Posted by Dean Paulson

Consider these natural disasters; Gulf Coast, Indonesia, Haiti, New Zealand, Peru and now Japan.  When these natural disasters occur there usually are two responses from the Christian community and the church. One deals with judgment and the other the second coming of Christ. Unfortunately both presume that we know the mind of God in regard to his judgments and His return.  And usually someone from the Christian community who has access to the media tends to proclaim that they know that this is God’s judgment on a nation or people.  Another response is that the end is near so get ready.  Now it could be those things? The problem is you and I don’t know.

What is a biblical and Christian response to what is happening in Japan?  I think Jesus tells us in Luke 13:1-5Luke 13:1-5

 1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (NIV 2010)

Our response to what has happened in Japan and all natural disasters should be that we repent.  The point is not are they being punished for their sins or is the end near.  Jesus tells us what we should think when we see these things.  We should think that they are no worse sinners than we are so we should repent lest we to perish.

When we see these things happen I would encourage us to not put much energy into reflecting on if this is the end or reflecting on are these people being punished. These are simply distractions that keep us from focusing on what we should do.  We should reflect on our own state and spend time in repentance.  Then after we repent we should get up off our knees and become the hands and feet of Jesus and help those in distress. 

I recommend giving to the Red Cross (redcross.org) or the Samaritans Purse  (samaritanspurse.org).

Let’s put our time and energy into what we do know is the mind of God.  Through our own repentance and open hands to help those in distress, God will turn a natural disaster into something that will glorify his great and holy name.

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