In Genesis 6 the Bible says that in Noah’s time the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts were evil continually. Much like today, the earth was filled with corruption and violence. And it grieved God that he had made man. So he limited the life of an individual on earth to 120 years. God could not strive with man any longer than that, because men grew more and more corrupt and violent.
God, with a broken heart, then decided to send judgement upon the earth in the form of a flood. But before he sent judgement, He sent a preacher (2 Peter 2:5). God chose Noah to be a preacher of righteousness. Before judgement came, God provided a preacher and then he provided men, in all their wickedness, a way of escape — the door to the ark. The only way of escape was through the door of the ark.
Imagine: the time, the message, the warning and having a preacher build a strange huge boat in the middle of town. All these things were God’s way of sending a warning to mankind. God was giving everyone a clear sign that judgement was coming. When the rains came, Genesis 7:16 says that God closed the way of escape; the door of the ark. As it began to rain only eight people chose to go through the door of the ark and be saved — Noah and his family. Imagine the people standing by as they witnessed the hand of God close the door of the ark. Imagine the panic of those left behind. Imagine the sound of desperate fists pounding on the door of escape. Imagine the screams of, “Noah let me in!” as the waters began to rise. Perhaps Noah rushed to the door and tried to save his friends and acquaintances but opening the door through human effort was impossible because God closed the door and it would not be opened again until his judgment was complete.
Only eight people chose to enter the door of rescue; Noah and his family. And God, true to his word, delivered them from judgement. In 2 Peter 3 the Bible says the same water that helped form the earth and man eventually destroyed both. But God provided a way out. Those on the ark were delivered by water and those who refused to get on the ark were destroyed by water.
Similarly, Jesus, since the time of His ministry 2,000 years ago, has warned all men of a coming judgment. This will not be another judgement by water, but of fire (2 Peter 3). For 2,000 years men called by God have been preaching this warning: There is a fire coming! Once again God has provided a door of escape. This door opens to the cross of Christ. If we do not want to be left behind in the fire, then we need to go through the door God has provided — the cross (Luke 9:23 and John 19:30).
Luke 13:25 says, like Genesis 7:16, one day the owner of the door is going to get up and close it. After the door is closed it will be too late to enter. In John 10, Jesus says I am the door. Jesus is the door of deliverance. Some will choose to go through, others will convince themselves that they have found their own way. But be assured there is only one door that leads us to the rescuer and that door goes through the cross to Christ.
As in Noah’s day, some will be saved by fire and others destroyed by fire. The saved will receive the fire of the indwelling Holy Spirit that is delivered to each believer in Christ (Ephesians 1:13, Acts 2). Then there will be those who refuse the door of deliverance (the cross of Christ) and try to save themselves by some other way. Those individuals will stand at the great white throne of judgement hoping to be saved. They will be tried according to their own made up standard (the door of escape they think they have provided for themselves), perhaps good works. One by one they will fall short of salvation and be found guilty of sin (Hebrews 10:29-31).
These will be destroyed by fire (Revelation 20:11-15). No one’s good works will save them. There is no possible door of escape that one can provide for themselves. God has provided the door (Matthew 7:13-14).
I plead with every reader today; don’t wait another minute. Get right with God today. Enter the door. Enter the way of escape God has provided through the cross of his son Jesus. It’s the only way. We do not know when the door of opportunity will be closed. But when it does close, it will not be opened again until the judgment of God has been completed.
Rob Rhodes has been the pastor at the Sugar Tree Ridge Church of Christ for the last eight years. He has degrees in criminal justice, biology and genetics, and a master’s degree from Cincinnati Christian University. He is a former Army Ranger, Maryland state trooper, air marshal, and retired from the Department of Homeland Security. He has been married for 28 years and has two children.