In 2001, my wife and I were homegroup leaders in the Anglican church we were then attending, and I just came across a short Bible study I prepared for the meeting on Wednesday 12 September 2001. I hope this bears repeating today.
We looked at the following passages (supplementary/supporting passages in brackets):
- Amos 3:3-6; (Acts 2:23)
- Luke 13:1-5; (Hosea 6:1; Lam. 3:37-42, NB 1:1)
- Romans 8:18-23
- Revelation 21:1-4
And here are the conclusions we drew from each of these texts in turn:
- God is in control, even when human beings do terrible things.
- The correct way to respond to such calamities is not to blame God or deny his control over the world,but to humble ourselves, repent and return to the Lord.
- Such events remind us we live in a fallen world, that life is fragile and fleeting, and that we need to look ahead to our future hope rather than being too attached to this world. But more positively, that reminds us what a glorious hope we do have as Christians.
- But disasters like this also remind us how serious our task is in evangelism: we are not just recommending the Christian life as a nice way to live, we are calling rebellious sinners in a fallen world to repent and return to the Lord before they perish. How many of those who died yesterday were ready to meet God? Are we?