Acts of God
Strong earthquake strikes Nepal – BBC News
On the day the largest earthquake for 80 years struck Nepal, this is going to be controversial, but I’ll say it anyway. God is still in the judgment business.
The Western church has emphasised the love of God over His righteousness. But check the Gospels, and you’ll find that Jesus never spoke about God’s love to unbelievers, but preached God’s righteousness, and the need for repentance from sin. God never changes, and Jehovah remains opposed to all that is sinful and unholy – by His character, He must judge it. Stated very simply, every one of us therefore deserves the death penalty in the face of God’s absolute holiness and righteousness. However, the good news is that Jesus made a one-off, never to be repeated, demonstration of love to the world: His all sufficient sacrifice at Calvary, where he bore the penalty for our sin (John 3.16). Men can take it or leave it, but there is no other way that men can be saved. By so doing, Jesus offered every man, woman and child an escape route from judgment, provided that person believes in their heart, acknowledges His Lordship over their life, and is baptised.
There are many instances of summary acts of judgment in the Bible: the flood; and Sodom and Gomorrah in the old testament; and Annas and Saphira; the blinding of Saul; and the future events of Revelation in the new. Are we to believe that God no longer intervenes in human affairs? I don’t believe so.
The Greek word for judgment is ‘krisis‘, meaning a decisive separation. If one watches video of a crisis such as 9/11, the Boxing Day tsunami, or an air crash, you will inevitably hear people using Jesus’ Name as a curse. You will also hear accounts of some who call on His name as Lord for help or deliverance. The crisis acts to separate the just from the unjust, quickly and summarily. It is the same when we are at a deathbed – my own father, in his last 2 minutes on earth, called on the name of the Lord and was saved. Others use this time to curse God. God uses judgment to separate men into righteous and unrighteous, either Kingdom-bound or Hell-bound – there is no middle ground.
The Law defines an ‘act of God’ as an ‘event that directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented‘. In the Bible, we generally see such ‘acts of God’ as a response to a significant sinful act, a build-up of persistent sin or rebellion, or a failure to be fruitful. So how does this compare with modern tragedies?
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a city full of voodoo, drug use, prostitution and party spirit. Superstorm Sandy flattened Atlantic (‘Sin’) City for much the same reasons. The Indonesian province of Aceh, a hotbed of Islamic militancy, was known for its persecution of Christians. Muslims there actually believed the tsunami was sent because they ‘were not good enough Muslims’. The Japanese Tsunami killed nearly 16,000. Is it a coincidence that Japan is reckoned to be the most godless and materialistic nation on earth ? Was World War 2 a result of the League of Nations turning its back on the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people? Did Britain lose its empire because it did more than any other nation to resist the birth of Israel? The list of those under judgment includes atheistic celebrities, the Media, and large corporate businesses that suffered sudden meltdown. Any entity that sets itself deliberately, willfully and persistently against God’s laws is susceptible.
You see, as we approach the end of the age, man is becoming increasingly godless and sinful, but God doesn’t change. It follows then that His judgments must increase, and they are.
So what about today’s tragedy in Nepal? Like the Boxing Day Tsunami in Aceh, Christians are badly persecuted in the area, see here. The region has been both beacon and conduit for the channeling of eastern religion into the West, including of course the Beatles’ public embrace of Transcendental Meditation. Everest, the world’s highest mountain, draws international climbers who worship its gods through embracing and publicising Tibetan Buddhism. Yoga has now become part of western culture, but practitioners unknowingly worship Hindu and Buddhist deities.So did the people of Nepal deserve to die ? Yes, but only in the same way that we all do. We are alive only because of God’s mercy.
We cannot say if this particular earthquake was God’s Hand, and only God knows where and why He directs His judgments. At the very least God clearly permitted it to happen. We should tremble before His might, and pray that as He views our own nations, He remembers mercy in His wrath.
We have been warned. We must watch AND pray. There is more to come as Jesus opens the 7 seals to bring the age to a close.
END-TIME SIGN: Matt 24.7
ACTION: Pray that the persecuted Church in Nepal would be a witness to the unsaved. Pray for their protection and provision.