Dr. S. Lewis Johnson teaches on the food and Noah's salvation.
Our Scripture reading is found in Genesis chapter 7. Genesis chapter 7 and we will be reading the entire chapter.
“Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the Ark, you and all your household for you alone I have seen to be righteous before me in this time.’ (It is to be noted that “for you alone” is designed to represent the that, that second you is singular. The opening you is singular but included with it is all the household, and so there is evidently some special stress to be placed upon the fact that it is Noah alone who is seen to be righteous. And so the translators have added the word alone in order to stress the fact that it is Noah who stands for his family, more will be said about that later.)
“You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female, and of the animals that are not clean too, a male and his female. (Evidently, there were to be three pairs of the clean animals with one extra and the extra is in order that a sacrifice may be made as chapter 8 verse 20 suggests. And further, that there may be a larger number of the clean animals than the unclean in the world that was to come) Also of the birds of the sky by sevens, male and female to keep offspring alive on the phase of all the earth. For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth, forty days and forty nights and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made. And Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him. Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his son’s wives with him entered the Ark because of the water of the flood of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground. They went into the Ark to know about twos, male and female as God has commanded Noah. And it came about after the seven days that the water of the flood came upon the earth.
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life in the second month on the seventeenth day of the month on the same day, all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the flood gates of the sky were opened and the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day in Noah and Shem, Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the Ark, they and every beast after its kind and all the cattle after their kind and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.)
It is rather striking as you read through this account of the flood to notice the solemnity with which these repetitions are given. And many have commented upon it and it is perhaps true that the reason for this is that the account is designed to create in us the impression that it is something like an epic poem. In other words, the solemnity is something that the Holy Spirit designs that we catch as we read it. Verse 15,
“So they went into the Ark to Noah by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. (That is an expression that pertains to the animals, the spirit of life. And you can see from this that there is a very definite connection between the animal world and the human world.) And those that entered male and female of all flesh entered as God had commanded him and the Lord closed it behind him. Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days and the water increased and lifted up the Ark, so that it rose above the earth and the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth and the Ark floated on the surface of the water and the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains, everywhere under the heavens were covered. (Notice the stress upon the all’s, all the high mountains, which were under all the heavens literally were covered.) The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher and the mountains were covered. And all flesh that moved on the earth perished. Birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth and all mankind, (something like every man or all man) of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life.”
This expression nishma ruwach chayim is an expression that probably distinguishes human beings from other beings that have breath of life. But there is a debate about that that happens to be my opinion and there are some strong oppositions to it. And so I wouldn’t want to force it upon you. But I do think that, that probably refers to human beings, “In whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life.” Thus he blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from men to animals to creeping things and the birds of the sky and they were blooded out from the earth. And only Noah was left together with those that were with him in the Ark and the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. May God bless this reading of his word.
Our subject for today in the exposition of the word is “The Great Flood and the Saving Ark.” The great flood is of immense importance to biblical Christianity. If it is historical, the assumptions of uniformitarianism are shattered. It is something like this that Peter speaks about in his second epistle in the third chapter when he warns that they are coming in the last days’ scoffers. He writes, “Know this first of all that in the last days, markers will come with their marking following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of is coming? Forever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’ For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water through which the world at that time was destroyed being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth, by his word, are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” If the flood is historical as the Apostle Peter evidently believes that it is, then the assumptions of uniformitarian philosophies are shattered.
If the flood is historical, the unwelcome doctrine of divine retribution does exist. Judgment is to come and as Peter went on to say in verse 7, “By that same word, there shall come a fire and the heavens and the earth shall be destroyed.” And furthermore if the flood is historical, then we have, as Peter also believes, writing of this in his first epistle as well that salvation finds a beautiful illustration and also a pledge of itself. In the eighth and ninth verses of that same third chapter of 2 Peter which I read, the apostle goes on and says, but do not let this one fact escape you — notice beloved — that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but he is patient toward you.
Now he has just spoken of those who are beloved, so he is writing about believers. He says the Lord is patient toward you not wishing for any that is any of you believers to perish but for all that is all of you who shall believe to come to repentance. And so the reason for the delay down through the years is that God is gathering his elect body into one company.
