A Few Questions Answered
If God is judging people through famines, floods, and earthquakes, then is it wrong for us, as God's representatives, to assist and relieve the suffering of those whom God is punishing?
No, absolutely not. We should realize that God loves everyone, including people He judges. As strange as it may seem to our ears, His judgment through natural disasters is actually an indication of His love. How can that be? Through the hardship and difficulties that natural disasters cause, God is warning people whom He loves that He is holy and judgmental, and that there is a consequence for sin. God allows temporal suffering in order to help people wake up to see their need for a Savior—in order that they might escape the lake of fire. That is love!
As long as people are still breathing, God is still showing them undeserved mercy and there is time for them to repent. Through our compassion and assistance, we can demonstrate God's love for people who are experiencing His temporal wrath, but who can be saved from His eternal wrath. Natural disasters are opportunities to reach out to the world for which Jesus died.
Isn't reaching people with the gospel the most important thing in this life? When we have an eternal perspective, the suffering of those caught in natural disasters is nothing in comparison to the suffering of those who will be cast into the lake of fire.
It is a fact the people generally become more receptive to the gospel when they are suffering. There are numerous biblical examples of this phenomenon, from the repentance of Israel during the oppression of neighboring nations, to Jesus' story of the prodigal son. Christians should view natural disasters as times when the harvest is potentially very ripe.
|Read the previous article in this series,
Obedience and Wisdom
This article is an excerpt from the book, The Disciple-Making Minister. The actual book itself may be ordered by visiting our online store. To view our copyright policy, click here. © 2013 by David Servant