(Psa 55:8 KJV) I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
In the past few weeks names like Charley and Frances have become well known all around the world. These are the names of the two hurricanes which devastated Florida, Charley came in from the west and Frances came in from the east. At the time I am writing this, about 4 million people are without electricity and about 50 deaths occurred as a result of both hurricanes. Also as I write this, another category three hurricane, named Ivan, is heading toward the mainland of the USA and they are not sure where it will hit. Will Florida be hit for the third consecutive time? When you include the Florida Keys with Key West, it is the most southern portion of the United States and it is the only place in the United States where tropical conditions exist.
We see in Florida, Palm Trees, beautiful sandy beaches, real blue water and warm water to go swimming in. It is the land of Golf Courses and a tropical paradise where many people escape the harshness of the bone-chilling winters from the northern part of this country and I am sure many from Canada also come here to get away from the frigid temperatures. I know my late aunt and uncle went to Florida every winter for about twenty five years after they retired. They left in November and came back in May. They had a nice trailer home in Lantana. I also had another cousin who lived in Boynton Beach. Both places were ravaged by hurricane Frances. So if my aunt and uncle were alive today, they may not have been able to go there this winter with all the devastation from the storms. When I was watching the great exodus from Florida with the impending Frances approaching, I wondered why the Florida DOT did not make two lanes of Route 95 south into north bound lanes which would have given 5 lanes of escape instead of three.
The devastation of Florida serves as a spiritual reminder to us. Many people went to Florida to escape the winters but the devastating storms forced them to leave their winter refuge. Many go to Florida with the realization that there may come a storm which may destroy their homes. It is the risk they take when moving to a tropical paradise. How many people in the world have tried to escape from the reality of this world into drugs and alcohol? Worse yet, how many have tried to escape the coming judgment of God by becoming involved in religion. Many believe that if they just become religious and put on a dopey grin for the rest of society, then somehow God will accept them. There is coming a day which is going to be worse than any storm and that is judgment day. The people in Florida were given a way of escape and were given much warning through networks like the Weather Channel and NOAA. With the coming storm, people were given ample opportunity to escape to the north and to wait out the storm and then go back in and begin the clean up.
(1 Cor 10:13 KJV) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. In this verse, we read about God giving us a way to escape from our temptations. Yet, this verse carries a more ominous interpretation. The word “temptation” is the word “peirasmos” in the Greek which carries with it the meaning of a trial. What is the greatest trial that the world is going to experience? It will be Judgment day! (Rev 3:10 KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. The word “temptation” in Revelation 3:10, is the same word found in 1 Corinthians 10:13. The great trial that all will undergo, except the Elect of God, will be Judgment Day when they will stand there and give an account for their sins. The Elect were tried in Christ at Calvary and were declared not guilty because of His sacrifice.
At that day, there will be no escape because the day of salvation will be over. All those who chose to escape into the world of false religion will be held accountable for their sins. Those who chose to escape into the world of altruism will be held accountable for their sins. Those who chose to escape into the world of drugs or alcohol or pornography will be held accountable for their sins. Those who felt they were alright and mocked the gospel of Christ will be held accountable for their sins. There will be no escape from the Judgment Day which will reveal all the secrets of everyone. (Rom 2:16 KJV) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. What Day? Judgment Day!
However, at the present time, there is a great parallel between the approaching of Judgment day and the approaching of those hurricanes. The great parallel is that people are being given prior warnings. In the case of the hurricanes, it is only about a week or two, but in the case of Judgment Day, the warnings have been sounded forth for thousands of years. The Bible is dripping with passages that speak of impending Judgment. Most people think that they have plenty of time and can ponder these things when they get older. Keep in mind that before the two hurricanes came, fifty residents of Florida were alive, after the storms came, they were dead. Their time was cut shorter than they expected. On September 11, 2001, over three thousand people went to work and were probably preparing for a routine day. Their day ended at 10:20 AM and so did their lives. There is no such thing as waiting till I get older to ponder these things.
As these hurricanes are a reality, so is Judgment Day. You see when a hurricane is predicted and it is still way out in the Atlantic, people can claim that the storm is not here yet so they have nothing to worry about or they can say, “See how calm the waters are” and then go about their business failing to prepare for the inevitable event to take place. This is why people die in these storms because they feel they can sit it out and that the storm will not affect them. So many feel the same way about Judgment Day, they are confident in their own works and feel that they will be let into Heaven because they are such nice people. They fail to heed the early warnings they are given. They may be given a tract and mock. They may hear a broadcast and say the preacher is out to lunch. They may go to church just to try and make business contacts and will pay no attention to the message being proclaimed. They may claim the Bible is an outdated book and is not relevant. (Prov 30:33 KJV) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife. As far as I know, if you wring the nose, which carries with it the meaning of “press or squeeze,” you will definitely draw blood. If you churn milk, then you will get butter. These are two truths that even a Ph.D. can understand. I guess that is why God wrote some simple things in the Scriptures so that the overeducated will be able to understand.
As Christians, we must continue to sound the warnings to others. We do not know who God is going to save but evangelism needs to be a part of our lives, such as breathing is. We see people everyday escaping into things which will never hide them on Judgment Day. My personal belief is that we are very close to that time. There are no more prophetic signs to be fulfilled. The next thing we will hear will be the voice of the Lord on the clouds of Glory, which will usher in Judgment Day for the unbeliever and the glorified eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ for the believer. The day of escape is still open. Let us continually counsel people to not wait till the storm comes ashore before they prepare because all escape will be futile, some will prepare and the non-Elect will not. (Rev 22:11 KJV) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Millions will be uprooted from their personal escape plans and will be surprised that they are standing there for judgment. We come to God in God’s way, not our own personal way. (9/10/04)