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Japan: A Tragedy of Biblical Proportions


  1. Christians on both side of the aisle debate the goodness of a God who would permit the kind of death and suffering we see in the aftermath of Japan’s 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.  


  3. All over the world the main topic of discussion is the Japan tragedy, and now we learn that the worst is yet to come. Both Christian and non-Christian people are confused. People can’t understand how a “good” God could allow thousands upon thousands of innocent people to be killed. It is not necessary to present another theological or philosophical debate to explain what, and why, these things happen, or to try and justify God; John Piper has done that; and Brian McLaren’s philanthropic love has cornered the market on empathy. With those bases covered the question of “why?” still remains, and will not go away. After the prayers are over, and the aid exhausted, the mothers, fathers, and children, who have lost so much, return to their homes, and keep asking, “Why?”

    Christians don’t have to have all the answers, but answers help, especially now; and you can do no better than opening up the Bible.

    How do we balance the mercy and love of God, with His justice? I say “we” because God doesn’t do a balancing act, nor does He juggle His emotions, trying to keep some kind of equilibrium between good and evil. God is God, even when we don’t understand Him. God is perfect, and man confused; it is man that walks the tight rope wanting to know “why?” It is “we” who are out of balance and stumble, proposing our question in hopelessness, when the answer is right there, in the Book. God has spoken!

    God has anticipated the question and has included the answer, in His book of answers, the Bible. We will look in vain going anywhere else.

    Luke. 13:1-9 says everything that needs to be said for those who want the truth.

    “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 guiltier than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’” 

    Then he told this parable:

    “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, 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 three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” 

    It was generally accepted by the Jews of that time, and many today, that if something bad happens to a person it is because of sin in their life. In other words if a building falls on you, you must have been very bad. Jesus’ simple answer was, no, that isn’t true. “But, unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” So, Jesus’ answer to the Japan disaster is, no, God did not cause this disaster, but He did allow it, and “unless you repent you will likewise perish.” The parable that follows, which most people overlook when considering the above passage, sheds some light on the matter. What some will see here is a mean natured God; others will see a God of mercy.

    By looking closely we discover that the wrong question is being asked. They, and we, ask “why did God do this or allow this to happen?” By understanding the parable and what Jesus is trying to teach us we understand that the question should be, Why does a perfectly “just” God tolerate anyone to live, why doesn’t He destroy all mankind, not just allow a few to die in accidents? The answer is “MERCY.”

    In the parable God is the owner of the tree and Jesus is the gardener, who asks for mercy on the tree, for a period of time, to try and make the tree fruitful. God is a merciful God who has waited and waited and waited, but His justice cannot wait forever; justice must prevail.

    It is precisely because of accidents that the preaching of the Gospel is so important. How long will God’s mercy be put off, the Bible says, “Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled,” Heb. 3:15? And, this is precisely why the message of Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, and the whole camp of the neo-liberal “Emergents” is a death sentence for anyone caught in their web of deceit. They destroy the justice of God and leave the question of “why” unanswered, and hide poor sinners from the mercy of a Father who will wait, till He can wait no longer.

    Come home, poor sinner;
    Why longer roam,
    Thy Savior’s calling,
    “Come home, come home!”

    He died to save you
    On Calvary;
    Behold what suff’ring!
    ’Twas all for thee.

    Oh, come to Jesus,
    Do not delay;
    Come, and He’ll save you;
    Come while you may.

    Oh, come to Jesus;
    He’s waiting still
    With His salvation,
    Thy soul to fill.

    Oh, come to Jesus;
    How can you stay,
    He’s pleading, pleading;
    Come, come today.


16 replies on “Japan: A Tragedy of Biblical Proportions”

I have a question I would like to ask: in the Gospels the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "Let the little children come to me and forbid them not."  The same Lord told King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3, "Now go and smite the Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."  Can you explain these two contradictory statments?
God is God!  His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are His thoughts above ours thoughts.  Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."  According to what Lord said to Israel and to us today, what should be our concern?  The secret things, or the revealed things?  So many times we forget about the revealed things to us and our responsibility to the Lord in regard to those things.  The secret things belong to Him, and Him alone!!
Missionary to Bolivia, South America

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Your question is a very good one. If I may, let me state it this way. Why did God command the destruction of the Amalekites, along with their children, yet in the New Testament we see Jesus (God) very much concerned with the life of children?

