Coming into the Ark
‘Come thou, and all thy house, into the Ark.’—Gen. vii. I.
NO need to repeat the story! We knew it all at six years old. To-day the words are sent to you, ‘Come thou! /’
We are either inside or outside the Ark. There is no half-way in this. Outside is death, inside is life.’ Outside is certain, inevitable, utter destruction.4 Inside is certain and complete safety.4 Where are you at this moment? Perhaps you dare not say confidently and happily, ‘I am inside;’ and yet you do not like to look the alarming alternative in the face, and say, ‘I am outside!’ And you prefer trying to persuade yourself that you do not exactly know, and can’t be expected to be able to answer such a question.
1 Isa. i. 18. 2 Deut. xxx. 15-19.
3 John iii. 36. * z Johu v. 12.
And you say, perhaps with a shade of annoyance, ‘How am I to know?’1 God’s infallible Word tells you very plainly, ‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ‘A very severe test!’ you say. I cannot help that; I can only tell you exactly what God says. ‘I cannot reverse it,” and you cannot alter it. So then, if old things have not passed away in your life, and if you are not a new creature,4 ‘born again,’5 altogether different in heart and life and love and aim,6you are not’in Christ.” And if you are not ‘in Christ,’ you are out of Christ,8 outside the only place of safety.
‘Come thou into the Ark!’ It is one of the devices of the destroyer to delude you into fancying that no very decided step is necessary. He is very fond of the word ‘gradually.’ You are to become more earnest—gradually. You are to find salvation—gradually. You are to turn your mind to God—gradually. Did you ever think that God never once uses this word nor anything like it? Neither the word nor the sense of it occurs in any way in the whole Bible with reference to salvation.3 You might have been ‘gradually’ approaching the Ark, and ‘gradually’ making up your mind to enter; but unless you took the one step into the Ark, the one step from outside to inside, what I would have been your fate when the door was shut ?10
1 1 John v. 13. 2 2 Cor. v. 17. 3 Num. xxiii. 9o.
* Gal. vi. ‘5. 6 John iii. 3. 61 John iii. 14.
7 Eph. ii. 12, 13. 8 Acls iv. 12. 9 Prov. xviii. 10. 10 Gen. vii. 21, 2a.
‘Come thou into the Ark!’ I want the call to haunt you, to ring in your ears all day and all night, till you come}
For at this moment, if you are not in the Ark, you are in more awful danger than you can conceive. Just because you know it is so awful, you shut your eyes and try not to think of it! But there it is, all the same. Any moment the door may be shut for you.2 Any hour may be the sunset of your day of grace, with no twilight of possibilities of salvation beyond.3 And then, as the tree falleth, so it lieth.4 As death finds you, so the judgment will find you.5 Where it finds you, inside or outside the Ark, there the day of the Lord will find you, ‘in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up. ‘6 What will you do then,7 when neither heavens nor earth afford even a standing place for you?8
But ‘come thou into the Ark!’ Jesus is the Ark. He is the hiding-place9 from that fiery tempest. ‘I flee unto Thee to hide me ’10 ‘from the wrath to come.’11 ‘Thou art my Hiding-place.’12
He who brings the flood13 has provided the Ark. And the door is open. It will be shut some day —it may be shut to-morrow. What will you do if you find yourself not shut in,u but shut out? Whose fault is it if you do not enter in and be saved?
1 Heb. xii. 25. 2 Matt. xxv. 10. 3 Luke xiii. 25-28.
4 Eccl. xi. 3. 5 Rev. xx. 12. 6 2 Pet. iii. 10.
7 Jer. v. 31. 8 Rev. vi. 17. 9 Isa. xxxii. 2.
10 Ps. cxliii. 9. 11 Matt. iii. 7. la Ps. xxxii. 7.
13 Gen. vi. 17. 1* Gen. vii. 16.
Noah did not put it off. He and his family entered the self-same day into the Ark.1 I wonder if any of Noah’s acquaintances were thinking about coming when the flood overtook them, and even coming ‘gradually’ nearer! We are told that ‘Noah only2 remained alive, and they that were with him in the Ark.’ Then, once more, ‘Come thou into the Ark,’ that when the ‘great and terrible day ‘3 comes, you may be ‘found of Him in peace,” ‘found in Him.’6
The rising tempest sweeps the sky,
The rain descends, the winds are high;
The waters swell, and death and fear
Beset thy path, no refuge near;
Haste, traveller, haste!
Oh, haste! a shelter you may gain,
A covert from the wind and rain,
A hiding-place, a rest, a home,
A refuge from the wrath to come:
Haste, traveller, haste!
W. B. COLLYER.
1 Gen. vii. 13. 2 Gen. vii. 23. 3 Joel ii. 31.