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     When a tragedy happens (like earthquakes), people always ask why. Why did this happen and why were Christians affected by it? It is very hard to answer that question, because there are so many different answers, and we probably don’t even know them all. Too often people try to help out God by giving their own opinions, based on some religious idea. Too often they make God out to a killer. Even children grow up believing that God is responsible for tragedies.

     I. What does the Bible say?

              A. JOHN 10:10

                        1. We have to have the understanding and revelation of that in order to walk in divine protection.

                        2. John Osteen once made a statement and it’s very true. He said, “God’s people don’t need so much inspiration as they need information.”

                                  a. In (HOSEA 4:6) God said, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.”

                                           i. This is 1 reason things happen to Christians.

                                  b. 2PETER 1:2

                                           i. God’s grace and God’s peace is multiplied to you through your knowledge of God.

                                           ii. God’s GRACE is God’s power and His ability to move in your life or in your behalf.

                                  c. Look at V 3 (1PET 1:3)

                                           i. In order for us to receive those promises we must have knowledge of it.

                                  d. A lace of knowledge might be the reason for some not walking free from this tragedy, but there are more reasons than that.

              B. Some have opened the door through fear.

                        1. JOB 3:25-26

                                  a. When fear comes in, it produces that very thing.

                        2. PRO 1:33

                                  a. Those that have their eyes on the Lord and are trusting Him are free from fear.

                        3. We need to resist fear, just like you resist the Devil. Fear is not from God.

                                  a. (2 Timothy 1:7) Says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

                        4. Look at LUKE 21:26.

                                  a. I have to agree with that, many are having heart attacks because of fear.

                                  b. But this V could have a double meaning. The NIV translation says, “Men will faint from terror.”

                                           i. The human spirit can fail or faint because of fear.

                                           ii. You spirit will try to produce every thing that comes out of your mouth.

     II. Many times you can see fear being expressed through the words that come out of our mouths.

              A. Things like, “I hope nothing happens.” “I know something is going to go wrong.”

                        1. We have to watch the words that come out of our mouth.

              B. I feel that 1 big area where we all miss it is in the area of believing God without hesitation.

                        1. We all know that it takes faith to receive the promises of God. That would include His divine protection.

                                  a. I believe that all of us were standing on the Word for God’s protecting our physical beings.

                                  b. In L. A. we have to stand on that every day just to survive.

                        2. But when it comes to our things, that’s another story.

                                  a. We have to begin to stand in faith before anything happens.

              C. Let me say this, “If the earthquake hit where you live (epicenter) would you have gone without damage?" Are you sure?

                        1. MATT 24:6-7

                                  a. Jesus is talking about the end times, and we are living in the end times.

                                  b. He said that there are going to be earthquakes.

                        2. MATT 5:44-45

                                  a. Some of these things are just going to happen no matter who is there.

                                           i. I believe that some things that happen are just from the fall of man.

                                           ii. When Adam fell the earth also fell.

                                           iii. Earthquakes could be just a result of the fall of man which would make Satan only indirectly involved. (Not someone that is kicking the fault)

                                           iv. He’s responsible 1 way or another either from the fall or actually the 1 that made the fault slip at this very time.

                        3. Look at PSA 34:19a

                                  a. The word “Afflictions” means “bad, evil, disagreeable, unpleasant, (giving pain, unhappiness, misery), displeasing, sad, unhappy distress, adversity, injury.”

                                  b. There are attacks that come from the enemy.

                                           i. As long as we are on the face of this earth we will face adversity.

                                  c. What are some other things that are like earthquakes?

                                           i. Tornado, floods, hurricanes. What if you were on a boat and the boat sank? That would be a disaster just like an earthquake.

                                           ii. That’s what happened with Paul.

                                           iii. We can’t say Paul didn’t have faith. Either this was a direct attack of the enemy or it was just something in nature.

                                  d. Let’s go back to PSA 34:19a, but that V didn’t just leave us there, He goes on to say. PSA 34:19b

                                           i. 1 of the definitions of the word “deliverethmeansTo deliver (from enemies or troubles or death)”

                        4. In (Psalm 91:7) it says, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.”

                                  a. Even though things are falling all around us it will not hurt you.

                                  b. DAN 3:17

                                           i. God will deliver you out of the burning fiery furnace and He has delivered you out of the earthquake.

                                  b. 2COR 4:16-18

                                           i. You probably will never know now temporal things really are until you go through an earthquake.

                                           ii. Our treasure should be laid up for us in heaven and not on earth.

                                 c. The Bible teaches us that we need to know how to abase and how to abound.

     III. But what do we do about the thing that God blessed us with which were destroyed in the earthquake.

              A. PRO 6:30-31

WOLCC 1/23/94 SUN AM

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