Examine Yourself Rather Than Focus On Tragic Events

Scripture

Luke 13:1-5 (NASB)
1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, Sovereign over all creation, thank You for this day. Thank You for yet another opportunity to reconcile ourselves to You. Your longsuffering is not without its limits though, so we beseech thee to teach us to focus our attention on those things which are beneficial and edifying. Instead of focusing on tragic events, help us to examine ourselves for any issues which stand between us and You so that we may repent and seek forgiveness before it is too late, lest we be found unprepared should tragedy befall us. We pray this is the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Proposition

Rather than focus on tragic events, we should examine ourselves and repent lest we perish.

Transitional Sentence

We should examine ourselves and repent rather than focus on tragic events because…

Main Points

1. There is no direct connection between the conduct of those who suffer and the suffering they may experience in life.

False Assumption: All tragic events are the result of people’s sin.

John 9:1-3 (NASB)
1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

  • Wrong questions and statements always lead to wrong answers and conclusions.
  • If you say all tragic events are God’s judgments…
    • You do not have history on your side.
      • Tragic events happen to both good and bad.Matthew 5:44-45 (NASB)
        44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
    • You make the secret counsel of God no longer secret.
      • To claim to understand these tragedies and the secret designs of God’s wisdom is to degrade His providence and bring Him down to the level of man.Romans 11:33-34 (NASB)
        33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For Who has known the mind of the Lord , or who became His counselor?
    • You commit an act of Pharisee-ism.
      • While thanking God we were preserved through His mercy, we may dangerously assume those who suffered the tragedy must be greater sinners or inversely that we are more virtuous than they.
      • Our being preserved is by His grace and His grace only.

2. There is something to be learned from every event.

We must ask ourselves, “What is God trying to teach us?”

  • Personally
    • Although there is no direct connection between sin and suffering in this life, there is clearly a connection between sin and suffering in things to do with eternal life – “unless you repent, you will perish.”Luke 13:5 (NASB)
      5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
  • Corporately
    • Luke 13:6-9 (NASB)
      6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ “

      • In the parable of the fig tree, the fig tree represents the Jewish people.
      • The Jewish nation is the vineyard, which God has planted.
      • Ultimately, the fig tree
        • Needs to bear fruit
        • Needs to be useful
        • Will only get so many chances before it is cut down
      • So it is not only with God’s chosen people; but, of any nation.
    • Although there is no direct connection between sin and suffering in an individual, there is a connection between the sin of the people, the sin of the nation, and the consequences of it.
    • By the mercy of God we may get several chances; but ultimately, there is only one last chance.

Conclusion

Rather than focusing on tragic events, we should examine ourselves and repent lest we perish.

  • There is no direct connection between the conduct of those to suffer and the suffering they may experience in life.
  • However, there is something to be learned from every event.
  • We need to recognize that judgment is coming.
    • It is a wise decision.Luke 12:54-59 (NASB)
      54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55 “And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56 “You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? 57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 “For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 “I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”
    • It is a serious decision.Luke 13:1-5 (NASB)
      1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

      • Every tragedy should remind us of the need to maintain a right relationship with God and to repent of our sins if we are not right with God.
        • We should treat every tragedy as a second and maybe final chance for us to get our lives in order.
        • Each of us should ask ourselves, “What if it had been me? Would I have been ready to stand before God?”
    • It is an urgent decision.Luke 13:6-9 (NASB)
      6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 “And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ “

      • Jesus is using a parable here to illustrate that we do not have forever to make this decision.
        • There will come a time when the words, “cut it down” will be spoken about our lives.
        • The time of Judgment will come.
        • Now is not the time to procrastinate or delay getting right with God.
        • Repentance is an urgent issue!
      • The owner of the vineyard had waited patiently three years for signs of fruit and would not wait much longer.
        • Judgment was very close at hand!
          • God is very patient but you can wait too long even for God.
          • Repentance is an urgent issue because you do not know how much time there is before judgment.
        • If you have things in your life that are not right (Dishonesty, Impurity, Illicit Relationships, Thievery, etc.) then today is the day to repent and begin a changed life in God’s power.
        • Repentance is not something you put on your list of things to do some day.
        • Time is short!

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience towards us. Please give us the wisdom to realize that Your patience has its limits. Please give us the discernment to identify those things in our life that keep us separated from You. Please give us the strength to repent of those things before Your patience wears out. Thank You for Your lovingkindness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expectations for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form






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