Beginning of Tragedies

Dear Brethren,

Why are there so many catastrophes today?  What is going on with all these hurricanes, floods and disasters?  Have there always been this many tragedies?  Where are we in the scheme of things?  What is the state of the Church of God?  What should we be doing as Christians?

Matthew 24:4-8  Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, earthquakes, and natural disasters in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Jesus could have just as easily said, “All these are the beginning of tragedies.”  This is exactly where we are today.  These are not the days to sit back and relax.  There are very rough days ahead, especially for the people of the Church of God.  The tribulation that is coming on the entire world is a God-send for the Church of God in that it is the final wake-up call to those whose zeal is cooling off.

The Church of God has gone into a lull – the lull before the storm.  The Church is not as dynamic as it was in the last century.  Many thought that Jesus Christ would have returned by now.  Many are thinking, Why hasn’t Jesus returned – “Our Lord delays His coming.”  Jesus tells us not to think that way.  Jesus said that as we near the very end-time, religious persecution, family betrayal, spiritual deception, tribulation and falling away from the love of God would be the norm, rather than the exception.

Matthew 24:33  When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Jesus is not delaying His return.  We, the people of God, need this time to develop spiritually.  God is showing us how to have Godly relationships with each other in His Church – the called out family of God.  Of course we realize that this calling from God is a tremendous blessing that we are privileged to be a part of – but sometimes we do not act like we know it.

We are witnessing the last days of the Israelitish nations.  If these remarkable nations do not return to the Creator God soon, every good standard defining our greatness will collapse.  Without God, no nation can stand.  All who believe in good morals will agree that the United States and Great Britain are in a horrendous moral degeneration.  As a result of this disintegration, we will face incredible challenges in the immediate future undreamt of.  Will the complete breakdown come in a sudden immense crash or an excruciatingly slow but sure demise?  What will be the impact on the members of the Church of God as society around them crumbles?

Within God’s Church we should be different from the world – but we are too much like the world.  The brethren in God’s Church are similar to the cultures we find ourselves embedded in.  As a result, as the world slides into oblivion, we find ourselves in a parallel decline.  Too often we seek to be accepted by the world, but we will not receive the approval of the world which only loves its own.  Jesus said:

John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Are we ashamed for people to find out how different we are?  Or, do we correctly understand what our duty and responsibility is?  All of us have often experienced how difficult it is to properly take a stand for Godly principles.  Do we boldly proclaim and stand for the truth?  Jesus said:

Mark 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

The correct thing for us to do now is to live by the principles Jesus Christ taught.  Godly Character comes only with standing-up for the truth of God.

We have an obligation to live our Faith as an example to a world desperately in need of what we have been given.  We are supposed to exhibit the attributes of true Christianity all the more as that day of Christ’s return draws near.

As we approach the tribulation, we are being given more and more opportunities to live our Christianity.  Yes, it is difficult to do so because the temptation to be like the world is becoming greater and greater.  Let’s never forget that God blesses those who practice and follow His way of life.

Deuteronomy 28:2  All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if you shall hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

On the other hand, tragedy, catastrophe, natural disaster and destruction follow those who break God's rules.  We have all seen lives ruined by any number of causes.  When people end up with broken lives, every time, the reasons can be traced back to violations of Godly principles.  God's perfect set of spiritual rules brings about all things good.  Defiance of God's spiritual law brings a breakdown of moral order.  The Bible refers to these results as, “blessings and cursings.” (Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28)

God led America and Great Britain into becoming the greatest and most powerful nations that have ever existed.  But now, America and Great Britain are experiencing the beginning curses that follow the rejection of God and His law.

Deuteronomy 28:45  All these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which he commanded thee.

Now that we, as nations, have chosen to set aside the perfect spiritual law of God, which is the foundation of society itself, we can absolutely expect to encounter increasing tragedies.

Sermon:  "Beginning of Tragedies"