The Lord rebuked some in his day for failing to recognise the spiritual significance of what was happening in the world around them and therefore guilty of not hearing God’s warning voice to them on a personal level. “Hypocrites! You can read the warning signs regarding weather, why do you fail to heed the spiritual warning signs all around you!” But isn’t this the great danger for us also, in our day?
No longer alarmed by anything
Perhaps our problem in the 21st Century is that we are so bombarded with bad news from all over the globe that we have become desensitized, and no longer alarmed by anything. Car or house alarms can ring loud and long but no-one takes a blind bit of notice. There is a great danger of our becoming detached and insular. “Another earthquake? Whatever.” “Another case of abuse? Whatever.” “Another shooting? Whatever”.
If we are unmoved, we can be sure that God is not, but is deeply saddened by His world that is peppered with disaster, disease & death. When some who were gathered around Jesus began to point the finger and suggest that those who had died in recent tragedies may have been under divine judgement, the Son of God was quick to spring it back to them and make them aware of their own sin and their own accountability before God. “Do you think they were more guilty than all the others…? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13: 4, 5)
The tragedy that occurred in Leicester last week appears to have impacted our nation in a way larger global disasters have failed to do. Certainly among the sporting world. The billionaire owner of Leicester City football club died dramatically alongside four other passengers just minutes after his helicopter lifted off from the ground after the game. Eyewitnesses spoke of the horror of seeing a huge fireball spiral down to earth. For the past week, sympathy, mourning and reflection have taken priority, as wealth and sporting honour have been put to one side. Each one of us has been powerfully reminded of our own mortality.
It is at such times we are reminded by the Lord Jesus Christ that all of humanity lives life on a level playing field.
‘There is no-one righteous, not even one’
‘There is no difference all have sinned…’ Romans 3:10; 23
Each one of us will give an account to God for our life here on earth – whether wealthy sinners or poor sinners – we all have sinned and in need of receiving the forgiveness only Jesus Christ can provide through his death for us on the cross, and he warns each of us personally, “Unless you repent, you too will perish.”
Recognising the times
Surely, we all stand in need of taking in what is happening before our eyes, with large and compassionate hearts for our broken, suffering world – men, women, boys and girls – just like us, in need of a loving, all-powerful Saviour. We each are called to interpret and understand the times and ensure that whatever else is happening in our troubled world, we ourselves are at peace with God our Maker, then boldly, urgently and tenderly pointing others to Jesus Christ. We just cannot duck the force of those words: “You can read the warning signs regarding weather, why do you fail to heed the spiritual warning signs all around you!”