I have had recurring thoughts for a number of weeks on the subject of the end times. A bible verse kept coming to mind; 2 Peter 3:9.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
This verse has helped me reconcile the loving God I have read about in scripture to the horrible events that are prophesied in the end times, specifically the part we call the Tribulation. Let me share with you my thoughts on this subject.
Have you ever wondered why the recent disasters that seem to plaque the earth happen when they do? Have you ever thought they seem to be happening more often as time goes on? I have thought many times about such questions.
Do you think about these issues then shrug them off saying ‘it is just my imagination?’ Are you content to blame them on a fictional being called “Mother Nature?” Or, are you wondering if there is something more, or someone greater, behind these events? Yet, you dare not speak such things out loud. Do you fear what others will say so you hide such thoughts from the world … because they might mock you?
Those who refuse to believe in anything, or anyone, greater than they would probably mock you. They laugh at the idea of a being greater than themselves who could control such events. No surprise to some of us. That is the ultimate expression of man’s foolish pride. The scripture says, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Corinthians 3:19 Such arrogance puts man on the same level of authority and power as God. Now that is foolish!
That is the type of pride that led to Lucifer’s downfall and the sin of Eve … and Adam. It seems a very natural weakness in God’s creation … to desire to be as God. Based on the evidence concerning Lucifer (now called Satan), and Adam and Eve, I believe such thoughts are a grave offense in the eyes of God.
I also assume God is a jealous God. Again, no surprise … the first of the Ten Commandments tells us,
2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
3”You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3 NIV”
That tells me we cannot worship any false gods, including ourselves, nor should we believe anyone or anything can have a position equal to God in status and authority. No wonder God pronounced such a severe punishment on Lucifer and Adam and Eve. God must really detest the arrogance and pride that men and women demonstrate when they say things like, “There is no God” or “I see God differently” or “I don’t need God as long as I am a good person.” This refusal to recognize ourselves as sinful is another expression of arrogance and pride.
I can just imagine God slapping His forehead and saying things like, “The audacity of these people!” and “What must I do to convince them to honor and worship Me?”
Maybe these natural disasters we see today are intended as a wakeup call for non-believers. But that seems rather severe for a loving God. What about His loving nature that is mentioned repeatedly in the scripture? We are told that God is love and that everything about Him demonstrates perfect love. So, if this love is real, why would God cause such horrible catastrophes to occur and kill so many of His created beings? That doesn’t seem to be a good way to win converts and influence a lost and confused people … or is it?
History has shown that people respond to harsh punishment and painful treatment. They yield to the will of another when it is less painful to do so than to resist. It has been said that the human animal is one that “seeks pleasure and avoids pain.” It is true in my life. How about in yours? Even my pride can be bridled, and I will yield to others, when there is more pleasure and less pain to do so.
By understanding our prideful nature and the amount of pain and suffering it takes for us to yield to someone else’s control, we can begin to understand why and how a loving God would use such disasters. As long as life is good, peaceful and prosperous we won’t yield our lives to another authority. We are acting as though we are God. We refuse to accept God’s authority over our lives. We also refuse to recognize God as the author and giver of life and every good thing, as our nation’s founding fathers did.
God is simply forcing us to consider Him, His laws and His displeasure with our behavior. He is also forcing us to recognize our sin and ask for His forgiveness. Jesus told us that is the way to salvation.
So WHY does God want to get our attention so badly? Have we strayed from His plan so much that such drastic measures are justified? I suggest the answer is a resounding “YES!” Look at what our society now condones. We condone abortion at will. We condone removal of all mention of God in our public schools, courts and public events. We re-elect a man to be president who says, “We are not a Christian nation” even though he knows it is not true based on our history … which he knows better than many. Don’t you think the people behind these actions and policy decisions have offended God? Don’t you think we have offended God by participating in making these changes become policy and/or law? Whether you believe in God or not ask yourself, “If I were God would these things offend me?”
Yes, I thought so. They would offend me, too!
So what can we do now, now that these things are policy, the law of the land, or just common practice? Well, each of us must do the research to regain an accurate picture of what pleases, and displeases, God. This is how we will reset our moral compass. That is the first step to beginning the national reformation process.
Why should we want to reform our society … are God’s blessings that important? Why don’t you ask the people on Staten Island in NYC or on the Shore in NJ? Many of them have lost every earthly possession including their homes. And the insurance companies may not compensate them for their loss because it was “an Act of God.” If the destruction is an Act of God, and the beauty of creation is also by God’s hand, which would you prefer? Do you wish to seek God’s favor and blessing, or risk His wrath and eternal punishment?
I choose the beauty that comes with God’s blessing over the destruction that come s from His displeasure! How about you? So I try to live a life that is pleasing in His sight. The scripture tells us that a life lived in accordance to His will can result in great blessing.
We MUST reform our society to regain God’s blessing for ourselves and our nation. There will be NO making deals with God. It is His way or no blessing. And the formula for restoration of blessing is quite clearly stated in His scripture. God said,
2 Chronicles 7:13-15
New International Version
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (NIV)
It sounds pretty simple to me. What do you think?
God has promised destruction and slavery in the house of their conquerors as the consequence of disobedience. It actually happened several times to the Jews in the Old Testament. Yet, God in His mercy and love does not just retaliate and punish when His people disobey. Instead I believe the evidence says He pressures His people to return to Him for His protection from the evil and natural disasters in this world. Then He restores and heals them.
So are the current disasters the worst that God can inflict? No, not by any means. Read about the plaques in Egypt because the Pharaoh refused to release the Jews to return to their land. A modern translation of 2 Peter 3:9 says…
9 The Lord is not being slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He wants everyone to change their ways and stop sinning. (ERV)
Do you know this God who is calling mankind back to Himself? Do you understand the way He expects each of us to live? Do you understand that this loving God loves each of us so much that He will even use natural disasters to turn our hearts back to Him?
Now is the time to begin your study of who He is and what He wants from you. The stakes could not be higher … they include eternity, and where you will spend it. You see, I call Hell the ultimate punishment for disobedience. It is eternal and irreversible. Don’t wait until your life ends to find out what God expects of you. Do the research now and begin living in gratitude to the merciful and loving God whose hearts desire is to share His Heaven with you for eternity. If you understood the stakes clearly, you will agree and act.
Don’t listen to your disbelieving friends, find out for yourself. Read His words in the Bible and find a Bible preaching church to attend.
Email me if there is anything I can do to help …
Images: PowerPoint of Hurricane Sandy pictures of damage.