“THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Two weeks ago that message flashed across Hawaii and seized the attention of everyone. Residents and tourists alike sought cover. Many looked for more information via phone or online. Some contacted loved ones to express their love one last time in case the ballistic missile supposedly on the way were to suddenly end their lives. There were reactions ranging from concern to outright panic, but I didn’t hear of anyone who simply ignored the official warning from the government. Who would? Would you?
But what about the messages from the God who establishes every government and directs the course of all history? His warnings are clear and repeated often. “The soul who sins shall die.” “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” “It is appointed to man once to die and after that the judgment.”
This is not a drill. These are not empty threats or false alarms. “Does He speak and then not act?” (Deut. 23:19). About those who say God is bluffing regarding judgment day, Peter writes that they deliberately “forget” how God kept His word and brought judgment upon all mankind with the flood. “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly” (1 Thess. 5:3).
Yet God doesn’t send these worldwide warnings without also announcing that He has provided a place of perfect safety. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10). In His Word we find shelter from every enemy missile. It tells us of God’s incredible love which moved Him to send His Son to stand in harm’s way for us. Jesus stepped between us and the punishment of hell we deserved. He suffered the full brunt of God’s anger against sin. He was forsaken that we might be welcomed by the Father as beloved children.
When you sit down with your Bible today to listen to the Lord, remember, “This is not a drill.” Sin is real. Its punishment is aimed directly at each of us. There is no time to waste, no time to ignore the danger till later. Now is the time to run to the safety of Jesus’ arms and trust Him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, including ours.
In tomorrow’s sermon text (1 Cor. 7:29-31) the apostle Paul encourages a perspective toward life that is always aware of the impending end of all earthly things and is always anticipating the glory to come. This is not a drill!
In Jesus’ name,
The adult Bible class will take up Is. 36-39, a reminder of the power of prayer and how even 185,000 enemy troops cannot stop God from protecting His people.
The choir will open second service.
The public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.