Topic : Judgment

Earthquake

In a book entitled Down to Earth, John Lawrence tells the story of a city that dared God to show Himself and paid a terrible price. It seems that the city of Messina, Sicily, was home to many wicked, irreligious people. On December 25, 1908, a newspaper published in Messina printed a parody against God, daring Him to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, on December 28, the city and its surrounding district was devastated by a terrible quake that killed 84,000 people.

Today in the Word, October, 1997, p. 25

Two Monks

A story is told of two monks on a pilgrimage who came to the ford of a river. There they saw a girl dressed in all her finery, obviously not knowing what to do since the river was high and she didn’t want to spoil her clothes. Without much discussion, one of the monks took her on his back, carried her across, and put her down on dry ground on the other side.

The monks then continued on their way. But the other monk started complaining, “Surely it isn’t right to touch a woman. It’s against the commandment to have close contact with women. How could you go against your rules as monks?”

The monk who carried the girl walked along silently, but finally he remarked, “I set her down by the river and hour ago. Why are you still carrying her?”

Today in the Word, December 19, 1994

Judgment by Earthquake

California’s $3-billion-a-year pornographic movie industry is viewing the earthquake as God’s personal destruction of American’s most wicked city, some porn producers say.

The quake was centered in the cities of Northridge, Shatsworth, and Canoga Park, which are home to nearly all of the U.S. soft-and hard-port video industry. Every one of the primary porn studies and distributors, a total of around 70, suffered damage. The headquarters of the largest, VCA Pictures, collapsed, destroying equipment and mast copies of several films. At least for the moment, high-level porn studio executives and models are edgy.

An executive at World Modeling, a San Fernando Valley agency supplying actors to the porn industry, says clients are backing away from X-rated acting as a result of the cataclysm.

“Our clients have a definite lack of motivation,” says the agent for porn actors, who requested anonymity. “It’s put the fear of God in them. I’m telling you, it’s enough to give you an attack of religion.”

“Can you imagine how the fundamentalists are going to leap on this when the smoke clears?” says a porn film director who works for many Northridge studios and asked not to be identified. “They’ll say it’s God’s retribution.”

“It seems as though the earthquake forced these people to get honest,” says Jack Hayford, pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys. “It has stirred many to the deepest points of introspection, and if just one of them is turned away from the filth they’re involved in, it is a major victory.”

Hayford, along with Hollywood Presbyterian Church pastor Lloyd Ogilvie, and Los Angeles Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony has sent a letter of protest against the Valley-based porn industry to the California legislature, asking lawmakers to draft a bill eliminating its most notorious offshoot, child pornography.

By Perucci Ferraiuolo, Christianity Today, March 7, 1994, p. 57

Embraced By the Light

The idea of hell and judgment are nowhere to be found in Betty Eadie’s bestseller, Embraced By The Light, on the N.Y. Times bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, including 5 weeks as #1.

In November 1973, Eadie allegedly died after undergoing a hysterectomy, and returned five hours later with the secrets of heaven revealed by Jesus. Eadie says that Jesus “never wanted to do or say anything that would offend me” while she visited heaven.

Indeed, Jesus seems to be relegated to the role of a happy tour guide in heaven, not the Savior of the world who died on the cross.

Richard Abanes, in Christianity Today, March 7, 1994, p. 53

New AIDS Czar

President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said,

[The United States] needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will continue to be a repressed, Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies homosexual sexuality particularly in teens, and leaves people abandoned with no place to go. I can help just a little bit in my job, standing on the White House lawn talking about sex with no lightning bolts falling on my head.”

Associated Press, October 29, 1993

Judging

It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17

Poll

More than four out of every five Americans agree that “we all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins,” says a poll conducted for the Times Mirror company.

National and International Religion Report, quoted in Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6

The Fire

One of the first gospel illustrations that ever made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story which I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old.

It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what could be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.

As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, “Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?” The leader replied, “My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!”

What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ!

On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place.

The fires of God’s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.

Illustrations of Bible Truth by H. A. Ironside, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 34-35

Ezekiel 7:8-9

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1).

The following incident is vouched for by a Church of England clergyman who knew all the circumstances.

A young woman, who had been brought up in a Christian home and who had often had very serious convictions in regard to the importance of coming to Christ, chose instead to take the way of the world. Much against the wishes of her godly mother, she insisted on keeping company with a wild, hilarious crowd, who lived only for the passing moment and tried to forget the things of eternity. Again and again she was pleaded with to turn to Christ, but she persistently refused to heed the admonitions addressed to her.

Finally, she was taken with a very serious illness. All that medical science could do for her was done in order to bring about her recovery, but it soon became evident that the case was hopeless and death was staring her in the face. Still she was hard and obdurate when urged to turn to God in repentance and take the lost sinner’s place and trust the lost sinner’s Saviour.

