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The Christian Counter

 



 Five Essential Bible Truths – Part 1

Second Coming of Jesus

 

Are You Prepared for This?

 

The prophecies written in the books of Daniel and Revelation describe a sequence of events spanning a period of 3,500 years. Since the prophecies began during the fifth century, B. C., we have been able to observe prophetic fulfillments unfold over the past 2,600 years. More than two-thirds of this prophetic time line has expired. In fact, it is precise fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecy during the past 2,600 years that provides a high level of certainty that future elements will come to pass as specified. Because the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation observe a well-defined architecture, we can determine our location within the chronological order of events they predict. In other words, we can verify what has happened in the past and we can determine the next prophetic event. 

 

The world stands on the doorstep of a great transition. Earth’s civilizations as we currently know them, are about to undergo a radical rebirth. I am not describing another world order based on the political realignment of the kingdoms of men. That type of realignment has been going on ever since nations came to be. Instead, I am describing A New-World order, which God will soon establish. The Bible is the only source of truth on this subject. The Bible is the only book that contains a comprehensive road map of soon coming events and the Bible is the only authority that speaks for God on this matter. For these reasons, people should carefully consider the contents of the Bible. The people of Earth need to fully prepare for what God is about to do.

 

If life continues on its present path, planet Earth faces a cataclysmic destiny. We can already see the birth pains. Tensions between nations continue to mount. However, consider the impact God is going to abruptly startle the six billion inhabitants of the world with a great show of divine authority. In the coming confusion, mayhem and suffering that is just around the bend, a trustworthy road map on the forthcoming actions of God will be of enormous value. Even though the road map of Bible prophecy does not reveal a pretty picture, it does offer a ray of hope shining from the end of a short, but very dark tunnel. For this reason alone, the Bible should receive a much higher level of respect and consideration. After investigating the subject of Bible prophecy for many years, I am convinced that whether we believe or disbelieve, agree or disagree with Bible prophecy, man’s opinions about God do not change Him or His actions. Whether we believe Bible prophecy or not, all that God has promised, He will do. All that He has predicted will come to pass.

 

What do we Face?

 

This section provides a summary of coming events that will affect the entire planet. Details that are more specific will be provided in the second section of this study. The book of Revelation predicts four global earthquakes. These earthquakes will increase in severity as they occur. They will sever bridges, break up hydroelectric dams, tear train tracks apart, collapse metropolitan freeway overpasses and kill many people. Obviously, many tall buildings will collapse. The world’s economy, communication and manufacturing infrastructures will come to a screeching halt. Before 1994, scientists have claimed that a “global” earthquake was physically impossible. However, last year an earthquake in South America, with an epicenter 400 miles below the surface, proved that tectonic plates exist much deeper than ever thought possible. This earthquake not only shook the western hemisphere, it also proved that a global earthquake is a distinct possibility.

 

In addition to four global earthquakes, Revelation also predicts a meteoric shower of burning hail that will ignite unquenchable forest fires all over the world. This cataclysmic event will burn millions of acres of trees and more importantly, food crops.

 

Until the 1980’s, scientists scoffed at the notion that a civilization-threatening asteroid had ever impacted this planet. However, in the past decade, new technology has helped scientists to identify more than 120 impact craters on Earth. A few of the craters are more than 150 miles in diameter. Now that powerful telescopes have vividly recorded Shoemaker-Levy 9’s impact with Jupiter, no one is laughing at the possibility that a massive asteroid could hit Earth again. In fact, the book of Revelation predicts two asteroid impacts. One asteroid will impact the ocean and the resulting tsunami will wash away coastal cities with the same ease that high tide removes footprints from the sand of a beach. Then, a second asteroid impact will obliterate much of the continent. Many, perhaps millions of people who survive the initial impact will eventually perish from drinking contaminated water. (Ground waves from the massive asteroid impact will sheer both man-made and natural geological structures allowing deadly bacteria to enter underground aquifers.) The Bible does not say which ocean or which continent will be impacted, but we can be sure that when it happens, it will not come as a random event, for God maintains a deliberate and specific purpose in all that He does.

 

Adding to this coming global misery, Revelation also predicts that darkness will cover the Earth for a number of months. This darkness could be caused by a series of volcanic eruptions that occur shortly after the asteroid impacts. Consider the scenario: No sun, no crops. No crops, no more food. A worldwide famine is coming. As bad as this description seems, the most frightening part of Revelation’s story is not the global disasters, but the response of desperate men and women trying to survive the judgments of God. The Bible predicts that political and religious leaders will hastily create a worldwide organization to appease the wrath of an angry God. In addition, the Bible predicts this organization will have global authority and power almost instantly!

