My philosophy is No pain, no pain. I dont like pain, and want to get out of this with as little pain as possible. We can fall on the Rock and be broken, or He will have to fall on us, and then we will be crushed into powder. He has also said that we can judge ourselves lest we be judged (see Matthew 7:1), or if we would do it ourselves, He would not have to do it. Im for that!
I was recently asked to write an endorsement for a well-known Christian leaders new book. I insist on thoroughly reading everything I endorse (which is why I dont endorse many), but I was looking forward to reading this one from someone for which I have such respect. I was not disappointed. It had a depth and clarity that I have found rare in recent Christian books. Then I came to a chapter on Gods judgment and was shocked by how shallow and unbiblical it was, basing their positions almost entirely on idealistic human reasoning.
When the Northridge earthquake was found to have had its epicentre directly under the pornographic studios, it was shocking when major Christian voices in California almost uniformly rose up to say that this quake was not Gods judgment. The reasoning I heard in their statements about this did not include a single Scripture, but rather that it could not be Gods judgment because so many Christians also suffered in the quake. I heard the same thing after Hurricane Katrina, when the message of this storm was so blatantly clear. Katrina means to cleanse, and this storm passed over Key West the day of their decadent parade, and hit New Orleans the day before their Day of Decadence parade.
No doubt many Christians suffered in both of these warning shots from heaven, but that has always been the case when God has judged a nation. Even the prophets who proclaim the judgments suffer in them, as we see in Scripture. Examine the life of Jeremiah, even Elijah. Do you think it was fun sitting by the brook in the wilderness for months after the drought he had declared? Even his source of water dried up. How about righteous Lot? He did escape with his life and his family, but he lost everything he had.
We need to consider that the Lord said He would begin judgment with His own household (see I Peter 4:17). Studies have shown that as many as half of all Christian men are now addicted to pornography, as well as an increasing number of Christian womenmaybe the fact that Christians also suffered in these disasters was part of the message. Remember, this is a sign of His love, not condemnation. Even so, if completely righteous and holy Christians suffered in them, this too is to be expected.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3 vs 17-18.