One night she awoke suddenly out of a sound sleep, a frightened look in her eyes, and asked excitedly, “Mother, what is Ezekiel 7:8 and 9?”

Her mother said, “What do you mean, my dear?”

She replied that she had had a most vivid dream. She thought there was a Presence in the room, who very solemnly said to her, “Read Ezekiel 7:8-9.”

Not recalling the verses in question, the mother reached for a Bible. As she opened it, her heart sank as she saw the words, but she read them aloud to the dying girl:

“Now I will shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.”

The poor sufferer, with a look of horror on her face, sank back on the pillow, utterly exhausted, and in a few moments she was in eternity. Once more it had been demonstrated that grace rejected brings judgment at last.

Illustrations of Bible Truth by H. A. Ironside, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 31-32

Looking For Loopholes

Just before the death of actor W. C. Fields, a friend visited Fields’ hospital room and was surprised to find him thumbing through a Bible. Asked what he was doing with a Bible, Fields replied, “I’m looking for loopholes.”

Source Unknown

The Hells Club

In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as “The Hell Club” in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club’s notorious annual meeting, Boyle dreamed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, “You must go with me!” As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. “Where are you taking me?” The cold voice replied, “To hell!” The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears.

At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he’d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. “There is no rest in hell!” She unclasped the vest of her robe and displayed a coil of living snakes writhing about her midsection. Others revealed different forms of pain in their hearts.

“Take me from this place!” Boyle demanded. “By the living God whose name I have so often outraged, I beg you, let me go!” His guide replied, “Go then—but in a year and a day we meet to part no more.” At this, Boyle awoke, feeling that these last words were as letters of fire burned into his heart. Despite a resolution never to attend the Hell Club again, he soon was drawn back. He found no comfort there. He grew haggard and gray under the weight of his conscience and fear of the future. He dreaded attending the Club’s annual meeting, but his companions forced him to attend. Every nerve of his body writhed in agony at the first sentence of the president’s opening address: “Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is a year and a day since our last annual meeting.”

After the meeting, he mounted his house to ride home. Next morning, his horse was found grazing quietly by the roadside. A few yards away lay the corpse of Archibald Boyle. The strange guide had claimed him at the appointed time.

Encyclopedia of 77,000 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan

Her New Lover

I read this past week of a couple (let’s call them Carl and Clara) whose twenty-five year marriage was a good one. Not the most idyllic, but good. They now had three grown children who loved them dearly. They were also blessed with sufficient financial security to allow them room to dream about a lakeside retirement home. They began looking.

A widower we’ll call Ben was selling his place. They liked it a lot and returned home to talk and plan. Months passed. Last fall, right out of the blue, Clara told Carl she wanted a divorce. He went numb. After all these years, why? And how could she deceive him ... how could she have been nursing such a scheme while they were looking at a retirement home?

She said she hadn’t been. Actually, this was a recent decision now that she had found another man. Who? Clara admitted it was Ben, the owner of the lake house, whom she inadvertently ran into several weeks after they had discussed the sale. They’d begun seeing each other. Since they were now “in love,” there was no turning back. Not even the kids, who hated the idea, could dissuade their mother.

On the day she was to leave, Carl walked through the kitchen toward the garage. Realizing she would be gone when he returned, he hesitated, “Well, hon, I guess this is the last time—” His voice dissolved as he broke into sobs. She felt uneasy, hurriedly got her things together, and drove north to join Ben.

Less than two weeks after she moved in with Ben, her new lover, he was seized with a heart attack. He lingered a few hours...and then died.

Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 42

Who is our Judge?

It was the woman 10 miles walk event of the Olympic Game. The Chinese woman was leading the other athletes coming into the last phase of the competition. She had been training hard for the last few years. The distance that she covered in training was enough to go round the globe a few times. A gold medal was in view. While she was entering the stadium, she noticed that another athlete was coming from behind, in a very fast pace. She wanted to go faster to avoid being over taken but was unable to do so without having both her feet leaving the ground. By the definition of the game, having both feet leaving the ground at the same time is considered as running, which is against the rule. Anyone who violated this rule for three times will be disqualified. She remembered that she had violated this rule twice in the past nine over miles. She was tempted but persisted in keeping her feet down. She saw the other athlete over took her. A gold turned silver. A while later, another athlete came from behind. Similarly, unable to go any faster, she saw this other athlete over took her. A silver turned bronze. The first athlete past the finished line and the crowd roar. The second athlete past the finished line there was a big applause. The Chinese athlete finished third with much disappointment. All these years of hard work only to end with a bronze medal. When the official of the game announced the winner, to everyone's surprise, the gold medal went to the Chinese athlete because the two athlete before her had violated the rule of against running in a walk event. Who is our judge in life? Who set the rules of our lives? Others may be receiving the applause of the world, but should we admire? Shouldn't we Christians follow the laws of loving God and loving man which are given to us and set by God, who is the judge of our lives?


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