Pulpit Reflections

Pulpit Reflections By Rev. Robert Grossmann The Great Tsunami with which 2004 ended is a direct challenge to every one of us about how we look at the world in which we live. How and why could such a terrible thing happen in a world created and ruled by a righteous and all-powerful God? But for the Lord Jesus Christ, such things are no problem at all, as He testifies in Luke 13.

The "problem" is not that a questionable God allows bad things to happen to good people, but in reality God's judgements upon a sinful human race are fully righteous because they are fully deserved, not just by the people who personally suffer but by all of us. The Lord Jesus Christ clearly answered the "problem of evil" by telling us we deserve to die because of our sins.

When asked about Pontius Pilate's cruel murder of certain Jews, Jesus said, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:2-3).

Then Jesus brought up a "natural disaster" in which "innocent" people were killed, and said the same thing about it, concluding again, "but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:4-5).

If the all-powerful Creator God is truly righteous, He will punish sin. Otherwise He becomes a partner in our sins by looking the other way (what is called in our criminal code being "an accessory after the fact"). When we deny the reality and universality of human sin, we lose touch with why all people die. Why do we have city police, county sheriffs, state police, and several national law enforcement agencies? Because we are so good? Hardly.

The good news of the Bible's gospel is, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins? If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar?" (1 John 1:9-10).

God delights in forgiving the repentant sinner who trusts in Christ, but none of us escapes the consequences of sin in this life, which includes experiencing death.

You and I can and ought to sympathize with the immense loss of life in the Asian tsunami and do whatever we can to help the survivors, at the same time realizing that it is far wiser to repent of our own sins and find forgiveness with God, rather than foolishly questioning His actions.

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