Question:

There are so many terrible things going on in the world today. I have a friend that is saying God is trying to warn us as Americans that we need to straighten up in this country or God will turn His back on us. What are your views on that.

Thank you


Answer:

Every generation is convinced that theirs is the worse morally. "Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this" (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

Are there problems in the world? Most certainly. Does God use upheavals to warn and to cause people to change? Yes, He definitely does. But can I say this is what is happening now? No.

I'm not privy to God's plans, outside of what He has chosen to reveal in His word. The problem is that we have a tendency to assume that there must be meaning to every event that happens in life. But the Bible states that this is not necessarily so. There is such a thing as random events. "I returned and saw under the sun that - the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all" (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

People of Jesus' day made the same false assumption. A tower fell in Jerusalem, killing a number of people. "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no ..." (Luke 13:4-5). The falsehood is assuming that bad things only happen to bad people. The entire book of Job was written to dispel this notion. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and those bad things are even allowed by God as a test.

Could a national disaster be a divine punishment from God? Yes. Such has occurred in the past. But are all national disasters divine punishments? Here the answer is clearly "no." But without God telling us, we are only left to guess which is which; and given mankind's history of accuracy, I would say that most often people guess wrongly.

Still, should we straighten up and improve? Absolutely! As God told Israel, "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!" (Ezekiel 18:30-32)