The Beauty of Truth Amidst the Ashes of the Wildfires in the American West
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity (Eccl 1:2). Sinful man forgets much, especially when he prospers in the world. His insatiable lust for bigger and better things, in the materialistic, physical realm, is accompanied by pride when he achieves these things.
Sinful man proves his idolatry in acquiring more and more for himself to his own hurt (Eccl 5:13; Lk 12:13–34). For this reason, the Bible warns God’s people not to love the world, nor the things of the world (1 Jn 2:15–17). Not only do moth and rust corrupt material possessions, day by day, but the thief comes to steal, as do the hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires.
The Christian says, “Silver and gold, I have none, but what I do have, I give to you (Acts 3:6).” What does the Christian have that is more valuable than precious silver and gold (Prv 3:14; 8:10, 19)? The Bible claims, “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver (Prv 16:16).” Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, and He is the only Savior of sinners (Col 1:24; Jn 3:16; 14:6; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:4–6).
Men deny that God is the cause of terrible destruction and loss. They say, “My God is a God of love, and He would never bring natural disasters — causing suffering, loss, and death.” Sadly, this poor, ignorant soul is unacquainted with the Bible, where God is seen bringing destruction from Genesis to Revelation.
Jesus Himself warned His disciples that natural disasters were predetermined by God, as precursory events to His coming again (Mt 24:7). He also prophesied of cosmic chaos at His future return (Mt 24:29).
What could be more explicit than the preaching of the wildfires in the American West? It is one thing for men to scoff at the preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but consider their condition, when John the Baptist is moved to roar, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7)?”
The preacher may have the Word of God burning in his bones like a fire (Jer 20:9), but will the sons of disobedience ignore the fires ravaging their communities? If men will not repent of their sins (Acts 17:20), will not God bring fire to them, as He did to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19)?
The anger of the Lord burns with righteous judgment against all sinners, they being just recipients, for all their ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). Have men forgotten that our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29)?
This is our God, “Behold, the name of the Lord comes from a remote place; burning is His anger and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation and His tongue is like a consuming fire (Is 30:27).” Is it not written, “From the Lord of hosts, you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, with whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire (Is 29:6).”?
Finally, what do people in this world have to look forward to, as they ignore the signs of the times, or blame natural disasters on climate change? The apostle Peter answers our inquiry, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and all its works will be burned up…looking for and hastening the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat (2 Pet 3:10, 12).”
My friend, take heed and be warned of the wrath of God to come. You are already a witness to His destructive power, serving to send humanity warning after warning. Who can deliver you from the wrath to come? Who can save you from the eternal punishment in fiery hell, immersed in the lake of fire (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15)? It is Jesus who rescues His people from the wrath to come (Mt 1:21; 1 Thess 1:10). Turn from sin, death, judgment, hell and the lake of fire. Heed the warning. Flee from the wrath to come, and may, today, be the day of your salvation.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 2, 2022