 

This is no fairy tale. This is not a reality check. These events are imminent and you need to know what is in our path. Why is God going to send these disastrous signs? He is going to get the full attention of everyone living on Earth – all six billion of us. He is about to disrupt the affairs of man suddenly and during a short period of 1,335 days. He will sort through the people of Earth. He will separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. During this time, God will present the terms and conditions of salvation to every member of the human race, and He will see to it that every person hears His offer of salvation. God has predetermined that every human being will seriously consider His coming kingdom. The good news is that everyone will be invited to be part of God’s New-World order, even the most vile person on Earth can be part of the new kingdom (if he repents and turns from sin and rebellion). The other side of the coin is that God intends to destroy the kingdoms of men. This includes everyone opposed to His government and authority, even “self-righteous church going saints” unless they also repent and turn from their sins. Keep in mind God is impartial. He loves everyone equally. However, the human race has gone too far. Corporately speaking, the actions and attitudes of Earth’s inhabitants are too violent, decadent and beyond repair. Sin brings decadence and decadence has filled the world’s cup of iniquity. As a result, time has almost come for God to visit Earth.

 

How Soon is the End?

 

The Bible speaks of Earth’s final events as “The End of the Age” or “The Time of the End.” Several Bible authors write about this period of time because the end of the age is marked by a complete spiritual and physical reconfiguration of planet Earth. In a small way, signs of this coming planetary transformation are visible today. For example, geophysical events include weather systems that are producing more droughts and a higher frequency of violent storms. This past fall, the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean affecting North America set a new record. Seismic activity is also increasing on a logarithmic scale. It is astounding to realize that more earthquakes measuring 6.0 and above on the Richter scale have been recorded this decade (and this is only 2004) than have been recorded during the past 90 years! Volcano activity is also on the increase. Our planet now has more than 400 active volcanoes. Are these physical changes an omen or sign of what is to come? Yes. Consider the financial impact from nature’s violence on the financial institutions of the world. Many insurance companies are in deep trouble as a result of previous natural disasters. The repair bill for Hurricane Andrew alone depleted insurance companies of more than 13 billion dollars. How many storms will occur before the giants of the world’s economy are blown away?

 

What about the spiritual condition of man? Have you noticed the fracturing (breakup) of society? Have you observed the rising concerns about the war in Iraq? Will these Moslem countries ever find a lasting peace? What about the former Soviet Union? Will the leaders of Moscow be able to gain control over the ethnic diversities that spans eight time zones? What about the United States of America? Can peace and good faith be established between Afro-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native-Americans and White-Americans? Looking at the future of our planet in general, everything seems to indicate increased tension over ethnic origins. On a global scale, what will be the state of race relations in ten years? What will the current increases in ethnic allegiance bring to those nations that are composed of many ethnic groups? As the global population continues to increase (a net gain of 9 million per month), another world war seems inevitable. Since many nations now have nuclear capability, what will the planet look like after World War III? It is time to wake up! Planetary resources are too few for so many people and this will bring, in due time, a global revolution. The world’s political leaders can see the problem and they wrestle with their complexity. However, men cannot solve the developing crisis. World leaders are groping for answers and in this setting of uncertainty, fear rises and anger builds. Consequently, people are studying ways to protect themselves from each other. Is this the next wave? Can we really save ourselves?

 

Although the Bible does not precisely state when the end of the age will occur, it does offer enough data to determine a “window of time” during which the end of the age happens. For example, if a person totals all the prophetic time-periods in Daniel and Revelation, the genealogical records of Genesis and Exodus, and the years from the Exodus to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the Bible only refers to 7,000 years (plus or minus 70 years). We know that the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 occurs after the Great Tribulation. This suggests that on or about the 6,000-year mark, life, as we know it will end. According to my calculations, The Great Tribulation could begin any time. Maybe the end of the age will occur sometime between 2004 and 2008 – but the passage of time will have to reveal the actual date. This much is certain; the entire world will notice the commencement of the Great Tribulation for it is marked with one of four global earthquakes and other celestial signs. (See Revelation 8:5.)

 

There is a Plan

 

God is sovereign. God has a plan for Earth. He has a purpose for each individual. To understand God’s purpose and plan takes some effort and personal desire. The Bible reveals everything we need to know, and we need to know all that we can know. The end-time story in Revelation is not based on a continual decline into global, moral bankruptcy. No, the end time story, like an ellipse, focuses on two points. The first point is time the second is degeneration. In other words, if degeneration is given enough time, it overcomes man. If history reveals anything, it clearly shows that civilizations come and go. The length of time a civilization enjoys prosperity is directly proportional to God’s favor. Notice this response to the prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar: “He [the God of Heaven] changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” (Daniel 2:21) Each time we have a political election in the United States, I reflect on this text. How does God set up kings (or leaders) and depose of them when they are elected too office by popular vote (or lack thereof)? I have found a rather simple answer: God is able to bring about circumstances that propel people in various directions. One clear example of this is found in the story about the Tower of Babel. God altered the common language of man by creating many languages and this simple event brought about the dispersion of nations. (See Genesis 11:1-9.)  Back to Daniel for one more point. Notice Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar about the quality of men God places in leadership: “The decision [to punish you for unbridled vanity, oh king] is announced by messengers, the holy ones [angels] declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

