A Tale of Two Cities

Matthew 24:44

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.

2014 has proven to be the year of the interesting weather.  About two weeks ago, the city of Atlanta was hit with a snowstorm that paralyzed the city.  If you listen to the news, they make it seem like the governor of Georgia and the mayor of Atlanta are at fault.  Even the weather channel weighed in, so I am told, defending the fact that they warned the city of Atlanta that this storm was coming.  It appears as if their warnings fell of deaf ears.  Cars were stranded and abandoned on major highways in Atlanta.  It is my understanding that people spent hours in their cars trying to get home.  The highways were so jammed that road crews could not get through to do their jobs.  Since the road crews could not clear the snow and ice, travel was treacherous.  It was a mess.

Fast forward two weeks, give or take a day or two.  Travel six hours up the interstate to Raleigh, North Carolina, where the same kind of snowstorm hit the area.  Road crews spent two days spraying brine and salt on the highways and major arteries within the city.  School let out early and in some cases, there was no school at all.  Churches canceled Tuesday and Wednesday night functions in order to keep their parishioners off the roads.  Banks shut down.  The mall closed.  Even McDonald’s was closed.  Now, you know it is major if McD’s shut down!

Even after all that preparation, Raleigh suffered the same fate as Atlanta.  Cars were stranded and abandoned on major highways and thoroughfares in Raleigh.  People spent hours in their cars trying to get home.  Trips that normally took eight minutes turned into trips that lasted two hours.  The highways were so jammed that road crews could not get through to do their jobs.  Since the road crews could not clear the snow and ice, travel was treacherous.  It was a mess.

So, two cites, Atlanta and Raleigh…one seemingly ignored the warning and one heeded the warning.  One failed to prepare in advance and one prepared very well.  One has a governor and mayor under fire, while the other has a governor and mayor who took all the precautions and had all the right people in place.  Ultimately, the results were the same.

I wonder why that is….well, no I really don’t wonder because I already know.  I already know that there is no way that man can fully determine what God is going to do.  Neither city could have known that God had decided it was time for the deep south to experience some rigid temperatures and deal with feet of snow.  Jesus said “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3).  Regardless of the technology, and there is some sophisticated technology out there now, no one could have known what would happen weather wise in February 2014.  I do not know about other cities, but it is my understanding that Raleigh has some of the most sophisticated weather tracking technology in the United States.  I was watching the weather forecast, and the meteorologist said that there are only a handful of cites in the country that have the technology that they used to determine what time the snow would start falling and how much accumulation we could expect.  As good as they may think that technology is, no one knows the mind of the sovereign God except God Himself.

Jesus told the Pharisees that they had all the knowledge and learning that the world afforded at that time; so much so that they could discern what the weather would be like, but they had no clue that they were in the presence of God Himself.  They knew a lot, but they didn’t know the right stuff.

So we have two cities who, no matter how you slice it, are not discerning the signs of the times.  The snowstorm that came through has been attributed to global warming and a polar vortex, but I want to climb on the roof of my house and scream to the top of my lungs, it is the wrath of God!!!  It is only God’s wrath that has a city in a deep freeze, and a week later, experiencing tropical temperatures.  It is not Global Warning…it is God’s Wrath.

If you do not have the ability to discern the times, then you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ.  You are not in relationship with Him.  You have not repented of your sin and surrendered your life to Him.  God’s wrath here on this earth is nothing like the wrath to come, when the unredeemed meet their father, satan himself, in a place where there is outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, the unquenchable fire, and the worm that does not die (Mark 9).  You are headed there if you do not have Godly sorrow for your sin.  Repent today and be saved.  Heed the warning.  The sign of the times is upon us.  The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again and it will not take as long as some think.

Romans 10:9-10

 

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