Thursday, November 1, 2012

Signs of the Times

Unless you have been living under a rock this past week, the news has been filled with stories about super storm hurricane Sandy and the death and destruction it has leveled across the eastern seaboard of the United States. Sandy wasn't the only ecological event that happened. There was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off Vancouver Island in British Columbia and a 4.2 magnitude earthquake in Alaska in the western half of the country.

In an October 30 interview with the HuffPost Live magazine, filmmaker Oliver Stone said the the hurricane is the direct impact of global warming and that "This is a punishment. Mother Nature cannot be ignored".

I don't know if it is a punishment but am inclined to believe it is another warning from God. We are told in Matthew 24 and 25 about the signs that would precede the return of Jesus to this earth. Part of those signs would be earthquakes, floods, famines, disasters, continued wars, apostasy from the faith and so on. The signs are considered birth pangs, the word the Bible translates as "sorrows" in some versions.  Paul's letter to the Romans chapter 1 lays it out pretty well concerning God's wrath, if in fact that's what we are experiencing.

It is true men have been pointing to these scriptures for centuries claiming their imminent fulfillment. The big difference between then and now is the fact that Israel had not yet been reborn as a nation as prophesied in Ezekiel 37 and 38 and the Temple of Jerusalem  had not been rebuilt. Israel became a nation again in 1948 after nearly 2000 years of dispersion to the four corners of the globe. The Temple of Jerusalem has been planned for construction and nearly everything is in place for sacrifices to begin once the sacred structure is rebuilt. It won't be long.

Jesus said we would know the signs of the times preceding His second coming but wouldn't know the exact day or hour. He told us to be ready and on our guard so we would not be surprised. Unlike hurricane Sandy, people knew almost to the minute when the hurricane would make landfall and what would happen when it did. And still some people ignored the warnings. Jesus said we would know the general time but not specifically the exact day or hour.

If you believe the Bible to be the written word of God to us and that it is not only a standard for living but something that God said was settled in heaven itself (Psalm 119:89), true (Psalm 119:160) gives us daily direction as a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105), is pure (Psalm 119:140), and helps us understand God's ways from our ways and Who God is and what His plan is for us (Hebrews 4:12) these thing won't surprise or unsettle you.

The bottom line is that we can't run nor hide from natural disasters. They affect everyone. The question is whether you believe the modern day prophets like Oliver Stone who say it's the politicians fault because we haven't done enough to combat global warning or do you believe the ancient Hebrew prophets and Jesus Himself who told us why we are experiencing these events?

There is no need to be without hope when these events occur. The question is do you know the Creator described in the Bible who really is this misnamed "mother nature"?   If you don't, the Bible says you can. Take a look at John 3:16, Romans 3:21-26, Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, Acts 13:38-39, Acts 16:29-32.

We know the Creator by knowing the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We know him by repenting of our sins (doing things our own way), and acknowledging Him as Savior and Lord and then living for Him daily. It's not rocket science.

Life won't get any easier for you. In fact, it may get more difficult because biblical Christian believers are in the minority. However, when the trials come, whether they economic woes, family issues or hurricanes and earthquakes and  cause destruction and pain in our lives, you can be sure that God is still there with you, loves you and cares for you in spite of everything you see and experience with your senses. A believer is a spiritual being and this earth is only a temporary residence.

What do you choose this day?

God bless.