“Open Doors” Series #2
"THE DOOR OF SAFETY!"
TEXT: Gen. 6:5-8:22
INTRO: Sin's nature is to ruin the family of man ... and the seeds of sin exist in all mankind! The world would like to believe Satan's lies about sin, which is “wrong is right, and right is wrong” ... it is thought strange to believe in sin these days or that sin is dangerous!
The world has come to view the concept of sin as a religious fanatic’s obsession. Yet, in the end the world will come to understand just how deceiving sin is ... and how destructive it is to those who take it lightly now!
ILLUS: A SCORPION BEING A VERY POOR SWIMMER, ASKED ONCE A TURTLE THAT WAS ABOUT TO CROSS A RIVER FOR A RIDE ON HIS BACK. THE TURTLE HOWEVER ANSWERED HIM. “ARE YOU CRAZY, IF I LET YOU RIDE ON MY BACK OVER THIS RIVER YOU WOULD STING ME WHILE I'M SWIMMING AND THEN I WOULD DROWN?” THE SCORPION LAUGHED AND SAID, “MY DEAR TURTLE, IF I WERE TO STING YOU, NOT ONLY WOULD YOU DROWN, BUT I’D GO DOWN WITH YOU! WHERE WOULD BE THE LOGIC FOR ME TO DO THAT WHILE I’M CROSSING OVER WITH YOU ON YOUR BACK?” “OK, CLIMB ABOARD FOR THE RIDE” SAID THE TURTLE. THE SCORPION CLIMBED ON BOARD THE TURTLE’S BACK AND OFF THEY WENT … BUT AROUND HALFWAY ACROSS, THE SCORPION DUG IN HIS STINGER AND INJECTED HIS PARALYZING POISON! AS THEY BOTH SANK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER, THE TURTLE NOW RESIGNED TO HIS FATE EXCLAIMED, “DO YOU MIND IF I ASK YOU SOMETHING MR. SCORPION BEFORE WE BOTH PERISH?” THE SCORPION AGREED TO HEAR THE QUESTION. THE TURTLE THEN ASKED, “YOU SAID THERE WAS NO LOGIC IN STINGING ME IF I LET YOU RIDE ACROSS, SO THEN, WHY DID YOU DO IT?” THE SCORPION ANSWERED, “IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOGIC, IT’S JUST MY NATURE TO DO IT!” THIS IS TRUE WITH ANY DEALINGS WITH SATAN AND SIN … WE MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO THINK WE WON’T BE AFFECTED, BUT THAT IS THE NATURE OF SIN! ONLY THROUGH CHRIST CAN WE TRULY BE SAFE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
Probably one of the great dangers of our time is to think we are better than those who lived in Noah's day ... and thus we couldn't possibly be as bad as they were in warranting God's judgment on sin! Yet, consider the following facts:
ILLUS: THE AMERICAN ATHEIST PRESS WHOSE LEADER MADELYN MURRAY O'HAIR LEADS A FEW YEARS BACK TOOK THE BIBLE AND PRINTED ONLY THE PARTS OF THE BIBLE THAT HAD SEXUALLY EXPLICIT PARTS IN THEM AND CALLED THIS NEW VERSION OF THE BIBLE THE "X-RATED BIBLE!" THEIR FIRST PRINTING WAS 5,000 COPIES AND THEY ALL SOLD IN LESS THAN 2½ WEEKS! A SECOND PRINTING WAS SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER, 1985! MS. O'HAIR PROCLAIMED, "WE CAN'T BELIEVE IT ... ALL WE'RE DOING IS FILLING BOOK ORDERS, WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR ANYTHING ELSE!" THE PAPERBACK COPY WENT FOR $7.95! SUCH IS THE SPIRIT OF FALLEN MAN! YET: IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS DON'T TAKE SIN TOO SERIOUSLY EITHER! IN THE RECENT BOOK ENTITLED, "VITAL SIGNS", IT REPORTED THAT OF CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLDS THAT WERE HOOKED INTO CABLE TV 23% OF THOSE CHRISTIAN HOMES HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO PORNOGRAPHIC CHANNELS! THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THE NATION AS A WHOLE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
What is God looking for? He is looking for a people who will stand up in a world controlled by sin and live a life that reflects His love and power! Anyone can follow the crowd but not everyone follows the Christ!
Where are you in this world plagued with sin? God has made a way of escape from sin … and sin's consequences, but we must enter through the door of safety!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God has made a place of safety ... and the door is Jesus Christ! He allows us to enter into the “ark” of safety! For those who enter in there is deliverance and life ... for those who reject it, there is only certain judgment!
