Destroyed In A Moment

May 21, 2013

Friends,
Jesus teaches a lesson in Luke 13:1-9 that should put the fear of the Lord into anyone. He states that the eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them were not more guilty sinners than everyone else, but that anyone who does not repent will perish. Is it not significant that at the same time that Jesus explains that the Galileans who suffered at the hands of Pilate were not worse sinners, He is warning that all people must repent? Is it not noteworthy that Jesus goes on with a parable about a tree in a man’s vineyard that, because it was refusing to bear fruit, was in danger of soon being cut down? The correlation can be understood: Anyone who is not producing fruit for God’s Kingdom is not pleasing to “the Gardener” (John 15:1), will be cut off (v. 2), and due to a continuation in rebellion, will be thrown out to perish. (v. 6)

So what should we think about the tornados, and the devastation and death they’ve brought? First of all, it seems that we should be amazed at the merciful hand of God, for, with all the destruction, there could’ve been a lot more deaths. Undoubtably, being most of us knew it was happening, many were likely praying earnestly for their fellowman.

But what role does God have in these situations? What role does the evil realm play? What part is due only to natural causes –the way the Lord has ordained His creation to work (such as when warm air meets cool air, etc.)? Only God Himself knows the full answer, though we can certainly get some good understanding about it by studying God’s Word.

Pages of opinions and speculations can, and have been, written on the subject, I’m sure. But one thing we know God’s Word teaches: God punishes the wicked, both to encourage them to repent, and to rid the land of their influence. But, sometimes the righteous are swept away too, and this, maybe because they are in the same vicinity as the wicked, or, maybe because, even when a righteous person dies, God’s name can be glorified and His Gospel proclaimed through it.

So, although we don’t understand all of God’s ways, and though our hearts break for those hurting right now, everyone should learn through this to fear the Lord and to quit sinning. (Isa. 26:9-11) The fact that anyone’s life can be turned upside down –or ended– in a moment, should be reason enough to get 100% right with God and to do so with a genuine heart and with finality. If we don’t, then as Jesus warns, anyone who does not renounce their sins (their rebellion and negligence) is in danger of being suddenly judged –meaning, suddenly destroyed.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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