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"There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.'" Luke 13:1-5

Many ask why God would allow diseases, disasters and tragedies -- even such a disease as the coronavirus which has infected thousands and thousands -- which cause many to die.

As a sinful human being with a very limited understanding of the ways of God, I will not presume to speak on His behalf and try, as some have done, to explain God's reasonings for permitting such things to occur. I will, however, let God speak for Himself if any care to listen.

Death itself is a part of the curse brought upon this world and all of us because of our sin and disobedience to God's commandments. After our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned in the Garden of Eden, God told Adam, "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return" (Gen. 3:19).

Moses, in Psalm 90:7-10, says, "For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

In Luke 13, Jesus was told of certain Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. Jesus asked, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Applying Jesus' words to those who have suffered or even died from disease or tragedy, were these people worse sinners than others, including us, who have, at least not yet, suffered such tragedy? Jesus said, "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

In 2 Peter 3, the Bible speaks of God's final judgment upon this earth, and we learn why it has not yet occurred. Verse 9 explains: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

The reason God allows this sin-filled world to go on a little longer despite the evil in it, and the reason God allows us to live on a little longer in this world in spite of our sinfulness, is because He does not desire our eternal condemnation but that we repent and look to Him for mercy and forgiveness in the crucified and risen Christ Jesus.

And, think about it! Tragedy and disease could also strike right here at home. We cannot claim we are any less guilty of sin. We certainly deserve God's wrath and punishment for the millions of unborn we have killed and continue to kill, for disregarding the teaching of God's Word regarding marriage and God's creation of male and female, for failing to teach our children to know the Lord God of the Bible and to trust in Him, and for all our own individual disobedience and sin against His commandments.

The only reason God has not already judged and condemned us is that He "is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

Psalm 90 goes on to say, "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (v. 12).

So, perhaps -- no, most definitely -- we ought to use the remaining time God has given us in this world to consider what He has told us in the Bible, to repent of the sin and evil in our lives and to seek the forgiveness God offers and promises to us through faith in the holy life and the innocent suffering and death of His Son!

O merciful God, forgive my disobedience and sin for the sake of Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of all and teach me to walk in Your ways and live for You in accord with Your holy Word. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Religion on 03/19/2020

Print Headline: Unless You Repent You Will All Likewise Perish

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