To the editor:
Jesus addresses tragedies similar to those in Boston, Texas and Bangladesh in Luke 13:1-5. The issue with the people seemed to be whether those who survived were less sinners than those who perished. Jesus’ response looked beyond this: “Unless you repent you will likewise perish.” Seems pretty harsh given the circumstances, yet that is exactly what he meant and means today.
We can choose to go our own way and perish eternally, or we can repent and do it God’s way with the promise of everlasting life. Why is this so? John explains the results of our choosing in John 3:16-19: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.”
In other words, God gave his Son, and us free will, so that we have a choice to accept his plan for dealing with sin in our life. Jesus says we can interpret the weather (Luke 12:56); but, we can’t interpret the times. Don’t let your fig tree be cut down (Luke 13:9)!