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Is God responsible for Natural Disasters?

Episode 127

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Some believers claim God uses natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes and so on, to judge people on earth. Others claim the devil is the author of every destructive weather event, and God has nothing to do with it. Others believe the weather is merely cyclical in nature, and destructive weather patterns have no preternatural origin. But who is right? What does the Bible say about this? Join Carl now for a controversial broadcast, which took some time to research…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Friend, today we will discuss the very controversial topic of natural disasters. Now this is a very sensitive subject matter and understandably so based on recent catastrophic events that have rocked these United States especially in recent weeks. The truth is Natural disasters have been raging upon our earth since time began and they are documented within the pages of the Bible also. People’s lives can be ruined by these disasters and the reconstruction of cities can take years to complete. I do not pretend to have all the answers here today friend but I will share with you what God’s word has to say about it

Whenever hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis occur in various parts of the word, the inevitable question becomes “are these disasters caused by natural weather cycles, or are they Gods divine judgment or perhaps even a work of the devil?” The answer to this is very complex question is in fact yes to all of the above, or a combination because scripture attests to all three possibilities.

Let’s remind ourselves that scripture states it ‘rains on the just and the unjust.’ Churches and Christians can be destroyed in these disasters also, even if some contend it’s God’s judgment upon the wicked only. Then we must ask ourselves, if God placed all His wrath upon His son Jesus Christ at the cross, is He still pouring out selective wrath or judgment on certain cities or regions in this New Testament dispensation? I know there are some ministers out there who blame all natural disasters on the devil, by simply stating the devil comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ and therefore any form of disaster must be the ‘devils work’ but I think it’s far more complicated than that. In fact, I’m going to share some scriptures with you shortly that reveal beyond a shadow of doubt that God has utilizes hurricanes or whirlwinds as they are called, in these latter days, for His selective judgments.

In these last days, we church leaders need to be very very careful ‘what’ and ‘how’ we say things concerning such serious disasters which impact this generation and the ones to come. We should not spout out a knee jerk response claiming it must be God’s judgment without searching out the matter very carefully. Remember friend, life is fragile and full of trouble. The OT reminds us of this in the Book of Job: Job 14:1 – “Man that is born of a woman Is of few days, and full of trouble,” And Job 5:7, Yet man is born unto trouble, As the sparks fly upward.” Then we have Jesus’ warnings in the Gospels themselves, in Matthew 5:45 – “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Friend, lest we forget, we are living in a fallen and cursed earth. This earth is accident prone and subject to the curse placed upon it. We as Christians have been redeemed from the curse of the law certainly (which is poverty, sickness, and spiritual death) but we have not been redeemed from the curses in the earth, which are still in effect as long as we’re living in it. Jesus gave no special explanation when the tower of Siloam fell in Luke 13, he just reminded the disciples of the need for repentance. But when it comes to Natural Disasters today, they fall typically fall under category of, Tornadoes, Hurricane, Tsunami’s, Tropical Storms, Cyclones, floods, fires, and earthquakes. Now for those who’ve studied these weather patterns, there’s evidence that some of these disaster’s fall are subject to cyclical patterns. There seems to be a pattern revealed by Meteorologists in cycles of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 or even 100 years so we shouldn’t discount this phenomenon of weather cycling revealed by the experts.

It’s doubtful however, that every storm in these cycles is from God or the devil but could be merely exhibiting a cycle in nature and evidence of the cursed earth we live in. If the earth is cursed then the weather patterns are too because they’re part of the cursed earth, never forget that. However, in these last days, Jesus described that in the time running up to and within the tribulation period itself, there would be an increase in both the intensity and frequency of these disasters, better known as ‘birth pangs’ or ‘pains’ and He talked of this in His Olivet discourse. Let’s read it now; “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (that word is echo); Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:25–27).

So, one sign of Jesus’ coming was trouble for the seas and coastal areas. Water seems to be heavily involved in judgment in these last days. Noah’s warning was that water would destroy the world and scripture also attests to the last days being ‘as it was in the days of Noah’ but what were his days like? Well in Noah’s day the windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep burst forth.

In Noah’s flood the fountains of the deep were burst wide open as well as the heavens being opened. Underground aquifers came from these chambers deep within the earth’s crust and were split wide open during Noah’s flood. The ‘platelets’ of the earth shifting to and fro, in much the same way as tsunamis today, caused a shaking and the fountains of the deep came forth. Are not hurricanes today, the windows of heaven opening again from above friend? just as it was in the days of Noah, so it is today in the context of tsunamis and hurricanes.

