Pastor Bob Alderman

First Baptist Church

I know that many of you have heard a well known Christian “talk show” host proclaiming that the earthquake in Haiti is their own fault, brought on by their own sinful actions.

I would like to address this statement in very simple terms:  This person is absolutely wrong!

God’s plan is a plan for salvation and hope, not destruction.

So why does bad stuff happen?  This is a very deep question that I will try to answer in the limited space available in this article.

First, People make bad choices.  Our bad choices affect us, our families and those around us.  Your bad choices are not God’s plan for your life.

Many years ago I lost a friend in a horrific motorcycle accident.  During his funeral I overheard people talking about “God’s will” and “God’s time.”  I do not believe that it was God’s plan and desire for my friend to be operating his motorcycle drunk at night at very high speeds on a very curvy mountain road.  My friend made several very bad choices.

God has a plan for you but you must choose to follow His plan and not yours.   Jeremiah 29:11-14a “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart,  I will be found by you, declares the Lord,” ESV

You are responsible for your choices.  We cannot blame others, you are responsible for you.  Choose God and seek Him with your everything.

If you choose to associate with criminals, you will begin to become like them.    It is impossible to spend time with pigs and not get a little mud on yourself.

If you choose to get drunk or high, things are going to happen to you.  You have less control and inhibitions, as do those you are with.  Make better choices for yourself, your family and your community.

Second, the bad choices of others can affect you.  One person makes the choice to drink and drive, then causes a accident that hurts or kills an innocent person.  This is not the will of God, it is the will of a person who made bad choices and inflicted their will upon others. Encourage others to make better choices.

Thirdly, we inhabit bodies made of flesh and bone that are not designed or constructed to last forever.  Our bodies are prone to disease and damage, as well as simply wearing out.

We can extend the life of our bodies the same way we extend the life of our vehicles!  Put only good stuff into it, keep it clean, operate it (exercise), don’t “hot rod” it and take it to the mechanic (doctor) for regular servicing and maintenance.

Unfortunately, even with the best of care, our human bodies will eventually wear out.  While this loss is very painful for us, it is reality.

The good news is that God has a plan for you to live forever!  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ESV

Fourthly, we live in a world that is both dynamic and temporary.

The earth is a very dynamic object that is constantly in motion and has several processes for maintaining and controlling the balance of life.

Earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes are just three of these processes.  They are the three we hear of most often because they tend to have a major effect on the humans that live here.

God knows the “expiration date” of our planet and He is desperately calling out to us to believe in Him while there is still time.

Finally, we have an eternal enemy who always stands against us.

We often try to blame every bad thing on the devil, but the reality is that he is not that powerful. While we cannot blame most of our troubles on him, satan is a very real factor in our world.

The good news is that, while satan came to take life, Jesus Christ came to give it!

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and  kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – Jesus

Do you want life, real life and not just existence?  You need to get closer to Jesus.

What did our Christian talk show host miss in his statements?  Love.

God loves you!  God will never leave you or forsake you, especially in the darkest time of your life.

People have tried to claim God’s Judgment upon hurting people since the beginning of time.   Hear the words of Jesus about this false claim:  Matthew 5:45b-48 “For he(God) makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” ESV

Jesus Himself even addressed the issue of sin in relationship to disaster in Luke 13:4 when He asked if 18 men killed in a tower collapse were worse sinners than those who live in Jerusalem, and His answer was “No!”

We are all sinners.  If we follow this faulty logic to its ultimate reality, none of us would be here!  We would all be destroyed.   So why are we here?  Because God loves us!

Here is what the scripture says God did for sinners,

Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ESV

Yes, you read that right, God loved you so much He sent His Son to take the punishment for your sins!  Jesus died for your sins and the sins of the people in Haiti, New Orleans or anyone else in the world.

Salvation, not destruction, is God’s plan.  Life, not Death, is what Jesus came to provide us.

Everyone will experience storms in their life!  Christians have the benefit of being anchored to and protected by Jesus Christ while non-believers have to face life’s storms on their own.  This is their choice, not Gods.  God has done everything He can to call every person to His saving Grace. Will you believe?

Remember that God loves you! …and so do I.