"For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come" Hebrews 13:14
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13
Church of Christ of Struthers
Struthers Church of Christ
September 17, 2017
Does God Execute Judgment with Earthquakes and Hurricanes?
Recently we have been witnessing some incredible events in our natural world. Hurricanes and earthquakes and floods, and oh, I also heard something about an eclipse happening somewhere. With these events, there has also been some conversation through the media and other channels concerning their occurrence and what part God plays in it all.
Have you heard anything like this before? “God is punishing Texas with Harvey because they voted for Trump…”. And let’s not forget this one, though not associated with anything weather related – “9/11 happened because God is sending His judgment upon America for its ever-trending loss of Biblical morality”.
These statements do, in fact, beg the question: Does God execute judgment today on the physical world through natural calamities as a way of disciplining sinful humanity?
I believe the answer is unequivocally, “NO”.
Now to this someone might say, “What about Noah and the flood? Wasn’t that because of sin? Or, “What about the plagues of Egypt?”. Or, “What about the locusts in the book of Joel?” We could go on and on with similar examples. If we look at the Biblical record, there is no doubt that in times past God did, in fact, use nature to discipline or even completely wipe out particular nations. In truth, there has never been a time when anything in the universe was not at God’s disposal in the case that he did indeed want to execute His divine and just judgment on His created world. But it is my firm belief that since Christ came, and the Holy Spirit completed God’s revelation to the pages of the Holy Bible, that to say God is inflicting mankind with specific storms as a way of divine justice is not only irresponsible but nothing more than conjecture. Here’s why…
Nobody knows what is on God’s mind unless God reveals it (1 Corinthians 2:9-13). If God isn’t specifically explaining His intentions and activities, who are we to speak for God? To say God is doing this or that without Him saying so is really the sincerest form of blasphemy.
These statements people make about weather events or terrorism and God’s justice are also skewed to fit their own personal agendas. Far right-wing conservatives used Katrina to make expressions that suited their politics. Now far left-wing liberals are using recent events to do the same thing. It’s almost as if these terrible disasters that are killing people are being used as fuel by whoever is not currently considered “in power”. It’s grossly inappropriate, entirely uncompassionate, and it needs to stop…as if any-one will ever be “in power” but God anyway.
I remember, as a kid, hearing people say that the AIDS virus was invented by God to punish the gay community. As time has gone on, I have realized just how inappropriate and unhelpful that statement was. Are we willing to paint a picture of God that He Himself has not painted? While STD’s, in general, happen because of sexual immorality, God is not using viruses to make a statement. He has already said everything He needs to say about moral activity in His word. His appeal is instead the grace of Jesus, which has come to all to draw us into a lifestyle that loves and honors Him and Him alone.
And so, what about natural calamities? They have always been here and they will always be here. They are a reminder to us that this world is not our home and that earthly life is only temporary. They help us to count the good days as blessings and be prepared for the true Advent of our Lord because “He sends His rain to fall on the just and the unjust, and because, “Behold He cometh with clouds…”.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age.”
Titus 2:11-12 -Jeremiah Tatum via Legacy of Faith
VENISHIA MICLEA was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack. The cardiologist said it was not a heart attack and she was to follow up with an office visit. Her blood pressure was extremely high, so her family physician changed her medication.
SARAH JAYMZ is being treated for a shoulder injury.
TERRIE MAMOUNIS is back from Philadelphia. She is now on oxygen 24/7, is diabetic and has C-Diff. She will return to the cancer center in Philadelphia in October for more testing and procedures.
MARGE JANOSIK will undergo back surgery on September 25 at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron.
Continue to pray for: Bonnie Amrich, Graeme Baker, Ed Benson, Heather Clinkscale, Ralph Clinkscale, Brandon Covan, Cassidy Covan, Connor Covan, Justin Covan, Al & Dorothy Davis, Doug Firm, Betty Georgaris, Jim Georgaris, Lou Hall, Barbara Hincke, Sarah Jaymz, Terrie Mamounis, Audrey Moss, Robert Naples, Sue O’Mellan, Doug Shodd Sr., Mary Shodd, Socie family, Chuck Wilt, and Betty Zahniser
Help Needed: If you wish to help with the relief effort for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, please make checks out to the church and put Hurricane Harvey on the memo line. We will be collecting funds for a couple of weeks.
