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Stop Calling Natural Disasters God’s Judgment

It happens every time there is a natural disaster. Some “godly” person says that this tragedy is God’s judgment on the sinful people. From the hurricane in New Orleans, the tsunami in Asia, a tornado in Minnesota, and the earthquake in Haiti, everyone is quick to say that God is judging. But no one says that when it happens to them. These religious people only say this when disaster strikes somewhere else.

Please stop. Stop being arrogant and self-righteous. We are all sinners. Stop acting like “we” are godly and “they” are sinful and deserve judgment. We deserve God’s judgment. I deserve God’s judgment. All people deserve God’s judgment. There is no one who is righteous, there is no one who is good, not even one (Romans 3). These disasters are simply the consequences of living in a fallen world. Be grateful that the calamity was not where you live. Pray for those who are affected and are suffering. Help those who are in need in crisis. When the hurricanes blew through south Florida five years ago, we were very grateful for the prayers, generosity, and support of Christians throughout the country. Prayers, generosity, and support should be offered for any disaster in any place around the world.

The message is not that God is trying to kill or judge the sinful right now. Such an idea breaks far too many scriptures like 2 Peter 3:9. However, one message ought to be clear: we never know when our time on earth is over. Do not assume that we have next year, next month, or next week. Turn to Jesus and live for him while you can.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:13—14; ESV)