Monday, May 27, 2013

Sudden destruction

Last week's killer tornado that ravished Moore, Oklahoma demonstrated the sheer destructive power and force of nature. I was awestruck at the scope of the damage. I've seen first-hand entire small farming communities in southeast Idaho wiped out in the 1976 Teton Dam disaster but that was absolutely nothing compared to this event.

It was sudden and immensely powerful, even in an area where people are generally prepared for tornadoes.

As I was watching the newscasts, the Lord reminded me of a couple of scriptures.  They are from Matthew's gospel and Paul's l first letter to the Thessalonians.  They are as follows:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matt. 24:37-39 NKJV)

 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
(1 Thess. 5:1-7 NKJV)
The people of Moore, Oklahoma were busy living their lives. They knew they were in tornado alley and many had proper preparations. However, some didn't, and lives were lost, specifically third-grade elementary school children because there was no cellar or "safe room". 
In the scriptures quoted above, when Jesus comes back again it will be similar. I believe it will be very soon based on the  key signs of Israel reestablished as a nation, the shift to a global view of virtually everything and total upheaval in the Middle East. The signs are there and when He comes destruction will be imminent and complete for those who have rejected Him as Lord and Savior.
However, God has good news for us. His Word says this: 

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
(John 3:16-17 NKJV)
Each of us has a choice on how we prepare for His coming. We can party hardy and  do whatever our hearts desire is as they did in the days of Noah or we can believe and trust in Jesus to live our life in am state of preparedness for His coming. There are consequences for either lifestyle. Living a life  for God doesn't mean having a "bunker mentality" and withdrawing from life's and society's problems.
 It means living for God as directed by the Holy Spirit and living your life with the skills and gifts God has given to each of us. It means reaching out to our neighbors when they are hurting, not only when they need food or money but also when they are hurting spiritually.
God has created each of us as three parts-- body, soul and spirit. Too many of us  neglect the spiritual aspect. That spirit can only be revived by a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you don't have the personal relationship, God's word says the spirit within you is dead.
This much I do know. Physical death comes to all of us. Spiritual death comes to those who have chosen to reject God's free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. For some, the "tornado" might be the heart attack, automobile accident or cancer that ends our life. It doesn't matter what it is. It does matter if you are prepared spiritually when it occurs.  That's what Paul writes of in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7. Those who are not in darkness are prepared for what will happen.
Jesus said He is the Light of the world. Come to know Him and the light He alone can give to you in these very difficult and tumultuous days in which we live. At some point God will require our life.
What kind of life will it be-- a life living for Jesus or a life lived like those in the days of Noah?
God bless you and all those who sacrificed for us this Memorial Day. And praised be God the Father who gave us His only Son who sacrificed Himself for us that we might live with Him eternally in heaven.