The Ark is an image of salvation and the Rapture of the church. 8 people were saved and kept from judgment. They would be God’s means of restarting the earth’s population.
As for the Church, we are never promised to be kept from tribulation (John 16:33; Romans 5:3; 12:12; I. Thessalonians 1:6; Revelation 1:9). We will suffer for Christ. In fact, if we don’t suffer, then we are probably not saved (Romans 8:15-16; Philippians 1:29-30; I. Thessalonians 3:4), as suffering is a confirmation of our identification with Christ:
- “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” –John 15:20
But, I believe the Bible makes it clear that the Church will escape the coming Tribulation (the 7 year period when the Antichrist sets up his rule and reign on earth as a unifying leader, while ultimately persecuting Israel and blaspheming God, and while incurring the various judgments found in the Book of Revelation). Noah is our example.
Was Noah worthy of death? Yes, he was a sinner.
Was Noah special? No.
Then why was Noah saved from the Flood? Because God gave him grace. And since God saved him, God pulled him out of the judgment and kept him safe even while floating around in a world of hydro-destruction.
Same thing for the Church. We are all worthy of death and Hell. Not one of us deserve Heaven or escaping the coming Tribulation. But, God calls us by name and saves us, preserves us, and protects us from spiritual death. However:
- For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.—I. Thessalonians 4:16-17
This is differentiated from the Lord’s Second Coming when He steps foot on the Mount of Olives:
- Zechariah 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
In the Rapture, we meet Jesus in the air and He takes us home. The Tribulation immediately begins. In the Second Coming, after the seven years of Tribulation are fulfilled, Jesus returns to earth to the Mount of Olives to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
- While we have been discussing the first great judgment on the earth, we see that it is a picture of the second great judgment that takes place in the future.
- Which of these terms are you familiar with (write down a basic definition if you know them):
- Pre-Tribulational _______________________________________________
- Mid-Tribulational _______________________________________________
- Post-Tribulational _______________________________________________
- Premillennial _______________________________________________
- Postmillennial _______________________________________________
- Amillennial _______________________________________________
- Preterist _______________________________________________
- Jesus came to preach the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is essentially our mission today as He is going to set it up permanently and subdue all evil when He returns.
- Is it in the forefront of your mind that Christ’s return for His church is imminent (in that it could occur at any time without warning)? ___________________________________________
- I don’t keep it in the front of my mind as I should. What suggestions would you have to help remind yourself that He is soon returning? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How should we live our lives knowing that He could return at any time while we are engaged in any activity or behavior? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Going back to Noah, the Ark was designed to protect him and his family with a pretty amazing seaworthy ratio. It’s an image of God’s protection of His children. The waves may toss us about, but the ship never flips, it never sinks. Write some personal comments on the following verses that demonstrate His faithful salvific protection:
- Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
- Romans 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
- Luke 23:42-43 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”