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Sermon Summary | "The Most Important Question in a Pandemic"

Why do tragedies happen? It can be tempting to think great suffering is the result of serious personal sin. God is just and there are clear consequences for persistent and unrepentant sin, but these verses speak to another reason for disaster: an incentive to repent. The observer should be asking: “Why wasn’t I one of those slaughtered in the atrocity?” The kindness of God we don’t deserve is meant to lead us to repentance. Jesus is protecting us from the deception of sin and warning us about the judgement to come. And no one loves like the One issuing this call to repentance. In his warnings, behold His amazing mercy.

Discussion Questions:

  1. C.J. mentioned we sometimes want to skip over this passage of Scripture because of the weight it carries. What could you miss by breezing past these verses?
  2. Don Carson reminds us from these verses that “disaster is a call to repentance.” How does Jesus’ questioning cause you to think differently about the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  3. We, like the questioning crowd, are prone to wonder, “Do you think [they] were worse sinners?” In what ways can you repent of thinking you are more righteous than those who suffered?
  4. John Stott reminds us, “Divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice.” Spend some time meditating on the amazing grace of God to have sent Jesus to suffer in the place of unrighteous people like you and I
  5. Verse 5 is a call to evangelism. How can you use your renewed understanding of these verses to share the Gospel with an acquaintance, friend, or family member if given the opportunity this week?