IS THERE AN ANSWER?
Reprinted article by, Dr. Fred Wittman
In the morning of September 11, 2001, God gave a wake-up call to America! Four jumbo-jet airplanes were high-jacked. Two headed for New York City and two for Washington, D.C.
The first headed straight for and collided with one of the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City. Minutes later the second hit the other twin tower. Both were shaken to their foundations. Within hours they crumbled to the ground.
Then in Washington, D.C. another jet hit the Pentagon. As a result of these terrorist attacks thousands of people were injured and thousands died. Many naturally have considered the physical, material, and political aspect of this tragedy but have ignored the spiritual aspect. They have blamed the laxity of security of America and have tightened security rigidly.
A Series of Disasters
In the years following the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks, America has been stricken with earthquakes and hit with fierce windstorms, hurricanes, and tornados in various locations, also flooding that has wiped out homes and businesses, and mud slides that have wiped out communities.
In addition, wild blazing fires destroyed countless acres of forest as well as many homes. But also, there have been numerous worldwide disasters including serious and deadly earthquakes throughout the world and tsunamis in eleven countries that have caused enormous devastating consequences besides many worldwide terrorist attacks. All of this has caused the loss of many lives and countless millions of dollars of damage.
With reference to 9-11 an all-out effort has been made to identify the perpetrators of the attacks and bring them to justice. But little is said to deal with the spiritual aspect which underlies all of these catastrophic disasters. Our hearts go out to those who suffered the loss of loved ones, lives, and property in all these disasters.
Is There an Answer
The question has been asked, “Why did God permit, if He did not send, these disasters?”. Surely The only True and Mighty God has the power, ability, and loving care to prevent such events! But He didn’t! Why? Is there an answer? Indeed there is! But it can only be found in the perfect record of God’s communication to humans, known as The Holy Bible. There are numerous passages which address this question. Kindly permit me to cite just a few to answer this serious question.
In the sixteenth century B.C. wise Elihu, when rebuking ancient, patient Job, said, “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not” (Job 33:14). The God uses disasters to speak, to warn of impending judgment, and to judge because of wickedness.
Examples of How God Uses Disasters
Egypt–is the first example of God’s use of a series of natural disasters to assure a nation and her leader(s) that He is warning of impending judgment unless she complies with His Holy Word.
The Lord God heard the cry of the Israelites in their oppression by the Egyptians who were holding them in severe bondslavery. He appeared to Moses by a fiery bush at Mount Sinai and informed him that he was to go and tell the Pharaoh to let His people go to serve Him in the wilderness (Ex. 3:1-18).
Knowing full well that Pharaoh the king would not let them go, The Lord God promised to stretch out His hand with His wonders to persuade him (Ex. 3:19, 20; 6:1). A series of ten plagues, each becoming more severe in bringing great disaster and death, the first three of which affected the Israelites as well as the Egyptians: all the waters of Egypt turned to blood; frogs every-where, lice upon humans and beasts (Ex. 7:14-8:19).
Then The God made a distinction between His people and the Egyptians. He plagued only the Egyptians with swarms of flies; a grievous murrain killing: cattle, horses, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep; boils upon humans and beasts; hail and fire destroying every herb, every tree, and every man and beast in the field; then locusts which ate what the hail missed; and thick darkness that could be felt (Ex. 8:20-10:29).
Then early in 1619 B.C., 2508 years after creation, the tenth plague brought death to the firstborn of humans and beasts in which they were not protected, as the Israelites were instructed, by applying the blood of a firstborn lamb to the two side-posts and lintel of the door and remain inside eating the roasted lamb, whose blood had been shed and properly applied (Ex 11:1-12:36).
Nineveh–avoided God’s wrath and destroying power the first time by complete repentance and abandonment of their sins at The God’s wake-up call by Jonah in c. 777 B.C. (Jonah 3:4-10). But 125 years after that revival, the people of Nineveh had reverted to their wickedness. The Hebrew prophet, Nahum wrote to warn them a second time in c. 701 B.C. (Nahum 1:3,5,6,8)
3The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: The LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm,…5The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the Earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by Him. . . 8But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof” (Nahum 1:3,5,6,8).
Nineveh was destroyed in 612 B.C. by an unusual flood of the Tigris River just as The God warned through Nahum.