ADDRESS: You may write to Jeremy Firm at this address. He can only receive letters…no cards.
R CT Firm, Jeremy A.
Platoon 2090 2nd BN B CO
P.O. Box 16255
Parris Island, SC 29905-6255
PANTRY: noodles, cereal, cooking oil, jelly, dish soap, toilet paper: Cash donations may be given to Brent Covan who will shop for you if you don’t have the time.
FELLOWSHIP: The month of November is still open for someone to plan an activity. The sign-up sheet is on the small bulletin board.
CHAPERONE NEEDED: Cindy Wilson has volunteered to chaperone our Youth Group to the Youth Rally at North Hills in Pittsburgh. Please sign up ASAP.
We still need a chaperone to the Girls Youth Rally in Columbus on September 30 for girls in 4th-12th grade.
Did you know each day in America…
65 babies die before their first birthdays.
167 children are arrested for violent crimes.
384 children are arrested for drug crimes.
690 babies are born to teenage mothers.
874 babies are born with low birth weight.
1,151 babies are born into extreme poverty.
These are just a few of the reasons why Potter Children’s Home & Family Ministries is promoting the Day of Prayer & Giving for children. Please plan to be part of this day! We hope to have churches of Christ from coast to coast praying for the children of the world.
LADIES DAY: Columbiana Church of Christ is hosting a Ladies Day on Saturday, October 7, from 10:00-1:00. Lunch will be provided. Pleasae sign up if you plan to attend. They will need a count from us.
September 17-20… GOSPEL MEETING at St. Clair Avenue Church of Christ in East Liverpool – Terry Jones from Pennsboro, WV is the speaker. Check the flyer for more information.
September 18… YSU BIBLE STUDY @ 7:00pm
September 22-23…20th ANNUAL YOUTH RALLY at North Hills congregation in Pittsburgh – Teens, sign up ASAP.
September 22-23… SILENCING OF GOD in AMERICA SEMINAR at Streetsboro – Dave Miller from Apologetics Press is the speaker. See the flyer for more details.
September 24-26… GOSPEL MEETING at Lisbon congregation
September 29-30… INMAN FORUM @ Ohio Valley University
September 30… 20th ANNUAL LADIES INSPIRATION DAY at Southern Hills congregation in Salineville – Registration and mini breakfast from 9:00-10:00am. Lunch will also be served.
September 30… GIRLS YOUTH RALLY (4TH-12th grade) at Fishinger & Kenny congregation in Columbus – The topic is Esther: The Courageous Queen of Persia. See Norma if you can chaperone this trip.
October 7… LADIES DAY at Columbiana from 10:00-1:00; lunch will be provided. See flyer for more details.
October 14… MEN’S BREAKFAST at Columbiana – 8:30am
October 14… ACAPPELLA BARBERSHOP CONCERT at Dover – see flyer for more details
October 14-15… 8th ANNUAL GREATER MIDWEST LECTURESHIP in Dayton, Ohio – See flyer for details
October 22-26… WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOL OF PREACHING 23rd ANNUAL VICTORY LECTURES hosted by Hillview Terrace Church of Christ in Moundsville, West Virginia
October 29… DAY OF PRAYER for abused and neglected children sponsored by Potter Children’s Home. 1,546 children die each year due to neglect and abuse. That does not count the children who live through it and bear the physical and emotional scars. The home encounters these children and is also requesting that we give all or part of that 5th Sunday contribution to help these children or that we take up a special collection. They would like our worship that day to focus on children and these problems.
Did you study your Bible this week?
Did you contact a member to encourage them?
Did you invite someone to worship?
Our “service” starts when we leave these doors!