Houston Flood Aug. 2017
Gov. John Winthrop
First governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Boston – 1631 – 1648
It is my understanding that your great city, and surrounding areas, are under a hundred-year storm, that has caused unprecedented misery on your persons and property and the rain has not abated? Be assured that we of the Massachusetts have the deepest of sympathy for you, in that we too felt the lash of the storm from the sea and snows deep on many occasions when we had to totally rebuild our homes and villages. Also, blood thirsty savages often swept down upon us which caused massive loss of life, and then there was the total devastation of our crops from drought and insects that caused great starvation. If these things were not bad enough there were plagues which brought destruction to entire communities, and many other things too numerous to mention.
It has been noticed that through your media sources, the name of God has been mentioned most liberally from many in and outside of government, who say that they are praying for you. That’s strange considering that it is our understanding that prayer to the Deity has been outlawed in most of your public institutions, and that it is even against the law for little school children to say, “God is good, God is great, and we thank Him for this food.” We also understand that in all of your institutions of learning, from K through Graduate school you teach your children that they originally came from the sea, and actually swung like a monkey from a tree at one time, and you expect the creator God to now come to your rescue? Amazing.
In that you are suffering this great misery and many are in a great quandary as to why such a terrible calamity on your great city, may I suggest a few observations. For one thing when we New Englanders went through the list of tragedies mentioned above, we knew from the Holy Scriptures that the words of one of our great Divines was true when he said, “The life which is most exercised with tryalls and temptations is the sweetest, and will prove the safeste.”
We knew that in the midst of our trials God was in them for our good. looked immediately as to where we had offended our God personally and collectively and whoever was in the place of authority would call for a day of “humiliation and prayer.” When God revealed to us those sins that had offended Him, we immediately repented of those sins and cried out for forgiveness and tried to return to His favor in those areas in which we believed that we had offended Him based on the clear teachings of the Word of God.
We here in New England have heard the word resilient to describe the people of your area but we have not heard the term repentance. Where are the leading pastors of your area such as Joel, and Dr. Ed at 2nd Baptist, and Dr. Joe at Brentwood in their words of warning? We understand that Joel talked about helping each other on TV, which was nice, but that is a horizontal view, he left out the vertical perspective? The Lord Jesus said when asked What is the greatest of the commandments said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
He mentioned our responsibility to God first, but as Israel of old, have we not forgotten our God? Lest any should think that only the church should repent, the scriptures command that men every where are to repent, (Acts 17:30). The Lord Jesus said that Sodom would have remained until His time if they had as much light as Capernaum (Mt. 11:23). As the Apostle Paul “…Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For God’s wrath to be poured out on the gulf coast their sin must have been a stench in His nostrils. What could those sins be to cause Him to have such displeasure. Could it be Pride that results from prosperity, disobedience of not following the Biblical Family structure, unfettered rebellion that is reflected in unprecedented public nudity, Sexual sins of all categories, the continual desecration of the Lord’s day, and most of all the rejection of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are not suggesting that Houston is any worse than any other metropolitan area of America, but God in His mercy has spared the rest of the nation now, but there is a tomorrow for them. Let this be a warning. It may be worse, such as a nuclear attack. Houston may be a wake-up call from God to our nation as was Katrina before and others before her.
But one thing for sure, God in His mercy has offered repentance to all who will call on His name for salvation through His precious blood, shed for sinners on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago. Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But for those who do not repent heed the warning in Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Will you not hear the pleading call of the Lord Jesus who said, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.