 

Here is a profound point: When a nation turns its back on principles of righteousness, when individuals turn away from right doing, God deals with that nation and its citizens accordingly. Prophet Daniel understood why he was in Babylon as a captive. Notice his confession: “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore, the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. “ (See Daniel 9:11 and Ezekiel 12-22)

 

These principles are timeless because God is eternal. However, few people step back and study the larger picture. The big picture reveals a global civilization that has reached its end. The world is too small and its resources too few. The cancer of sin has become pandemic. Selfish ambitions and the love of money have brought out every enterprise. Affections for each other are too cold and ethnicity too important. All of these things serve to alienate us from one another. So, what must God do with this wayward planet? He must act. He will act.

 

Remember any serious attempt to save ourselves from the coming tribulation is a lot like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. What difference does it ultimately make where the chairs are placed on a ship headed for the bottom of the ocean? This is why the next global drama is in God’s court. He sees the enormous mess we are in because of our sins. Just like Humpty Dumpty (world civilizations), all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (the efforts of man), cannot put it together again. In the language of Monday night football, we have reached fourth and goal; five seconds remain on the clock, and its God’s turn to make the last call. His game plan can be found in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.

 

God is at Work

 

The Bible indicates that God will accomplish a number of important matters during the Great Tribulation. First, he will awaken every person on Earth to the fact that Jesus, the Judge of all mankind, is about to appear and require an account of each person’s behavior. Second, God is about to expose the contents of every human heart by placing a comprehensive test of faith before each of us. Finally, God will silence the blasphemous claims of the world’s religious systems. He will demonstrate that we cannot obtain salvation through membership in any religious system. God is about to inform the world that salvation only comes through total commitment and submission to Jesus Christ.

 

Most of the prophetic interpretations we hear on radio and TV are misleading. Do not misunderstand. People can believe anything they choose to believe about the future, but what effect does belief or denial have on coming events? Almost everyone in Noah’s day refused to believe a flood was coming. What effect did their denial have on the promised event? My point is that millions of people have been led to anticipate things that will never happen and when the predicted events of Revelation begin, everything that can be shaken will be shaken. On that day, many people will abandon their faith in God because they placed their faith in religious leaders instead of studying God’s word for themselves. Even worse, many religious leaders have not spiritually prepared their flocks (their parishioners) for the trying circumstances they are about to face. What is bitterer than the experience of misplaced trust? I mention this matter because either most religious leaders, do not know about the coming events or they deny the seriousness of the 14 events that are just before us. Therefore, a very serious problem exists. Few people have been spiritually prepared for the trying experiences ahead. What many people have been led to believe about God is not true. In the coming hour of tribulation, many unprepared people will become bitter. In their anger, frustration and fear, many people will grow to hate God. Of course, such hatred will be misdirected. However, since most Christians have a Bible, whom should God hold responsible for having faulty knowledge?

 

God is Largely Misunderstood today

 

The character of God is poorly understood – even in America. Most men and women diminish His authority, glory and power, because He has not recently revealed Himself in the affairs of man. The prophet Isaiah is a good example, however, of a human response when witnessing God’s great power. Falling on his face, Isaiah was amazed at God’s reluctance to show Himself as the Almighty. “Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:15)

 

God’s apparent silence comes as a consequence of sin. Just as offenses physically separate friends or family members, the offensiveness of sin separates us from God’s physical presence. As generations’ come and go, knowledge of God dims. The reality of God becomes faint, and the longer we go without renewed evidence of God’s authority and glory, the more silent He appears to be. In the vacuum of this silence, sin becomes more attractive and less offensive. Sinners become bold and defiant in transgression. Sin metastasizes. Violence, sorrow and suffering spring up like dandelions after a spring rain. Every night, the evening news confirms our accelerating slide into depravity. Degenerate, even hideous sins are either justified or glamorized on TV. Sin has a strange effect on human beings – it causes sinners to minimize the effects of the guilt of their wrong actions. Sin causes human beings to deny the significance of personal wrongdoing! (How many people in prison falsely maintain innocence?)