Jerusalem–Most people are prone to think only of The God’s love and mercy. Yet God loved His people Israel and extended His mercy upon them till they wearied Him. In His love, The God sent His prophets to rebuke and warn of impending judgment, unless they repent of and abandon their wickedness and walk in His ways, obedient to His Word. The Hebrew prophet, Isaiah warned the capital of the Jewish religion, calling her Ariel (Lion of God), and pronounced woe because of her wickedness. He wrote in c. 710 B.C.
When Hezekiah began his reign, he instigated revival in Judah. Fourteen years later in 712 B.C., Assyria threatened to overthrow Jerusalem, But King Hezekiah turned to The Lord and depended totally upon Him for defense. As a result, Judah and Jerusalem were saved.
Then years later in 608 B.C., God gave another wake-up call through His prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 4:l, 14:27-29; 36:3; 24:10,12) eight years before the complete destruction and burning of Jerusalem to ground zero by Babylon’s armies.
1If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith The Lord, return unto Me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of My sight, then shalt thou not remove… 14O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved! How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? …27For thus hath The Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate;”
36:3It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”
21:10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith The LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the King of Babylon, and he shall bum it with fire. … 12O house of David, thus saith The LORD, Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings” (Jer. 4:1,14,27; 36:3; 21:10,12).
Then through the years again and again Jeremiah’s prophecies and warning of the impending destruction went unheeded until the tenth day of Av in the summer of 586 B.C, when Jerusalem was destroyed by fire (Jer. 52:12-14). Israel could have avoided the utter destruction of Jerusalem if they had only repented of their sins, lawlessness, and iniquities. But they did not heed the wake-up call and Jerusalem was torn down to ground destroyed, burned, and her people were carried on to captivity in Babylon.
The Tower of Siloam–The Lord Jesus indicated that its collapse was a wake-up call to repent.
“4Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, Jesus said, You suppose that these became greater (sinners) debtors to The God than all humans who are residing in Jerusalem, do you not? 5I say to you, By no means, but unless you repent, you all of yourselves shall perish in like manner” (Luke 13:4,5 APT).
Is The Lord Jesus Predicted Future Disasters
On His last day of teaching, Wednesday evening, 12 Nisan (April 1), A.D. 33, two days before His crucifixion, The Lord Jesus answered His disciples question, What is the miraculous sign of the coming presence of Yours, and of the consummation of the age? (Mt. 24:3 APT). Jesus gave the answer which is recorded by the writers of three Gospels (Mt. 24:3-14; Mk. 13:3-8; Lk. 21:7-11,28). After these passages, Jesus went on to explain The Tribulation Period which immediately follows His coming again in the air for His Church. Permit me to select a few verses from these passages which are pertinent to and beginning to occur in this present time.
7For nation shall be raised up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes everywhere. 8All these things are beginning of birth pangs[preliminary troubles to development of a catastrophe] (Mt 24:7.8 APT).
11And great earthquakes shall be everywhere and famines and pestilences. Both terrifying omens and great miraculous signs shall be from Heaven…28And when these things are beginning to come to pass, stand erect! And lift up your heads! For the reason that the redemption of yours is drawing near” (Lk. 21:11,28 APT).
Is not this description, which The Lord Jesus Christ predicted to His disciples to prevail in the last days before the coming presence of His, repeatedly occurring frequently in this present time?
Paul’s Description of The Last Days
In the summer of A.D. 68 just before his death, the Apostle Paul wrote his Second Epistle to his son in Faith, Timothy. In that Epistle he described the negative behavior of humans, which is offensive to God and that shall prevail in the last days of The Church on Earth before The Lord Jesus Christ comes again in the air to take Her home to be forever with Himself (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
An examination of several day’s newspapers depicts that this behavior prevails throughout the whole Earth in our present time. [An expository study of this passage, Book Study, 2 Timothy, These Last Days can be viewed here]ralds.org under Book Study, 2 Timothy, These Last Days]. Instead of focusing upon human behavior which adversely affects human life and The God’s reaction to such evil behavior, political leaders focus upon human behavior which affects the Earth and natural environment rather than The God’s intervention.
The Underlying Answer
Most people disregard or overlook the spiritual and moral condition of America, yea of the whole world and ignore the righteous indignation of The Only One True and Holy God, Whom a great many Americans claim to worship and Whose blessing they invoke for America with God Bless America.
