I was concluding my Sunday message when I heard the intrusive cell phone ‘go off’. It really did not bother me; we have grown accustomed to this in public gatherings. I ignored it, and continued.
Come to find out, it was an ‘Advance Warning’ app alerting us of a potential tornado in our area. It is interesting that no one screamed in panic, no one was ‘rattled’; no one took it seriously. Without question or concern we merely ‘tuned it out’, and continued as usual.
‘Advance Warning’ Systems are everywhere…the road construction sign, the dashboard light, the flashing lights, the air brake buzzer, the stomach pain, the smell of smoke, the sound of thunder, the concerned parent.
Obviously, someone cares enough to alert our senses to impending danger. It is our choice to heed the warning, or to not take it seriously and continue as usual. Every choice has a consequence “for better or for worse”.
‘Advance Warning’ has always accompanied human existence. God said to Adam and Eve, “You must not touch it, or you will die.” (Genesis 3:3) They ignored the warning, chose not to listen, and continued, but NOT as usual. Our world is plagued by disobedience to God, and the consequence, though painful, is death.
God tells the truth: “The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) Satan lies to us: “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4); boy, did he deceive us! He is proved a liar by every death.
God’s love for us, and grace toward us, is revealed each time we hear the ‘Advance Warning’. Faithfully and consistently He sends messengers that speak His word to us, whether Angels, Prophets, Pastors, Christ-followers, or the Bible itself.
This is His ‘Advance Warning’:
“He now commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. he has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30, 31)
To repent means to change the mind. We are commanded to change our mind about God, choose to believe Him. This indicates that we truly heed His ‘Advance Warning’, and intend to go His way as a Christ-follower.
Do not let Satan deceive you into thinking, “This day of judgment will not happen!” God has spoken clearly:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand
patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who
has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does
I have heeded the ‘Advance Warning’. It must not be ignored; we must not continue as usual. I tell you that, “To all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12) I am saved!
“Are YOU with me?”
– Pastor Bill Terris