SermonNotes November 3, 2012 FBCam

WhatShould You Do When Disaster Strikes?

-A Righteous Response to Hurricane Sandy –


Aswe rode out the storm Monday and Tuesday, we were thankful that veryfew in our area were affected. Phone calls and visits on Tuesdayrevealed that this time, we did not have the damage and devastationlike we did during July’s devestating dorecho storm thatknocked out power for a week and downed thousands of trees.

Webreathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday, BUT since then, the news hasbeen growing worse all week as we realize the suffering of othersnearby.

– BEACHCOMMUNITIES of Ocean City, Seaside Heights, LBI have had devastatingdamage. Entire blocks of homes are gone, as well as iconicboardwalks and amusement rides.

– BAYCOMMUNITIES. Such as Fortesque experienced a huge storm surge thatswept away many homes.

– InNORTH JERSEY, the towns of Brick, Toms River, Bayone and Hoboken aresuffering with loss of power, loss of public transportation, floodingand storm damage. JONEL Arcedera had his MINISTRY CANCELLED todayat First Filipino Baptist church in Bayone.

– STATENISLAND was hit the hardest. From the NY Times we read this story: “Staten Island Was Tragic Epicenter of Storm’sCasualties” By JAMES BARRON, JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN and KIRK SEMPLE

Published:November 1, 2012 “GlendaMoore, 39,…packed her two boys into her blue sport utility vehicle and wastrying to flee the storm by driving to her sister’s home inBrooklyn.

Thestorm thwarted her getaway, first by stalling the engine, the policesaid.

Ms.Moore managed to step out of the S.U.V., taking 2-year-oldBrendan inher arms and leading 4-year-oldConnor by the hand. But a wave slammed into them, driving her andBrendan into the marsh and breaking her hold on Connor’s hand.Another wave carried him away moments later.

Aboutsix miles away, rescuers searching a wooded lot found the bodies ofan 89-year-old man and his 66-year-old wife on Thursday; the couplehad lived less than 500 yards away.

Personally,most of my family members live on Long Island. My sister’scondo was flooded with 2 feet of water which contained fuel and oil. It will cost thousands of dollars to repair, and most homeowners donot carry flood insurance.

Twoof my other sisters have been without power for one entire week. Temperatures are in the low 30’s at night. A niece has been hosting20-30 people per night in her home which did not lose power. Butthere are problems getting gas for cars and heating oil for homes. Thescene is one of devastation!

Weare left with many emotions and many questions;

happythat we were spared

wonderingif it is OK to be happy that we were spared

sadfor the many victims

Lifeseems normal here, but less than 40 miles away there is devestation

Howshould I feel?

Isthere anything that I should do?

Thissermon is titled “What Should You Do When Disaster Strikes?”

It’sa question that we are all contemplating today, and I want us to gainGod’s perspective on this issue as a church family today.

Thisis a question that Jesus addressed in his earthly ministry. We readof his answer in Luke 13:1-5.

Nowthere were some present at that time who told Jesus about theGalileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesusanswered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinnersthan all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tellyou, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or thoseeighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do youthink they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.””(Luke 13:1–5, NIV84)

Thereare FOUR IMPORTANT LESSONS for us to learn from the Savior’sanswer to the question of “why do innocent people suffer?”

Weare not told much about the background of Christ’s remark. Thepeople who asked Jesus about Pilate’s actions in this passageare not revealed. It appears that the event must have been widelyknown, and must have made a deep impact on the people of Jerusalem. Jesus takes the opportunity of this question to teach his disciplesimportant lessons about the reasons for human suffering.

FIRST: DisastersOccur Without Prejudice. Luke13:1-4

Jesusmakes it clear that the popular idea that “God will get you”must be discarded. Jesus remarks on the question of the apparentdeaths of Jerusalem worshipers who were killed by Pilate during theirsacrifice. This comment addresses the situation of HUMAN INJUSTICE. In the illustration brought up by the people, the cause of death washuman injustice. This is as troubling a situation for us today as itwas for the Jews of the first century.

Galileanswhose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices”

TheEvent here is unknown.

Itmust have occurred recently, since Pilate was the reigning authorityat the time.

Itmust have occurred in Jerusalem, since that was the only acceptableplace for sacrifices to be made.

Jesussays that the reason for their deaths was NOT because they were moreguilty than others. The word around Jerusalem was that thesacrificers were Galilean. The fine people of Jerusalem regarded thepeople of Galilee as less spiritual than the people of Jerusalem. They reasoned that this must be the reason for their deaths.

Recently,a twelve year old girl was killed in nearby Clayton. Was AutumnPasquale somehow guilty of something? NO. She was ruthlesslymurdered and dumped in a trash bin. Jesus makes clear that those whosuffer from human injustice do not deserve their suffering any morethan anyone else would.

Butthen Jesus uses his own illustration to make his point stronger. Hebrings up another commonly known event that also affected the peopleof Jerusalem. Here, he addresses the reason for NATURAL DISASTERS. “Thoseeighteen who died with the tower in Siloam fell on them?”

Jesusdismisses the idea of a vengefulGodwaiting to pounce on people. Even Jesus disciples’ held to thecommon idea of the day that when something bad happens, it is alwaysbecause God is punishing you for sin.