Your question to me is,

“Can you explain these two contradictory statements?”

To the average person, and Christian, they see a “disconnect” here between the Old Testament God, and the God of the New Testament. This disconnect is a disturbance that they cannot reconcile and so they search out an answer through the use of “reason.” This is a mistake. By the use of reason we are only left with the disconnect, or we turn to the liberals who explain it away. This is not honest, as we know, because the “disconnect” still exist in the Bible as a fact.

First of all, we have to believe that Scripture is correct, and that it says what it says. Secondly, if it is God’s word, then the problem is not with God, it is with us. Thirdly, it is a matter of understanding the mind of God.

Before I attempt an answer let me say that trying to give a satisfactory answer, which eases the mind, is not the same as having a revelation through the Holy Spirit, which satisfies the heart and soul. For example, there was much conflict in those days about who Jesus was, even among the disciples. Jesus asked them, “Who do say that I am,” and they gave varying answers that were conflicting in nature. Then Jesus asked Peter who he says He is, and Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus now makes a statement that many Christians hurry over and miss the absolute importance of, He says, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but the Father has revealed it to you.”

Jesus told these men several times that He spoke in riddles and parables, and for one reason, so that the unbelieving would not understand. It wasn’t till Jesus took the disciples apart and “revealed” the answer to them that they understood. These men could have gotten off by themselves and “reasoned” out an answer, and each of them could have come up with something different, and could have gone off on their own, and started a new sect based on their own brilliant insight; not unlike what we see today. What Jesus was telling these guys was that unless He, or the Father, or the Holy Spirit, gave them the answer, through “revelation” they would remain in the dark, hopeless realms of human intelligence and reason.

It is no different today. Our schools are turning out intellectual men who have used all their own ability to reason out the answer to the Biblical riddle, and appear spiritual, but are as lost and ignorant as the worst worldling. Remember the Pharisees? Who knew the Bible better than them? They knew it frontwards and backwards, and when the Messiah, who they eagerly awaited, showed up, they killed Him. Many Church leaders rank no better; they simply do not understand what they are doing. They are following men’s designs to build God’s Church, and only end up with more religion. The statistics prove my point.

The starting place to your question has to be with God and not us. Men like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell will not accept that, and neither will most Christians, so these men get large followings. If we start anywhere else, we must edit-out the problem, like Thomas Jefferson, or re-write and re-word God’s message like the liberals.

God is perfectly just, and perfectly loving, He is God, just as you say; “God is God!” and His ways are far above us, as far as the heavens. God demands are obedience, and will test it, as He did Saul.

15:1 And Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction [1] all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

The word “devote” means to set apart; God had set apart this people for destruction, and He says why.
“I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt.”

We might ask, “Can a people become so corrupt that they warrant destruction?” Obviously the answer is yes; and this was not the first time, remember the flood?
Is this the correct answer? It is, as far as what has been revealed by the above Scripture. Is it a complete answer? It is, as far as “those things which are revealed belong to us.” Unless the Holy Spirit reveals a deeper understanding of this people and why they deserved this display of God’s justice, then we must be satisfied, or get out our editing pencil or scissors, which will put us outside God’s grace, as it did Saul.

There are many seeming “contradictions” in the Bible; what will we believe, and who will we trust? Our concern should be to believe and trust God, and not man. The days of mercy will end, as the Bible prophesies, and God’s justice will not tarry, so “today if you hear His voice!?” The picture we see of Jesus in the book of Revelation is with a sword coming out of His mouth and eyes of fire. He will not judge us incorrectly.

Steve Blackwell

Hi Steve,
I saw your artilcle in the LHT which led me to your website. I thank you for this article.
I echo Kathleen Mc's last comment. These are birth pangs leading up to the Great Tribulation. The Bible speaks of this and this should be a warning to believers to wake up and realize that the time is short and it is time to stop playing church and get priorities right and take our faith seriously. Whether it is in Haiti or Japan or Chile or New Zealand, God is not punishing these people. These are last day events in conjunction with the apostasy of the Church.
As you were saying, most of the Church is asleep. The signs tell us the time is short!  The Church at large is preaching a watered-down, compromised, ineffective Gospel. They don't want to heed the words of the watchmen and women who are trying to sound the alert. But we cannot remain silent – and not get discouraged. It is a thankless work, but our Lord takes notice and He is in charge of the results. 
We are to work for the night is coming – the Lord will come for His Bride in the Rapture (which many now are trying to downplay and twist like a pretzel) and then the time for the Church to reach the lost will be over. 
Keep up the good work and nevermind the naysayers.

