As all of you know, on January 12 Haiti was struck by the strongest earthquake the world has seen in 200 years. Pictures flood the internet that will literally make you sick to your stomach. Then turn on the 700 club and listen to Pat Roberts speak about this being God’s punishment on the Hatian people and you will be hugging the toilet for sure. Dr. Mohler wrote a great response to what Pat Robertson said at http://ow.ly/WA7p. I encourage you to read it.
When hurricane Katrina hit my home town, destroying many of my families homes, I was forced to admit that I don’t know why catastrophes happen. All I knew to tell my church and family was that it was the result of the fall. However, I told them that all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to his purpose. As the time passed it was very apparent that God was using Katrina for His glory and for the advancement of the gospel. People flooded out of New Orleans seeking refuge where ever they could find it. It just amazed me to see how God used that Catastrophe to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Many of the people who, fled from the devestation, were placed in churches in Mississippi where I served. God brought so many people to a point where they felt hopeless. They lost everything they owned. The only things they had left were the clothes on their backs.
People were questioning God. Is God in control? If He is in control, then why would He allow this to happen. We heard preachers preaching God is not in control. We heard preachers preaching, this is God’s judgment for the Casino’s that riddle the cost. The disciples ask Jesus the very same questions about the Tower of Siloam that fell and killed 18 men. Jesus asked them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? Jesus replies, No I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish, Luke 13:4-5.
If God wishes to judge a Nation, then He has every right to do so, but it is not for us to say whether He is or is not. Every Nation and individual deserves the wrath of God and will all likewise perish if they don’t repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the reason I write this post this morning. We are not called to be anyone’s judge. As we saw Sunday morning, the Father has given all judgment to the Son. Jesus Christ is the only one who has the right to judge.
What are we to do then? We are to spend and be spent to bring the gospel to the nations. Jesus told His disciples, “Lift up your heads and look, the fields are white and ready for the harvest.” I believe, Jesus is saying to the Church today, lift up your heads and and look at fields of Haiti, they are white ready for the harvest. The Southern Baptist were the first ones to show up when Katrina hit my home town. They came with food, clothes, water, and a shoulder to cry on. They came with the love of Jesus Christ.
The Southern Baptist are mobalizing as we speak, to do the same thing in Haiti. The Florida Baptist convention has a 20 year relationship with the Haitian Baptist Convention, so we already have an avenue through which to work. We will begin working through the IMB’s disaster relief fund. You can give to this fund by going to gobgr.org.. 100% of the money you give goes directly to disaster relief. The main reason I urge you to give through the IMB and not to one of the many other disaster relief efforts is because the IMB will not just be bringing physical water; they will bring Living Water. The IMB will not just bring food; they will bring the Bread of Life. The Southern Baptist’s desire is that through helping people in need; we can show them the Love of Jesus Christ.
I want our Church to join in this effort to bring the gospel to Haiti by taking up a love offering Sunday, January 24, 2010. We will send the money to the IMB disaster relief fund. Right now, the only way we can help is by praying and giving. However, as the IMB organizes there will be opportunities opening up for people to go. I will keep you posted on ways I believe we can help as a church.
Also, I want to encourage you to continue to pray for our team that leaves for India on January 28.
Because He lives,