 

The Bible reveals that God breaks His silence from time to time. He uses four judgments to limit the growth of sin. (Ezekiel 14:21) These four judgments are sword, famine, plague and wild beasts. In His infinite wisdom, God allows nations to rule until they fill up their cup of iniquity, and when they do, the Bible says that He removes them from power. (See Daniel 2:21; 4:16, Leviticus 18:24-27.) What makes this process so remarkable is that God, even within the chaos of sin, completely accomplishes His plans and purposes on this Earth! We may try to explain the outcome of Earthy events by analyzing the actions of the players, but this is only a limited view. Do not be nave and think that things happen by the prowess of man. Nothing happens in the universe without God’s knowledge and permission. Even though we are unable to see God on His throne, we can know that He reigns over the kingdoms of man. God is sovereign. We may not see all that He is doing, but the evidence is right before our eyes. The Bible is clear – God is in control. How He maintains control over Earth is a mystery. That He does it without showing Himself I call His silence.

 

God’s silence is not too hard to penetrate, if you really want to see and hear Him. The evidences of His handiwork are all around us if we want to acknowledge Him. However, if we do not want to give Him respect, we can easily ignore Him and deny Him the recognition He is due. Thus, His silence compliments our power of choice. God can be either the greatest and most wonderful being in the universe, or if we choose, we can deny His existence. What a God! Perhaps the least understood element within God’s character is His reluctance to awe His creatures with His powers and presence. His silence will be a topic of eternal discovery!

 

A Very Important Point

 

When God breaks His silence by raining down His judgments upon Earth, the events will be understood even though God will be grossly misunderstood. To appease God and stay His awful judgments, the world’s religious and political systems will enact laws “honoring God” that will be contrary to what He actually wants! What God seeks from man is a repentant heart and a willing attitude. He calls men and women to live a life free of the damning power of sin. Even more, He grants men and women who put their faith in Him, the power to achieve victory over sin. Unfortunately, revelation predicts that most men and women will reject God’s gracious offer of grace, the power over sin and resulting salvation. The hearts of many people have become hardened in rebellion because of their love for sin. Nevertheless, this is not the end of the story. Revelation also predicts that the wicked will be marked by a spirit of intolerance when confronted with the Holy Spirit’s authority within God’s messengers. A day is coming when evil men will punish and torture those who obey the living God of Heaven. The persecutors will think, like Pilate, that they can wash their hands from their guilt. However, God never ignores evil even though He may allow it to flourish for a season. God will avenge every evil deed and be sure justice is equitably administered for all the pain inflicted upon His children  (See Revelation 18:6 and Obadiah 1:15.)

 

In the context of His coming judgments, God’s character and His behavior will be misrepresented and misinterpreted. This is the heart of Revelation’s story. It is a story of a loving God visiting a planet in trouble. It is a story of a just God rendering justice and a merciful God extending mercy. What does it say about the human race when God is left with no other alternative than deadly judgments to gain man’s full attention? 

 

Revelation is a story about rebellious people and a world gone astray. Most people, when put to the coming test of faith in God, will openly and conscientiously reject the clearest evidences of God’s truth. They will rebel against the Ten Commandments of the Most High God by obeying the laws of the coming Antichrist – the devil himself. God is going to allow Satan to physically appear at an appointed time. This is one of the most deadly deceptions to occur during the Great Tribulation. You need to understand that God allows the devil to appear and personate Christ before Christ returns. Many people receive this deception as a true manifestation of Christ because “they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) This imposter will claim to be God and will lead people of Earth to believe that he has come to establish a thousand years of peace. However, his claims are lies. Why will this coming imposter dupe the majority of the world? Jesus said, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)

 

Keep in mind that the Bible underscores a glorious but sublime truth. God does not condemn a person for believing a lie. Rather, He condemns only the people who willfully refuse to believe the truth! Think of it this way. If God places the clearest evidence of truth before His creatures and they refuse to agree with His principles of righteousness and His sovereign authority, what more can be done? Is life – whose source is God – a privilege or a right? From God’s perspective, are rebellious creatures just as deserving of eternal life as submissive creatures? Where in this universe can a rebellious creature live in peace, if God is omnipresent throughout His realm? We must address these thoughtful questions. The eternal kingdom of God has a set of issues and parameters that go far beyond our brief life span of 70 years and the limits of travel we have today. Therefore, we should think about the issues of His kingdom, if we plan to be part of it.

 

If my conclusions are right, God is about to break His silence. On that dreadful day, everyone will know that God’s patience with sin and sinners has reached a limit. On that day, mortals living on a tiny speck of a planet called earth will know that Almighty God, owner of the Universe, has summoned man to appear before His everlasting throne of righteousness. Is there anything we can do about these coming events? Yes. We can prepare to be part of God’s new creation. How does one get prepared? By first understanding the issues involved and the process, that God is going to follow to resolve the problems of Earth. These matters are explained in only one place – The Bible. So, get ready, for ready or not, the kingdom of God is at hand!

