Vol. 29, No. 2 February, 2005 A TSUNAMI WARNING
“There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering, said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they had suffered such things? I tell you, Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake also this parable. A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said He unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and found none, cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto Him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it and dung it. And if it bear fruit, well, and if not, then after that, thou shalt cut it down.”
Every one of us were certainly awed and amazed at the great tragedy when the Tsunami hit the shores of Asia earlier this month. Over 200,000 have lost their lives. Property damage is in the billions of dollars. People are looking for answers. WHY? Is the great cry of the ages when some tragedy of this magnitude strikes. When an earthquake strikes, the earth moves. The earth opens, and closes. If an earthquake strikes under the sea, as it did this month, such movement of the earth causes a great movement of the water. A great wave is sent out from the center of the quake. This wave is invisible on the surface. It is not seen until it begins to approach land. Then disaster for all those in it’s path. This is an act of nature. This reminds us that even the “Whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” (Ro. 8:22) Creation itself groans, waiting for the day of redemption when the earth is made anew. Let us take a few moments and look at the scene in our text in the Gospel of Luke. The thinking of many in that day was that some unusual calamity was the result of some Divine judgment. Jesus uses three things in this text to get their attention on their condition.
1. The Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (V1). This was probably the result of some disturbance in the Temple courts. Pilate sent soldiers to curb the situation, resulting in a bloody battle in the Temple area.
2. The tower in Siloam fell and eighteen were killed. This was probably another recent tragedy that had been the news of that day.
3. It is quite possible that Jesus had in mind the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD in the parable of the fig tree in v6-9. Jesus did not go along with the idea that these victims were more sinful than others. He simply stated that similar judgments were ahead of everyone. Jesus said “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Let us use this tragedy as a time to look at ourselves.
1. A TIME TO REGARD. The word “regard” means, to consider, to look at, to pay attention to. I was thinking about the indictment against the land in Isaiah’s day, “My people doth not consider.”(Isa. 1:3) Isaiah was trying to get the nation to see the awful Spiritual condition of the land. Totally polluted with idolatry. God was preparing a “Tsunami” a great army, a flood will be coming from the north to devour the land. An army called the Babylonians. Ample warning had been given. But the nation did not REGARD.
2. A TIME TO REFLECT. “Reflect” has to do with an image, such as looking into a mirror. Christ was saying, “Don’t look at these situations, or tragedies. Don’t try to figure these things out. Look at yourself. Look at your condition. Get your eyes on the real problem. If some great thing happened in your life today, if a Tsunami comes your way today, and it very well could come today, where will you be tomorrow? That’s the great question you must answer.
3. A TIME TO REPENT. Jesus warned, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” REPENT means, to change your mind. To change your mind about yourself, to change your mind about Christ, to change your mind about Salvation. Jesus is telling these that they must see themselves as sinners also. We must come to this place in our lives where we see ourselves as God sees us. “All have sinned.” Don’t look at some tragedy and say, “they must have been great sinners.” Judgment is ahead for all of us. A great “Tsunami” if you please. Judgment is coming. You MUST prepare. Repent, Change your mind about yourself, about sin.
4. A TIME TO RECEIVE. It is time for you to receive Jesus Christ. He is God’s only refuge in judgment. Those who are in Christ are eternally safe from all harm. The Bible is clear, “Today, if you will hear his voice.” ” Today is the day of Salvation.” When we wait, we usually wait until it is too late. It is too late when judgment comes. It is too late when Christ comes for His Church and you are not ready. NOW is the time to receive Christ. The warnings have been posted in the Bible. We cannot stand before God and say, “We had no warning.” Today, I am asking you to REGARD, to consider yourself, your condition, your destination. I am asking you to REFLECT, to see yourself. Don’t look at others, look at yourself. I am asking that you REPENT, to change your mind about yourself, about sin, about Christ. I am asking you to RECEIVE Christ as your only hope of Salvation. Judgment is coming. You will be safe in Christ. You may ask, “How then, do I receive Christ?” The best way is to tell Him that you receive Him. The Bible says, “Ask and ye shall receive.” The Holy Spirit of God is there, where you are. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. Call upon Christ today. Begin TODAY, to live FOREVER.
THINK ABOUT IT… wonder how many people would have responded to a warning that a Tsunami was on it’s way? I wonder.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS?It is no friend to the Christian. ? And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.? (1Jn 2:17)
After all the warnings that God has given, Have YOU listened to Him?