And near the end of this chapter he adds, “And regard the patients of our Lord to be salvation just as also our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given to him wrote to you.” Evidently, then Peter thought that the period of which would elapse in the present day was the time with God would be gathering his elect together, and in as much as it has stretched over this lengthy period of time, we should not think that God shall not intervene again, but he has all the purposes in the meanwhile, for which I for one, am deeply grateful.
There are certain scientific questions that arise in this section. Was the flood universal? How did God bring it off? And we will try to say a word or two about them, but not answer those questions. I cannot answer them, perhaps there are some who can. Remember the situation. God had spoken indirectly in Methuselah’s name. When Enoch had his son and called him Methuselah, which we said meant something like when he is calm, it shall be sent or when he is dead it shall be sent. So, that God had spoken indirectly in grandfather Methuselah’s name and for all of these years, 969 years, or when he is dead, it shall be sent, that got around. There probably had been a great deal of speculation about the real meaning of the name of Methuselah.
But finally, 120 years before this God had spoken directly to Noah and we’ve read in Genesis Chapter 6, Verse 3, “My spirit shall not always strive with man forever, because he also is flesh. Nevertheless, his days shall be 120 years.” And he had gone in the further context, he had continued by in joining upon Noah that he build an Ark. And so now, for 120 years, Noah and his family had been constructing this giant vessel. Grandfather Methuselah is on his deathbed. Noah is now 600 years old and his grandfather is still living. But his grandfather is on his deathbed. Old, when he is dead, it shall be sent, is about to die and so after a century of silence, God speaks again, and read in Genesis chapter 7, verse 1, then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the Ark, you and all your household for you alone I have seen to be righteous before me at this time.”
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews thinks a great deal of the faith of Noah because he is included in the Westminster Abbey of the faithful. By a faith, Noah having been warned of God, prepared an Ark for the saving of his house. While the Ark for the saving of his house has now been completed and the time has come to enter it. The Authorized Version opens the seventh chapter by saying, “Then the Lord said to Noah, come in to the Ark,” as if it is was an invitation from God to come join him in the Ark. The idea lying back of it, being that God is within the Ark himself and that therefore, they come to join him. Unfortunately, while the idea is good and perhaps the theology is true, the verb build, which is used here is a word that is rather neutral in its connotation. It meets “to come,” but it also makes “to go” or “enter.” And most translators have given it that latter sense here, and so we read in the New American Standard Bible, the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the Ark”.
Now we know of course, that God is fulfilling his promises. He has already said in the 18th Verse of Chapter 6, but I will establish my covenant with you and you shall enter the Ark. So, we do not have any question about the divine initiative in the preparation of the Ark and the divine initiative in Noah and his family entering the Ark. But nevertheless, it’s probably pushing it a little too much to say that he said, “Come in to the Ark, because that is where I am.” And so definitely, one of the purposes of the flood is to preserve or spring alive on the face of all the earth. And that purpose would be irrelevant if the flood was not universal.
Another commentator has made a great deal over the fact that God said, “enter” and that therefore, Noah and his family were faced with a choice, and he goes on to speak rather strongly about the fact that men have three choices and God also elects in grace and affirms that there these two doctrines or two doctrines that we may hold, we cannot fully understand them. I do want to believe that man has free agency. That is, the decisions that he makes he feels are his own decisions. He does not feel any divine compulsion to make this decision. He is not dragged screaming into the kingdom of God, but from other passages in the word of God, it is evident that it is God who works upon our wills to will toward him. Dr. Barnhouse used to like to say we do not make any decision before God with our wills until the Lord has jiggled our willer. [Laughter] Now we do make that decision, it is our decision. We should never say that because we believe that God is sovereign in his salvation that men do not make a decision, they do. But the decision is one that is prompted by God and it does not arise sovereignly in the heart of man.
