Sermon Illustrations > Suffering/Trials > Unless You Repent You Shall Perish

Unless You Repent You Shall Perish

Morning Glory, January 21, 1994

Our point of view is crucial when difficult things happen to us. A great example of a person transforming calamity by his Christlike point of view is David Watson. Watson, a minister in England, died of cancer before these words of his were published:

"It's sometimes only through suffering that we begin to listen to God. Our natural pride and self-confidence have to be stripped painfully away and we become aware, perhaps for the first time, of our own personal needs.

"During the ministry of Jesus on earth, a tower fell in Siloam and killed 18 innocent people. &ls;Why did God allow it' was the immediate questions pressed by those around Him. Jesus replied, not by answering the question of suffering nor by giving a satisfactory solution to this particular tragedy. Instead, He came back to the practical challenge of God's Word: &ls;I tell you...unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' It may sound a little bleak, but Jesus was far more concerned with a person's eternal well-being than merely satisfying an intellectual curiosity. Here He was dealing not with the question of &ls;Why?' but with the question &ls;What?' &ls;What is God saying in this calamity?'"

Watson concludes,

"Through the unexpected diagnosis of cancer I was forced to consider carefully my priorities in life and to make some necessary adjustments. I still do not know why God allowed it, nor does it bother me. But, I am beginning to hear what God is saying, and this has been enormously helpful to me."