Home> The Lower Lights>October 2004

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  Alan Jones, Editor

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"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 4                                                                     October 2004                                                                                    No4 

 

RIDING OUT A HURRICANE IN A MOBILE HOME

 

First came Charley, then Frances, followed by Ivan, and finally Jeanne.  Four strong hurricanes battered Florida in rapid succession.  With each passing storm, it seemed that more residents took the warnings seriously and either evacuated or went to shelters to put themselves out of harms way.  But, as always, some chose to ride out the storm and stayed in their homes.   Some even held “hurricane parties”, apparently with a “Bring it on!” attitude. 

            One family of five was killed by hurricane Ivan.  The storm leveled their mobile home.  Their deaths seem so senseless.  Modern technology had been tracking Ivan for many days, enabling warnings to be given far in advance to those in his path.  His reputation for bringing death and destruction was well known.  Why didn’t this family leave town?  Why didn’t they go to a shelter?  And, above all, one wonders why did they choose to ride out a hurricane in a mobile home, a dwelling a powerful wind can crush as easily as a man wads up a piece of paper?  Quite a foolish choice and they paid for it with their lives.

            The prophet Nahum compared God’s wrath to a storm.  He foretold God’s destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyria.  He wrote, “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful, The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies.  The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.  In whirlwind and storm is His way … Who can stand before His indignation?  Who can endure the burning of his anger?  His wrath is poured out  like  fire  and  the  rocks  are  broken  up  by 

 

Him. (Nah 1:2-3, 6)

            It is for certain that the hurricane of God’s judgment is coming. You and I, as all men are in its path (Eccl 12:13-14; Heb 9:27).  The Bible tracks the storms of God.  God destroyed Nineveh by His mighty wind as Nahum predicted.  The high fortified walls of Babylon (Jer 51:53) and the rock fortress of Edom (Obadiah , vs 3-4) were like mobile homes, easily blown apart by God’s whirlwind of judgment.  These storm histories as well as many others, such as the devastation God brought by the Flood in the day of Noah, and later by fire and brimstone to Sodom and Gomorrah are given to us as an example so that we will fear and make preparations  (2 Pet 2:5-9).

            But despite these warnings, most men are making the foolish decision to “ride out” the approaching storm of God’s judgment.  Some laugh at the idea that the storm will hit since it has been so long since it was predicted.  They party, saying, “Bring it on!”   But, Jesus, the Eye of the hurricane, has not yet “made landfall” to give men time to repent (2 Pet 3:3-4,9).  Others hear Jesus’ words, but do nothing else.  Jesus illustrated how foolish this is by His story of a man who built his house on the sand.  His house was like a mobile home in a hurricane- so will a man be in the storm of God’s judgment who has heard, but not obeyed Jesus’ word.  Only the man who builds his house on the rock, that is, who hears Jesus’ word and obeys it, will survive the gusty winds and the floods of God’s judgment. (Mt 7:24-28)

What about you?  Facing God’s judgment, are you trying to ride it out in a mobile home?

 

PREPARING FOR THE STORM

There is no question that the storm of God’s wrath is coming.  Two questions remain,  “When?” and “Will I be prepared?”  God’s wrath is coming for one reason- sin.  You have sinned.  I have sinned (disrespected God’s authority by breaking His law- 1 Jn 3:4).  As the Scripture says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  (Rom 3:23).  Because we sinned, we alienated ourselves from God (Col 1:21) and became His enemy (Rom 5:10).  We face the horrible punishment of hell, described this way by John, “He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night” (Rev 14:10-11). 

But, God Himself did something to save us from the storm of His wrath.  “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Rom 5:6-9).  Jesus took the punishment we were due so that by His blood God could be just and we could be forgiven.  No longer did we have to fear the coming storm of His wrath.

 

 Yet, you and I must act in order to receive this salvation from sin and prepare for God’s judgment.  Jesus died for all, but not all will be saved.  The gift of salvation from sin and wrath is conditional.  We must choose to let Jesus pay for our sins so that we do not have to pay for them ourselves.  The Scriptures tell us that we do this by believing in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9-10).  We must also repent of our sins, that is, decide to turn away from all that is contrary to Jesus’ will, to live for Him who died for us (Lk 13:1-5).  We must then be baptized (immersed) in water for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; 8:36-38).

  Once we have acted in faith to receive the benefits of Jesus’ blood, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).  We are “in Christ” (have a relationship with Him) and there is no condemnation (Rom 8:1).  We have no need to fear, if we “continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col 1:23; 1 Pet 1:3-4). 

Have you met God’s conditions to accept His salvation?  Are you prepared for the storm of His judgment?  Will you let Jesus pay for your sins or will you choose to face His wrath?  If, in any way we can help you prepare for the storm, please write, call, or email.  Remember friend, “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  (Heb 10:31).



 

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