Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DOES GOD CARE?



YES HE DOES CARE!
“But what about the following….?”
 (READ ON---------------

CASE IN POINT:
Over three dozen people have been killed and many more injured, across five US states in the some extremely devastating tornadoes over the past week (March 2012).

From Indiana and Ohio, to Alabama again and Tennessee, homes are being wiped out and lives seemingly destroyed. The worst of the damage, along the Appalachian way seems to be in Kentucky. To make things even more unbearable, more snow is starting to fall in the Midwest and upper southern states than in the winter month of February.

A seeming miracle of the fifteen-month-old Angel Babcock of New Pekin, Indiana, found after her family's mobile home was destroyed in Friday's storms ended tragically. Angel was thrown 100 yards into a field after her entire family was picked up by the tornado there and flung across Creation. Her father, mother and two siblings were killed.

The stories are coming fast and furious over this and more as each week brings more heartache to another group of our fellow citizens.

CASE IN POINT:
Twelve year old Megan goes to a friend’s house for the night here in town. On the way to the Pancake House next morning, a drunk driver comes flying down Dirksen Parkway, runs the red light and plows into the minivan driven by the sleep-over friend’s mom. Megan, though wearing a seat belt, is killed instantly.

CASE IN POINT:
Last April 2011, the worst tornados ever, drove through central Alabama. It was a mile wide and sure death in its wake. Over 5000 buildings in the town, which is home to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, were destroyed. Over 300 persons lost their lives. Some of them lived in poverty in apartments.  Rosedale Court, a public housing complex, was destroyed, and thousands of apartments and homes in Alberta and Holt and in Forest Lake, Cedar Crest and other neighborhoods were heavily damaged and/or destroyed.

Of course, over in Joplin, Missouri, folks are yet to recover any semblance of normalcy, after the town was destroyed ten months ago…by yet another tornado. To make things worse, tornado season is right around the corner!

IS THIS GOD?
What do all of this have in common with each other? – Extreme Personal and Corporate Tragedy!

It is unimaginable to lose a young child forever…to a drunk driver or fatal disease.
It is unthinkable to watch a mile wide fast moving shroud of death, carrying the sound of 15 loud freight train engines at full roar…and there is no way to escape, hide or run from it.

It is unnerving to watch a wall of water, from all sides, heading for your home and livelihood, as you evacuate minutes before it happens.

It is stomach churning to approach your church in Joplin, find some of your congregants, whom you had seen hours before, dead in the tornado’s wake, while you yourself are suddenly trapped by debris in follow up winds.
Is this God?

America and the world watches these videos and photos from all these different tragic sites and are unable to process their thoughts accurately…and according to scripture.
From the Tsunami we watched LIVE in Japan a few months ago to this horrible and extended Tornado season, everyone from national network news anchor to the surviving victim themselves ask – “where was God?....How could He let this happen?....
I once heard ABC News Diane Sawyer, who is representative of most,  ask on ABC’s World News Tonight: “How can a loving God allow this”

THE ANSWER:
The answer is:  God is still loving, kind, compassionate and merciful. He is Holy God by Whose full Grace and mercy we are able to breathe in and out, for more than today. However, we have to go beyond just saying those words, to understanding its foundational truths…..and it all comes back to the Person of God. To do that, we look at the Attributes of God.

The Dictionary describes an “Attribute” is a special quality or characteristic of a person.
The Attributes of God are timely to attempt to comprehend, in these perilous times, where one could never know who will be next. I have always taught and promoted this – in order to claim, believe and fully appreciate the God Who offers these things, we have to know how credible He is!

This is not blasphemy! This is actually using the Word of God, guided by the Spirit of God to explain to a lost evolution-believing world, a process they would rather ignore.
The great Illinois preacher A.W. Tozer’s most famous book was “The Attributes of God”. He listed the following as God’s Attributes:
God is Infinite.  
God is Good.
God is Just.
God is Merciful.
God is Grace.
God is Omnipresent (everywhere at all times).
God is Immanent.
God is Holy.
God is Perfect.

While Tozer’s accurate description are tremendous and powerful, Judaism, from whence comes Christianity has such an elevated view of YahWeh or Holy God that I must share it here! It is completely Biblically based and in fact, since it is based on the Torah or the First Five books of the Bible, I believe it comes directly from the Lord as He imparted it to Moses!
Here are the 13 Attributes of Yahweh:
He is:
1.      God of mercy (before a man commits a sin);
2.      God of mercy (after a man commits a sin);
3.      Almighty Lord of the universe, Ruler of Nature, and Mankind;
4.      Full of affectionate sympathy for the suffering and miseries of human frailty;
5.      Assisting, helping and consoling the afflicted and raising up the oppressed;
6.      Long suffering and slow to anger;
7.      Abundant in goodness i.e. granting His gifts beyond the deserts of man;
8.      True to Himself and speaking the Truth in love;
9.      Remembering the good deeds of the ancestors for a thousand generations;
10.  Bearing with indulgence the failings of Man; and also
11.  Man’s evil deeds springing from malice and rebellion against God; and also
12.  Man’s shortcomings due to heedlessness and error;
13.  He will not allow the guilty to pass unpunished but visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him.