But the commentator wanted to make a great deal over that and he did. You do not ordinarily get good sound theology in Reader’s Digest. But occasionally, even there some truth may slip in and in the current issue of Reader’s Digest on the quotable quotes page, there is an interesting statement concerning free wills. Now I’m sure the author of this did not have any meaning like I’m going to make out of it but you will notice that he has understood what is involved in free will. Because if it is true that we do have a free will then we do not have God’s sovereign in grace. We have man sovereign in the way of salvation for it is to be traced to him, the decision that we make. This is the quote, ’Free will is God’s gift of a do-it-yourself kit.” Let me read it again, “Free will is God’s gift of a do-it-yourself kit.” It’s interesting to me that this man, unspiritual, at least it’s not in the context of anything spiritual, has understood however that free will is a doctrine that means that we do it.
So, the Scriptures speaks strongly against free will. You cannot believe in grace and believe in free will unless you are inconsistent. Now of course, there are many people who affirm free will and at the same time affirm grace. But as Professor Gordon Clark says, it something like a charley-horse between their ears [laughter] when they do that, they are inconsistent, and I would not want to deny their strong affirmations of the grace of God and so I welcome those that believe in grace, but have not yet come to see that free will is not in harmony with it. We are Christians together if they believe in grace and I hope that through the process of time, some sanctifying influences may bring them to the doctrine of God saving us from beginning to the end.
So, the entrance into the Ark is an invitation of the Lord or a command from the Lord and Noah responds. He gave some reasons incidentally why Noah should come into the Ark. He says first of all, for you alone, I have seen to be righteous before me at this time. Now I take this to be a reference to forensic justification. Noah incidentally is the covenant head of his family group. That’s the reason why we have, for you, singular in the Hebrew text, “I have seen to be righteous before me at this time. All of you enter in, because I have seen Noah singular, Noah himself righteous before me at this time.” Because the covenant is established with the covenant head and thus we have an illustration of our great covenant head, the Lord Jesus Christ whose activity is the basis by which we escape the judgment that is to come.
Now, he says he have seen him righteous. I’ll take this though there is some question about it among the students of Genesis. I take it to be a forensic statement, that is Noah was not inherently righteous when the Ark has passed through the flood and come out on the other side, will see Noah in a sad state ultimately. So it is evident he is not a person who is in inherently righteous, but his standing before God is the standing of a righteous person in grace. As we read in Verse 9 of Chapter 6, these are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time, Noah walked with God, and again, the righteousness that Noah possessed is a forensic, a legal, a standing before God by which he is acceptable through the sovereign grace of God. William Cunningham used to say, “The righteousness of God is that righteousness which God’s righteousness requires him to require.” And that’s what Noah possessed. He possessed a standing before God that was acceptable to God, perfect righteousness for God is not satisfied with 95% perfection or 98% perfection. He demands righteousness. The righteousness of God, but he supplies it through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who receive it through the instrumentality of faith. Noah then is a righteous man and he is invited in to the Ark, because he has been justified by grace through faith in the promises of God.
Now, we also read of another reason. Verse 4, “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth, forty days and forty nights.” Incidentally, it would be impossible for it to rain forty days and forty nights in our present world everywhere in the world — that would be scientifically impossible — which suggests that the world before the flood was quite a bit different physically from our world today. Now he gives Noah some time, we read for after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth. And so seven days are given in grace, it’s almost like a week of grace before the flood is to come. These are perhaps for last minute details and for last minute admonitions, for Noah was a preacher of righteousness. And consequently, he was no doubt extremely fervent in this last week in his warning to his generation.
Now, Noah’s conformity to this is described in very significant ways. Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him. In other words, the supreme standard for Noah was not what people thought, not even what the theologians of his day thought, but rather what does God say. And so Noah did as the Lord had commanded him, and we read in verse 9, “There went into the Ark to Noah by twos, male and female as God had commanded Noah.” And this was not easy for Noah to apply, because remember, not only was the Ark a strange vessel to construct in a world which may never have even known rain, we do not have any indication of rain before this. It was constructed on dry land, it was constructed evidently many miles from a sea. We do not have any record of any rivers nearby in which it might have floated.
