Lightning Strikes

 

 

Just a few days ago on the Sabbath, some regular church goers gathered at the local S.D.A. church in Rwanda for services. Tragedy struck and lightning crashed through the building and 16 people were killed.

African news reported —
“Fourteen victims were killed on the spot as lightning hit the church in the Nyaruguru District in the Southern Province on Saturday, local mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP over the phone.

Two others died later from their injuries, he said. Doctors say that only three of them are in critical condition but they are getting better.

He added that 140 people involved in the incident had been rushed to hospital and district health centres, but many had already been discharged.

The weather accident in the mountainous region near the border with Burundi took place around midday on Saturday while parishioners of the town of Gihemvu were at a church service.”

Very tragic indeed! But some may be perplexed. Why did God do this or allow it? Many Seventh-day Adventists are most likely pondering these difficult questions.

In speaking of tragedies Jesus gives the following account–

“About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” (Luke 13:1-5)

Whether this tragic lightening strike was a direct strike from God or whether it was allowed for reasons we don’t know, there is something similar that we do know will strike the people of God unless they repent, let us read —

“The time has come for judgment to begin, and God’s own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

Yes, Judgment will soon come to us Seventh-day Adventists first. And that judgment is described through out Scripture, SOP and the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9). As most of us are well aware, particularity if you are a present truth believer, this strike from God will be on a world-wide scale.

Scripture gives a most startling  eye-witness account of this church judgment from the prophet Isaiah —

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
(Isaiah 63:1-6)

Isaiah saw our Lord and King coming back from our church judgment, His apparel red. This is also spoken of in Rev. 14:14-16.

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”

In describing this judgment to first come upon the S.D.A Church we read from SOP.

“The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

Here we see that the church–the Lord’s sanctuary–was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed.

These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” ( Testimonies, vol. 5, p.211)

It is noteworthy to see that the unbelievers say that God will not show the “marked manifestation” of His power today nor will He “do evil”. Evil being falsely attributed to God’s righteous judgments. Thus many Laodiceans think God is but a winking jolly St. Nick, “Ho ho ho , cmon in all you unbelievers and sinners, ho, ho, ho.”

In closing what we saw in Rwanda, sadly, is a small prelude what is prophesied to come upon our church, let us be sure of our salvation and believe our present truth road map for today lest we receive the same fate.

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