Surely The God, as well as also our own hearts, is grieved at the wide-spread sexual immorality, adultery, violence, murder, rape, child abuse, and indecency in our nation both among the people and on television, as well as the poor spiritual condition, lethargy (callous indifference), and complacency of The Church in America and of those who profess to be God’s people.
No doubt the disasters of: September 11, 2001, the earthquakes, the fierce windstorms, the hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and mud slides, as well as tsunamis, which disasters have wiped out communities and are intended to be a wake-up call to America first, and then to the whole world.
God speaks through His action, Wake up America! Wake up World! In the words of Isaiah the prophet, God speaks to you and to me today (Isa. 34:1,2;43-24b; 55:7).
1Come near, ye nations, to hear, and hearken, ye people: let the Earth hear, and all that is therein, the world, and all things that come forth of it. 2For the indignation of The Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies … 43:24…but thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities… 55:7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto The Lord. and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God. for He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 34:1,2; 43:24b; 55:7).
However, it is essential to realize that The God does not destroy for the sake of Destruction, nor does He take any delight in destroying His Earth or His people. He only destroys to warn in love His human creatures of the impending doom which humans brought upon themselves as the result of Sin in order to deliver unto Salvation some of whom will wake up, repent, and commit persistent, personal trust in His Son before it is too late.
Wake up from your lethargy and tolerance to violence and wickedness and sexual immorality! Repent and turn from your sins, your iniquities, your wickedness! The Greek word for forgive is αφίημι (ahfeéaymee) which means to abandon, to forgive, to release. If you want The God to forgive (abandon judgment upon) your sins, you must abandon your sins and commit persistent personal trust to The Lord Jesus Christ!
Repent and abandon your sins and commit trust totally and only to The Lord Jesus Christ now for salvation, regeneration, sanctification, holiness and Eternal Life! Don’t put it off!
To The Church Today Heed the exhortation by the apostle Paul to the Colossian church (Col. 3:5,6)!
“5Therefore put to death the members of yours&, namely the ones upon the Earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate passion, evil lust, and covetousness [The greedy desire to have more], whichever is idolatry! 6Because of which things the anger of The God is coming upon the sons of the disobedience” (Colossians 3:5,6 APT).
To those outside of Christ and all who have never done so, take these five steps together now to begin to prepare for His soon, second coming.
1) Confess (admit to The God) your guilt as a sinner and ask for The God’s mercy! (Luke 18:13),
2) Repent and turn to The God from sin and disobedience! Change your mind about and abandon your sinful ways so as to change your direction–go God’s way (Isaiah 53:6; Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10), and
3) Unreservedly commit your personal, persistent trust to The Lord Jesus Christ! Believe He died as your substitute, endured God’s wrath that was due to you, shed His blood to wash your sins away, was buried, rose again to give you His New Life, and ascended into Heaven to apply His blood on the Mercy Seat to clear you from all: blame, penalty, and guilt both of Sin the root and sins the fruit, and declare you righteous. Believe He wants to save you now (Romans 10:9; Hebrews 9:14,24-28), and
4) Receive Him into your heart to become your Savior and Lord of your life! Exchange your old life for His New Life (John 1:12; Colossians 2:6; Mark 8:37).
5) Publicly and openly confess (declare that you agree with God) that you are in The Lord Jesus Christ! Tell other humans how He saved you! (Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 10:32,33).
Take these five steps now! Humbly cry for mercy and for The Lord Jesus Christ to save you! If you really want this gift now, then sincerely and humbly pray the only type of prayer The God will listen to from a sinner.
I am a lost guilty sinner and deserve eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. But I believe that The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to be punished for me. O God, be merciful to me a sinner! I am tired of going my own way and I want to go Your way, , but I cannot do it in my own strength. Lord Jesus Christ, come into my heart and save me from sin. I exchange my life for Your life and make You Lord of my life. Thank You for saving me from sin. Thank You for washing my sins away in Your precious blood. Thank You for enduring the wrath of The God in my behalf. Thank You for giving to me Eternal life. Now cause me to grow in The Lord Jesus Christ and to honor You in all my ways. In the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.”
For additional help E-mail us and tell us of your decision at info@SpreadTheWord.Life and we will send you helpful information as to how you can abundantly enjoy this new life in Christ and how you can continue to prepare for the soon coming again of our precious Lord Jesus Christ. Begin now regularly to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. And get into the habit of daily reading God’s Holy Word.