And not only that, as people ask him what he was doing and he said he was building a boat in order to escape from the flood of waters. They said, “Well, why is it so large?” He said, “Well, I want the animals in too.” So, I’m sure that there must have been some unusual things said about that queer old man, six hundred years old and certainly, he has gone round the bend, strange. And furthermore, he is building this giant vessel and for the animals as well, wasting all of that money when he could have put it in General Motors [laughter] and be rich by now. So, you can just imagine the kind of ridicule that might have been something that Noah had to contend with.
So it wasn’t easy for Noah to obey, but I want you to notice carefully that the thing that Noah was responsive to was one simple thing. But oh, how important it is for you and for me. It was to the word of God that Noah was responsive. That cannot be overemphasized, I could never, if I had the tongue of a spurge and I could never make clear to you the significance of obedience of the word of God.
Now, the beginning of the flood is described in verses 10 through 12. Moses writes and it came about after seven days of grace were over that the waters of the flood came upon the earth. In the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the 17th day of the month, can you not see how careful the scriptural writer is in dating the flood. You can see from this that he did not regard this as a myth, as a religious myth. He did not think of this as just a story designed to communicate spiritual truth, but even these little temporal or these little chronological details seem important to him. It’s a communication from him of the significance of this event in the biblical history.
So, about 1655 years after the creation, according to the chronology set forth in the Bible strictly, there came the flood, careful, solemn dating of this event. The phenomena are described in verses 11 and 12. When we read, “On the same day, all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the flood gates of the sky were opened and the rain fell upon the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.”
I wish it were possible to tell you how God pulled it off, but I cannot. I have often thought if I had to go back to university, I would take another major. When I went through university, college, I majored in the classics. I took eight years of Latin, I am not sorry for that. I took classical Greek long before I was saved, but when I was saved I was able to read the New Testament immediately in Greek. And when I came to seminary, I was able to sit back and relax while the other fellows were trying to learn Greek. I already knew it, so I spent my time learning Hebrew, which I had not taken.
Now if I had to do it over again, I think I would like to have another major in the sciences, because it would be of tremendous benefit in the exposition of the word of God, I do believe. But I would still want to major in the classics too. So, I would be in a quandry. I guess I would still be going to school. But I wish I could explain to you exactly what happened. It seems to me however that the language of book of Genesis is written very simply perhaps for the reason that it might be difficult to comprehend scientifically and so we simply read that, “The fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates of the sky were open.”
Now I said a worldwide flood lasting 40 days would be quite impossible under present atmospheric conditions. And so, it’s clear that there have been some changes since the days of the flood and after the flood, the world was never the same again. We do know from the reading of the Book of Genesis that it is in harmony with it to say that the antediluvian hydrologic cycle was quite different from that, that we have today. It was controlled, it seems by the two great reservoirs of water resulting from the primeval separation described in Genesis chapter one, where we read in verse 2 “And the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” And then in verse 6, God said “Let there be an expanse sort of firmament in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters, which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse.
And so, the world of that time had waters above and waters below and Noah and others lived in the world between. It is being even suggested that it was something like a giant greenhouse and so there were not the extremes of temperature that we have today. And it is of course, entirely possible that there was some types of subterranean waters, which came to be disturbed at this particular time by God, so that they burst forth from below and then affecting the atmospheric heavens above caused them to burst. And so, we have tremendous water from above and tremendous forces of water from below and that would account for the flood.
Well, it is an interesting thing, and I suggest if you have a chance that you read some of the commentators who have sought to describe it in great detail. One of the commentators, whose book I have been reading through the Book of Genesis this time says, “It would be helpful to keep in mind Ockham’s Razor: the simplest hypothesis which explains all the data is the most likely to be correct. He is writing this against a number of different kinds of suppositions, such as the earth’s axis was tilted. The earth was bombarded by asteroids or meteorites. The earth’s crust slipped on nuclear explosions detonated by extraterrestrial space travelers. These are some of the theories that have been suggested, gravitational and electromagnetic forces, et cetera. But he goes on to say it would be helpful to keep in mind Ockham’s Razor, the simplest hypothesis which explains all the data is most likely to be correct.