Thank you Mama Jo and Watcher Who Waits,

We are living in desperate and heroic times. Many are beginning to speak out as the Lord roles back the scroll and shines the light of truth on our paths. We have not yet seen, in the USA, the cost of speaking out, but that time is coming. As more truth is unveiled, speaking out will become a dangerous occupation. The great Christian Patriot movement that is being preached from very many pulpits is gathering steam, and is evil at its core. When those who speak truth have to break the bad news to those families that have sent their sons and daughters to die for a Christian patriot dream that is a lie, and that they have been deluded, the cost will go up dramatically. It is hard to imagine the amount of anger that will be unleashed when those winds gather strength.

The Christian Patriot Movement is only one example. The grand conspirator Satan is moving all his elements into place, and as he does those who love the Light will become more enlightened, and those who love darkness will become more deceived. We may not be able to navigate the web of deceit and know all of its intricacies, but we can at least know that Satan is the deceiver of the whole world, and that we too are deceived in some regards and must seek the truth at any cost.

Be strong in the Lord,

Steve Blackwell

If we read Matthew Chapter 24, especially verses 21 and 22, we might well see the answer to many questions….surely, we are living in the end times.  Let us work while it is day, and preaching the gospel and the faith once delivered unto the saints, and making disciples as well as continuing to sound the warning of those who are doing their best to promote the new age teachings of emergent/purpose driven movements. We must watch and pray and surely as we are watching what is happening in the church we surely will fall to our knees praying!   Keep the faith, we must endure unto the end.  God bless you.

Just want to respond in affirmation of your last comment, Steve.  You are absolutely 100% correct.  The great delusion is upon us.  People are more than willing to believe doctrines of devils rather than the Truth of the Gospel.
It is incredible to me that some of my own family who were brought up on the Word of God, well-versed in Bible prophecy, educated as to what would be forthcoming in the last days, have actually read and accepted "The Shack" (they now, "understand the Trinity!!!!!").  I wouldn't have believed it if I had been told they would fall for the lies and blasphemy they have fallen for.  They are truy "without excuse" because we were fully educated and prepared for such garbage.
The "emergent leaders", "new evangelicals", etc. put the delusion in full swing – appealing to the "lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, (and most of all) the pride of life.
Pride is masquerading as a humble, caring attitude toward society as they go about doing good and making the world a "better place for all."
I am so thankful for Understanding the Times, Dave Hunt and others for being watchmen on the wall.  Thank you, thank you.


Unfortunately, the same is to be said of my family, and we suffer the consequences for our stand.

Thank you for being one of those who are standing for the truth, and your prayer request is heard.

Blessings sister,

Steve Blackwell

Indy Watchman,  You are right on!, in my opinion; and not many seem to be able to understand.  Jesus is not only  Savior but King, once He rose from the dead and sat at the right hand of the Father.  He wishes to save people so they can go to heaven; but there are times He must also, in justice, be King; and a king judges and makes war.  And in Revelation 1:6 it says He has made us, (His people), kings and priests.  We do our warfare in prayer, praying priestly prayer for salvation of people; but if they don't choose to repent, we must pray, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, using the Word, (especially Psalms of David), against the situation and the person doing the evil who would try to destroy us or our country.  If we always pray for our enemy, we may be enabling evil.  Something for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ to think about – serious issue, especially in these evil days.
M. F. K..


Understanding is at a premium these days; confusion reigns.

What I see as an outstanding characteristic among the the Emerging crowd: Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and most of the others is false humility that is part of their script or stagecraft. Their humility is the culmination of their own perceived brilliance in being able to imagine, and express through acting and writing, an understanding of God’s mind. To say it simply, they are full of “themselves;” they are the epitome Satanic pride.

The Lord God will not accept pride in anyone; it must die along with so many other worldly traits men cherish so much. Just as in the last days we know that “the lie” will become the truth, and “the truth” will become the lie, so also we see in these men that “pride” has become humility, and “humility” pride.

These men are the proof that we are living in the last days.


