Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Storm is Coming. Am I Ready?

They say a storm is coming. One of the largest companies in town actually will be closed tomorrow because of the coming storm. I looked outside my window. The sky is blue, the sun is out, and it is a great day for January. I went outside and took a picture of the sky. What a beautiful day it is.

If one did not hear the weather report, he might not have any idea of the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures headed our way. Some might even scoff at the idea when looking at how beautiful it is outside. However, the warning has been issued. There is a storm headed this way. Some reports have said there would be nearly two feet of snow. Those that have taken heed of the warnings have stocked up on supplies for home.

I am reminded of biblical warnings of coming storms. The ultimate storm in the Old Testament was not a snowstorm, but a worldwide flood. No one survived except Noah and his family because they were faithful to God and therefore found favor with God. They obeyed God's instruction to prepare for the storm by building an Ark and were saved.

The ultimate storm in the New Testament will be a storm of fire and brimstone. This storm will destroy the entire world. It may not seem like it. Life is beautiful, the skies are clear, and the warning was given in scripture so long ago. It seems like a fairy tale to some people.

This reminds me of the passage in 2 Peter 3.

"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.' For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (2 Pet 3:3-7).

The next worldwide storm will not be a flood as in the day of Noah, but will be a storm of fire and brimstone. The flood will seem like a light sprinkle compared to the coming tempest of fire.

However, God has provided a way to prepare for this coming storm. As God saved Noah because he was faithful and obedient to Him, so we also can be saved if we are faithful and obedient to God. I am reminded of the passage in 1 Peter 3

"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him" (1 Pet 3:18-22).

God has provided a way to be rescued. As God saved Noah through the water in his faithful obedience to God, God saves us through baptism by the death and resurrection of Christ in our faithful obedience. Through Christ, God has provided a way to be rescued from the coming storm.

There may be those who may deny that there will be a storm just as they likely did in the days of Noah. One may be offended at the warnings and ignore them. One may discount the warnings and say that no storm is coming at all. No matter how vehemently someone may wish to ignore and discount the warnings, it does not change the reality of what is coming.

God loves us, therefore he has given us instructions on how to be ready for the storm when it comes. This will not be a snow storm, nor will it be a flood. It will be a storm of fire and brimstone. 2 Peter 3:10 says that the earth and everything in it will be destroyed. Through Christ, God will rescue those who are faithful and obedient to him. Only Christ can be our lifeboat that can survive the fire.

When I look up and see the blue sky, I need to be reminded that a storm is coming that will burn away even that blue sky. I need to be prepared for it by being faithful to God and obedient to his instructions just as Noah was. Our Lord is preparing a new heaven and new earth that has a beauty, magnificence, and glory that does not even compare with this.

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