Then the Apostle Paul spoke of the ‘groanings’ that the earth experiences, in his epistle to the Romans 8:22 says For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” But friend I want to stress in this broadcast that God is a loving God and He warns His people before destruction occurs. That’s why we need to cultivate a relationship with the Lord in the good times so that we can easily hear His voice when bad things are coming upon us. Do not forget that Jesus warned Jerusalem of its impending destruction, 40 years prior to its destruction, right? …”not one stone on the temple would be left unturned” and Jerusalem also to be destroyed (Mat 23:37-38). Jesus even gave the timing of when to leave the city in, (Lk 21:2), i.e., when Roman soldiers surrounded, then they were to flee to the mountains. So, for those who doubt that God can use storms for His means of judgment let me share a few scriptures with you now: Psalm 11:6 says “Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, And an horrible tempest (which is an old word for storm): this shall be the portion of their cup.

Jeremiah 25:32–33 says “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; They shall be dung upon the ground.”

Jeremiah 30:23–24 says “Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, A continuing whirlwind: It shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have done it, And until he have performed the intents of his heart: In the latter days ye shall consider it. “

According to this scripture, in these latter days, which are surely now, we must surely consider the whirlwinds, can be sent from God for judgment. Then we have the example of Rev 18:4-5 in the tribulation period, God warns his people to come out of the harlot city of Babylon. Revelation 18:4–5 says, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, for her sins have reached unto heaven, And God hath remembered her iniquities.” Based on scripture then, God does keep close tabs on the sins and iniquities of certain cities, including Sodom and Gomorrah that he rained fire upon after he checked out their sins by paying a personal visit in (Genesis 18).

Then we have the classical example of Jesus rebuking the storm in Mk 4:39 and so apparently some storms can be authored by Satan; otherwise, Jesus would not be rebuking the wind in this instance. If God sent the storm, then Jesus would be rebuking His father, which is simply illogical. So, people say, there Pastor that’s proof that all storms are from the devil. No friend, we never base a doctrine off of one scripture alone. It takes two-three witness to establish every word. But it does however undoubtedly indicate that Satan can be the source of some storms in some instances.

Now, when we scour the Gospels and the words of Jesus in particular, it becomes evident that judgment comes for two reasons mainly:1) Shedding innocent blood (especially of babies and prophets of God) and 2) Because people do not repent.

In case you had not noticed the abortion count within the United States just topped, 59.7 million since Roe vs. Wade in 1973. America is not unique in this regard; abortion is an epidemic within all nations but there is a curse that comes upon the land for this shedding of innocent blood. Christ alluded to this in Matthew 23:35–38 when he said; “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. “

Then in Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus rebuked the people of certain cities because they wouldn’t repent. Then began he to upbraid (to severely criticize) the cities of Chorazin, Bethesda and Capernaum wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. Friend, these cities they ignored Jesus’ miracles and Jesus was very angry because of it. These people did not repent like they should have and this resulted in the destruction of their cities. Friend, there is a cup of iniquity mentioned in scripture and when it’s full of sin, evidently God’s judgment will ensue. Genesis 15:16 says in the NLT, 16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites is not yet full or did not yet warrant their destruction.”

Now if we study the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah particularly, you’ll notice the source of judgment was one of four possible methods: #1 Sword (war), #2 fire (of homes and floods), #3 famine, #4 and finally pestilence (which are plagues and disease). But friend, like I said before there is scriptural precedent for God warning His people of these judgments before they occur so that you will not come to harm. 2nd Peter 2:9 says, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

Lot was righteous. He pretty much lost everything but he did go to Zoar to start a new life with his children and was able to rebuild but he lost everything but his life because God’s judgment came upon Sodom and Gomorrah. But friend, God can and will separate His people from judgment at the right time. In Exodus chapter eight, we learn that God protected His people in Egypt whilst pouring out His judgments. Remember Goshen was spared the flies. Darkness occurred in Egypt but light shone in Goshen, Egyptian cattle was destroyed but there was no hail in Goshen, etc. etc. God can preserve us in times of great distress like I said before but we must listen to His Spirit. If in some instance He is the author of the judgment He will warn his people beforehand, giving them a chance to relocate and this is scriptural.

Friend, when people suffer on a mass scale because of these catastrophes, it provides us Christians with a tremendous opportunity to intervene and show God’s love, this is how we can win people over to Christ. We need to have the church doors wide open and not worry if the carpet gets wet or dirt. God is a loving God, but everyone who rejects Him is subject to judgment already and people can’t continue to reject God and not expect consequences. If anyone rejects God’s covenant then we are subject to judgment…. period.

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Episode 127