 

The Coming Events

 

The Bible predicts a future period of time when God will cause 14 calamitous events to occur on planet Earth. These horrific events are described in the book of Revelation. “When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of Earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the Earth.” (Revelation 6:7,8) There is evidence throughout the Bible that God has used these four judgments down through history to deal with peoples and nations of the world when their cup of sin became full. The Bible also reveals that He only uses these judgments when sin and rebellion reach a point where His love and mercy no longer has a redeeming effect. (See Ezekiel 5.) Therefore, the judgments described in the fourth seal are literal and should be taken very seriously. Death and destruction will be everywhere. In fact, if the population of planet Earth is 6.0 billion today, then 25% of that number would mean 1.5 billion casualties! 

 

More than a billion casualties tell us that God is willing to sacrifice much for the salvation of others. After all, didn’t He sacrifice His own Son for the salvation of all? We cannot conceptualize the breadth of God’s interest in our salvation without considering the extensive destruction of the fourth seal. To some, this may sound terribly cruel and unfair. However, if the coming of Jesus is delayed another century, all 6.0 billion people currently living on Earth will die anyway because the wages of sin is death. By accelerating the death of some people, others will be saved. This seems strange to say, but God is left, at times, with no other option but to destroy many people to save a few. Remember the flood?

 

Understand that God’s wrath is not like human temper. His anger is justified. The coming 14 judgments have a purpose. The seven first plagues are for the saving of mankind and the seven last plagues are reserved for the destruction of those who chose to rebel against His authority. Remember that God will fairly judge those who perish in His forthcoming judgments, just as He now judges all who die. God is more than fair.

 

How will the Four Judgments Come?

 

Revelation’s story explains how and when the four judgments of the fourth seal will be suddenly released. God has four angels currently holding back the four winds of His judgments – sword, famine, plague and wild beasts. Winds symbolize destruction and four winds symbolize global destruction. (See Genesis 41:27; Exodus 10:13; Job 1:19; Psalm 11:6; Jeremiah 30:23.) After God selects and empowers 144,000 people to proclaim the terms of the gospel, the four angels will release the four winds of destruction. (Revelation 7:1-4)

 

Then, 144,000 evangelists whom God has chosen and strategically located in every country on Earth will explain the purposes of God’s judgments. They will proclaim a comprehensive message about salvation and that Jesus is returning soon. After the Fourth seal judgments begin, the devil himself will appear and claim to be God in the flesh. To make his dominion of Earth complete, the devil will demand that his followers kill the 144,000 and all who follow them.

 

We Must Listen to the 144,000

 

The 144,000 of Revelation 7 are people in whom God will grant special powers. (See Luke 9 for an example.) The 144,000 will be empowered by the Two Witnesses, which are the Bible and the Holy Spirit. The 144, 000 will be human agents through whom the Two Witnesses will reach every person. Like Moses and Elijah, the 144,000 will perform many miracles to verify that their message is from God. The Holy Spirit will stir every heart, and signs and wonders will add credibility to the Truth of God’s Word. Revelation 11:6 says the Two Witnesses (working through the 144,000) will perform miracles and can strike Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want!

 

 

Seven Trumpets

 

When these events occur, there will be no question that God is doing exactly what He said He would do. His plans can be understood by anyone who wants to know what His coming actions are. Think about this: If the Bible record of coming events was obscure, how could God’s children be certain that He is in control when the tribulation begins? This simple point will someday stand in direct opposition to the claims of skeptics. Indeed, you can be sure of this development: Many scoffers will deny that the judgments are deliberate Acts of God. Instead, they will say that these calamities are nothing more than nature’s random curse.

 

The judgments described in the fourth seal will begin suddenly. (1 Thessalonians 5:3) The judgments of the fourth seal will come first in the form of the seven trumpets and later, in the form of the seven last plagues. In other words, sword, famine, plague and wild beasts are found in the seven trumpets and in the seven last plagues. The time-period of the seven trumpets is redemptive while the time-period of the seven last plagues is destructive.

 

A Great Earthquake

 

The first physical sign that marks the opening of the fourth seal will be a great earthquake that shakes the whole world. (Note: This earthquake is the first of four earthquakes predicted in Revelation.) The first earthquake signifies the end of God’s patience with world conditions. In short, Earth’s cup of iniquity will spill over on that day. The first earthquake will not be an ordinary earthquake. It will be distinguished from all previous earthquakes in two ways: 1) It will be accompanied by manifestations in the heavens and on Earth. There will be rumblings deep in the Earth, peals of thunder and lightening – simultaneously observed around the world. 2) It will literally shake all of the nations of the world. The Richter scale will not be able to measure its power.

