Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Are the Warnings all Hype for Naught?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

Weather Warnings
We get a lot of weather warnings these days.  Even today as I write this we are being told about the possibility of “cold weather funnels” that do little damage and rarely reach the ground.  This last week we were told that we might get 80 mile an hour winds and baseball sized hail.  For those who got these storms, the warnings may have saved the lives of the people who made sure that they had a roof over their heads when the hail came.  But the warnings didn’t save property.  There was nothing that could be done to spare the houses that had the roofs destroyed, the siding ripped off and the windows broken.  

Frankly, my wife and I tend to tune the warnings out.   We live in a manufactured home with no basement; and by the time a tornado siren is sounded, it is usually too late to go to the only shelter on the court where we live.  When we have tried to go, cars have been parked in the road and one has to walk at least a block to get to the shelter which is usually pretty full.  So in the 14 years we have lived here, we tried the shelter about twice and now we roll over and go back to sleep.  We have had some hail damage, but no one that we know has had serious wind damage in our court.  So the warnings are pretty much ignored.  After all, I have lived a good number of years and have only seen two live tornadoes.  I figure the odds are much better that a car accident or heart attack or cancer is going to plague us than that a tornado is going to hit us.  So we simply don’t listen to the warnings anymore.  As one of my friends told me last week about their storm warnings, “It was all hype for naught!” 

Biblical Warnings
While I don’t take weather warnings as seriously as I should, I do take the Bible warnings seriously.  We know that there are two events for which all of us need to be prepared. One of the events about which we are warned and  that has caught the attention of many has to do with the rapture of the church.   After the rapture, the Lord will usher in a period of earthy judgments on the world that rejected the Lord.  The believers will be spared, they will be in heaven.  But those who are left behind will find out how bad God’s wrath is.  The first part of this period may be when people think that they have “peace and safety”;  but for these people, their earthly destruction is sudden. 

Most people just don’t take the warnings about the Lord’s coming seriously.  One of the reasons for this is that everyone who preaches prophetically has a little different interpretation of how the end times will play out.  Instead of dealing with the principles that are clear, they deal with detail that isn’t.  People set dates for the Lord’s return and point to certain events that are supposedly the fulfillment of prophecy.  But when the Lord doesn’t come, the warnings become so much hype.

Here in the US, we are fairly smug.  We think we are safe and most of us think the Bible warnings can be ignored.  Even Peter tells us that in the last days mockers will ask “Where is the promise of His coming?”   Most people think that the Bible is all hype for naught! 

The other warning has to do with the certainty of death.  In the last few weeks, I have been reminded that many people die with their boots on.  They get up in the morning and by evening they are in eternity, never to return to their family and friends.  I believe that Luke 16 makes it pretty clear that self-satisfied, self-centered people who reject the Old Testament prophecies about the Lord are doomed forever.   People who in this life have realized that the only way to be prepared for eternity is to trust in the One who has been rejected by this world will be able to enter heaven.  Trusting in the death of Christ reconciles them to God.  Even though they are sinners, their sins are forgiven.  They will be the wise who listened to the warning.  The foolish think it is all hype for naught.

We Need to Listen When God does the Warning
No one likes to speak of judgment and wrath.  We like to speak about mercy, truth and grace.  Today we can enjoy the grace and mercy and truth of the Lord.  We can be saved.  But we shouldn’t assume that true Biblical warnings are all hype for naught!
Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 8, 2014

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