The Church is God’s vessel for this age. You need a local church as much as Noah needed the ark. Sure, it is not a perfect vessel. The ark wasn’t perfect either. But it beats being dog paddling in the flood of a fallen world.
Have you ever considered what it must have been like to be on the ark? The ark was God’s perfect plan. But God’s perfect plan involved imperfect people, so there must have been problems.
It was dark. You can’t light too many candles when the ship you are on is pitching from one side to the other in a violent storm.
I wonder who was sick. Noah and his family weren’t sailors. They had no Dramamine. The animals may have been sea-sick too. How would you like to breathe the fragrance of nauseous elephant for a couple of weeks?
Maybe one of Noah’s sons didn’t put enough pitch on one side of the ark so that sea water was leaking on somebody’s bed.
Whatever happened, we can be sure that the ark wasn’t a perfect boat. But it was God’s perfect plan and no one thought about getting off. The water was too deep outside. Getting on each others nerves and smelling the elephants beat being outside in the rain.
God’s perfect plan for today is the local church. Jesus said that he would build his church and that nothing would stop him (Matthew 16:16-18). We need the church as much as Noah needed the ark. Like the ark, the church involves imperfect people. It’s not a perfect vessel. It has flaws and is at times a leaky boat. But, we must not even consider trying to make it on our own. The water is too deep outside. And, nothing can replace the church. Today, the church is the ark. It is the only boat God has in the water.
As a pastor, it’s a sobering thing to consider. When I think about all the people in Stillman Valley, Byron, Oregon, Davis Junction, Rochelle, Rockford, and other surrounding communities, and I remind myself that the Church is as much God’s plan for this age as the ark was for Noah’s, it reminds me again of the wonderful opportunity to proclaim Christ and of the incredible importance of The Red Brick Church and other Christ-centered churches.