Martin Luther was uniquely shaken in spirit when he saw one of his companions struck with lightning during a thunderstorm at Erfurt in 1502. Two weeks later, he again was so frightened by a violent thunderstorm while returning from a visit to his family, that he decided to become a monk.
Isaiah 26:9 says, "When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." This kind of judgment that God sends forth means "an event that serves to warn." John Owen, the great Puritan theologian, called this "signature judgment." John Endsley said, "It is not the severity of punishment that acts as a deterrent. It is its inevitability."
On May 8, 1902 residents of the beautiful West Indies island of Martinique welcomed the new day as any other. However, there was a problem. The island volcano, Mt. Pelee, had been acting strangely. A month earlier, a volcanologist had warned them to evacuate. Two weeks later, an eruption covered the town of St. Pierre with ash. However most ignored the incident, and continued in their daily routines. At 8:02 a. m., on May 8, the volcano exploded, instantly incinerating 28,000 residents. The deadliest volcano of the twentieth century was the result of unheeded warnings.
As Paul stood before Felix, he warned him of "the judgment to come" (Acts 24:25). G. Campbell Morgan commented, "Thus Paul reminded Felix that the final act in every human life is not reached in the passing moment, but lies over the borderline, in the beyond. In effect, he said to him, 'Life is not to be measured by the present, but by the future. Every human life must pass out to the place of judgment, where there will be the finding of the true verdict, and the passing of the true sentence; and moreover, the carrying out of that sentence by the action of inexorable law.' Paul said to Felix in effect, 'You will have ultimately to report to a higher Throne than that of Caesar.'"
A World War II chaplain noticed that after each enemy bombing raid the attendance at his chapel services increased. It become so obvious, that, when the chapel attendance dropped, the men would joke, "Chaplain, we need another raid."
"The Angel that has a rainbow about His head, has pillars of fire for His feet (Revelation 10:1), to consume them who refuse His peace" (Arthur W. Pink).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654