 

Then Meteors Fall

 

Shortly after the global earthquake, a shower of burning meteors will ignite unquenchable fires around the world. The likelihood that Earth’s gravity will attract some of the asteroids that cross Earth’s orbit around the sun is almost certain. “It is inevitable,” scientists say, “the Earth’s will once again be hit by an asteroid large enough to cause mass extinctions…”(National Geographic, January 1985, page 47).  This disconcerting prediction, made over two decades ago, now seems more ominous than ever before. Recent observations of new impact crater activity on the moon’s surface and telescopic sightings of hundreds of meteorites burning up as they enter Earth’s outer atmosphere may indicate Earth’s closer proximity to the asteroid belt.

 

Scientists Clark Chapman and David Morrison startled 4,000 geoscientists at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco in December 1989, say, “In terms of risk, the significant danger (from asteroids) comes from impacts with global implications. Statistically, the greatest risk to each of us is (that)…the impact could cause a global disruption of crops and/or food distribution systems, leading to widespread starvation and perhaps the death of most of the Earth’s human population. We call this a civilization-threatening impact.” At the time of the meeting in 1989, Dr. Chapman was a scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, and Dr. Morrison was chief of the Space Science Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

 

National Geographic magazine featured an impressive article titled “Extinctions” (June 1989) and reported the findings of scientists studying the effects of ancient asteroids impacts. The article is still timely because Earth could be impacted by cosmic debris again. Scientists, in the National Geographic article describe the following scenario: “Giant meteorite strikes Earth, setting the planet afire. Volcanoes erupt tsunamis crash into the continents. The sky grows dark for months, perhaps years. Unable to cope with the catastrophic changes in climate, countless species are wiped off the face of the planet. (Page 686) The article goes on to suggest that great fires resulting from an asteroid would destroy crops, trees and vegetation. Even worse, windstorms created by the fires would destroy building hundreds of miles from the impact. Dust and smoke from the fires would find their way into the jet stream and block much of the sun’s light, thus altering the world’s climate and the chances of human survival!

 

Does Revelation Predict Asteroid Impacts?

 

Many people may dismiss the predictions and warnings of scientists as scientific fantasy. However, what if these scientific predictions are the same conclusions being reached by those studying the prophecies of Revelation? The Bible does seem to predict the impact of “civilization-threatening asteroids and meteorites! Revelation 8:7-11 describes a scenario that closely compares to what scientists anticipate from such impacts. Revelation symbolizes these events as “trumpets” because they are warnings of the appearing of Jesus.

 

Great Balls of Fire

 

The first trumpet consists of a large meteoric shower of burning hail. Obviously, many people could die in a catastrophe of this type. Notice what Revelation says. “The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”(Revelation 8:7)

 

John saw great fires caused by burning hail. He saw a third of the Earth, a third of the trees and all the green grass burned up. The quantity of one-third is used 12 times throughout the seven trumpets. So, what is the significance of one-third? The answer is generosity, for two-thirds are spared. In ancient times, when a nation refused to pay tribute (tax) to a more powerful king, it was common for the offended king to swarm down on the rebellious tribe and totally destroy it – men, women and children. However, if the king were generous, he would spare one-third from destruction. Notice this text:

 

“David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought tribute {tax}.” (2 Samuel 8:2) The extensive use of one-third within the seven trumpets reveals God’s generosity with a rebellious world. The trumpet-judgments are redemptive. If a generous king spared one-third of a rebellious nation in ancient times, what can be said of the King of Kings for sparing two-thirds of the elements mentioned in the seven trumpets. If God struck down two-thirds, certainly all life on this planet would perish in a few weeks.

 

Calamitous Impact on the Sea

 

The second trumpet follows the first trumpet and John describes a great impact upon the sea: “the second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8,9)

 

This scene apparently describes a large asteroid, the size of a mountain, hitting the sea. If an asteroid, one mile in diameter, were sitting upon the face of the Earth, it would be 5,280 feet high. Therefore, the term “mountain” is most appropriate for a huge rock or asteroid. John’s description of an asteroid impacting the sea is identical with scientific predictions. For example, the resulting tidal wave would destroy ship for hundreds of miles in every direction – even those docked in seaports far away. According to scientists at the University of California, the asteroid would be so hot that it would make a large part of the ocean water anoxic (oxygen deficient) by simple boiling the oxygen out of a large area of the sea. The temperature of the water would also dramatically rise, thus killing whatever creature life was left. Then, the warm, anoxic water would provide a perfect environment for the growth of red algae or what is known as red tide. John said the sea turned to blood. This appropriately describes the appearance of red algae, which thrives in oxygen deficient water!

 

Horrific Impact on Land

 

John describes the third trumpet as a great star that impacts the Earth. “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water – the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” (Revelation 8:10,11)

 

Many prophecy experts insist on a symbolic interpretation of these verses because they do not believe these things will literally happen. However, two compelling reasons eliminate the possibility of symbolic interpretation. First, each event described by John is physically consistent with the literal outcome he gives; second, if these texts were symbolic, where is the explanation or interpretation of these symbols within the Bible? 

