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The Open Door That Closed

Written by: The Gospel Tract Society    Posted on: 03/31/2003

Category: Evangelism

Source: CCN

The Open Door That Closed


The door of the Ark stood open a long time. The People got used to seeing it stand open. It stood open so long that no one felt any alarm. It always seemed that there was plenty of time, just because it stood open so long.

While the door stood open Noah delivered his warning message. He warned men of a coming world flood because of world-wide wickedness. He preached the righteousness of God, and called upon men to repent. While he preached, the Spirit dealt with men. Noah's message fell on pleasure-loving, sin-hardened ears. Men gave themselves to gluttony, to eating and drinking to excess, to marrying and giving in marriage, to a life of legalized lust, void of the sacredness of the marriage tie. Man had filled the earth with violence. Yes, man's wickedness was great.

While Noah preached the door of the Ark stood open - and the weeks grew into months, and the months grew into years, and men grew in their sin, and matured in transgressions, and ripened in iniquity, making of God's long suffering mercy an occasion to sin yet more and more.

Doubtless some thought that, IF it rained, the ark would be a nice place to be in -- but of course it could not rain since it had never rained. (Gen. 2:5, 6)

While Noah preached, he labored -- his preaching and work all telling the same story -- THE FLOOD WAS COMING!

The constant sunshine never discouraged Noah -- he spent no time looking for clouds, or listening for thunder. He never lost faith in his message.

God had been patient and long-suffering -- but the 120 years of grace finally drew to a close. When the time for the flood came, the fowls, and the cattle, and the beasts, and the creeping things, were gathered into the ARK to restock the earth, and God said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the Ark." Gen. 7:1

Then! -- then! -- THEN! -- a mysterious and timely thing happened! -- the door that stood open so long began to swing slowly shut! -- closing tightly! -- and "THE LORD SHUT HIM IN!"

The air grew hazy -- and the sky became overcast with clouds, the gentle breezes sighed and moaned, became fitful and angry, increasing to gales and shrieking tempest and tearing tornados. Dazzling lightnings leaped across the gathering blackness, and pealing thunders cracked and roared -- and then CAME THE RAIN! -- Showers --- sheets --- torrents ----, and cloud-bursts; and the same day were all the fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. Gen. 7:11

In the mean time THE DOOR WAS SHUT! The same door that shut Noah and his family IN, shut that unbelieving generation OUT!

The time came when every one of them BELIEVED -- But THE DOOR WAS SHUT!

Outside of the ARK the `King of Terrors' held universal sway -- retributive Justice had transformed a world of life into a world of death, destruction, world-wide and mountain-high, engulfing the earth in universal ruin. A fair creation that once called from its Maker the superlative note of praise, was now, by the same Omnipotent hand, turned into a chaos of ruin - because of man's SIN.

The destruction was not instantaneous, but gradual. The lowlands were first inundated and deserted. Perhaps, few perished there -- most fled to uplands. As the flood crept upwards, submerging the elevations, men and beasts and great snakes fought for possession of little Atolls just above the rising waters. But gradually and inexorably that encroaching menace pursued and overtook them one by one -- and there came the hush of a great silence, unbroken by frenzied appeal, imprecation of prayer -- hushed was the voice of ridicule -- silenced the mocking of unbelief -- stilled were the arguments of the wise men that there would be no flood.

Infidels would have us believe that the story of the flood is but a superstition -- a baseless legend -- an invention of priest-craft.

Let Earth bear her own testimony to the flood. Spread over the tops of highest mountains are seashells and skeletons of fish and deep-sea monsters --HOW CAME THEY THERE? Skeletons of elephants and whales were found buried in England, skeletons of crocodiles in Germany -- HOW CAME THEY THERE? In Artic Siberia elephants that cannot live in a cold climate are found frozen in the ice with their flesh so well preserved that dogs and wolves eat of it greedily, and in several instances scientists have had a meal of this ancient meat which has been kept in cold storage down through the centuries. The question is - HOW DID IT GET THERE? Butterflies have been found in glacial ice at Cardovo, Alaska -- HOW DID THEY GET THERE?

The FLOOD is the answer to all these questions -- they were washed there by the flood.

The story of the ARK and of the flood is a vital story for our time. Jesus' chief use of it was as a type of the spiritual blindness and pleasure loving spirit that will characterize the time of His coming.

Jesus said: "For as the day's that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered in the Ark, and KNEW not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24:38-39.

For 120 years Noah had been preaching the coming of the flood -- yet they "KNEW NOT," until it came -- evidently, they BELIEVED NOT -- yet it came! This story reveals the enormity of sin -- its prevalence and judgment. It reveals God's mercy that bore long with the wicked that they might repent. It reveals God's uniform way in dealing with the wicked to amply warning them before judgment.

The Ark was a type of Christ. As the Ark carried over from the old world the citizens for the new, just so, Christ will carry over from this world the citizens of the "new Heavens and new Earth."

You have heard, ARE YOU READY?

The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Therefore, be ye ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Matt. 24:44.


Reprint permission was granted to Computers for Christ #22 for the expressed purpose of posting this tract in electronic form. Please DO NOT modify this file nor distribute hard copies of this file.

Printed copies for distribution are available from the Gospel Tract Society for a donation.

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The Gospel Tract Society, Inc. P.O. Box 1118 Independence, MO 64061

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