How Should Christians Talk About God’s Judgment?

 

 

INTRODUCTION 

 

How should Christians talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis?

 

You’ve all seen the stereotype. On a busy street corner in a major city there he stands—a man with long gray hair and a long beard holding a sign that says, “The End Is Near…Repent!” He shouts out verses from the book of Revelation that no one listens to as they hurry by.

 

At the opposite end, there’s a news talk show that calls three religious leaders after a major disaster: a Jewish Rabbi, a Muslim Imam, and a liberal Bishop so and so. The question is posed: “Is this disaster a judgment from God?” There’s a lot of intelligent banter, but the conclusion is the same: God doesn’t judge because God is love and we should love one another in the midst of the disaster.

 

Obviously, neither of these are good answers to our question about how Christians should talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis. The first assumes knowledge that only God knows and second ignores knowledge that God has given us.

 

Let’s work through what the Bible says about God’s judgment and then see how we can apply that in discussions with people wondering about God’s involvement in the current crisis or any personal trial. To begin, we need to see that the Bible clearly teaches that…

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God Is Good

INTRODUCTION 

 

The prophet Jeremiah saw the Babylonians come and sweep through his homeland. He saw God’s city—Jerusalem—fall before a foreign invader. 

 

Like us today as we face a virus sweeping our nation, Jeremiah’s world was turned upside down. Shops were closed. Schools were dismissed. Travel forbidden by the new regime. People died.

 

It was out of this time that Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations which, as the name implies, is full of complaints, depressing remarks, and laments. But there is a hopeful gem in the middle of the book where Jeremiah writes:

 

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21–23)

 

What did Jeremiah do to get hope? He focused his mind on the character of God. That’s exactly what we need to do at this time as well! We need to recall to our minds the faithfulness and the goodness of God. That’s what we’ll do in this lesson: let’s recall to our minds the goodness of God, beginning in Exodus 33—

 

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God Is Good All The Time

Selected Texts

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Levi Durfey 


GOD’S GOODNESS IN GEORGE MÜLLER’S LIFE, PART 1

 

George Müller was a prayerful man of God in the 19th century. Relying on prayer and faith in God, he built orphanages and saved the lives of over 10,000 children in England. 

 

He had a faith that firmly believed that God was a good Father and would provide all his needs and the needs of the orphans. Müller is known for never asking for money to support the orphanages, but instead praying for God to supply all his needs. He had a firm belief in the goodness of God.

 

God’s goodness to Müller included his wife, Mary, who was a great help to him in running the orphanages. Müller described the work that Mary did:

 

Her occupation…was to get ready the many hundreds of neat little beds for the dear Orphans, most of whom had never seen such beds, far less slept in them…It was to get good blankets that she was busied, thus to serve the Lord Jesus, in caring for these dear bereaved children, who had not a mother or father to care for them. 

 

It was to provide numberless other useful things in the Orphan Houses, and especially for the sick rooms of the Orphans, that, day by day, except on the Lord’s days, she was seen in the Orphan Houses. (George Müller, Autobiography of George Müller: A Million and a Half in Answer to Prayer [London: J. Nisbet and Co., 1914], 434)

 

Lest you think that Mary’s value was only in the work that she did, Müller also said that he and Mary had the happiest of marriages:

 

Thousands of times I told her—“My darling, I never saw you at any time since you became my wife, without my being delighted to see you.”…

 

Our happiness in God, and in each other, was indescribable. We had not some happy days every year, nor a month of happiness every year; but we had twelve months of happiness in the year, and thus year after year. 

 

Often and often did I say to that beloved one, and this again and again even in the fortieth year of our [marriage]—“My darling, do you think there is a couple in Bristol, or in the world, happier than we are?” (Müller, 435)

 

A wife who was a great help, who shared an equal devotion to a successful ministry to orphans and to Christ, and a marriage that was intensely happy. Who could ask for anything more?George Müller rejoiced in God’s goodness in giving Mary to him.

 

But we might wonder—God was good to George Müller in those incidents, but was he good to Müller all the time? We’ll come back to George and Mary Müller later and see how he answered that question—but first, we must ponder God and his goodness.

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Our Unchanging God

 INTRODUCTION

 

The more things change…well, the more things change. Nothing in this world stays the same. Even solid granite mountains are changing, if ever so slightly. Nothing on this earth or in the heavens above will not change…

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)

 

People, especially, are changing. We got several Christmas letters that commented on our much our children have changed since last Christmas. And we too, noticed changes in our friends as we looked at their pictures in the Christmas letters they sent. Each was a little…bit…grayer!

 

People are a-changing, but it is people—we human beings—who long for the security of something or someone who doesn’t change. 

 

Come on, admit it, you want the security of unchangeable things. 

 

We get married fully expecting to always have the love of our bride or groom until death parts us—no one gets married expecting their spouse to hate them in a year or two.

 

But there is only one person that will never change, and that is God. God is unchanging.

 

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