It is interesting how every weather pattern, disease outbreak or earthquake becomes a judgment from God. Some – no, many people with no biblical understanding of judgment are somehow capable of labeling a judgment after the fact. As a Christian, I take great efforts to understand the difference between certain actions God takes or, more specifically, when He intervenes. I certainly expect individuals who profess to be Christians to understand the differences between judgment, blessing/cursing and discipline. Especially disconcerting are those individuals with no foundation of truth spewing garbage about hurricanes being Mother Nature’s judgments against mankind. Yeah, right, thanks for playing Who’s the Most Deceived Millionaire.
What I find particularly perturbing is Jim Bakker’s flagrant use of Hurricane Harvey to sell his survival product. People are mentioning “end of days” without understanding what that means and we have Bakker, a highly rated televangelist, taking advantage of people to sell his products.
On occasion, I have listened to Mr. Bakker and every time I find myself shaking my head. He sprinkles enough truth on top of his dialogues while peddling a product or latest book that people find little threads from which they hang every made up notion about what God is doing and is going to do. I will not claim to know God’s mind. I cannot know His mind. Obviously then, I cannot know the specifics about how He plans to fulfill prophesy. I am, however, aware of the signs of the times and what those signs represent on our timeline – that march toward the Rapture of the Church, the Great Tribulation and the Millennial Reign of Christ.
As I said, I cannot know the mind of God. But I can study His word and I can form a set of logical ideas about the characteristics of God’s judgments. The first time we find a judgment in the Bible is that of Adam and Eve. Here is what is consistent about God’s judgments:
- He foretells of judgment if a specific action is taken
- He is righteous to carry out justice (execute the judgment)
- Judgments have far-reaching devastation
We see the same characteristics surrounding the Great Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt and their gods (the ten plagues) and we are certainly warned of devastating and destructive judgments to come during the Tribulation.
Each judgment is clearly spoken of in advance. Adam and Eve were told they would surely die if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; God warned Noah 120 years in advance of the flood; Lot was warned to leave Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses warned of God’s judgment if Pharaoh did not let the Israelites go free. We also find great devastation in each case. The judgment of Adam and Eve, like the Great Flood, affected the entire earth and every creature upon it.
God also uses discipline but only for those nations who declare God as their Lord (Psalm 33:12). He also promises blessings and curses for certain actions regardless of God’s place in the nation: Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed (Genesis 12:3). I find it much more likely that God has removed His blessings of protection from natural events and disasters due to our (as a nation) displacement of God in our lives. Since God was removed from public schools and replaced with humanism, He has simply followed suit and removed His blessings.
This is why I find Bakker especially reprehensible. The problem is that there are many more like him. And, if you are a Christian watching all these signs in the heavens awaiting some great thing to be revealed, you are looking in the wrong place (see Colossians 3:1-2, key words “where Christ is sitting” for context). Those signs are not for us, they are for the unbelievers. The recent Four Blood Moons event netted millions of dollars for several evangelicals (example John Hagee) and a couple of Messianic Jews (Jonathan Kahn and Mark Biltz) in book deals and seminars.
I simply shake my head.