longer an opportunity for those outside of the ark to be saved. So it will be when the door is closed on history. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2b). If you are reading this as one that knows they are outside of the ark, consider these final 2 passages in closing.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9,10).
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
All scripture quotes from the King James Version of the Bible.