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Did God send a prophet?

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Crime and Natural Disasters to Increase

Worst Sinners? "Nay."

Certainly we aren't as guilty before God as the sinners in New Orleans—are we? Some might be tempted to think that the party-goers of New Orleans and the casino operators of Gulfport and Biloxi were worse sinners than anyone else. Not so, suggests Jesus Himself:

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Lk. 13:2-5)

According to Ellen White, because men do not recognize that God has been mercifully holding back Satan's destructive power, in a "limited degree" he is being "permitted to destroy":

The same Hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at once begin the work of destruction that he has so long desired to accomplish. And because God's long-continued forbearance is not now recognized, the forces of evil are already, to a limited degree, permitted to destroy. How soon human agencies will see blotted out of existence their magnificent buildings, which are their pride!—Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 281, bold added.

And quite clearly, the "honest in heart" are not always spared. Even some of the followers of God will perish in the calamities that are beginning to befall our planet:

How often have those in danger of being destroyed by terrible outbreakings of winds and waters been mercifully shielded from harm! Do we realize that we have been spared from destruction only because of the protecting care of unseen agencies? Although many ships have gone down and many men and women on board have perished, God has mercifully spared His people. But we should not be surprised if some of those who love and fear God were to be engulfed in the tempestuous waters of the ocean. They would sleep until the Lifegiver comes to give them life. We are not to cast one word of reflection upon God or upon His manner of working.—Ibid., bold added.

With all this in mind, the following counsel seems especially pertinent:

Let us turn our attention away from unimportant things, and give ourselves to God. We scarcely dream of the destroying angels that already are permitted to bring disaster and destruction in their path. Shall my life be spared to act a part in the closing scenes of this earth's history?—Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, p. 437.

Mighty sobering.

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