This month marks the one year anniversary of the horrific Tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean countries on December 26th, 2004, and since that time, scientists have undertaken many steps to try and understand the immense geological forces that combined to unleash the destructive waves that killed almost 300,000 people.
In 2005, a scientific team was brought together to study the ocean floor off the coast of Indonesia with a hope of learning how the gigantic waves were spawned after an undersea earthquake measuring 9.2 on the Richter Scale. Upon visiting the devastated islands in the region, the team reported being overcome by the still remaining scenes of destruction and trying to imagine the horror that faced the poor souls who experienced the coming waves that morning. During a documentary of their visit that is being broadcast on the Discovery Channel, one scientist remarked with incredible feeling that “the people died because they didn’t know the signs!” They didn’t know not to remain on the beach perplexed as to why the shoreline was suddenly receding. They didn’t know that upon feeling the earthquake that they needed to immediately run to higher ground. The scientist’s dejection was heartfelt and totally understandable.
It is this very feeling of a need to call attention to the warning signs that drive many Christians to literally annoy their friends and relatives by pleading for them to ask Jesus for forgiveness of their sins and to accept His free offering of salvation. Unlike the scientists who have studied long and hard to achieve their level of knowledge in their field of expertise, most Christians have come by their knowledge simply by way of a free gift from God – not from any unified sense of scholarship and natural insight. However for many the knowledge of the signs of coming destruction on this earth are everywhere, yet like the Indian Ocean beachgoers that morning, most people are completely unaware.
In the biblical Book of Matthew Chapter 24 verse 3, Jesus’ disciples asked him clearly to tell them the signs that would point to His return: As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" The Lord went on to discuss these signs throughout the rest of Chapter 24. He then added this comment towards the end of the Chapter: "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come…” (NIV)
It is because of these signs that true Christians implore others to accept the opportunity for salvation through Jesus Christ. The reality if you think about it, is that for most people their imminent end is not the literal “end of the world” but in fact their own mortality, their own individual death. None of the people on those beaches that morning knew that was going to be the day that “your Lord would come”.
The scientist was exactly right when he remarked “that it is our job; we should have warned people about the signs, and they would have had a chance to be saved…from that Tsunami." But there is a greater figurative Tsunami that awaits most people. As Christians we need to tell others about the signs.
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