I have heard a number of heartbreaking stories in regards to the floods we have had this past spring. Many families still need our prayers as they recover from the damage and in some cases, recover from the heartache over the loss of loved ones.
One of the sad cases concerning the loss of life happened not too far away. A county highway near Albert Lea was washed out one night by spring floods. A man was traveling down the road in the dark shortly after it happened and by the time he saw the washout, it was too late to stop. He was able to be rescued, but only because his vehicle landed on top of another that had went in before him. The driver of the first vehicle was not as fortunate. Ironically, he had given his life in order to save the live of the other driver without even knowing it.
Unfortunately this sad story does not end here. A few weeks later, before the road was fixed, a SUV drove around the barricades and crashed into the same washout. One of the passengers was killed shortly after the crash, another died later. In this sad story, it seems one of the barricades had been removed while the others remained to warn of danger ahead. Perhaps the drive did not realize how dangerous it was. Likely he did not know that the road was completely gone and that two of his passengers would die. I am confident in speculating that if he had known what would happen, he would never have gone down that road.
What if you were driving down that road? If I stood there in the middle of the road and waved my hands and warned you not to continue, would you listen, or would you just drive on by wondering what that crazy man was doing?
Today I must give a warning, not of a washed out road, but of the judgment of God. As a pastor, I love to talk about God’s love and mercy, but it is easy to put so much attention on His compassion for mankind, that we forget to warn that He is coming again to judge man. When Jesus Christ came to earth around 2000 years ago, He came not to judge but to save. Just as the first man who went into the washout was able to give his life for the second, Christ gave His life so that all sinners could be saved if they trusted Him. Unlike the man in the accident, Christ did it willingly because He loved the whole world.
Jesus came to die for us, and when He came, he said that He was not here to judge but to save. That was His purpose for coming then. He will have another purpose when He comes again, and He has promised to come again. He has already come to save, so when He comes again, it will not be to save but to judge. I must warn of that judgment, just as I would warn of a washout in the road, for the consequences will be even more serious.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” II Timothy 4:1.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalm 7:11
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27
Now I understand that many will ignore my warnings, just as the driver ignored the barricades, but I pray that perhaps some will heed the warnings and turn to God for forgiveness, and accept Christ as their only Savior so that they might avoid the ultimate judgment that leads to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15