I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3, 5).
Sometimes bad things happen – not because we’ve sinned – but because we live in a world corrupted by sin.
Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Palestine from 26-36 AD. He was known to be arrogant, stubborn, and insensitive in a place where Jews and Romans lived in constant conflict.
On Pilate’s first day on the job, he marched Roman troops into Jerusalem carrying standards. A standard was a tall pole with a banner and carved image on top. The Jews considered any carved image to be an idol and violent rioting immediately broke out across the city.
We aren’t told the details, but in Luke 13:1-5, Jesus spoke of an event where Pilate slaughtered a group of Galilean men at the temple as they offered their sacrifices. The word on the street was that these Galileans were killed because they were more sinful than anyone else at the temple that day.
Popular Jewish theology of Christ’s day taught that suffering is always a sign of God’s judgment for sin. Catastrophes are always evidence of God’s displeasure.
Sometimes God judges individuals and nations because of their sin; but disasters can also be the consequence of living in a fallen world.
The man who thinks he’s in control of his liquor, drives home, and kills another driver has his own sin to blame for the accident; the sober man who was killed was not being punished by God.
Each day God spares the lives of guilty sinners because He is patient and compassionate. Really, that’s the only reason any of us are alive right now.
True calamity, Jesus said twice, is death apart from a saving faith in Him. Unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3, 5).
Repentance is two-fold. First, it’s a God-caused change of mind about your sin. It’s acknowledging that you’re a sinner far from God, separated from Him by your personal disobedience to His law. Second, repentance is acknowledging and trusting in Jesus as the only Saviour from your sin (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).