12th December 2016

Natural Disasters Allowed By God

“Why does God allow natural disasters, i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis?”Answer: Why does God allow earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, mudslides, and other natural disasters? Tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2008 cyclone in Myanmar, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami near Japan cause many people to question God's goodness. It is distressing that natural disasters are often termed "acts of God" while no "credit" is given to God for years, decades, or even centuries of peaceful weather. God created the whole universe and the laws of nature (Genesis 1:1). Most natural disasters are a result of these laws at work. Hurricanes, typhoons, and tornados are the results of divergent weather patterns colliding. Earthquakes are the result of the earth's plate structure shifting. A tsunami is caused by an underwater earthquake.The Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ holds all of nature together (Colossians 1:16-17). Could God prevent natural disasters? Absolutely! Does God sometimes influence the weather? Yes, as we see in Deuteronomy 11:17 and James 5:17. Numbers 16:30-34 shows us that God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin. The book of Revelation describes many events which could definitely be described as natural disasters (Revelation chapters 6, 8, and 16). Is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Absolutely not.In much the same way that God allows evil people to commit evil acts, God allows the earth to reflect the consequences sin has had on creation. Romans 8:19-21 tells us, "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." The fall of humanity into sin had effects on everything, including the world we inhabit. Everything in creation is subject to "frustration" and "decay." Sin is the ultimate cause of natural disasters just as it is the cause of death, disease, and suffering.We can understand why natural disasters occur. What we do not understand is why God allows them to occur. Why did God allow the tsunami to kill over 225,000 people in Asia? Why did God allow Hurricane Katrina to destroy the homes of thousands of people? For one thing, such events shake our confidence in this life and force us to think about eternity. Churches are usually filled after disasters as people realize how tenuous their lives really are and how life can be taken away in an instant. What we do know is this: God is good! Many amazing miracles occurred during the course of natural disasters that prevented even greater loss of life. Natural disasters cause millions of people to reevaluate their priorities in life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid is sent to help the people who are suffering. Christian ministries have the opportunity to help, minister, counsel, pray, and lead people to saving faith in Christ! God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies (Romans 8:28).19 April 1995 In Oklahoma City, a truck bomb placed there by terrorists, exploded, killing 168 innocent people. The shock of such a evil act had left the American Nation shocked. Four days later one of the greatest evangelists Billy Graham, did the memorial service and was asked . "Why does these things happen" . Here the one person of whom it might rightly be said "he speaks for God" would explain to them "Why God would have allowed this to happen"

With a deep and honest sadness in his eyes he said. "I don't know, but I do know this, when pain comes, because there is a God in heaven who loves us, we do not have to walk through any dark valley alone.

“Why does God allow trials and tribulations?”Luke13:1-4A Call to Repentance 1 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 "Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?" Jesus asked. "Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too."

Jesus was asked about these two "current events" One was an act of political oppression, in which Roman soldiers slaughtered members of a religious minority, the other a construction accident that killed eighteen people .

Jesus did not explain why those two tragedies occurred, but He did make one thing clear "They did not occur as a result of specific wrong doing, Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee because they suffered this way?" Not at all!" Said Jesus And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? "No, "Said Jesus again. No grieving relative need to stand around wondering what brought about the sad happenings. Jesus makes it very clear that the victims had done nothing unusual to deserve their fates. They were the same as every one else. He doesn't say it, but perhaps the tower simply fell because it was poorly built. I believe Jesus would have replied similarly to the 168 innocent people that died from that truck bomb tragedy." Do you think that "Were they the worst sinners inOklahoma City ? This was the doing of a terrorist and these people happened to be there at the time.

But Jesus does not stop there, He uses both tragedies to point to eternal truths relevant to everyone . And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And follows with a parable about God's restraining mercy. The parable of the barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9)

Jesus implies that "bystanders" to such disasters have as mush to learn from the event as do the victims. A tragedy should alert us to make ourselves ready in case we are the next victim of a falling tower or an act of political terrorism. Catastrophy joins victim and bystander together in a call to repentance, by reminding us of how short life really is.

We should not always look back and ask why . Maybe God isn't trying to tell us anything specific each time something happens that hurts. Pain and suffering are part of this world, and Christians are not exempt. Suffering offers a general message to all, that something is wrong with this planet, and that we need radical outside intervention. unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.

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