London’s burning

It’s shocking to see the rioting that has kicked off in many of the UK’s larger cities.  It’s a time for us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come, to see his peace reign now in these places and for those who have lost everything in the violence.  We should also pray for those looting and rioting that they would come to know the riches of God’s grace in Christ.

Mez McConnel gives an insightful summary of events.  The original article can be found here , but I’ve reproduced the text below:

Every single newspaper is full of headlines about the riots that started in London and are now spreading to other cities in the UK. There is much hand wringing and political point scoring going on. The Left wingers are using it as an opportunity to disparage the government cuts (conveniently forgetting how they were foisted on us because of the policies of our last government). The Right wingers are talking about the issue of immorality and criminality. The church leaders talking about…..nothing.

The police have been forced to pull out of areas and what we have been left with are groups of bullies smashing up local businesses, looting everything in sight and robbing people in their homes without fear of arrest (for now). The restraints of the authorities which had held these individuals largely in check has now gone and we see the real hearts of men and women rising to the fore in their actions. Now, it would take too long for a blog post like this to diagnose the ills of society and the rights and wrongs of what is going on but I think what we have here is a clear picture of the grace of God and the starkness of an eternity without Him.

We think the devastation is great now but imagine if God were to release his restraining hand upon the people of our country, our nation, Europe and the world. What pictures and images of devastation do you think would be flickering across CNN and Sky news then? There is great debate in Christian circles about the nature of hell. Is it real? Is it eternal? Is it not ‘merely’ God turning his back on us? Let me tell you, we should quake with fear if God decides to turn his back on us.

The fact that he does not (yet) is a marvellous picture and expression of his great and patient grace toward us. Do those pictures on the TV make you angry? They should. people losing livliehoods and homes through no fault of their own. Well the Bible warns us that the wrath of God against sin is so terrible that I have no words to adequately describe the force of it. The human race outside of Jesus stands condemned (John 3:18).A man called Jonathan Edwards wrote these words many years ago about the subject of God & sinners. He wrote this:

‘The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.’

The only reason we are not in hell right now is because God has not completely withdrawn from us. There is still hope for us. It is not too late for us to turn from our rebellious lives and return to God through faith in Jesus Christ.There are people cowering now in fear as people rampage through parts of our country out of control and with no respect for anybody else. But the Bible warns us that there is a day coming when ALL will cower in fear in front of a Holy and Righteous God who will judge us all. Trust me, there will be no excuses then, whatever political divide you fall into and however hard done you think you’ve been.

Thank God that things aren’t as bad as they could be. Run to Jesus because one day it will all be laid bare.