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Summary: Many feel that the hurricane which struck the South was a punishment from God. We must never be quick to judge in these situations. Yet, there are lessons we can learn from storms like Katrina.

Lessons from Katrina

Matthew 16:1-4

Introduction: Many people feel that the devastating hurricane which struck the South was a punishment from God leveling charges against those impacted by the storm. We must never be quick to judge in these situations. However, there are several lessons we can learn from Katrina that apply to man and his response to God working in his life.

I. The Signs of the Coming Storm

A. On Wednesday August 24, meteorologists began warning that the eleventh named tropical storm of the season, Katrina had passed over the Bahamas and was headed for the United States. At that time scientists discerned that the storm had the potential of being devastating.

B. On Saturday August 27,the National Hurricane center advised the following: “KATRINA IS EXPECTED TO BE AN INTENSE AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE HEADING TOWARD THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF COAST...AND THIS HAS TO BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY.”

C. Discern the skies.

D. Luke 12:54-56: "Then He also said to the multitudes, ’Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ’A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ’There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?"

E. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, both testaments are filled with references to the Scond Cming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s Second Coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ; an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are eight which look forward to His second! – Today in the Word

F. The signs are there; the Lord is Coming and when He comes He brings judgment with Him.

G. Jude 14-15: "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ’Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him"

II. The Call to Prepare for the Coming Storm

A. On Wednesday, August 24, the American Red Cross urged Area residents to start planning now in case any evacuations are issued, and begin preparing for an emergency.

B. On Sunday the National Hurricane Center stated: A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF COAST FROM MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO THE ALABAMA/FLORIDA BORDER...INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

C. The following warnings were issued on Monday August 29th:

· GEORGE W BUSH: "We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities. I urge all citizens to put their own safety and the safety of their families first by moving to safe ground. Please listen carefully to instructions provided by state and local officials."

· National Correspondent LEIGH SALES: "Hurricane Katrina is a Category Five storm, the worst on the scale that measures these things. That means it has winds of more than 250 kilometres an hour and will cause massive flooding and damage. Only three Category Five hurricanes have hit the US since records began. The last one to strike the Louisiana region was Hurricane Camille in 1969. Two hundred and fifty people died and authorities are hoping to avoid a repeat this time."

· New Orleans Mayor RAY NAGIN: "We are encouraging all of our citizens to leave the city of New Orleans. This storm is enormous, it’s coming up in a direction that most people have dreaded, 175 miles per hour winds, with storm surges of over 20 feet."

D. Matthew 24:44- "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

E. Luke 21:31- "So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near..."

III. The Response to the Call to Prepare for the Coming Storm

A. Some believed the reports of Katrina’s magnitude and potential devastation. Some chose to ignore it saying they been through hurricanes before and it was no big deal. Some were aware of the threat but chose not to leave because they were attached to possessions or pets. Some said they would wait, and if things got to bad then they’d leave. In fact as many as 30% of the residents of New Orleans chose not to leave.

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