And second, the principle of least action. Nature normally operates in such a way as to expand the minimum effort to accomplish a given result. And the theological principle of the economy of miracles, God has in his omnipotence and omniscience created a universal high efficiency of operation and will not interfere in this operation supernaturally, unless the natural principles are incapable of accomplishing his purpose in a specific situation. So, it would be wise for us to bear these things in mind and attempting to explain the cause and results of the great flood.
It is interesting too that if this is the explanation that we have waters above and waters below, and there is a disturbance such that these waters from below and above create the great flood that would account for a puzzle that scientists have reckoned with for sometime and that is the sudden death of large numbers of great mammoths and other animals found embedded in ice. They have been discovered by the thousands and some estimate even the millions in the Arctic regions. Evidently, at one time, the area was tropical, but it was suddenly plunged into a sub-freezing temperatures of such intensity that animals immediately perished frozen in a quick deep freeze as someone has said that preserved them through the centuries since. They were discovered with bits of grass still in their mouths, unchewed, so sudden was their death.
What we do know, even if we do not understand, of the how and the why that Noah and his family entered the Ark and for forty days and forty nights were in the Ark in the midst of the flood. When Noah sailed, the waters blew. He had his troubles same as you. For forty days, he drove the Ark and couldn’t find a place to park. [Laughter] Someone has said, what instruction did Noah give his sons about fishing from off the Ark, and others have suggested, “Go easy on the bait, boys, we have only two worms.” [Loud, sustained laughter] I just wanted to see that you were still awake and I noticed that some of you are [more laughter]
The description of the entrance of Noah into the Ark is given as in verse 13 thorough verse 16. And we read that they entered with their family and all of the beasts and cattle and the creeping things and all of the birds. They entered incidentally it says on the last day, verse 13, on the very same day that the flood came. That is the week of grace was just over and it is at that very point that they enter in, isn’t it striking? They waited until the last day and then calmly entered as if they were not fearful of the fact that they might miss the Ark nor were they presumptuous and stayed outside until they were forced in, but they calmly went in because there is evidence that there is trust in the word of God. So they did not fearfully enter in early nor presumptuously delay. This maybe a lesson for those who like to arrive for airplanes two hours before the plane leaves, but I won’t make any application to that.
The activity of God is the important thing. And look again at verse 16, and those that entered male and female of all flesh entered as God had commanded him and the Lord closed it behind him. The Lord shut the door. The Lord sealed it. I do not know any figures to describe this. When do you enter one of our jumbo jets, it is the duty of the steward or the stewardesses to secure the door from the inside and it is almost as if God is responsible for the securing of the door from the inside. And you will notice though that it is done without any help from Noah. It is God who closed the door behind Noah. Now, I think that this is designed to stress the fact that it is the work of God by which we are safe and secure in our Ark, the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t it interesting too that once Noah entered into the Ark and once God secured the door? By the way, there was only one way into the Ark and that was through that one door suggestive of the one door to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. But once they were in that Ark, the whole world became dead to Noah and to his family. It was as if that transformation of entrance into the Ark severed his connection with the world that then was. Now that too is analogous to what happens when a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, because there is a severance between the believer who lives in the new world — a citizen now of heaven — and the old world in which he still finds himself physically.
The waters of judgment come for forty days and forty nights, but the waters which were judgment upon the world are the means for the deliverance of Noah and his family and the inhabitants of the Ark, because the waters that slay the others are the waters that buoy the Ark up and preserve the Ark through that tremendous cataclysm as the New Testament describes it. Now I do think that there is an important point that we shouldn’t pass by and I’ll just mention it because we cannot speak in detail about it, but Peter in 1 Peter chapter 3 compares the flood of Genesis chapter 6 through 8 with the baptism of a believer in the new age.
He says that baptism is a like figure. In other words, the first great baptism is the flood of Noah and the salvation of the eight souls who were preserved through the word. But that is like baptism, which figuratively is the means of the salvation of the saints of God in this age. Now he goes on to stress that it is not the water of baptism that saves. He said it is not putting away of the filth of the flesh. He goes on to say it’s through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And he says that baptism saves us, as an earthly counterpart of our heavenly reality, which is the meaning of the Greek word antetoupan that is used there.
