C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: Judgment or Prophecy

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Haiti, namely the enormous earthquake which has sent many a souls out into eternity, the notable Rev. Pat Robertson made the following comments according to CBS News.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," Robertson said. "They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.'"

The article then quotes Rev. Paul Raushenbush's words directed at Rev. Pat Robertson: "Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better," he wrote. "Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God. Haiti is suffering a catastrophe and you offer silliness at best, and racism at the worst."

So, we have a professing Christian declaring the judgment of God upon a nation he believes is reaping what they have sown by making ‘a pact to the devil’, while another Christian declares the judgment of God upon the first to send him to hell for his comments. Do we see that each of these individuals, while claiming Christianity, take the same ideals, with both having a seemingly lack of compassion? So, who is the better role model, declaring the ideals of Christ they both profess to believe and exercise? Is it the one who condemns the Haiti people to hell, or the one who condemns a fellow believer to hell? I scarcely can choose…

The scriptures are pretty clear about reaping and sowing, both in the positive and negative sense, regarding sin and good works. Yet, the scriptures equally reveal in the latter times there will be wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc. Scripture also speaks (in John 9) of a man born blind, whereby the disciples questioned Christ as to whether the meaning of the man’s blindness was due to the sin of himself or his parents. In this passage the disciples (i.e. believers) specifically asked Christ was the reason for the man being born blind due to the judgment of sin (whether his own or his parents). Christ’s answer was, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.’ Christ’s response was not to say that the man nor his parents had never sinned, but that the man’s blindness was based on the sovereignty of God and not sin.

I used to easily cast judgment myself, as similar circumstances such as Hurricane Katrina struck hard the city of New Orleans and elsewhere, but I have come to rather be more cautious in reserving my opinion of what may and may not be the judgment of God upon a person, people, or place. For it is true that individually whosoever ‘soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption’ and that ‘the wages of sin is death’; and though there is forgiveness of sin through Christ, there is still the chastisement of the Lord and consequences of sin which may affect us the rest of our days. And ‘we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together’ because of the sin and death upon the world because of corruption, along with the appointed ‘acts of nature’ the scriptures prophecy shall be and come.

Therefore, I must conclude, that we (as man) cannot so easily judge a person, people, or nation regarding the punishment of God; for it seems to me, there are those things which come upon us because of our sin, and there be those things which come because they must needs be to declare ‘the works of God’. This is not to say that we cannot see sin as sin, whether in ourselves or others, by the principles of the scriptures, but I am doubtful we can judge tragedy and death is always connected to the apparent sin or rejection of God by a certain person, persons, or place.

Case and point is thus: Take the homosexual, along with a faithful pastor. Both find themselves in the hospital, as the doctor declares to them they have inoperable cancer. The church prays fervently for their pastor, while there are no believers who even know the homosexual to pray for. The time comes; whereby the homosexual and the pastor die, and go out into eternity. Judge ye: if thus was judgment upon the one for the sin of homosexuality, what was the reason for the non-healing of the pastor, and how does one determine the difference?

So, in conclusion, if this earthquake is the judgment of God: is that to say that even the non-Haiti and professing Christians who perished, was because they too (or their forefathers) 'swore a pact to the devil'; they were just in the wrong place and the wrong time; they were being punished for helping the Haiti people; or when God judges He doesn't differentiate between the just and the unjust?

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John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.