When 25,000 people died in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, some people quickly concluded that God might be punishing them. In the opinion of some, bad things only happen to bad people. According to Luke 13, people once asked Jesus to comment on a recent tragedy. Pilate had murdered innocent people as they offered sacrifices in the temple. When Jesus heard the report, He responded, “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee? Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. Or, what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.” We can draw at least two lessons from what Jesus said. 1) We should not jump to conclusions as to why calamities occur. It is true that bad things can happen to bad people, but bad things can also happen to good people. 2) We should view any tragedy as an object lesson—as a reminder that calamities will come and we should be ready to meet God when they do. The way to be ready for death is by being in the right relationship with God. God alone decides the time we depart and our destiny beyond the grave. God offers eternal life to those who accept His Son Jesus as their Savior.
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