Saturday, August 29, 2015

“And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasureth up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;” (Romans 2:3-5 KJV).

Exactly 10 years ago today, the worst natural disaster in modern United States history struck the Gulf Coast. Was it really God’s wrath?

On August 29, 2005, a Category 3 (formerly a Category 5) hurricane departed the Gulf of Mexico and struck the Louisiana/Mississippi border, roughly three hours’ drive east of here. Over 1,000 people died. Causing over US$100 billion in damage, Katrina is the costliest hurricane on record. It greatly affected our state (Louisiana) and the rest of the Gulf Coast. The Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area was particularly affected.

Ten years ago, I was steeped in denominationalism. I agreed with the religionists that God’s wrath had finally hit New Orleans. The debauched Mardi Gras parades, violence, racism, murders, sexual immorality, and so on, would be no more there. Friend, let me assure you—10 years ago, I was totally ignorant of the riches of God’s goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering!

If one does not “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), all of his or her theology will be unstable. Dispensational Bible study is absolutely critical—not only in understanding the Bible, but also in understanding what God is doing today. The God of the Bible is often portrayed as cruel, yet today’s Scripture says He is a good God, a forbearing God, and a longsuffering God. Not only that, but He is rich in goodness, rich in forbearance, and rich in longsuffering! There is no better Person than Him!

God’s wrath against man’s sin will be revealed one day, but let us not despise His grace, goodness, patience, and longsuffering, today. Grace postpones the wrath! Peace postpones the war! Friends, let us come by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, that we not see that wrath when it does finally come!