Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Haitian Tragedy, Eternal Perspective

by Garth Gaddy

What would Jesus say if asked about the devastation in Haiti? What if He were asked if they sinned too much or worse than other people or countries? Luke records Jesus handling this very topic.

In Luke 13:1-5 Jesus commented on two accounts of people dying: one at the hands of Pilate and the other in an accident at the wall of Jerusalem. In both cases people were killed and Jesus asked if the dead were “worse sinners” than others in the area. In both cases He answered no and followed up with “...but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Jesus focused on the need for repentance (of all sinners) and that there will be final judgment of unrepentant sinners.

An interesting thing to notice here is that Jesus asked a question keying in on our flesh’s tendency to compare ourselves to others and identify those whose sin we may see as “worse.” Jesus even went one step further in the Galilean example, connecting “worse” sin to their suffering. After dispelling this notion, He immediately shifted to the eternal reality of all people. All people sin; death is inevitable for all; repent or you will perish.

As we ponder the loss of life in Haiti, we should look both inward and outward. We should look inward as believers recognizing that apart from Christ’s work, our sin results in our being doomed to Hell. This should result in our humility and thankfulness. We should also look outward as we consider the state of unbelievers and their need for the Gospel. Our lives are a mist and death is inevitable. Whether by natural causes, car accident or earthquake, we all die in God’s timing. This reality should result in compassion for unbelievers and a compulsion to spread the Gospel.

What would Jesus say about the devastation in Haiti? They sin and so do you. Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Our response should be a Gospel response because only the Gospel has the power to save and change lives.

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