GOD BLESS YOU. Yes, that’s an interesting title and I hope it got your intention!
You may remember that at the beginning of the year or end of 2016 we issued a message called Message and Warnings about 2017.
I’m very happy we sent that out and this year has certainly proved that 2017 has been a special year of greater destruction, especially in the form of ‘natural’ disasters. I’d like to bring one small thing to your attention:
Many millions of people suffered in the disasters of the hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires in Florida, Georgia, Texas, California, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, New Zealand and Russia just to name a few!
However, in some cases of these countries or states, their infrastructure was so damaged that it will take many months for their normal living to return if ever.
The people of Puerto Rico for example, have been told that it may take as long as 8 to 10 months for their electricity to be restored! Just imagine! In a few hours’ worth of storm, their regular lives have been disrupted for many months! No electricity, no aircon on the hot island, no fridges working and many other things shut down. It’s almost like in a few short hours their whole way of life has been sent back by 100 years. That’s the ‘small’ thing I wish to bring to your attention and that we apply this to ourselves as fast as we can! Please go back and read the message we sent before and pray earnestly about it. All these disasters came very fast and in most cases completely unexpectedly!
Hurricane Irma Flooded Havana (Yamil Lageyyamil Lage/AFT/Getty Images)
The Lord is in control of each storm, earthquake and situation, where it goes and what happens depend a great deal upon our prayers and faith and our obedience to him. See Psalm 91. We should also ask Him to prepare us so we can be some kind of witness in these tragic events so that the people who have lost everything will find an opportunity to know Jesus and love Him in the middle of these disasters.
I believe 2017 is only a warning from God, an appetiser for the destruction of whole nations that is still going to come. This Bible verse shows at least that such events are in the Bible!
8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
9 I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known.
10 Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall.
So, we can at least understand these events most Christians know are judgements of God on people. We are often caught up in them, even though we ourselves may not be guilty of the sins of the nation.
This article is called ‘The two Judgments.’
The other ‘Judgment’ of this article is the verse, and it’s always been a comfort for me to realise the truth of this verse:
1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
The next verses also are useful:
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
‘Judgment must begin at the house of God’ that’s us. Why is that? It’s because God judges us or chastens us or allows severe trials to us so that ‘we should not be condemned with the world(ly people).’
It’s here in 1 Corinthians 11:31 and 32:
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Let us be aware that God purges us, and prepares us to be His children and even chastises us, to keep our hearts soft and tender and pure so we should be unblameable and unreproveable in His sight. That’s not easy for us to be unblameable, so often he has to put us through afflictions and tests, with the end results being that we should not be condemned with the world.
Thousands of homes and businesses that were destroyed by the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 11, 2017 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
We should really rejoice in this, all these tests, trials and purges and breakings. I’m more guilty of complaining but I really wish to change my mindset in this.
This year I wish to encourage you dear Christian to thank God for your purges and breakings and if you feel God’s hand is heavy on your life right now, ask Him to help you learn the lessons he has for you. Repent of any sins, forgive others, acknowledge Him in all your ways. You are going through this type of judgement 1 Peter clearly says, so that God won’t have to treat you like the ungodly, who have no desire or hunger for him. There are always ‘TWO JUDGMENTS’ going on at any given time in the world. JUST MAKE SURE YOU BELONG TO THE SECOND ONE.
God bless you with a great rest of the 2017.
Love in Jesus,
© Jerry Finch November 2017