“Paradise Lost!”

“Paradise Lost!”

On November 7, 2018, there were many who could identify with these two statements: “I lost IT ALL!” and “Paradise is Lost!” It is an unspeakable tragedy, some saying it is the worst fire in US history. Paradise, California area is gone, literally wiped off the map. That small city of 25,000 people, with its 11,862 structures, including houses and businesses … They were all burnt to the ground. I feel very grieved for those who have lost everything. They have lost houses, pets, memories, jobs, cars, electronics, and worst of all, loved ones and friends who were burnt to death or lost their lives due to the fires. Even if their belongings survived the fire, and their house is still standing, they can’t go back to Paradise, California, because there is no support system. There are no utilities, no jobs, no places to eat, “Paradise is Lost!” One official declared, “Paradise is dead, and it is impossible to return and rebuild in Paradise!”

What would you do, if sudden destruction came to Chaffee County? If you had less than 5 minutes to grab and go, understanding you might not live if you didn’t escape Immediately, what would you take? Loved ones, car, perhaps a pet, and a cell phone. Your cell phone would be of no value, because all the cell towers were melted. Now there would be no way to communicate! What would you do?  Your loved ones? Well, you left so quickly that it was impossible to contact them. So now you won’t know whether they are missing or dead. Money? Who had time to go to the ATM and get cash? Credit Cards? Maybe. The bank might be burnt down as well!

Continuing this scenario, you manage to escape the County. Most of the shelters are full, but there is one shelter still open. It’s a church. You’re so angry with God right now. How could a good God allow such a tragedy to happen? On the other hand, the only hope left is God. There are friendly people there. They smile, listen, and cry with you. They seem to have some hope. They ask you to pray with them. You reluctantly do so. At the very moment you pray, something changes inside of you. You asked for help. A tiny flicker of hope springs within you. With tears and a heavy heart, you come to an understanding. I’ve lost IT, but I’ve found Jesus! Then you realize, I wished I hand’t wasted my life on gadgets, and stuff. If only I could talk to Dad, Mom, sibling or friend again. Now you realize: Paradise is lost! I lost it all! Now all I have left is Jesus. I still have hope!

I believe sudden destruction is coming to this world. Can you imagine the chaos when the rapture takes place? It’s written about in the Bible — No Christian pilots piloting airliners … Your spouse, or Dad & Mom are missing … You begin to wonder: Could I have missed the promise of Jesus that He would come back for His People?

Every “thing” (stuff) is transitory. It’s here for you now, but you will stand before God empty handed.

 

I Pray You Are Ready, Because Paradise is Lost!

Pastor Stan