I. DAYS OF SIN! Gen. 6:5-7:10
A. Perverse! Gen. 6:5-13
1. It was a terrible time in Earth's history, in the entire world God could only find one righteous man!
a. Just think of that, only one righteous person in the whole world!
b. The nations of the Earth had become so corrupt that they had lost all redeeming qualities!!
2. It was a time of prosperity and progress ... there was much pleasure to grab onto and this led man to forget God and seek only pleasure!
3. In the midst of all this, one man did not forget God ... his name was Noah!
4. Though Noah surely warned them against the dangers of sin they took no heed ... the pleasures of sin are not easily let go of!
ILLUS: MONKEY TRAPPERS IN NORTH AFRICA HAVE LEARNED A CLEVER WAY OF CATCHING THEIR PREY WHEN HUNTING FOR MONKEYS! THEY TAKE A NUMBER OF GOURDS, HOLLOW THEM AND FILL THEM WITH ALL KINDS OF NUTS. THESE ARE FIRMLY ATTACHED TO A TREE. ON ONE END WHERE THE HOLE IS, THEY MAKE THE HOLE EXACTLY THE SIZE OF A MONKEYS HAND AND NO BIGGER. WHEN A HUNGRY MONKEY FINDS THE NUTS INSIDE, IT WILL REACH IN ITS HAND AND GRASP A HANDFUL OF NUTS ... WHICH WHEN HELD MAKES THEIR HAND TOO BIG TO RETRACT THROUGH THE HOLE, AND SO IT IS STUCK! THE NATIVES THEN SIMPLY WALK UP TO THE MONKEY AND TAKE THEM ... THE MONKEY SCREAMS WITH FEAR AND TRIES TO ESCAPE ... BUT IT WILL NOT LET GO OF THE PRIZE INSIDE AND SO IT CAN'T ESCAPE ... IT IS HELD PRISONER BY ITS OWN DESIRES ... EVEN ITS FEAR OF CAPTURE WILL NOT LET IT GIVE UP ITS BOUNTY ... AND SO IT LOSES IT'S LIFE! HOW OFTEN DOES MAN DO THE SAME THING WITH THE PLEASURES OF SIN? – SOURCE UNKNOWN
5. Though God's wrath was about to come upon the Earth, God does not subject His children to His wrath ... for Noah and his family, there was a door of safety!
B. Provision Gen. 6:14-7:10
1. Noah's escape was based on two things:
a. God's plan
b. Noah's obedience!
c. This is still true for salvation! God has provided the plan and the way, we must however respond in obedience!
2. The Ark would shield them from God's wrath ... Jesus Christ in our lives is our "ark of safety" ... In Him, Like Noah in the Ark, we are safe from God's wrath and judgment on sin!
3. God becomes the necessary shelter for Noah and his family to save them from a judgment of water ... He is always the appropriate shelter for whatever we face!
ILLUS: TO THE ARTIST, HE IS THE ONE ALTOGETHER LOVELY ONE; TO THE ARCHITECT HE IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE; TO THE ASTRONOMER HE IS THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; TO THE BAKER HE IS THE LIVING BREAD; TO THE BANKER HE IS THE HIDDEN TREASURE; TO THE BIOLOGIST HE IS THE LIFE; TO THE CARPENTER HE IS THE SURE FOUNDATION; TO THE DOCTOR HE IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN; TO THE EDUCATOR HE IS THE GREAT TEACHER; TO THE FARMER HE IS THE SOWER AND THE LORD OF THE HARVEST; TO THE FLORIST HE IS THE LILY OF THE VALLEY AND THE ROSE OF SHARON; TO THE GEOLOGIST HE IS THE ROCK OF AGES; TO THE HORTICULTURIST HE IS THE TRUE VINE; TO THE JUDGE HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE; TO THE JUROR HE IS THE TRUE WITNESS; TO THE JEWELER HE IS THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE; TO THE EDITOR HE IS THE GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY AND THE WORD OF LIFE; TO THE EYE SPECIALIST HE IS THE LIGHT OF THE EYES; TO THE PHILOSOPHER HE IS THE WISDOM OF GOD; TO THE PRINTER HE IS THE TRUE TYPE; TO THE SERVANT HE IS THE GOOD MASTER; TO THE STUDENT HE IS THE INCARNATE TRUTH; TO THE TOILER HE IS THE GIVER OF REST; TO THE SINNER HE IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHICH TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD ... TO THE CHRISTIAN HE IS THE LIVING GOD, THE SAVIOR, THE REDEEMER AND LORD!!! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. God provided a way to keep from destroying all that had fallen ... even creation would be the recipients of God's grace here!
a. God’s provision of safety protected righteous Noah and his family ... and it also provided a way of escape for nature to survive!
b. Why doesn't God simply destroy all the evil people today? Because His grace offers opportunity for a second chance!
c. One day again however the saints will board the ark of safety and be protected from the coming wrath of God ... today the door is open just as it was the 120 years Noah preached and yet had no converts!
