Are all natural calamities a product of man's sin?
The answer is yes, absolutely! All natural calamities are a product of man's sin.
Do you know why I say that? Because, when the Creation was originally created, it was created perfect. There was no such thing as tornados, hurricanes, cyclones or tsunamis. None of that existed. It was when Man sinned that God put the curse upon the Creation. When He put the curse upon the Creation, the perfect Creation was thrown askew. One of the things that happened were natural calamities.
The Bible says that when Jesus returns the curse will be lifted. We're going to spend eternity living in perfect bodies on a perfect earth and there will never be a single hurricane, never a tornado, nor will there ever be one natural disaster because the curse will not be here anymore.
That leads us to a second question. Do all natural calamities represent remedial judgments of God? My answer is no. Most are products of natural weather processes.
This then leads us to the third question. How then can we know when a natural calamity is a remedial judgment? Well, it's not always easy to know. One thing I would point to is the timing of it. How does this calamity relate to the sins of a nation in general or to a particular sin of the nation? Another would be the magnitude. When God sends remedial judgments, they are of great magnitude because He wants to get people's attention.
Perhaps the most important one of all would be God's Spirit witnessing to the spirits of those with the gift of prophecy. Romans 8 says, "God's Spirit witnesses to our spirit." To those who have the gift of prophecy, to those who have the ability to take God's Word and apply it to current events, God will witness to their spirits. Suddenly, when people who have that gift are all over the place and are saying, "Hey, this event is a remedial judgment," we had better pay attention because God is prompting them to make those comments.
Our own nation is a good example of what I am talking about. We have been blessed as no other nation that has ever existed, except the nation of Judah. That's the only other nation that's ever been blessed like this nation. And yet, in the 1960's, this nation began to thumb its nose at God as a cultural revolution was launched and very quickly we descended into a cesspool of sexual promiscuity, of drug abuse, abortion on demand, legalized gambling, rampant blasphemy, and a flood of pornography. The lifestyle of hedonism swept our nation and we ended up calling good "evil" and evil "good." As a result, God responded by raising up prophetic voices all across this nation to call this nation to repentance.
One of the most important was the voice of Dave Wilkerson, the pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, who in the early 70's began to speak out very forcibly about the sins of this nation and warning that if we did not repent God was going to send judgment after judgment after judgment. He didn't have any supernatural knowledge of the future. He just knew the Word of God. And, he knew that when a nation was blessed like ours and rebelled against God, that God was going to put judgments upon it. But, when we ignored the prophetic voices, God responded by giving us remedial judgments like the Vietnam War, like the AIDs epidemic, like the plague of sexually transmitted diseases, like the outbreak of homosexuality, and also natural disasters — quakes, floods, tornados, and even the incredible volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens. All of these culminated I believe in the attacks of 9/11. I believe this was God's major wakeup call to this nation to wake up and to repent of its immorality.
Have you ever stopped to think that we are a far greater threat to the world than the Soviet Union ever was, because we are the moral polluters of planet Earth? Everywhere you go on this planet, if you turn on the TV set in the room where you are anywhere in the world, you know what you are going to see. You are going to see the most immoral and the most violent American movies and American television shows. We are the moral polluter of planet Earth, and God is going to hold us responsible for it.
I don't think it was any accident that on 9/11 what was attacked were two symbols of American pride. What is it America takes pride in? It's our money and our power. It was the two symbols of money and power that were attacked. God sent us a wakeup call and, unfortunately, we are like the guy who's very sleepy and when the alarm goes off we roll over and hit the snooze alarm. I think we went right back to sleep.
In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll explore the Bible to see if there's a precedent that natural disasters are judgments from God on how a nation treats Israel.