 

Suppose a large star (asteroid), blazing like a torch, were to impact one of Earth’s seven continents. What would be the consequences? Ground waves would sheer water wells and sewer lines for hundreds of miles in all directions. Earthquakes and tremors would occur for many days as enormous tectonic forces beneath the surface of the Earth adjust to the impact. Remember, a large asteroid impact would release the energy of thousands of nuclear bombs. The end result would be broken sewer systems and landfills leaking toxic waste into subterranean aquifers that would contaminate the drinking water. Millions of people in large cities would drink the contaminated water and sickness would soon be followed by death. Notice again that Revelation 8:10,11 predicts many people will die from drinking bitter water that will be the direct consequence of a star hitting the Earth!

 

Sun, Moon and Stars Darkened

 

The fourth trumpet follows the first three trumpets. The sun, moon and stars turn dark. Perhaps the darkness that fell across the northwestern part of the United States during the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 is a good example of what John saw. Although Revelation does not say why the sun, moon and stars turn dark, this result would be consistent with volcanic eruptions. If we add the effects of a giant earthquake, a meteoric storm of burning hail and two asteroid impacts together, the fragile balance of Earth’s tectonic plates could be disrupted. To release enormous energy, volcanoes could erupt and belch magma and ash in a series of explosions that would dwarf the blasts of Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

 

The first three trumpets send megatons of dust, soot and debris into the atmosphere. Chains of volcanic eruptions (around the Ring of Fire) belch more dust in the form of volcanic ash, potentially causing extended darkness around the world. Millions of burning acres and resulting windstorms will insure that the jet stream is affected. One ounce of soot absorbs 25,000 times the sunlight that one-ounce of dust absorbs! Given this physical fact, it is not hard to see how a band of darkness could encircle the Earth.

 

Same Conclusions and Some Predictions

 

What makes the first four trumpets so uncanny is that scientists and Bible students are only arriving at the same conclusions – that asteroids and meteorites will impact the Earth – but they are also surprised by the consistent harmony of results. Will Earth be pummeled by rocks raining from heaven? More and more scientists are convinced it is inevitable, and so are students of Revelation.

 

Asteroid Impact Immediately Changes Life

 

If you find the previous interpretation of the first four trumpets to be reasonable, and the impact models by scientists within reason, Revelation will provide a very compelling story. Revelation’s story describes the international backdrop that exists when the meteors and asteroids collide with our planet and it reveals the reactions of religious and political powers at the same time the events occur! To understand the actions and reactions of world leaders, consider this simple scenario of Earth’s condition after the first four trumpets.

 

  1. Suppose the meteoric showers of burning hail of the first trumpet ignite great forest fires all over the world. In just a few days a critical resource would be destroyed that cannot be replenished in decades. Trees are used for the production of paper, building materials and many, many other items, but most of all, trees produce oxygen. If you add millions of acres in wheat, corn and other food crops to the burning inferno, you can see how respiratory problems could kill millions of livestock and people. Mass graves will be everywhere. Food will become as scarce as gold. Never in the history of the world, will the index of human suffering reach this level. (Matthew 24: 21,22)

 

  1. Suppose one-third of the ships are sent to the bottom of the ocean by a tidal wave produced by an asteroid impact. Millions of barrels of oil in supertankers will be spilled. Billions of dollars in cargo from Japan, Russia, America and other countries will rest on the bottom of the ocean. Countries that heavily depend on oil and food supplies arriving by sea will experience immediate shortages of all kinds. Large seaports will be washed away, and thousands, perhaps millions of people will drown. Large insurance companies will go bankrupt leaving investing banking in the world’s stock markets in total chaos. The domino effect on the economy of all nations will be beyond calculation.

 

  1. Great cities along the seaboard will be totally destroyed by tidal waves exceeding 1,000 feet in height. If an asteroid one-mile in diameter hits an ocean, much of the coastline could be destroyed. Entire islands could be washed away! Even worse, many countries depend on their fertile coastal lands for valuable food crops. The destruction of these areas would bring dire circumstances to every human being, especially when you consider that many people keep less than one week’s food supply on hand. Perhaps this kind of speculation sounds like a fairy tale, but Luke talks about the fury of the ocean before the coming of Jesus saying, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world….” (Luke 21: 25,26)

 

  1. Compound the destruction of the world’s food basket with the horror of contaminated drinking water everywhere and the situation grows so desperate that a person would wonder if life can go on at all. Desperate circumstances call for extreme efforts. To stabilize the situation, governments will respond quickly. First, they will, of necessity enact contingency or emergency constitutions. This means that martial law will be implemented to prevent anarchy and the total breakdown of government. Stringent laws will be implemented and people will have no choice but to acquiesce. Individual rights will be canceled. The price of sin is always great – even upon the innocent.