But he makes the analogy between the salvation of those who were in the Ark and those who have come to be in the true Ark our Lord Jesus Christ and have manifested that by their water baptism. So the figure of water baptism is a figure suggestive of the deliverance that Noah and the inhabitants of the Ark experienced in the great flood. Peter saw or he evidently thought rather deeply about the flood.
Now, the remaining Verses of Chapter 7 describe the prevailing of the blood, the nature and historicity of the flood are set forth here in some detail. The question of the extent of the flood has occupied the attention of the biblical and interpreters. Some saying, the language is phenomenal. In other words, we are not to take it literally but when the flood is spoken of as being somewhat universal, we are to take this as phenomenal language, human language. It seemed as if it were universal to them, but it was not probably widespread, but not universal. The language of the accounts does seem, however, to favor universality about 30 times.
Someone has estimated universal terms are used, I didn’t bother to count them, there are many. Forty days of rain, night and day would have produced a universal flood. Further, if you wanted to describe a universal flood, how could you describe it in other ways than it is found right here in Genesis 6 through 8? It would be difficult to find any better language other than to say, in a footnote, I’m not speaking phenomenally, but I’m speaking literally. So, it’s difficult to see how we can get around this universal sounding language. Migration might have been better if the flood was not a universal flood. The depth of the water favors it, because we have reference to the waters covering the mountains up to 20 feet, and we know that the Ark ultimately rested on Mount Ararat, which is a mountain of 17,000 feet in altitude. So, it would seem from that that we have universality.
In addition, God promised that he would not send another flood. Do we mean another local flood? If so, there have been local floods. Do we mean a flood that’s just a little more than local, but not universal? Well, that would be difficult to find or define. So, I think in the light of these things plus the teaching of the New Testament and Peter says, the world that then was perished, we are probably justified in thinking of this as a universal flood. A local flood lasting for 150 days, two-and-a-half months before the mountaintops appeared, that would be quite a local flood.
Let me say just a couple of things in conclusion. The New Testament use of this event is rather striking, because in the New Testament, it is a picture of the divine severity. In the passage that I read from you from 2 Peter, it is evident that Peter believed that God does interfere in the affairs of men and he does judge. And so, divine severity is set forth by the flood, but divine salvation is also set forth. The same Ark that brought severity for the world that Noah brought safety for those who were in the Ark. And Peter, I’m sure would made the application in detail by saying the same Ark, the Lord Jesus Christ will be the means of safety for those who are in him when the great judgments of God are poured out upon the Ark, upon the world. And those who are not in the Ark will not be saved. Are you in the Ark? Is your position that being in Christ? Have you come to trust in his merits and his merits only?
And then, I like to close by just stressing for a moment or too, something I think is extremely important. Did you notice that there is in this account, the complete absence of any other warning to Noah’s day than the word of God? That is all. The word of God and the construction of this giant vessel by the strange odd old man, that’s all. Noah was not able to say, “Now look, he is going to bring a flood, and there is going to be a giant outpouring of water, just a minute, I will ask him to have a few lightning flashes across the sky, so you will believe it, or a few claps of thunder.” So far as we know, everything continued as it was until the flood came. The question with a man of Noah’s day was simply this, response to the word of God, that’s all, the word of God. The word that came from God through God’s prophet, Noah.
So the issue is the word of God. Now, that is always the issue in the Bible. We are inclined to think that there other kinds of issues, but the issue is always the word of God. Listen to Luke chapter 16. But he said, “No father Abraham, if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent”. But he is said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” Too many people think that they are not going to respond to the word of God until they’ve had a second heart attack, but then it’s often too late. The issue is the word of God right at the moment, and the word of God has given us a full revelation of the judgment that is to come, it is coming. Giant judgments to be poured out upon the earth and furthermore, ultimately there is the lake of fire. There is the great white throne judgment before which the lost shall have to appear. It’s all set forth in the word of God. Do not ask for any indications or signs of it. It has already been written fully and plainly in God’s word. That’s the issue. They ridiculed the Bible, just as they ridiculed Noah. But Noah had the last word. The Bible has the last word.
