Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Warning Won't Always Awaken

As many as 19 tornadoes ran through Kansas and into Oklahoma, leveling buildings, flipping cars, and bringing hailstones that resembled softballs in size. Dozens were seriously injured and others killed by the violent storms. That is not at all unusual for that part of the country. Tragically it happens all the time – and often far worse than this past round.

But what was interesting this time was that weather experts had predicted the large coming storms days in advance. Yes – that is days ahead! Not only that, they were almost accurate to within hours of the violent weather. The reason for the precise warnings was the technological advances, particularly the use of supercomputers, that can crunch vast amounts of weather related data and give meteorologists powerful new warning tools long before the funnels ever touch the ground.

Dick Elder, chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita, stated after the damage and deaths, "What is disheartening is to tell people for a week that something is going to happen, get warnings out and still have people lose their lives." It was a reminder of the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

When considering the results of this recent fairly small event, what must it feel like to the Creator God to have given specific warnings to all from the moment the first two people walked the earth - to simply be ignored? He warned the known world through Noah, a ‘preacher of righteousness’, that wrath was around the corner if repentance was ignored. The results of that warning need not be re-told to anyone who has spent even 2-3 months in a primary Sunday school class.

As one travels through the Scriptures, he finds that the Bible is a book of constant warnings. Pilate had his chance. So did Pharaoh, the Pharisees, and millions of common everyday people. That’s the tragic news and overall legacy of the race. The good news is that there is the “Good News”. Yes, God warns and judges. But God also enlightens and saves. He saved those who entered the ark. He preserved those who stood under the blood on the door posts at the Passover. And those who stand at the foot of the cross, through faith are saved and escape through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

For those who claim they have not been adequately warned, even on a biblical level, they need to consider their defense from what Romans chapter one teaches.

Verses 18 –23 in particular make it as plain as did the forecasters about the coming storms in Kansas. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” The description in Romans 3:11-18 makes the issue sound even worse in more graphically brutal language.

But for those who somehow resist suppressing that obvious spiritual truth, and eventually grasp the true solution to deal with the God’s fair warning of unimaginable judgement, it is the later chapters in Romans that can explain how to reverse divine judgement and renew their hearts and their eternal future.

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:20-23)

Bill Breckenridge

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