The Door Is Still Open
March 1, 2006 - We do not know at what hour the Lord is coming back again. But we are told in Scripture that there will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord. I believe we see those signs in the world today. I believe the coming of the Lord is near.
A Message by Billy Graham
People today are concerned and frightened as they look at world conditions—mounting debts, war, torture, killings. Many things seem to be pointing toward the time of Christ's return.
The Bible tells us, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. ... Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:36-37, 42, NIV).
We read in the Scriptures about the Flood. It was the greatest catastrophe in the history of the world. Scripture says that the Flood destroyed everything. The Flood was both a warning and a promise. God warned that He would not always strive with man. Then He made a covenant with Noah and his sons that He would never again destroy the world by flood. He gave the rainbow as a promise.
The Apostle Peter wrote of Noah's day that "By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed" (2 Peter 3:6, NIV). Peter also wrote, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare" (2 Peter 3:10, NIV).
Let us look at man's condition at the time of the Flood. The Bible tells us that the people gloried in sin; they loved it. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:37, NIV). Every form of perversion recorded in human history is being practiced today on an even greater scale.
In Noah's day the world was filled with violence. And today on television we see films in which people are doing all kinds of terrible things. We listen to some of the conversations on talk shows, and as some of those people are expressing themselves, we can't believe that human nature has sunk so low.
The Bible says there is a limit to God's patience. God has said, "I'm going to judge the world" (Cf. Joel 3:12). God is still a God of love, but He is also a God of judgment. He is going to judge the world and He is going to judge you, unless you repent of your sins and receive Christ into your heart.
The Flood was not a natural catastrophe. It was a moral catastrophe. It came as a result of God's judgment on the attitudes and actions of the people in the world of that time. God has set a time limit for our day as well. God has "set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed [Christ Jesus]" (Acts 17:31, NIV). We don't know when it is, but Jesus said the hour is coming.
Today the Holy Spirit is at work showing you your spiritual need. The Scripture says, "When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8, NIV).
We are not on trial. The trial is over. We have already been found guilty in the sight of God. The jury has said, "You are guilty." The penalty is death—spiritual death, physical death. What can we do?
We have to make a choice. We have to make a personal commitment to Christ. We can't go on our mother's faith or our father's faith. We can't go on the faith of our church. We may be baptized, we may be confirmed, we may live a decent life—and still not know Christ. We may come from families with no Christian background or influence. We come to Christ by faith and we come just as we are. The Scripture says, "Whosoever will may come" (Cf. Revelation 22:17).
Noah was a righteous man who walked with God. God came to him one day and said, "Noah, I am going to cause it to rain 40 days and 40 nights. The Flood will destroy the whole world, because the world has become so wicked" (Cf. Genesis 6:5, 7:4). God gave him all the specifications to build an ark. It was designed to float—not to navigate.
Noah started building the Ark, and as he built it his work was a sermon to the people of that day: "Repent, believe. Let God come into your heart. Let God take control of your life. Come into the Ark and be saved." But no one repented. Then one day God said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family" (Genesis 7:1, NIV).
Noah went into the Ark and the Scripture says that God shut the door (Genesis 7:16). Noah didn't shut it; God shut it. And one day God will shut the door as far as we are concerned. But today you can pass from death to life. You can be saved from that which is yet to come.
The Scripture says that Christ will come back and every eye shall see Him. A day will come when Christ will return and there will be the Judgment. Eternity will be before you: heaven or hell. You will be in one of them, according to the choice that you make about Jesus Christ.
God gave a personal invitation to Noah, and Noah acted on it. And it's a personal invitation to us as well—to come to God, to the Cross, to the empty tomb.
Noah was shut inside the Ark and the waters came—a torrential downpour. The earth also broke up and great floods came out of the earth. People likely began to cry, "Let us in, let us in! We were wrong. We repent. Please let us in!" But it was too late. The only door was shut.
There is only one Door to heaven and that is Jesus. I am glad to tell you that Door is still open. Jesus said, "I am the door" (John 10:9, NKJV). In Revelation 4:1 we read, "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here'" (NIV).
Are you ready for that day that is certain to come? We don't know when it will be, but we should be ready at any moment. Jesus said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42, NIV). Are you ready? You can make sure today.
You ask, "What do I have to do?" Three things: First, repent of your sins. To repent means to change, to turn to God and say, "I'm sorry; I've sinned."
Second, come to Christ by faith. You may never understand all about salvation, or all about God or all about the Bible, but you can come by simple, childlike trust and put your faith in Jesus Christ.
Third, be willing to obey God as best you can. The Holy Spirit will come into your heart and help you to obey God. You can't live the Christian life by yourself. I can't live the Christian life without the daily help of the Holy Spirit. And even then sometimes I fail. But the Holy Spirit helps me, and He forgives my sins and my failures. He can do the same for you if you will let Him. Today, you can make your commitment to Christ.