Recently, the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee have experienced tragic wildfires. We pray for those who have lost property, and especially for the families who lost loved ones in the Gatlinburg area fire.
What can we learn from these recent fires? Something significant stood out from the reports of many individuals who barely escaped the fires.
There was little or no warning!
"No warning. Nothing! Not one single warning on the news!" - A man who barely escaped the fire.
"The blaze spread quickly and with little warning." - Fox 8 News, Cleveland
"About 5 o'clock in the afternoon, city workers told us we had nothing to worry about, and by 6 o'clock we were fleeing for our lives." - A woman who escaped the fire in Gatlinburg area
"We were aware of the fires in the area, but we didn't know that they were anywhere close to where we were." - Vacationer in the Gatlinburg area
These individuals might not have received warning, but God has duly warned us of eternal judgment by fire.
"...No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." (Ephesians 5:5-6)
Judgment fire is going to come upon this earth just as quickly as the flood of Noah's day came. Many will be unprepared, just as they were then.
Matthew 24:37-39 - But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
See also II Peter 3:3-4,9-10
We are ALL born sinners, disobedient to God by our very nature, and we deserve judgment from God.
Psalm 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Romans 3:10-12 - As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Our sin is a heart problem!
Matthew 15:19 - For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
The Devil wants you to disregard all warning and enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. He doesn't want you to know that living according to your own lusts brings death.
James 1:15 - Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
The Devil piles on reassurances that all the warnings are just hype and scare tactics.
Remember, he is the one that has blinded and bound you in your sin, but he deceives you by bringing assurances that you are really "living the life."
I Thessalonians 5:3,7 - For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape...For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
Don't listen to the Devil's lies any longer. Turn to Christ and believe that He has died to save you from your sins!
Romans 5:6-9 - For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.