We are forecast to have some pretty damaging winds and hail this afternoon/evening according to this graphic from KNOE8’s Facebook Page. Does that set you on edge a little bit or is it just me? Ever since the inception of The Weather Channel I think many people have become weather ‘experts’ in our own minds! Of course forecasters miss the mark often but they also hit the mark many times. The recent floods in our area have us all looking to the sky a bit because there’s so much damage to repair and so many still not in their homes. I don’t know what it was like in the old days when you did a weather forecast by looking up in the sky or reading the Old Farmer’s Almanac!
I admit to being a quick reactor to weather news. When I hear that there might be severe weather (like tonight) on a Wednesday (like tonight) I start thinking about our members traveling in that and my first thought is to cancel services so we do not endanger any of our people. I’m balanced out by a couple of elders who have a much greater resolve to meet no matter what (well almost – even they have their limits!). So we balance out pretty well.
Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians give us a hair-raising Storm Warning to keep in mind about the second coming of Jesus Christ!
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
…This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you… ~2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
There are also encouragements in the Storm Warnings:
Therefore encourage one another with these words. ~1 Thessalonians 4:18
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you…~1 Thessalonians 5:4
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…. ~1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
Just as severe storm warnings catch our attention and call us to action, Believers are operating in this world with an eye to the sky. The realization of that that storm warning means to us directs our steps and provokes us to stay true to the path of discipleship.
The storm warnings of Scripture ought to cause those who have yet to give their lives to Jesus to consider the risk of ignoring these ‘red flags’. Don’t be caught in the storm without protection!
At the ascencion of Jesus the disciples were looking up into the sky where Jesus had arisen and disappeared from view. Angels came and said to them:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” ~Acts 1:11
We’re wise to pay attention to the weather on a daily basis… we live in this eco system that sometimes produces violent collisions of fronts that result in damaging conditions. If we think that is important, we should be all the more concerned with the storm warnings of Scripture. They have far more crucial consequences … and they offer much more hope for believers.
Thanks for reading, JD. Below are some links to three free Andrew Murray books for your Kindle as well as some that aren’t free but at a good price! If you haven’t read Andrew Murray, just do it. Prices change without notice.
Holy Bible NRSV 1.99