John9:1 “disciplesasked, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind”

Naturaldisasters occur for ALL for the following reasons.

1. Because We are ALLsubject to Creation. Hecauses his sunto rise onthe evil and the good, and sendsrain on the righteous and the unrighteous.(Matthew5:45)

2. Because the CREATIONis GROANING fromit’s CURSE. Genesis3:17–18 “Cursedis the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of itall the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles foryou, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Romans 8:22 Weknow that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains ofchildbirth right up to the present time.

3. Because GODis SOVEREIGN andworks everything for His purpose.

Proverbs16:4 TheLordworks out everything for his own ends— even the wicked for aday of disaster.

Isaiah14:24 TheLordAlmighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,and as I have purposed, so it will stand.

Job42:2 “Iknow that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

TheSecond Lesson that Jesus was teaching in Luke 13 was that DisastersShould Cause us to Evaluateof our Lives!

Considerwhat King King Nebuchadnezzar did after his seven years of judgementfrom God. Daniel4:34 Atthe end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes towardheaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; Ihonored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is aneternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” The Babylonian King reflected on his condition and gave praise toGod!

Onthe other hand, consider how the Jews of Judah reacted when they weretaken into captivity. They rejected God and failed to see what Hewas trying to teach them. sins. Jeremiah5:1-3 “Goup and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider,search through her squares. If you can find but one person who dealshonestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. Although theysay, ‘As surely as the Lordlives,’ still they are swearing falsely.” O Lord,do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt nopain; you crushed them, butthey refused correction. Theymade their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.

Herein Luke 13, Jesus warns, “Unlessyou repent you will all likewise perish!”

Athird thing that Disasters should do for us is to Cause us toContemplatethe Fragility of Life!

JESUSuses the talk of the Jews murdered by Pilate to teach us to BEPREPARED.

Everyonewill die

Wedon’t know when it will occur

Wecan’t control the timing.

Wecan’t add or take away. JOB 14:5 “Man’sdays are determined; you have decreed the number of his months andhave set limits he cannot exceed.

Wewill ALL PERISH. Greek apolumai.= destroy,perish.

Theword can mean “DROWN.” “Lord,save us, we are going to drown”

or“STARVE.” Prodigal son, “Iam starving to death”

or“DESTROYED.” Destroyedby the flood. Luke17:27

oneof the most memorable ways in which this word is used is in John10:28 “Igive them eternal life, and they shall never perish”

John3:16 “ForGod so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, thatwhosoever believeth in him shall not PERISH”

Toemphasize that we should contemplate the fragility of life, Jesusfollows this teaching with a Parable in Luke 13:6-8 “Thenhe told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in hisvineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For threeyears now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig treeand haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up thesoil?’ “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leaveit alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it andfertilize it.”(Luke 13:6–8, NIV84)

Judgmentmay be DELAYED but it will not be DENIED!

Theauthor of Ecclesiastes emphasizes the fragility of life in Ecc.9:1-12

SoI reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wiseand what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whetherlove or hate awaits him. All share a common destiny—therighteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and theunclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it iswith the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who takeoaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. This is the evil ineverything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakesall. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there ismadness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join thedead. Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dogis better off than a dead lion! For the living know that they willdie, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and eventhe memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and theirjealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a partin anything that happens under the sun. Go, eat your food withgladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now thatGod favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anointyour head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all thedays of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in yourtoilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do itwith all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there isneither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. I have seensomething else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or thebattle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to thebrilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to themall. Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish arecaught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men aretrapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”(Ecclesiastes 9:1–12, NIV84)

Doyou see what he is saying? Death occurs to us all. We cannot escapeit. All that we can do is live with concern for our lives today.

Whendisaster strikes, recognize that it might have been YOU!!!!

Donot neglect to PREPARE your SOUL! Hebrews 2:3 “howshall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

Finally,Disasters should cause us to SHOW COMPASSION on those in need!

1John 3:16–20 (NIV84)

16Thisis how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17Ifanyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but hasno pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dearchildren, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions andin truth. 19Thisthen is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set ourhearts at rest in his presence 20wheneverour hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and heknows everything.

James1:27 (NIV84)

27Religionthat God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to lookafter orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself frombeing polluted by the world.

James2:14–17 (NIV84)

14Whatgood is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has nodeeds? Can such faith save him? 15Supposea brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16Ifone of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm andwell fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what goodis it? 17Inthe same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, isdead.


Thecurrent count from Hurricane Sandy is 109 Dead. It Could Have BeenYOU! Prepare your soul. Be ready for eternity. The only way to beready for eternity is to accept Christ in your heart.

Millionssuffering. We can help SOME.

JoinMONDAY in fastingand prayer forour NATION and our COMMUNITY.

NationalGuard workingon Long Beach Island without meals. IFASKED, I have committed FBC to provide 2 meals per week to theNational Guard or to a Shelter. Here’swhat we can do:

1. Give Money to buy food (everyone)

2. People to prepare food (kitchen crew)

3. People to deliver and serve food.

Anotheraction item is to collect items for Hurricane victims. Faith Biblewill be open Monday from 3-6 PM to accept donations that will begiven to the shore.