Friday, March 11, 2011

The Earthquake -- A Reminder

As I was watching video from this morning's earthquake in Japan, I was thinking about how massive the earth must be when an earthquake of that magnitude can do so much damage and yet I not feel it here in Michigan. I've been in only one earthquake and that was a very minor one in Illinois of all places. I was in the language lab on the 3rd or 4th floor of Blanchard Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Wheaton College. When the earthquake hit, the headsets all started swinging back and forth and since it was such an old building we all thought it might be best to head for ground level. But just as fast as it hit, it was over.

All of this contemplation of earthquakes also reminded me of the verses in Haggai 2:6-7 where God says, "For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts." Imagine the power of God when you witness the power of the large earthquake in Japan. God says He is going to shake heaven and earth. In Mark 13:24 God says, "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."

Whether we like to believe it or not, God is at some point going to judge the world. I'm not saying today's earthquake has anything to do with that. I'm saying it is a reminder that God with his power is going to shake everything and it will not be pretty. Sin is a taboo word in our culture, but God is displeased by our conduct. The great news is that Jesus Christ took the punishment for us and is willing to grant us forgiveness based on Christ's death in our place. God can thus be just and forgiving at the same time.

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