By Pastor Alex Ruelo
There is good news everywhere. But if you hear and see bad news all around, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Luke 13:1-5 says, “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.””
Have you ever judged people because of the bad things that happened to them? Or thought of yourself as better than others? Sometimes, you even think that other people are worse than you because they experience the worst possible scenarios. In the story, there are two tragedies. The first is through human cause. We see how Pilate killed the Galileans in the previous verses. Sometimes, things happen because of our own hands. On the other hand, natural causes are also the reason why bad things happen to people. Earthquakes, typhoons and flash floods are just some examples of these. It is not man’s fault that he experiences these things. When this happens, we ask if they are bad people that is why these things happen to them. It can either be a punishment or a trial from God. Charles Spurgeon, one of best evangelists during his time, said, “It is true. The wicked man sometimes falls dead in the street; but has not the minister fallen dead in the pulpit? It is true that a pleasure-boat. In which men were seeking their own pleasure on the Sunday, has suddenly gone down; But is it not equally true a ship which contained none but godly men, who were bound upon an excursion to preach the gospel has gone down too? Good and bad people have bad things happen to them. No one is exempted.
Jesus said that all will perish unless you repent. He said this twice, both in a different manner. The first time, he tells them to be sorry for your sins. The second time, he tells them to be sorry for their sins over and over again. Instead of focusing on the reason for the tragedy, Jesus shifted the attention not on the current situation but on eternal things. It is not the cause of the event that is important but what can come out of it. It does not matter how you die. You will perish if you do not repent. The difference between a repentant sinner and the one who does not repent is the former has peace; the latter will perish.
What must you do? Stop being a gossiper. In the story, people were judging others. When you see something happening, do not think or judge anymore. The question you should be asking is, “if this happened to me, would I have been ready?” Make yourself ready and help others to be ready too. You will never know what might happen later, tomorrow or next week. Stop comparing yourself with others. If you compare yourself with others, you are insulting yourself. Social media is very deceiving. Do not believe everything that you see. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is greener where you water it. Lastly, stop procrastinating. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 says, “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Do not delay for tomorrow what you can do today. You might not have that luxury. Nobody deserves the grace of God. We are all sinners. That is why we need to repent.
Jesus said in Luke 5:31, that healthy people do not need a doctor; sick people do. He has come to call those not who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners and need to repent. If you know that you are a sinner and that you are sick, you need to come forward, admit your mistake and repent. “There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away”, says Luke 15:7. You are very important to Him. When you come to the Lord and say “I am sorry, I am not worthy,” He is pleased. You can pretend to be okay every Sunday and even pretend to be Christians. You can pretend to do things for God. But one day you will face God and the truth will be told. Do not do tomorrow what you can do today. Repent. Judgement is coming.