"Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. " (Genesis 6:1-4, NASB, emphasis mine)
The time: approximately 1650 years since God created the world. The human race had spread to cover the planet, and those that worshipped God began to intermingle with those that worshipped anything but God, and families of mixed beliefs began to crop up all over the place.
And it was ANYTHING but pretty:
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7, NASB, emphasis mine)
It was a disaster; man began to commit wholesale sin against the Lord, fouling up everything with vile perversions, cruelty and sheer wickedness:
"Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. " (Genesis 6:11-12, NASB, emphasis mine)
It was on such a scale that God no longer wanted him populating the Earth. The Lord was preparing to wipe the human race off the face of the planet. But he found one man who didn't follow the way of the masses:
"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:8, NASB)
God decided to not only tell Noah of his plans, but to spare him and his family, by employing them in his work:
"Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish."(Genesis 6: 13-17, NASB, emphasis mine)
Noah must have been shocked by what he heard; but what he heard next must have knocked him off his feet:
"But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you." (Genesis 6:18, NASB, emphasis mine)
God was going to start over...WITH HIM!!! And He told Noah how he planned to do it:
"And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did." (Genesis 6: 19-22, NASB, emphasis mine)
Noah didn't debate or try to do his own way of things; what God asked of him, he did. He also didn't question the existence of God (after all, scripture describes him as righteous, and God wouldn't have selected him if he didn't worship Him) or demand proof; in faith, he obeyed.
And it paid off:
"Then the LORD said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him." (Genesis 7:1-6, NASB, emphasis mine)
Noah did as he was commanded, and because he trusted in God and obeyed in faith, he was now able to escape the oncoming horror of the flood:
"Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth." (Genesis 7:17, NASB)
Had Noah not obeyed, he and his family would have perished as well:
"All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark." (Genesis 7:21-23, NASB, emphasis mine)
Scripture tells us the earth was "filled with violence; for that to be possible, there had to be quite a sizable population on the planet. Considering that people lived longer back then and had quite a few children (per scripture's report), 1,600 years could have resulted in a pretty substantial increase of people. Looking at how population has exploded in the recent centuries, I would say 6 billion would not be out of the question. That's about today's population.
Now, let's think on that: out of an entire world full of people, only Noah, his wife and his sons and their wives, 8 people, survived. The rest, 6 billion human lives, all snuffed out because of their wickedness before the Lord.
6 billion people, in one fell swoop, ALL WENT TO HELL FOR ETERNITY.
ALL BECAUSE OF SIN.
If this doesn't demonstrate how serious God is about sin, not much else will. When it comes to God, the standard is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION; nothing else will do. And sinner (yes, YOU), you don't even begin to come NEAR that level that God demands. All of us have sinned against God, and have offended the most beautiful, perfect being that exists. We have all committed the worst of all possible crimes against the most innocent and lovely of individuals, and have slapped the Living God in the face with our pride and rebellion.
Because of that, you cannot enter heaven, let alone stand before the Lord unless you are as HOLY as HE IS, no "ifs, ands OR buts." We cannot enter on our good works; God has already decreed that:
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (Isaiah 64:6, NASB, emphasis mine)
And by "filthy garment" scripture is describing the clothes of a woman going through menstruation. God is saying your good deeds to him are like used tampons! Disgusting, but it is the gospel truth. Nothing we have done or can ever do is good enough to wash away our sin.
That is where Jesus Christ comes in.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NASB)
Only the blood of Christ, shed for us on the rough wooden cross on Calvary, can wash away the stain of sin:
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:1-11, NASB, emphasis mine)
Without his blood, we cannot be reconciled to God, and we stand no chance of eternal life with him.
Make no mistake: the coming tribulation is bad. Hell, by comparison, is FAR worse. But the worst thing of all is to stand before your precious creator, only to discover that everything you could have ever needed is in front of you, and you now must spend all of eternity separated from him! This is what makes hell HELL: you burn with the realization that YOU wronged and rejected the most perfect and beautiful, awesome and majestic, grand and pure person in all existence, and now must spend forever without him in the worst of all situations...
...when you could have been with HIM.
You need to choose what is most important to you: your way, or his path. Do you love your sins more, or are you willing to leave all that behind and confess to Him that you have committed crimes against Him and wish to turn from them? Are you willing to accept his free love gift, or will you simply pass it by?
This is the time for your "ark" of salvation... will you take the Lord up on his offer, or do like most humanity did back then ( and continue to do so now) and spurn him?
It's your call.