LCN Article
A Life Without God

November / December 2021

Anthony Stroud

My wife and I have been going through the book of Judges, in which we read, “Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress” (Judges 10:13–14). This verse stood out vividly in my mind earlier this year, when on Tuesday, May 4, severe storms swept through our home city of Clanton and the surrounding areas, wreaking havoc and devastating people’s lives.

I have lived in the state of Alabama for several years and have seen several major storms sweep through it, noticing that the number and severity of these storms seem to have increased in the last year or two. One particular storm that hit Clanton will be etched in my mind for years to come. When we first heard the forecasts, my family and I did not think this storm would be as bad as it became, so we did not leave home—we were in for quite a surprise.

As the storm came on, I remember worrying about what was happening, wondering why the wind was blowing in such an unusual way. Going outside, I noticed the darkest clouds I had ever seen—and the clouds just kept getting darker, which prompted me to begin asking God to intervene, because at that time there was no doubt in my mind that a tornado appeared to be forming right before my eyes.

To say that I was beginning to grow nervous is an understatement. I believe that, after I prayed to our Father in heaven, He immediately intervened, as the clouds split apart and things began to brighten up. We did, however, get plenty of rain and wind, and probably some hail.

Storm after storm has come through Alabama, with Jemison—about 15 minutes from our home—hit the hardest. On one occasion, I saw that a tree had fallen through a house—thankfully, it seems no one was hurt. When things of this magnitude happen, we as God’s people can’t help but think about prophecy and the need to trust Him.

A Timely Reminder of God’s Protection

The storm my family and I experienced on May 4, combined with our study on the book of Judges revealing the attitude and behavior of the ancient Israelites, caused me to think deeply about the mindset of our nations today. Do we truly comprehend the strong words God declared to the Israelites in Judges 10? “Therefore I will deliver you no more” (v. 13).

While the storm raged more and more, I continued to pray and ask God for His mercy, and I thought, I don’t know how anyone can survive in this world without God. A life without God is no life at all.

In other areas around the country and around the world, devastation has struck, and some have even questioned whether there is a God. I even recall one Roman Catholic leader wondering aloud, Where is God? He should have read the Apostle Paul’s admonition; humanity is without excuse because creation reveals the existence of an incredibly powerful God whose wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18–20). Disobedience to God and His word, laws, and commandments will have painful consequences on our nations in a way that many will not be able to handle—a time of trouble that will horrify people around the world.

Will our nations heed the warnings God the Father is sending, or will they foolishly continue the ungodly actions that will consistently bring God’s wrath? Proverbs 28:9 helps us to understand how serious it is to turn deaf ears to the laws of God, and to realize that the prayers of those who do so are an abomination to Him. Jesus Christ Himself warned that, as we draw closer to the end of society as we know it, mankind’s love for one another will grow cold because of lawlessness (Matthew 24:12).

A Warning to Laodiceans

What about the saints? Should the people of God be concerned? The answer, as we all know, is an emphatic “Yes!”

There is a danger even God’s people must be aware of, knowing that we are living in the last Church era, Laodicea, at the end of this age. We must never assume that the society in which we live cannot affect us, because it can and does influence all of us to some degree. We know that the Laodicean mindset irritates God to nausea, and Revelation 3:20 is a verse we all must take to heart: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

How is it possible that Christians can shut Christ out of their lives, leaving Him knocking at the door, desiring to come in and dine with them? This is a serious matter—Revelation 12:17 reveals that some of God’s people will have to face great tribulation at the end of this age.

An examination of Matthew 24 reveals what will occur at the end of this age as the return of Christ draws near: religious deception; wars; rumors of wars; famines; pestilences; nations and peoples striving against each other over race, politics, and resources—and Jesus calls these just the beginning of sorrows. Luke 21:25 adds distress—anxiety or anguish—of nations, seas and waves roaring, and men’s hearts failing them from fear as the powers of heaven are shaken. The way the winds were blowing here on May 4 would put fear in anyone, especially those who live a life without God.

Should God hear the prayers of anyone who lives contrary to His laws and worships idols? Consider how God told Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 20:2)—He was the One who dealt with Pharaoh and his army, who fed and protected the ancient Israelites. And has He done any less for us?

We must understand that God ultimately has control over everything, including the weather. Amos 4:7 proves it: “I [God] withheld rain from you.… I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city.” Even if no one else knows God’s laws, the saints know them, and must never fall victim to the ways of this society and be led into disobeying those laws.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:17–18 to come out from among this society so we can be the sons and daughters of God. The reality that He will be a Father to us is awesome. What a wonderful blessing for those who obey these instructions!

God warns, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:15). This sounds like something God is saying to the United States and to many other nations of this world, whose sins are bringing serious consequences. The book of Isaiah also tells us why human beings won’t find the way of peace; sin has caused a separation from God (Isaiah 59:2–8).

A Need to Submit to God

The storms of May 4 may not have been the worst we have seen, but that day definitely helped me understand that a life without God is a life without hope. If we do not learn to obey God, what hope do we have? The people of God are so blessed to be able to cry out to Him and have Him respond in a special way—and, as time moves forward, we will need to cry out to God more often.

However, we must not wait until tragedy strikes. We must begin now to cry out more and more to Him in great thanksgiving, because the greatest blessing of all is being called, forgiven, and granted the Holy Spirit. That Spirit is our helper to draw us into an intimate relationship with our loving Heavenly Father and Creator.

Now, while the seas are still relatively calm, is the time to cry out to Him—because it won’t always be this way.

James tells us to submit to God, resist the devil, draw near to God, and clean up our lives as we draw closer to the end of man’s reign under the evil influence of Satan (James 4:7–8). Peter tells us not to think it strange when fiery trials come, to rejoice, to humble ourselves, to be sober and vigilant, and to resist Satan and the pulls of his evil society (1 Peter 4:12–13; 5:6–9). Now is the time to establish a strong relationship with God, to watch and pray always (Luke 21:34–36), and to persevere (Revelation 3:10), because the days we live in are evil and trials of various sorts are upon us—and will continue.

May God help us to appreciate Him and His blessings and understand that now is the time to pray, that we may be able to stand in the days of trials and evil. May we all recognize how important it is to pray fervently, learning to trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5–7).