Over the last month various hurricanes, fires and earthquakes have hit our continent. The power of these storms/fires and earthquakes are so serious and devastating hundreds of thousands are affected ( if not millions) in terms of their living such as food, clothing, homes and jobs. The question put to all of us "What is God doing?" I do not think I am far off to speak clearly about a few implications concerning these disasters.
These storms/earthquakes do send messages.
They do represent greater and more terrible judgments to come.
They do have causation not located in mere philosophical naturalism.
These disasters are messages. They are not final messages as though all the book of revelation is now being fulfilled or all the prophecies are finding a consummation in recent events. But they are fire drills. God's attention getting means when wicked men are ignoring their Creator and Savior and when the Church is in many places and many ways asleep at the wheel.
The Church is not inviolable, it will feel the ravages of storm, fire, earthquake and devastations. The wrath of God is not directed against his people, but they are neighbor and friend to the ungodly and Jesus has no problem putting his saints anywhere he wants them in any situation he desires for he is the true seeker of men and the Lord of his Church. There are many messages that can be understood from these disasters and one of them is the Church expresses love, giving and help to itself and the lost with compassion, the gospel and human care. A million situations' where created by God when putting thousands out of their homes and this brought the Church and the lost in close proximity whereas they in so many ways were insulated from each other.
Some who have the luxury of distance and skepticism see only the disaster, God knows what he is going to accomplish in all of this, we do not, but by faith we pray for our brothers and sister, help, send money, send goods or go ourselves. We can with eyes of faith see unity, hope, faith and love. If we cannot, its not because all those things are absent, its because our hearts are hard. All the more reason for such messages.
The Message that these are precursors, fire drills, test runs for the Church where in the last days our survival will depend upon the godly acting godly and the believer believing God. For those of us who escaped a summer of calamity praise God for it, because we are not out of God's reach and it does not cost Jesus the expense of a miracle to put where you and I live into this same predicament.
If the pastors and teachers will believe God speaks through these, they may warn their congregations, warn their lost, pray and believe in earnest for God to give them courage to lay down their lives for others because God's temporal judgments are never his last word. God has a gospel and we are to declare it. They who reject that gospel born by those who sacrifice like Jesus, love like Jesus, believe and offer themselves like Jesus can truly be said to be rejecting Jesus directly.
God never broad brushes, even in speaking to the Church in Asia, each church had its own issues and each one given a reward for overcoming...which we all can receive for we are flesh and blood and spirit and soul as they were and we now must hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.
God causes all these things. Philosophical Naturalism, that philosophical tenant that regards all natural events as coming from natural causes and behind those natural causes are nothing more than natural laws and principles intrinsic to themselves.
The godly man knows that weather and dirt are instruments in God's hands, the righteous know God can use fire or flood, earthquake or storm, famine or pestilence, disease or wars. All of these seem to be ordered of mans sin and ordered of earthly and natural causes. But God places fire in a bush to introduce himself, he brings down fire to consume a sacrifice to declare himself, he places fire on believers heads to validate his divine empowerment and indwelling. Fire, water, earth are all instrumentality and the discerning, godly and prayerful man and woman look past the humanist pretending. Humanism refuses God's intervention even when deep in their hearts they know he will judge them. Humanism injects every kind of lie to hide God's face and remove God's word from their minds because they know and they understand deep within them he lives and he must be dealt with.
We do not succumb to humanist explanation and naturalistic answers. For in excluding God from the disaster, that very thing gives Satan power to introduce the thought into our hearts..."all things are as they were, there is nothing to fear, no prayers need be made, no earnest and diligent efforts to win the lost need be promoted...we are safe and so are they".
You see, though the disaster is not final, the message to the Church is not the last one, the work we need to do is still needing to continue, our perseverance must continue, God's ways are above our ways and his thoughts higher than ours Isa. 55.
We are vulnerable because Jesus was vulnerable, we are in danger because Jesus was in danger, we are weakened, we are attacked, we are resisted and discouraged because Jesus was met with all kinds of persecutions, lies and resistance. We are not above our Lord, we are not isolated from the lost world we have been sent into it so that in any and all circumstances Jesus Christ is there alive and well in us and through us to reveal the God who Saves.