Fred and Ida were coming home from Toronto. The airport was crowded, crowded with people trying to get out of Canada, I think. But anyway, they were there. I couldn’t even get in the waiting room, I arrived so early. And members of my family have often accused me of waiting until the last moment, I arrived early and I don’t see any advantage. I had to wait in the corridors outside, they were so crowded. So, I sat down over on a part of the heating system, which fortunately, was not working. [Laughter]
And as I looked down the corridor, here comes a young man about 25 years of age and he is swaying back in forth like he was three sheets to the wind, and he was. And he comes down and there are people sitting everywhere, and by whom, do you think he should sit? [Laughter] So he sat by me. He looked at me and we began to talk, and he said, my wife is going to kill me. My wife is going to kill me. I’m supposed to be home in Akron already and she is going to kill me. I said, have you called her? He said, yes, I called her, and she said, she would meet me and that’s all she said. She is going to kill me. And he looked at me and he said, how old are you? [More laughter] I said, I’m 63. He said, I thought you were 45. He was a good fellow. [More laughter] And he said, how old do you think I am? I said 27. He said, I’m only 22. He said, I have been drinking. I said, you didn’t have to tell me that [laughter]. So, we engaged in conversation and he kept saying, my wife is going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.
Well, finally, when our plane was called and we could at least go in and sit in the waiting room, we walked and he motioned to me, come, sit with me. So, I went in and sat with him and then we inevitably came to the discussion of spiritual things. He said, by the way, what do you do? I said, I’m a preacher. [Loud, sustained laughter] So, that launched us into an interesting discussion.
He said, I don’t believe anything, you’re a preacher and he laughed out loud, and he was getting just a little loud, and so everybody in the waiting room [laughter] began to listen, because this was an interesting conversation. And so, I launched into the preaching of the gospel with him, reminding him that we were all sinners, and that Christ died for sinners. He said, you believe the Bible? I said, yes, I believe the Bible.
Oh! nobody believes the Bible now, and then as I noticed, everybody was quieting down, quite an interest in what was going on, while we went on for a lengthy period of time, and I noticed, I took his ticket to look to see where he was going to sit and where I was going to sit, because I did not honestly want to sit all the way to Chicago with him. So, I saw that he was in seat 15 something and I was in seat eight or nine, three A, I believe it was. And so, we weren’t going to sit together, but we carried on quite a conversation, and it was total ridicule of the word of God.
And so finally, I had to go on in. They led him before me and I noticed when I came back where the stewardesses usually stand, and they had him in conversation. Evidently they had picked him out of the crowd and then I waited to watch him coming and he never came in. I had sympathized with his wife from the first time I saw. When she said, I’m — when he said, she is going to kill me, I thought, well, that is really too good for you. Well, I know that he did not ride on that plane. He did not get in.
They have picked him out and so far as I know, he is still in Toronto and his wife is thinking up even worse things about him now. [Johnson laughs] But the important thing that I want to bring on to is, the ridicule of the word of God, and the final analysis, God will have the last word. It is the word with whom we have to do. May God through the Holy Spirit bring home to us the truthfulness of the word of God, and of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus, he has died for sinners. May God bring home to us the knowledge of our sin and may we flee to salvation through our Ark, the Lord Jesus. Let’s stand for the benediction. [Prayer] Father, we are so grateful to Thee for the warnings and admonitions that we receive from the word of God and also for the indications of Divine Sovereign Grace, how wonderful it is, to have the scales to removed from our eyes by the Grace of God. So, that we see Christ as the atoning sacrifice sinners. Oh, God, if there are some in this audience who have marked and ridiculed scriptures, even if only in their hearts, by Thy grace turn them to Him, who is able to save to the uttermost, through the blood of the cross. Now, may grace mercy and peace go with us.
For Jesus sake. Amen.