One thing about a shut door: it is final. If you haven’t got a key and there is no one around, you realize, “This is final.” Life has many keys to it. The key to childhood is obedience. We have to obey the rules of society. As an older person, we find that the key to success is just as an individual. Each individual has the key to success. Some make success in one matter and some in another. As an older person, we find that the key is being prepared for the future of eternity. If we don’t have a key to that situation, then we find ourselves in a lot of confusion and needless trouble. If we come to the end of life and haven’t got the key for eternity, then we find ourselves not only in confusion, but hopelessness. It is good to have the key to eternal life and this is something that God is holding out to us. It is a possibility for anyone on this earth. It doesn’t matter about the background or where you come from or what you have done, but it matters about what you are going to do right now.
I was looking at some happenings in the world many years ago. I was thinking about Noah in Genesis 6. God looked on the earth and God saw what was going on in the earth, and all flesh had to die. God is also looking on the earth today and God has concluded that men have defiled His way on this earth. God asked Noah to build an ark. We read about a door and a window and the length and breadth and height. These were dimensions given to Noah, and this is what he did. There were certain things that were not mentioned. There was no sail, no rudder, nor oars. These were things that were natural happenings in the life of Noah, and we have been given a place in the things of God as we accept what God has given in the life of His Son. There are dimensions and provisions in that life. Some people think that you can do whatever you like with the life of Jesus and that it doesn’t matter.
It says that the ark would be 300 cubits long, maybe 450 ft. long. If someone was walking on that boat and they thought they could do whatever they liked, if they thought that they could walk out over the end of the boat and remain alive, what would happen? There are dimensions to keep, and if anybody was going beyond the dimensions of Christ and say, “It doesn’t matter what I do with the life of Christ,” you end up in danger, spiritual danger. The people here knew the safety within the ship. There is safety within the life of Christ, safety within the dimensions. If anybody goes outside of the dimensions, that is danger. If you are in a ship, you have to be disciplined if you want to stay alive.
Then there was only one door into the ark. Some people say there are many doors that lead to heaven, but I have never read of it at all. There is only one door and only one way. This is still the same today, only one door. When Jesus was speaking about the sheepfold in John’s gospel, He said that there would be many that would strive to climb in another way, but none will get in. When the flood came, many would be running around trying to get into the ark, but they didn’t have the key. Picture the agony of those people going around and around that ark and there was no way to get in. Why couldn’t they have got an axe or a saw and tried to get in? It was pitched within and without. Try to cut into pitch with a saw or an axe! It was thick enough to protect the people within, to protect from illegal entry.
When we think of the ark and having no sail, I believe there would have been wind at that time; the boat was going from one place to another, and it was moved by currents. The way that people conquer wind is by a sail. There was nothing like that in the ark; it was left to the mercy of the elements, and it was under the power of God.
There was no rudder in the ark. The rudder requires the strength of man. Sometimes men have got a lot of strength about trying to direct the things of God, but there was nothing on the ark to direct it according to the will of man. In Acts 4, we see a little bit of this. The disciples didn’t have Jesus as their visible head and they were speaking about the things of God, and people caught them and said, “Why are you doing this?” And when they had set them in the midst, they asked “By what power or by what name, have ye done this?” Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, “Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus…doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Peter was saying, “This is the fellowship of God, it is the power God has given to you, you are looking at evidences of the power of God at work.” Verse 13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” They wanted to know what power is this, what authority are you under? That is the same thing we have today. It may seem weak in the eyes of men, but there are evidences today that this is the power that comes down from Heaven. God is directing. It is not human strength.
There were no oars on the ark, nothing to propel it about. They went into the ark because it represented salvation. Someone had tried to estimate how many people were alive at the time, how big Noah built the ark. How many people are in the world today? Jesus wants to take our minds away from the fact of are there few or many, and He said. “Strive yourself to enter into the strait gate.” It wasn’t a question of how big he built the ark, but the question was how many were willing to go through the door. There were only 8 people. Noah didn’t have to worry about making it big enough for 100,000 people. God left the door open, and as many as wanted to could enter.