(1. Today we would have wondered about his credentials as a Preacher ... no converts in 120 years is not a great record of success!
(2. Most preachers today would have thrown in the towel long before reaching their 120 anniversary at a church that never grew!
5. But ... the door remained open the whole time ... it was the door of safety to those who entered it!
6. God does not pour out His wrath without there being a way of escape ... a door of safety!
II. DOOR OF SAFETY! Gen. 7:11-8:19
A. Protection Gen. 7:11-16
1. The day of wrath finally arrives ... after a 7 day notice Noah and his family enter the ark along with the representatives of creation!
2. Once inside God’s provision ... they are safe from judgment!
3. Notice it is God who closes the door, not Noah! Gen. 7:16b
a. Like this event of God closing the door, one day God will deliver His children from the coming wrath of God ... and He will shut us in, for He is the door!
b. God seals the door so there are no mistakes, Noah can't leave, and the undeserving can't get in!
c. The invitation had been given for 120 years by Noah to enter ... now it was too late!
4. Nothing could deter Noah from following God's call or alter his obedience to God's will ... God's will was the most important thing on Noah's heart and mind!
a. How many of us would have had that kind of endurance?
b. The next time you say how hard it is to live like a Christian in such a sinful culture remember the odds against Noah who lived for better than 120 years faithfully when he was literally the only one in the whole world outside his family to serve God!
5. The greatness of a man or woman of God is not measured by statistics as much as by their unswerving passion to obey God!
ILLUS: AT ONE TIME, DANIEL WEBSTER WAS CONSIDERED THE GREATEST OF ALL LIVING AMERICANS! HE WAS OUTSTANDING AS A STATESMAN, LAWYER, ORATOR, AND LEADER OF MEN. 25 NATIONAL LEADERS ATTENDED A SPECIAL BANQUET IN HIS HONOR ONE DAY, AND AT THIS BANQUET A MAN ASKED WEBSTER THIS QUESTION; "SIRE, WHAT IS THE GREATEST THOUGHT THAT EVER ENTERED YOUR MIND?" WITHOUT HESITATION, WEBSTER GAVE THIS REPLY,' "THE GREATEST THOUGHT THAT EVER ENTERED MY MIND WAS THE THOUGHT OF MY RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD!" AS HE SPOKE HE BEGAN TO WEEP, AND SO, HE EXCUSED HIMSELF FROM THE BANQUET, WENT OUTSIDE, AND GOT CONTROL OF HIS EMOTIONS. WHEN HE RETURNED, HE TALKED FOR 30 MINUTES ABOUT MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD TO THIS CROWD OF WORLDLY MEN! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. Nothing could or would keep righteous Noah from following what God asked of him ... God provided the plan, Noah provided the obedience! The result was salvation!
B. Patience Gen. 7:17-8:19
1. Did God's plan of salvation include the life of ease while sinful man was destroyed?
a. There was much work to do on this great boat ... besides the seasickness which must have been a new experience for man ... especially with no real windows or doors to open!
b. As month after month passed there was no evidence of dry land or any hope that there would be much left if land was discovered again ... how well would you have coped?
2. Noah had to be patient ... he had no idea how long this experience would be!
3. Noah had to trust God for how long they floated and where they landed!
a. And in the meantime keep happy a lot of boxed in animals and a family that couldn't get out of each other’s way!
b. There were no servants to take care of the jobs ... there was little free time to question God's plan!!
4. Do you think Noah ever thought, "God, wasn't there a better way to do this that would have been more comfortable for all of us!?"
5. How many times do we frustrate ourselves by trying to figure God out instead of simply obeying Him and trusting Him for the results!
ILLUS: IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND, SHEPHERDS OFTEN HAVE PROBLEMS WITH SHEEP THAT FALL INTO ROCKY CRAGS AND THEN CAN'T GET OUT ON THEIR OWN. THE VEGETATION ON THESE MOUNTAINS IS SO SWEET THAT THE SHEEP WILL LITERALLY JUMP INTO CAVITIES 10 TO 12 FEET BELOW JUST TO GET SOME OF IT ... HERE THEY ARE CONTENT AS LONG AS THEY HAVE THIS SWEET VEGETATION TO EAT ... BUT SOON THEY EAT WHAT'S AROUND THEM IN THIS PIT AND THEN THEY START BLEATING FOR HELP! AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF BLEATING FOR HELP THEY BECOME SO FAINT THEY CAN'T STAND UP ... AND IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT THE SHEPHERD WILL COME AND RESCUE THEM, NOT EARLIER! ASKED WHY THEY DO THIS THEY ANSWERED, "IF WE RESCUED THEM RIGHT AWAY, SHEEP ARE SO DUMB THEY WOULD DASH RIGHT OVER THE EDGE AS WE TRIED TO LIFT THEM OUT AND OFF THE CLIFF THAT THEY WOULD GO TO THEIR DEATH!" THE SHEPHERD PATIENTLY WAITS FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT ... BUT THE SHEEP DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. The day finally came ... they were once again restored to the Earth and now instead of the Earth being full of evil doers, the whole world was full of only believers!
