Friday, June 19, 2009


Jack Capell, the forecaster who predicted the Columbus Day Storm, died on June 14th at the age of 86. At 5:08 PM on Columbus Day, 1962, Jack made the weather forecast of his life from the US Weather Bureau office in Portland. In that day weather was harder to predict. Forecasters relied on reports from far away weather stations. Ships far off shore had reported record low barometric pressures and strong winds. So, amidst clearing skies and light winds, Jack reported, "The worst storm I have ever seen is approaching Portland and the Willamette Valley right now...This is going to be a storm that causes a lot of damage." The storm arrived just as he predicted.

God has warned us of a coming storm: 1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is at hand." The believer in Christ has received reliable reports from far off places of God’s pending judgment. Like Harry Truman, who dismissed the warning of the pending eruption of Mount St. Helens, most look to the skies and dismiss God’s warning: 2 Peter 3:3-4, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." But the storm will come.

Like Christian in John Bunyan’s allegory we are burdened with a message. The City of Destruction is doomed. God’s Word warns us all, "Flee from the wrath to come!" (Matthew 3:7). And to where shall we go? What storm shelter is there that can possibly protect us? Where is the place where God’s wrath can be averted? Is it not the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! At the cross our Lord Jesus Christ experienced God’s wrath to the uttermost. He died there as a propitiation for our sins. God’s wrath was satisfied there, and only there. In fighting forest fires sometimes forests are deliberately burned to prevent a raging fire from spreading. The fire cannot burn what has already been burned. The believer in Christ stands safely on such soil.

Weather forecasting is risky business. It takes a degree of faith to forecast a pending storm amidst sunny skies. It takes a degree of faith to warn the lost of God’s pending judgment. But warn them we must...As ambassadors for Christ "we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Pastor Jerry

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