Why do we even have to look for a reason or scripture to justify this? To bad we all can't use the time and resources were using, looking for a reason or justification through scripture, to pack up some water,food,etc. to send to these folks, or even pack ourselves to go help, I think God would appreciate that more. I don't think the folks of Joplin are looking for reasons or scriptures to provide them with any justification or closure, they are looking for whats most important, getting their lives back together. Why does it seem that every disaster that happens, most Christians have to jump on the "this is why" band wagon, if we all really trust in God and know he is in total control, what do we have to prove? and who are we trying to prove this to, ourselves? No one really knows the "why" anyway, were all just guessing, unless you have God figured out, and if you do, please disregard the above.
Just because God is the source of everything and in control does not mean He wills and desires everything that is going on under his watchful eye.
Mackaymarsh,Hey brother you must of missed my last post where I said my posts were not directed at you but just in general.Blessings to you I am not doubting your salvation!I posted many posts but just in general mostly for anyone to read and understand.I think I will bow out of this discussion because I have no intention to offend but only to exalt our Lord Jesus.Blessings to you all!
OJ, to your excellent post I wish to add from the book of Amos Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. God knows where every rain drop falls because he directs it. He created it and he controls it.My understanding of tornados, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. They are nothing more than God's Rod and for His children it means only good.WS
Indeed you are right. There is no debate as to the source of the devastation. It was not God. Amen and amen. I say again what I've said throughout this thread, there is not a single ***New Testament*** example of God treating judging men en mass via natural disasters or some other such calamity. Obviously the destruction of Jerusalem was not the handiwork of God as Christ said He longed to protect them, but they would not allow it. (MATT 23:37) Certainly there are numerous examples in God's dealings with men under the Old Covenant that could prove this point. The problem, however, is the cross. After the Cross, we never see God dealing with whole cities and nations this way. Individual people? From time to time. Masses of people? Never. Why is this? Because in Christ, the whole of humanity was judged and is now existent in what Christ called the "year of the Lord's favor" and what Paul called the "time of God's favor & the day of salvation". God is no longer counting men's sins against them, but has reconciled them to Himself through Christ. Have all believed and received this reconciliation? Absolutely not. Yet still, God is not treating men according to their sins. It has only been those who have openly attempted to impede the progress of the Gospel that God has treated in harsh ways (Herod, Ananias & Sapphira, Simon, Elymas, Saul before his conversion, etc...). The fact that such scenarios do not take place post-calvary says quite a bit. Furthermore, the Scripture is clear that the Father's nature is NOT perfectly revealed to us through Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, etc... Instead, the writer of Hebrews tells us that the Father's heart and nature is perfectly expressed through the life and demeanor of Jesus Christ the Son: 1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being... (HEB 1:1-3)Christ affirms this truth in John 14:9, when He declares to Phillip that to behold Him was akin to beholding the Father. What does this mean? That Christ was the unveiling of the personality of Father God. Where do we find Christ releasing fire, brimstone and wrath upon cities and peoples? Nowhere. We find Christ weeping over Jerusalem's refusal to receive Him and thus be protected from the onslaught to come in AD 70. We likewise find Christ speaking against the unbelief of Korazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon and Capernaum in Matthew 11:20-24, yet He does not declare that natural disasters and/or physical calamities will be their undoing. Rather, He speaks of the coming day of judgment, which will come only after the "year of the Lord's favor", the New Covenant era. In other words, even to these unbelieving cities, their judgment would come not until the day of judgment. Why bother saying this? Because if Christ is the exact representation of the Father...His Word made physical, why didn't He act against these cities the way our imagined God acts against cities? Where were the tornadoes, the hurricanes, the earthquakes? Why didn't Christ call fire down from Heaven like Elijah? Because that is not the heart of God towards these men. He gives them space to repent and believe, and will withhold His judgment until the "day". But perhaps the most dramatic and poignant examples of Christ displaying the Father's mercy, is found in Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village. (LUKE 9:51-56)Did you see that? The disciples fully expected Christ to comply with their request and to act in a fashion similar to Elijah. "Let's call down fire on those unbelievers!" And yet, Christ rebukes them for their harshness and lack of understanding concerning God's heart and Christ's mission. Christ actually tells the disciples that their words find their genesis in a spirit other than Gods...only one other choice brothers. Christ simply states that He did NOT come to destroy men's lives via disaster and calamity, but to save them. Now remember, in all of these things Christ is being what Hebrews 1 speaks of. That is, He was perfectly showing us the heart of the Father. If you've seen Jesus' actions towards unbelieving and even outright wicked societies, you've seen God the Father's actions as well. With that being said, could you picture the man Jesus Christ ordering a devastating tornado upon the citizens of Joplin? Could you imagine the man Jesus conjuring up a furious earthquake in order to bring Japan to their knees? I for one can't, as it's opposite His nature revealed to us in the Gospel. Now, I could picture Zeus, Poseidon, Dagon or some other such pagan entity behaving in this manner, but not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Friends, we must distinguish better between covenants. When we only study the prophets, we are missing the whole point. Peter tells us that these very prophets longed to be a part of what we are a part of, and were, in fact our servants. They were not satisfied with the understanding and knowledge of God that they had, and why should we? They longed to see Christ in the flesh, and to behold God as He truly is. They longed to feast at the revelatory table that is the epistles of Paul, but could not. For us to neglect the revelation of God given us in the Gospel, and settle for an understanding of God that even those who had it longed to move beyond is a crying shame. Behold Christ and behold the Father. What does He have for Joplin? Forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption...not tornadoes.
Has twayneb (Travis) checked in?
Isn't Joplin a major center for entertainment in the Midwest? I find it interesting that the Lord has hit several major entertainment centers in the US over the past several years. I was just wondering where would hit next and now I know. In light of that, I would recommend any who are stuck in fear by these things to listen to part 5 of America's Last Call by David Wilkerson.
I have to agree with OJ on this one. A god who is not in complete control over all the elements is a god who is not worthy of worship IMO. God does allow the devil to exercise some power but it is still God who is in control, ordaining all things according to His purposes. He is not some passive weak god who is subjected to his creation. He is the Almighty who reigns over all things. He uses even the devil to accomplish His purposes, though we may not fully understand how that works at times.
I have bowed out of this discussion but I thank God that you are safe Travis. Praise God He protected and brought you through the storm. Praying for you all as you deal with the aftermath of the devastation that hit your area, your family, friends and neighbors.Let us know how we can help!In Christ Love,rbanks
I am glad to hear you are alright Travis. Sorry to hear about your friends and son they will be in my prayers.I have been through two tornado in my life(thankfully not nearly as bad) and they are a terrifying thing to be in. One thing I have been thinking about with all of these storms and the floods hitting the Midwest is that very soon they may be effecting all of us as many farms that supply food to everyone are being destroyed also. Many, many peoples whole lives are being turned upside down, we need to be in prayer for them and to look to Jesus. He is the only answer!!God blessmj