I know many people are still suffering from the effects of hurricane Matthew.
I know over 850 people have died because of it.
I know homes and cities have been destroyed.
This is very serious.
It is very sad.
It is something we will never forget.
My heart aches and I can't imagine what people are going through.
I feel helpless and unworthy of the blessings I have received.
Over the course of the storm, I had a lot of time to think.
Most of us were stuck in our houses for several days.
Personally, I evacuated further inland, away from my home near the beach.
My family stayed behind in a hurricane shelter.
It was scary.
It was a time that tested our faith.
We prayed that trees wouldn't fall and waves wouldn't flood.
We prayed for safety and protection.
There's something very unsettling about knowing something destructive is coming that you can't control.
Before the storm came, people were anxious.
They rushed to the gas stations and the grocery stores.
They urgently gathered what they needed to survive in the worst case scenario.
Water and bread disappeared from the shelves.
Gasoline ran out.
I almost wrecked multiple times on my drive home from the store.
People were running straight through red lights.
They were cutting each other off.
Their minds were solely fixed on what they needed for their families.
Nothing would stand in their way.
The air felt thin.
Everyone was on edge.
I had never seen such urgency in my entire life.
I couldn't help but think about something it reminded me of.
It's something I hesitated to share with you all.
I've been waiting for the right time.
Again, I know this is a sensitive subject right now.
Nevertheless, I am going to share the analogy that came to my mind throughout this disaster.
What if, we were all told that something much worse than hurricane was coming.
What if, we were told that there was only one way to evacuate and if we didn't, then we would surely die.
Of course, we would take it right?
Not only that, but we would want to tell everyone to get out...now!
We would be urgent.
Nothing would stand in our way.
Yet, we would also have a sense of peace and safety because we knew we had a place to go.
We would have hope and assurance.
We would want everyone to have it too.
It would be our responsibility to tell everyone how to get out, or else they would be left in the rubble.
I share this scenario now because it has never been more real for me.
When I close my eyes and think about it, I can feel a similar feeling to the one I just had previously during the hurricane.
Do you feel it?
Ok, now that you feel it, I have some news.
That scenario is true.
It is happening right at this moment.
That urgency we feel should be felt everyday.
Well, the honest truth is that we are all facing destruction.
The earth will be completely destroyed soon.
I do not know.
In fact, God says in His Word that no one knows the date.
Still, it is coming.
So now what?
Now, we can do one of two things.
We can choose the evacuation route or the route to destruction.
We can choose to accept the saving grace of Jesus or reject it.
The only way out is through Jesus.
If we don't follow Him, then we will die.
It sounds extreme, I know, but it's the cold hard truth.
I know because I've read it right in the Bible.
Here are just a couple of examples:
"He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 NIV
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked." Matthew 13:49-51 NIV
Clearly, we must believe in Jesus and obey Him or else we will face punishment.
Yes, that means hell.
For those of us who already believe in Christ, we will be able to enter the presence of The Lord one day.
Now the question is, why aren't those of us who know the way to heaven urgently telling people how to be able to come with us?
Why aren't we letting everyone know that destruction is coming?
Why aren't we giving them the evacuation route?
Why are we scared to talk about this subject and why do we keep it to ourselves?
It should be like a hurricane warning.
We should be helping people evacuate, fast.
We shouldn't be solely focused on ourselves and what it takes for only us and our families to survive.
We might not be able to see the coming destruction with our own eyes, but we do know that it's on its way.
I absolutely love this quote spoken by a popular atheist.
"I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that. I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that." - Penn Jillette
He is saying that he respects Christians who at least try to save people from hell.
He respects people who talk about it because if they didn't, then that would mean they don't even care that the people around them are facing eternal destruction.
So even if you are reading this and you don't believe in Jesus, then know that I only want to help you.
It's kind of like I am a weather woman on the news.
I am just a messenger, telling you the facts I have learned from the doppler radar.
If you don't believe what I say, then go to the main source.
Go to the Bible.
Go learn about Jesus as a person.
Go research the historical proof that He lived and was crucified 2000 years ago.
Sometimes, even if someone claims there's a storm coming, we still want to see it for ourselves.
We aren't satisfied with just seeing a person talk about the weather on the news.
We like to see the visual evidence.
We like to watch the radar for ourselves before we really believe it and that's totally understandable.
Moreover, if we already know Jesus and want others to know the facts too, then we need to be urgent.
We need to do whatever it takes and not let anything stand in our way.
This is the most important thing and it's time we take it seriously.
Passion is in the doing, not just the feeling.
We may feel passionate about our faith, but if we don't do anything with it, then we've lost our purpose.
This is our purpose for living.
We are here to follow Jesus and share the gospel to the ends of the earth.
We are here to experience the saving grace of Jesus and share it with others.
Our time here is short and we must use it to let people know the only evacuation route.
The hurricane is coming.
Let's be urgent.
Yes, those of us who know Jesus already have hope and assurance of our safety but we can't rest in that.
We must act...now!