Most people are familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark. Basically, God decided to flood the world wiping out every living thing on it except for Noah and his family. The Lord saw that the people of the world were evil and wanted to start over again. If you’re a Christian, then you’ve probably heard a sermon or two about Noah warning the people before the flood. Noah’s preaching repentance to the people and how they ignored him. Perhaps, even jeered, scoffed, and laughed at him until the day the flood came and wiped them all off the face of the earth. The problem with this teaching is there’s no Biblical support that says Noah warned anyone about the upcoming wrath.

I’m a huge proponent of teaching Scripture in context. Without context, people can easily misinterpret what has been said and then teach others the same. The next thing we know, we have a false doctrine that tells people all sorts of nonsensical things about God and salvation. I also support applying Scripture to our everyday lives as the Holy Spirit guides us. There is a difference between telling someone what Scripture means as it is written and what it could mean when we apply what we know about the character of God and basic logic.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul extrapolates meaning from Psalm 68:18 by applying logic to what was said.

When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you, Lord God, might dwell there.

Psalm 68:18 (NIV)

What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?

Ephesians 4:9 (NIV)

Paul doesn’t add anything to Psalm 68:18 by his deduction about descending into the lower, earthly regions. Let’s look at another example.

When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

Matthew 9:24 (NIV)

We can assume that Jesus entered this house in a logical and normal fashion. He walked in through the door. There is nothing spiritual or mystical about this event. Jesus walked into the house and saw the noisy crowd, etc. It would violate the meaning of the Scripture to say that Jesus just appeared in the house and saw all of these things. One can use their sanctified imagination all they want in this case, but teaching it this way would be wrong.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

John 20:19 (NIV)

In this Scripture, we see that Jesus did, in fact, not pass through the locked doors but appeared suddenly amid the disciples. To say that He walked in through the door would be wrong in this case, and teaching it that way is also wrong.

Although we can see that it is Biblical and within the power of God for Jesus to just appear in places, it’s not something we should apply to Scripture if it doesn’t say so.

Let’s examine what the Bible says about Noah as it pertains to warning people about the flood.

So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Genesis 6:13 (NIV)

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

Genesis 6:17-18 (NIV)

God tells Noah that only he and his family are going to be sparred. He’s establishing a covenant with them. Not anyone else. God doesn’t tell Noah to warn anyone else of the upcoming flood. Why would He when He’s going to flood the earth and eliminate the evil on it? This isn’t like Jonah and the Ninevites. God told Jonah to go and warn them, and they repented, so God didn’t bring on them the disaster that He was thinking about.

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Genesis 6:22 (NIV)

Everything that God told Noah to do he did. Build the Ark and gather the animals.

The writer of Hebrews tells us this:

By faith [with confidence in God and His word] Noah, being warned by God about events not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his family. By this [act of obedience] he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith.

Hebrews 11:7 (AMP)

Noah built the Ark out of faith in God and what He said was going to happen. It had never rained on the earth, yet Noah believed what God had told him. The Ark was built for “the salvation of his family.” Not the salvation of anyone Noah preached to.

The Apostle Peter said this about Noah:

if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

2 Peter 2:5 (NIV)

Peter calls Noah a preacher of righteousness. Indeed, Scripture says “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 6:9 NIV). I can envision Noah living a righteous life and telling people about God before the Lord told him He was going to destroy them. Not after God’s command to build the Ark.

Jesus tells us this:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 24:37-39 (NIV)

Now, I’m a bit torn here, because I know that it has been preached that Jesus will be coming back for almost 2,000 years. From books to films, that, in one way or another, some mocking, and others with heartfelt sincerity, the message that Jesus is coming back is out there. Is the world listening? It doesn’t look like it to me. Many have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, and hearts that do not understand. If they did, they would turn to God and be saved.

However, Jesus doesn’t say that Noah preached to the people. He says that the people will respond today as they did in Noah’s time. They will be shocked and surprised because they have been living their lives as if He’s not coming back. They will be oblivious and will die in their sin.

What can we say about Noah then? We cannot say he preached repentance to the people because God told him to do so. God didn’t tell Noah to warn the people. If he had and some of them had listened, they wouldn’t have fit in the Ark. Does that sound like the character of God to you? Logic, on the other hand, tells me the Ark was big enough to attract some attention. I can imagine people asking Noah about the big boat he was building and scoffing when he told them why he was building it. I can also imagine those people telling other people about it and so on.

There’s also the time it took to build the Ark. The Bible isn’t clear on exactly how long it took to build. I’m not going to get into that right now. Some say 100 years based on Noah’s age, and some think it didn’t take nearly as long. However, I’m certain that the building of the Ark took enough time to attract some attention. Another thing to consider is that God didn’t tell Noah to build the Ark all by himself. He might have hired other people to build it with him. This is all conjecture. What’s not is that it would have attracted some attention, and people being curious, would have asked about it.

Noah was the most righteous man among the people of his time. When God decided to flood the earth, He decided to spare Noah and his family. Noah was a man with a faith that helped save his family and all of the animals that would have otherwise died in the flood. These are some of the facts about Noah that are supported by Scripture.

Did Noah preach to crowds of scoffing people to repent because the end was near? I don’t think so because the Bible doesn’t tell me so. Would people have scoffed had they known why Noah was building the Ark? Without a doubt, just as people scoff today when they are told that Jesus is coming back. Will the world be surprised when Jesus returns? Undoubtedly. Will you be surprised when Jesus comes back? I pray that you won’t.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.