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Saturday, April 30, 2011

In The Midst Of Celebration

If you live on this planet, you would no doubt have been aware of or be caught up in the excitement and awe of the Royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I'm sure everyone would agree, no one does Royal weddings like the Brits. As I watched the newly- wed couple ride off in the royal carriage, escorted by dancing white horses and ninettenth-century attired horsemen, I felt transported into a wonderland.

However, at the back of my mind was the devastation that had taken place two days earlier in the southern United States, my state, Georgia, among them. The news networks kept interrupting their coverage of the royal wedding to show scenes of the destruction and of the president touring the disaster area in Alabama.

As I pondered on these things, this verse popped into my mind: "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child ; and they shall not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:3). In this case it wasn't all that sudden. The news stations had been issuing warnings days before. Even nature seemed to be preparing us. The storms began during the day, then quieted down, something which the meteorologists called "a warm up" for what was to come. So we did have time to escape. And yet, hundreds of people died.

The Bible tells us, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5: 2). This verse calls on us to prepare ourselves because no one knows the day nor the hour when Jesus will return. In the case of tornadoes and hurricanes we do get some warning, but it's not always easy to save ourselves. This must have been the case of those unfortunate ones who perished a few days ago. However, we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Our Lord. We should not be so caught up in the things of the world that we leave ourselves open to eternal destruction.

In our age of information overload, the gospel has not been left out, but some of us remain in our stubborneness and will not heed the warnings we're being given.  President Obama, during his tour of the stricken areas in Alabama, said he'd never seen such devastation. Well, there's a devastation far greater that will come upon the earth when Jesus returns. Those of us who are ready will celebrate, but for those who are not "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" (Luke 13: 28).  Now where do you want to be? In the midst of a celebration or a destruction?
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