Steve Blackwell

You are very welcome, Steve.  It's not up to us to "reason why."  That is what the Lord had to show me in 1977 in order to enable me to surrender my "whys" to Him, repent of my own sinful self, and "allow" Him to be the ONLY ONE who has the right to know "why" things happen.
It is just one more evidence of man's pride that any of us ever "shake our fists" at Him and demand to know the "whys" of tragedy (even though He has clearly told us in His Word, the Bible, how His perfect creation fell into the tragic state it is in.
I love that Jesus is "the lamb that was slain BEFORE the foundation of the world," the world which He, Jesus, created in the first place!!!  That He knew what man woud do to His perfect creation, and was prepared before he created it to come down to earth, become one of us physically, yet be the sinless Son of God so He could be the "second Adam," and pay for ALL of our sin (He died ONCE FOR ALL), just thrills and awes me!!!
When people ask why the tragedy happened in Japan, New Orleans, etc., it is NOT helpful AT ALL to point to their particular sinfulness because it draws everyone's attention to the particular sinfulness of a particular country or city.  It's not up to any person to assign particular tragedies which come upon certain people to the Creator of All Things (and, yet Lover of every single lost soul – even me!!!).  It may be that judgment actually did take place – so what?  Who's to say?
What IS absolutely essential, though, is that each and every individual the world over look to him or herself and see he/she is just as lost and in need of the saving Blood of Jesus Christ as everyone else is.
Who cares "why?"  That we have the "how" to be saved (even in the midst of tragedy) is the message we should be carrying.
Thank you, Steve, and Lighthouse Trails, for keeping to the saving Gospel of the Blood of Jesus Christ shed for all that, "whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved!!!!" 
Much, much love to you from your sister in Christ Jesus!

Well, I'd rather be having the 'why' discussion than the one with the person who believes the devil did it and someone somewhere didn't 'declare' or 'rebuke' enough to stop it.

I think both views are correct.  The Lord visits justice and He is the Perfect Judge.  The Word of God, the Holy Bible, also tells us from Genesis through Revelation"the whys."
Look to the Garden of Eden to see a perfect man and woman choose sin and, therefore, death both spiritually and physically that day.  Because God is holy and perfect, He had to judge the choice they made. The whole creation came under the death sentence because of their disobedience.
It is also true, however, that "it is appointed to man once to die and then the judgment.  Even born again believers must face physical death unless they are caught up to meet the Bridegroom in the air…" (that's my personal preference, of course).  So, whether we die in an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, car accident, get hit by a bus, etc., we are all under the original judgment which man's sin brought about. 
By one man sin entered and with that so did death.  But, praise our precious, wonderful, Redeemer, Jesus Christ the Lord, by one Perfect Man life was made possible for everyone who calls upon His Name in faith believing in the Blood He shed on the cross for every sin of every sinner.  

I found the article to be a bit biased and misleading.
Who has known the mind of the Lord?  To say either way what did or did not happen is to presume on behalf of God. Were you in His council chambers when this took place?    And, to consider only one passage to explain whet you "feel" took place is an error especially because it is historical narrative.  What of the Nations spoken of from the Tanakh?  These things were written for our instruction said Paul. 
I am interested in what the Pied Piper had to say, but you did not put his comments in the post.  Piper does not have anything to offer except his humanistic philosophy mixed with some Bible. I say that because He is head over heels for Edwards and Edwards was a follower of Locke. Locke had ISSUES I hope you know.
Again, to overlook Japan, a Nation filled with idolatry (Buddhism) is to be unfamiliar with God's past record in the Tanakh and how He dealt with people federally. 


Thanks for the comment.

I’m at a loss to fully understand your complaint though.

Where was I biased? If I have misled anyone I will certainly repent of my deed? I have stated an issue, and answered it from Scripture. We have seen this problem many times in the last several years, i.e. the death of large numbers of people, and presumably many lost souls, but answers have been vague and few, and not to the point. I have leaned into the Bible for understanding and heard His voice speak through the words of Jesus. I have kept my own ability to rationalize locked away, yet you accuse me of expressing what I “feel” took place. I do agree with you, “that these things were written for our instruction” and I appeal to this instruction, but you have found fault with that approach.

I am not overly sensitive to criticism , but I would like to know your reasoning and plain thinking for considering me “biased” and “misleading”?

As far as John Piper’s article you can find it here, and Brian McLaren’s article here.

Please explain to me a little more in depth if you don’t mind.

In Christ,

Steve Blackwell

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