III. DELIVERANCE & SALVATION! Gen. 8:20-22
A. Personal Gen. 8:20
1. God not only had provided a plan of escape for them through the ark ... and not only did He provide a way to save them all from His judgment but He also provided a way for Noah to worship Him when they were free again!
a. Remember the animals came in by 2's, all except the "clean" animals which came in by 7's!
b. Now it becomes very clear for the reason of taking 7 of every clean animal!
c. The extras provided the means to worship God when they came out again on dry land without endangering the species ability to multiply again on the earth! (God was the first one to pass a regulation to protect endangered species!)
d. God not only provided a way to save them, but a way for them to worship appropriately!
2. God has done this for us too ... in His son Jesus Christ!
a. Jesus makes it possible for us to be saved!
b. Jesus makes it possible for us to worship God too ... we come in Christ's name and in His sacrifice!
3. Noah was given the means to make his response to God's salvation personal!
4. The first thing Noah does is build an altar!!
a. This makes our salvation very personal!
b. Do you have an altar?
5. Noah's sacrifices and altar showed his humility before God ... He does not rejoice over the destruction of others, he rejoices over his own salvation!
a. Noah didn't walk out and say, "guess we took care of them rotten sinners!"
b. He understood his own place before God was based solely on grace!
c. Just think if he had felt he deserved to have a monument built in his honor as the only righteous man in all the earth ... perhaps a nice memorial so that others would appreciate his commitment to God later ... yet, he builds nothing for his own honor, he builds an altar to honor God only!
ILLUS: IN THE YEARS 1014-1035 THERE RULED OVER ENGLAND A DANISH KING NAMED CANUTE. KING CANUTE GOT SO TIRED OF HEARING HIS RETAINERS AND THOSE IN THE COURT FLATTER HIM WITH EXTRAVAGANT PRAISES OF HOW GREAT HE WAS, AND OF HIS POWER AND INVINCIBILITY THAT HE ONE DAY ORDERED HIS CHAIR TO BE SET DOWN ON THE SEASHORE WHERE HE STOOD AND LOUDLY COMMANDED THE WAVES NOT TO COME IN AND WET HIM OR HIS CHAIR! HOWEVER, NO MATTER HOW FORCEFULLY HE ORDERED THE WAVES TO NOT COME IN THEY LAPPED AROUND HIM AND HIS CHAIR OVER AND OVER AGAIN! AFTER THIS STRANGE DISPLAY, HISTORIANS TELLS US THAT HE WOULD NEVER WHERE HIS CROWN AFTER THIS, INSTEAD HE TOOK IT AND HUNG IT ON A STATUE OF THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST, THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD COMMAND THE WIND AND THE WAVES TO OBEY HIM ... THUS QUIETING THE OVERBLOWN PRAISES OF HIS OWN GREATNESS BY THOSE WITHIN THE COURT! THERE WAS ONLY ONE WHO DESERVED THIS PRAISE AND ADORATION! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. Noah demonstrates his humility before God through this act of sacrificing the proper way at an altar he builds to worship God!
B. Pleased! Gen. 8:21-22
1. God is pleased with this “sweet smelling sacrifice” ... there is no arrogance in Noah for being the only one saved ... just recognition of God's love and grace!
a. Such a demonstration of humility and proper attitude prompts God's heart to promise to never again destroy the world with water! (Next time it will be fire!)
b. God promises that everything will continue on until the end of time ... God has plans for another ark of safety better than Noah's!
2. Once again, God has provided a way from the next coming judgment of God ... and that door has been open now for almost 2,000 years, longer than the 120 years the first time preaching took place to escape!
a. Sure enough, just as that day came after 120 years of preaching, a day is coming when the trump of God will sound and the door will close on the greater ark of safety!
b. And the judgment of God will fall again on those who have failed to come aboard!
3. What about you?
CONCLUSION: When Noah built the ark, God instructed him to build a door in it. When the time came for judgment, God shut this door! Those inside were safe, those outside were lost! Jesus referred to Himself as the "door" ... all that enter through Christ will be safe, those outside will be lost ... forever! Have you entered the door of safety?