Summary: The 19th Sermon in our series on the Baptist Faith and Message
This is How You Go! Part Two (BFM #19)
By: Ken McKinley
(Read Text from Luke)
If ya’ll remember last week I referenced this passage while talking about the statement that Pat Robertson made about the disaster in Haiti. The reason I did that is because anyone who makes a statement like Robertson did shows that they lack a fundamental understanding of what Scripture teaches. And this passage sums up a large portion of the teaching of Scripture and it’s applicable to what we’ve been going over here on Sunday mornings – Article 11 of the Baptist Faith and message – Evangelism and missions. Now I want to read to you quickly article 11 once more so that we can be reminded of our point of reference (Read BFM article 11).
Now if our text were taking place today, what would happen? What would happen if people came to Jesus and said, “Jesus, did you hear about the earthquake in Haiti? They are saying 50 to 100 thousand people are dead.” And Jesus would look into their eyes, like nobody has every looked before and He would say, “Do you think this happened to these Haitians because they were worse sinners than you? I tell you, No; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
That is probably something we’re lacking today. I mean; how many of you today have ever had an encounter where you approach someone with some theological question and they look you right in the eye and say, “The most important thing is your own soul. If you don’t get right with God, you are going to perish.” When Jesus was presented with a problem He always dealt with the person.
Well that’s what we’re going to try to do today. If you remember last Sunday I said there were 5 reasons why people don’t share their faith and we covered two of those reasons.
I gave you all bulletin inserts with ideas and ways that you could share your faith… that list is nowhere near exhaustive; it’s just a short list to help you formulate your own ideas through prayer and your God given intelligence. And we looked at why fear should not be a hindrance to sharing the faith with others.
So today we’re going to be looking at the other 3 reasons why we don’t share our faith and witness. And they are: We don’t have the time, we don’t have the desire, and we don’t know any non-Christians to witness to.
Now in our text here; we see some pretty amazing implications about the way the world is, and about the way we think it is. Jesus tells these people who came and asked Him this question what was really at stake here, and that is that unrepentant people are going to perish. Verse 3 of our text is the main point of our passage, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Those people who had come to Jesus didn’t say it outright, but they were thinking it… those people who died must have done something horrible for God to allow that to happen to them. A lot of people didn’t say what Pat Robertson said, but there are some who believe what he said. That’s how they reconcile their view of God’s love and God’s sovereignty.
If God is sovereign and God loves His creation, then why do bad things happen to people? Was it that the Haitians sin was so horrible and worse than any others sins that God judged them? Was it that Satan attacked Haiti and God didn’t stop him? Was it that God just lets the course of nature and natural events run without any intervention at all?
Was God powerless to stop the earthquake, or did He not want to stop the earthquake even though He could? Or was it simply that He caused it?
The problem we have is that we look at things like this the wrong way. The issue isn’t that so many die in tragedies every day all over the world, the issue is that so many are allowed to continue living. The sin of those in our text, and the sin of the Haitian people wasn’t extraordinary or more horrible than anyone else, it was ordinarily horrible, just like yours and mine. And if we haven’t repented, we too will experience a horrible end.
So the answer to that question, “Why do bad things happen to good people” is, “There are no good people.”
We all like sheep have gone astray; there are none who are righteous, no not one. We have all sinned and fallen short of the righteousness of God. So what should amaze us in our sin is not that some are taken in tragedy or disasters, but that so many are spared every day and given another day to repent. The amazing thing is not that guilty sinners perish, but that God is so slow to anger that you and I are here this morning and have one more chance, and we have been given chance after chance, after chance to repent and trust in Him.