February 01, 2016

Signs of The Times and The Great Tribulation



The Word of God speaks of a culture where, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6b) With a certainty, this is an attitude that is most pervasive in today's society around the world! We live in a time where it is vogue to say, “For me this is right. You also do what seems right to you, but let us not judge each other!” This is a world that calls itself, “modern.” Yet, it is a people that has rejected their Creator-God! Listen now to what God has to say on this matter! For it is written, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 16:25) Indeed, the world has said, “I don't need God! I know better than God does! I will live as I want to, and don't you dare judge me for it!” I ask you therefore, are there consequences for the choices we've made and things we've done that are an offense to our Creator-God's holiness? Will our Creator-God withhold the judgement He has spoken of forever? I ask too, do you truly realize the grave danger that you have put yourself into?

Let us look now at two portions from God's Word. The first says, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot – they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day when Lot went out of Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all – so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30) Then, secondly, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, 'There is peace and security,' then suddenly destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)

This, then, is the warning laid out in the Word of God! Clearly, the warning is that the Great Tribulation will fall upon the people who belong to this world without any warning signs! Just like a person driving along a road in their car, enjoying the drive, when suddenly – CRASH! At that point, it's too late – catastrophe has come about! As it was with the famous ship, the Titanic, cruising along, with everyone oblivious to any danger! When, suddenly, what was thought to be the unsinkable vessel, hit an iceberg and began to sink! This is the collision course the unsaved people of this world are on! I ask, are you on this collision course? Are you going to escape the judgement of God that could fall upon this wicked world at any moment now?


No doubt, the wrath of God will fall upon this world! The question really is, will you heed God's warnings and seek to be reconciled to Him, or will you reject Jesus Christ as your Savior? For the Scriptures say this, “Will [you] escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed...for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil.” (Romans 2:3-9)

Yet, for the believer, God says, “To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” As well as, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9) Indeed, for the believer, “There is therefore now no condemnation.” (Romans 8:1a)


It is because of the terrifying things that will fall upon all of you who are not truly Christians that I write to warn you, that you might, “Flee from the wrath to come,” and be saved! (Luke 3:7b) For the Scriptures are filled with vivid and horrifying descriptions of judgement to come shorty! For example, it is described like this, “It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into his house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20) In plain words, there will be no escape from judgement! It is also written, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.” (Matthew 24:21-22) For it is further described, like this, “For, behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:1-2)

We find then, that nearly from cover to cover of God's Holy Word are the warnings of judgement for those who persist in their wickedness, refusing to acknowledge their sin before their Creator-God! Listen, then, to this most seriouos warning from the Scriptures, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27) You see, there is a terrible danger in turning your back to the gospel message! For you will find no one to rescue you, other than the Savior Jesus Christ!


Hear this also from God's Word, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Quite obviously, the Word of God is decidedly accurate! For we see these kinds of attitudes all around us, don't we? Listen, those so living are in tremendous danger of the judgement of God falling upon them! Look, the Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) Very simply then, those who are wicked, will reap God's judgement, and those who are righteous, will inherit eternal life! For it is written, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Listen, God says that, “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.” (Romans 15:4) I plead with you, let us learn from those in the past! The people in Noah's day did not heed Noah's warnings, and they were destroyed, except for Noah and his family, for he was found righteous in the sight of God. So in Lot's day. For Lot said, “'Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.' But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” (Genesis 19:14) So I ask you, do you also count myself, and those who proclaim the truth of God's Word to you, even regarding these judgements, as those who are joking? Then listen to what is written, “Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Then also, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of Lord will come as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:3-7, 9-10)


Look, not only is the wrath of God going to be poured out upon those who refuse God now, but we also read of these, that they, “Will go away into eternal punishment.” (Matthew 25:46) Further, it says of these that, “Their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8b) Some rather recklessly say that their lives are hopeless, but that is not true. Rather, in the “lake of fire” all is hopeless! In this place there will never be any chance of escape or relief! There will be no further opportunity given. Year, after year, and right through all of eternity, these people will continue in this place of anguish! I say therefore, make no mistake, it is in this life only, that we are given the opportunity to avail ourselves of what Jesus Christ the Savior has accomplished on our behalf!


So, what kind of people are in danger of God's judgement? It is written this way, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) Indeed, the Holy Bible says that, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) That is separation from God now and through eternity.


However, amazingly, it is also written that, “The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Yes, it is true! Jesus, being God the Son, came to Earth to receive the penalty that you deserved to take for your own sin! He came to pay off your sin-debt in full! For it was the only solution for you. You see, there was no way whatsoever that you could do anything yourself to erase your sin. For God even says that, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Instead we read that, “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.” (**John 3:16)

We read therefore, “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him [Jesus, the Son of God].” (Luke 23:33) “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour [about 12:00 noon to 3:00]. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:45-46) See then, that for these three dark hours, the wrath of God was being poured out upon His own beloved Son as if He were a sinner! Yes, indeed, it was because of our sin that was heaped upon Him that God the Father turned away from His own Son! This was done for you! This, that you might never have to taste the wrath of God that you deserved for your own sin! You see, Jesus is your substitute! For it is written, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10) Therefore, just prior to Jesus giving up His spirit, He cries in triumph, “It is finished”! Therefore, the Father raised Him to life from among the dead ones! Why? For Jesus had made full satisfaction for your sins! We then hear Jesus Himself say, “I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore.” (Revelation 1:18) It is this “living one” who is coming back anytime, “to judge the living and the dead”! (2 Timothy 4:1)


So, how does one avail oneself of this that the Lord has done? The Bible simply states:

who calls on the name of the Lord
Romans 10:13

Quite simply, place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who alone is able to save you from sins consequences! He did it all for you! It's a “free gift”! The Word of God says, “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b) As well, it is said of Jesus, “He is able to save to the uttermost [completely].” (Hebrews 7:25) Without a doubt, this is very good news!

Listen, I urge you to trust Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior! Just admit that you're guilty and can't do anything to help save yourself. Simply rest in Jesus Christ as the adequate Savior for you! Remember, “Jesus said...I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Just cry out for God to save you today! For it is written, “WHOVER comes to me I will NEVER cast out.” (John 6:37)

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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