In the midst of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac last week, I was reminded of the fragileness of our lives. The news reports said several people were killed in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Tornadoes wrought much destruction and injury as well. There was much damage from rain, and wind. Even today the remainder of Isaac is dropping rain, and some wind in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. I’m sure most of us saw the news videos.
It reminds me of an incident over 30 years ago in Florida. It was May 1980. I was in the Tampa Bay area for some meetings around the time that a ship hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge south of St. Petersburg, killing 35 people, including all who were aboard a Greyhound bus, bound for Miami, which was crossing the bridge at the time. I went over the bridge soon after that, going south using the only remaining side, now handling both lanes (the northbound side). My friend Don Martin was with me, and we were both rather awestruck to look at the sudden end of the southbound side now just hanging over the water 150 feet below and realize that those cars and that bus that went over took most of those people to their deaths.
What makes the Tampa Bay incident more horrible is that it was at almost this exact spot that the Coast Guard cutter, Blackthorn had been rammed four months earlier by the tanker Capricorn. The Blackthorn sank. Twenty-three men died.
I went over that bridge again recently, which is now rebuilt. Some other friends were with me, and again was the remembrance of that sad day when that tragedy happened. It makes one wonder; how many were in Christ? How many were ready to go? In all these incidents I have mentioned, and countless others each year, as a Christian I can’t help but wonder how many really knew Christ that were in those incidents. We are all going to die; it is just a matter of time. God’s time. Is everything settled with your soul? Do you belong to Christ? Is He your Lord?
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
An article and pictures about the Skyway Bridge: (first click away the ad) http://www.francesfarmersrevenge.com/stuff/bridges/skyway.htm
PRESENT DAY CHRISTIANITY
Present day Christianity has largely rejected the teaching of God's grace in its biblical fullness. Instead, we have on all sides a largely man-centered religion. "Media Event Christianity" is the norm in so many churches. The manipulation of souls and "decisionism" has given us a watered-down gospel that couldn't save a flea. It has been taught that God can only do what man "lets" Him do! But this is a far cry from the God of the Bible. He is the Sovereign of the universe! He does not need our help, we need His!
Naturally to declare God as God Almighty is going to ruffle some feathers. The Baptists of today forget the London Confession, the Philadelphia Confession, and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, which all contain clear and strong statements regarding the Sovereign God.
The Baptists are not alone in forgetting. The Presbyterians of today often fail to take note of the old landmark Westminster Confession of Faith (which differs from the Philadelphia Confession very little). The heritage of the church is largely discarded today, and the “emerging church”, “wealth and health gospel” along with “new evangelicalism” and most of today's fundamentalism cannot shape up when compared to the faith of our fathers. Truth has fallen in the streets! (I originally wrote the majority of these words in 1983. Some things have changed for the better, but it is evident that many things are worse). We desperately need revival. I pray for it. I believe that reformation must come before true revival will come (cw).
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: email@example.com