Repent or Perish
When I searched up the MacArthur sermon that accompanies today's passage, he had a different interpretation of today's scripture. MacArthur suggests that:
Therefore, the Jews believed that all of the catastrophic events in a person's life were, in fact, a direct result of a person's bad behaviour. Is that what we think too? We are surrounded, daily, by images and newspaper reports and radio news that ooze with all the gory details of the latest catastrophes. It is hard to ignore them and it is hard shield ourselves from the effects of seeing this haunting images.
And the truth is, if we weren't living in this particular era of human history, we would not experience all of this. We would live in a little world somewhere and that little world would have its share of disasters and sometimes pretty devastating ones. But we at least wouldn't have to bear the weight of all the disasters of all the world all the time. There is no little world for us anymore, not in western society. The weight of the tragedies of the world finds its way on our emotional backs. The tragedies of the globe becomes ours to process in our beleaguered minds. And if it's not enough to have to deal with all the real disasters, our society is very adept at creating artificial ones and putting them on the screen so we can be emotionally hammered by things that don't really happen to go along with the things that do. We wind up, to some degree, being initially outraged, but we end up numb. We bear the knowledge of every disaster. We bear the disaster of every catastrophe and every calamity at a level that never has been experienced by generations in the past. And the media that we're exposed to are filled with images of chilling deaths endlessly. The level of this all, I suppose, may make us think that there are more calamities in the world than ever in any other era of history. And certainly it is true we have more technological killing power than we have ever had, but we seem to be holding it off. We do have greater killing power than the world has ever known in the past. But the truth is, the calamities aren't any worse or any more frequent. In fact, there have always been natural disasters and for the most part they...they do more damage in more primitive societies as we see in Third World countries and would have done more damage, of course, then in past history when we didn't have the safeguards we have today in construction and protection. And certainly diseases did more damage in the past. Plagues would wipe out whole countries. There's always been calamity in the world, cataclysm, disaster, always catapulting unexpected people into eternity.
Always catapulting unexpected people into eternity. Into eternity. That's the reality. One day we will all face the end of our lives--whether it be from accident or sickness or old age--we will all reach the end. The events that surround the reason that ultimately ends our time on earth don't really matter. It doesn't matter if we sin more, longer, or harder than those around us. It doesn't even matter if our lifestyle does cause a greater degree of hardship on our lives or if we have done "nothing" to "deserve it". The truth is that we have all sinned and that is what separates us from God.