What is the church? And what can we liken it to in Genesis 7?
"And every living thing that
moved on the earth perished—the birds, and the domesticated animals, and
the wild animals, and everything that swarmed on the earth, and all
humankind. Everything in whose nostrils was the breath of life, among all that was on dry land, died. And he
blotted out every living thing upon the surface of the ground, from
humankind, to animals, to creeping things, and to the birds of heaven; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained."
God is holy. Holy. HOLY.
You may not understand what holy means but here is one way to think of it: a goodness and righteousness as pure as the Sun is hot. Nothing impure, nothing unholy, nothing tainted with sin can stand in God's presence. It just simply can't. It will be burned.
Or perhaps it will make more sense to think of it this way: God's justice is perfect. Perfect fairness. Perfect exact and proportional punishment for any and all offense. Nothing missed. Nothing overlooked. Nothing ever swept under the carpet and forgotten. Everyone has perfect justice waiting for them before this King's throne. Now it is widely accepted that the measure of an offense greatly depends upon who has been sinned against. Lie to a child and no one cares. Lie to your boss and perhaps you will be fired. Lie to a judge and you will be fined and possibly imprisoned. Lie to a King... Do not pay your brother back a loan and be ignored at reunions. Do not pay your car loan and they will take back your car. Do not pay your taxes and you will be fined and possibly imprisoned. Do not pay the King what is His rightful due...
It is not unjust that God judges mankind. He gave you life, a world to live in and literally everything you have including the ability to think about it. He is due. All these things are not gifts as much as loans. They still belong to Him. It is not unkind that God takes back what is His. It is Amazing Grace that He ever gives it in the first place knowing before hand what you were going to do with it! It is not unloving that God condemns some to hell for their sins against each other and Him. It is staggeringly loving that He ever provided a way for anyone of us to be saved at all! And such a way! He gave His Beloved Son for us! Jesus voluntarily becomes our ark; our means of grace with this Perfectly Just Creator King and Judge who has every right over us! How much more angry should He be with us if we scorn or demean that gift!?!?
The church, therefore, are those IN the ark. You cannot be saved otherwise. God has only provided this one way. No one outside the ark survived. No one will be "good enough' on their own merit. You simply cannot tread water that long. One hundred and fifty days in a limitless ocean will be an afternoon swim at the pool next to eternity in the presence of Righteous God who no longer veils His presence to protect us from Himself.
Thanks be to God that He has provided a Way of Truth for Life.