In our world, events take place that often overwhelm us. Unbelievable tragedies
Involving loss of life and property occur all to frequently. The reason we are so shocked at such events is not only because of the magnitude of the destruction, but because it was something we never expected to happen, even though there were warnings about such catastrophes.
In Oakland, California, for instance, residents often felt earthquake tremors and were told that someday a major quake would hit the area. When it finally happened, some were heard to say, "We never thought it would occur when it did or this severe." Another tragedy that seemed to affect every American was the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma. One state senator was quoted as saying, "I moved back to Oklahoma City from Washington D.C. to raise my family because this type of thing wasn’t supposed to happen here."
Perhaps you too have found yourself in unfortunate circumstances on a more personal level. You and a few relatives and friends knew of the tragedy that befell you, but because it happened to you, it was all the more startling. Today, as you look back on it, questions fill your mind. Why did it have to happen just then, when everything was going so well? If only there had been some warning, you might have been better prepared, or perhaps avoided the circumstance altogether. Unfortunately, nothing can change events of the past. We can, however, prepare for the future.
Would you allow me a moment to tell you about a warning the Bible gives of the greatest calamity that humanity will ever know? This event, though still future, is so certain, it already has a name. It is called "the Day of the Lord." It is the time when God will begin His judgment on the human race because of its sin against Him. The Apostle Paul, speaking of that event said, "For when they shall say, ‘peace and safety,’ then sudden destruction shall come upon them." Like the tragedies mentioned earlier, that day will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Men and women caught in that dreadful day will perhaps think it at first a very bad dream, and say, "This can’t be happening." But it will be all too real. The saddest part about this soon-to-take-place event is that God gives numerous warnings that it will happen. Many people in our world know what the Bible has to say about the coming judgment, but choose to ignore it, or even mock it.
I wonder, however, if you might be the exception. You have lived long enough in this world to know that it is not the idyllic place that some would have us believe. You have seen sin and wickedness increase until there is not a place on earth untouched by it, and you are honest, you have even seen it in your own heart. And perhaps just now you are wondering if there is any hope at all for us. I am happy to tell you there is. These words of the Lord Jesus, recorded in John’s Gospel, have helped many to understand God’s way of salvation: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).