These are more in tune with what comes next – ORIGINAL SIN.

ORIGINAL SIN:
It is obvious Satan fell from grace and heaven BEFORE God created the Heavens and earth in Genesis 1.  When sin entered the world, the serpent was already at work to destroy perfection created by Holy God.

As a result of Original sin in Genesis 3 by Eve, all Creation move from peace and perfect joy to being cursed.  Because of the Attribute of God of the Old Testament (and New) He has to judge sin.  Therefore Adam’s physical environment had to change to suit his new fallen status where he would have to struggle to even make a meal or survive!
Since then, mankind has not only gotten more evil and rebellious but has followed the gods of this world in all its demonic activity, leading billions into the fiery pit of hell!
Creation has to continue to reflect this vile reality…and it does.  The Flood (Noah and the Ark); earthquakes, tsunamis, more floods, extreme climate and yes, tornados!

Jesus Himself warned in Matthew 24: 6-8 of these things! He said “6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come”.

This is the biblical background and the underlying reason we have, what we have as far as natural disasters! It had its roots in Original Sin!

Now many can choose not to believe this reasoning, but it is in the Word and I can defend it. However a better day is coming!
Just as we – those who have Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior and Lord – look forward to His Glorious Appearing, so does ALL CREATION!!! Yes, indeed!

The Apostle Paul was commissioned to bring Gentiles into the Kingdom of Heaven. He was PERSONALLY sent by the Lord Jesus after the Road to Damascus and three years in Arabia, learning directly from Christ.

Paul wrote the following prophesy in Romans 8:18-21
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay!!!!”

There is coming a day with NO Tornados, Tsunamis, Floods earthquake and death! And the same created universe itself, which the world worships (instead of the CREATOR), literally can’t wait!!

THE FINAL ANALYSIS:
We mortals will never understand any or much of this until we get to Heaven. Remember God says in Isaiah 55:8 “"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD.”And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine”.

We can never understand all those “CASE IN POINTS” at the beginning of this essay, but we have to Trust HIM….unless you have another way!
When you are wondering why God does not answer your prayers – Trust Him.
When you are asking “did I do something wrong” - Trust Him.
When you are thinking that God hates you – Trust Him.
When you are wondering if you really have any Faith at all – Trust Him.
When you pray and pray and beg and petition and cry out and you or a loved one is not healed or delivered ….
When you pour out everything you’ve got and there is total silence from Heaven……
When your spouse runs out on you and has an affair or decides they “don’t love you anymore”…….and THEY are the ones who seem to prosper……
When your ungodly conduct of a live-in boy- or girl- friend leads this person to refuse to commit and want only a civil union……
When you try to quit smoking or drinking beer…and only end up drinking and smoking more….
When your life appears to be going to a place you never planned for, but circumstances or the economy or…..
When all this adversity happens…..When the entire world seems to fall down on you…..Look in the mirror first.

Search your own heart to see what sin you have committed to keep God from blessing you. Seek counsel for those things you may not be able to understand from Scripture.
God will not hear the prayer of a sinner who wants Him to bless unbiblical conduct, or at least say it is okay. The Bible says in John 9:31: We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but He is ready to hear those who worship Him and do His will.

Life is not a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump says….the old 1970’s song said “I beg your pardon…I never promise you a rose garden”…and on and on. Many Christians – real or professing – think that because they are doing X or Y “for God”, everything will always turn out right. It will in Heaven. But while we are here on earth, when bad things happen, we may get hit by them too!

The Bible says that the rain falls equally on the Righteous (the Saved) and the Unrighteous (the majority) of the world (Matthew 5:45).
None of us love to see people hurting or killed and their lives and property completely destroyed, LIVE ON TV, by these tornados or massive waves coming off the ocean. But we can seek comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father has prepared a place for us, if we are READY to meet Him.

Tomorrow is promised to nobody. The rest of today is NOT either. If a person is not right with God, has not made peace with Him and therefore, does not have her/his sins forgiven….and if an earthquake destroys us right now, there is NO second chance or “oops…give me a mulligan, Jesus”.

Be ready to be called home at any time.
Be right with God.
Be reasonable when trying to figure out all this devastation in the natural world.  Mourn with those who mourn and rejoice when miracles happen.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” says the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:4…let us, who know Truth, then do the same when the rest of us believe “God does not care”.


Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


(Images courtesy Google Images from recent tornado damage in Indiana)






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