 

  1.  Rationing will be implemented to prevent total anarchy. People, full of fear, will do everything they can to obtain food and medicine. Controls on buying and selling will become necessary since every survivor needs a basic number of items to sustain life itself. Few will argue with the drastic economic methods enacted for survival. As the days turn into weeks and weeks into months, people will give in to despair. Hope for recovery will dim. On every point of the compass there will be destruction and suffering beyond description. All the people of Earth will be in shock. The living will envy the dead.

 

 What Does God Want?

 

The story that follows is as drastic as the story of the first four trumpets! In a sentence, the administration of life on planet Earth, as we know it, will be changed overnight. Pandemonium, confusion, fear, depression, stupor and distress will rule the day. Out of the suffering certain questions always arise” “Why did God allow this? What does He want?

 

According to Revelation, a great transformation will take place all over the world as a result of the meteor and asteroid impacts. The most remarkable change in America will be a great surge of national repentance. Currently, only 39% of American attends church regularly. This percentage will change overnight. Religion will become a priority and evangelicals will lead the nation – almost overnight – into a religious revolution.

 

Number One Question

 

There are several different religious systems on earth and each one worships its God in a different way. Is there one right way to worship God? Mentally step out into space and look down on Earth for a moment. Moslems believe that God is pleased when people obey the teachings of Mohammed. Catholics believe that God is pleased when people obey the pope and the laws of the church. Protestants, Jews, Hindus and others have differing ideas on what pleases God. Which religious system is right? Does God really care how we worship Him as long as we worship Him? The question is about to become the number one question on Earth. In today’s context, the question appears to be rhetorical, but when God’s anger is felt by billions of people, this question will become paramount.

 

Desperate circumstances quickly unite people when the focus on a common problem or solution. (The war between Iraq and the United Nations, led by the United States, in 1990 proved this point.) Shortly after the trumpets begin, Revelation predicts the world will participate in the rapid development of a global coalition. Instead of nations fighting and quarreling among themselves over lesser things like power, land or money, the judgments of God will propel religious leaders into a significant leadership role over confused people. Prompted by terror, controlled by fear and trying to be significant, clerics will call for drastic measures to appease God so His judgments will cease. Because the destruction of the first four trumpets is global, the union of religious leaders will be global.

The Wrath of God

 

A great change will occur overnight in the way people think about God. Most Christians talk about God’s love. Hid great salvation and forgiveness, but little is said about the things that make Him angry. Many Christians even deny that God has wrath! Consequently, when His judgments begin to fall, many Christians will be at a loss to reconcile these “Acts of God” with their assumed knowledge of God. The result will be great fear and terror.

 

It is not difficult for God to frighten people. He only needs to tamper with things that make us feel secure to get our attention. When lives and property are destroyed, the survivors tend to renew their acquaintance with God. Like Israel of old, all nations will tremble with fear before Almighty God during the days of His visitation. (Exodus 20:18-21) The solution to pleasing or appeasing God – so that His destruction of earth will stop – will appear simple on the surface. Religious leaders will cry out, “Submit to the authority of God.” However, how does a person worship the God of Heaven so that His wrath is satisfied? (Remember, one of the five doctrinal pillars in this story is the truth about the worship of God.)

 

Revelation explains what God wants. John saw a message going throughout the world saying, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7) Notice the last sentence of this verse itemizes the four things affected by the first four trumpets! Religious people, the world over, will quickly agree why the judgments are falling and what they are, but how to implement a solution that will please God will become a global nightmare! The nightmare is because the judgments of God will be common upon all people, but there are different religions on the Earth and each claim that its way is the only right way to worship God.

 

Laws Enforcing Worship

 

Revelation predicts that people the world over will respond to the devastation of the trumpets by enforcing laws that demand the worship of God. However, there will be no consistency between the laws; instead, there will be great confusion. Catholics and Protestants will seek laws that agree with their theology, Jews will make laws agreeing with their doctrine, Moslems will want laws respecting their beliefs in Allah, and other bodies will demand similar laws. Notice the problem that occurs with diverse religions. How can diverse religions appease one God? Is He a God of many religions?

 

To address this global diversity, Revelation states that a global coalition of religious representatives will quickly form. This coalition will try to solve the problem of diverse views about God. This coming union is called “Babylon” in the Bible because Babylon symbolizes confusion.

 

So, why does Babylon form? Well meaning religious people will stampede the political processes of their respective countries after the trumpets begin, and the legislated results will be very confusing, severe and most distressing. In every nation, religious leaders will demand laws to end the “reign of sin” so that God may be appeased and the judgments stopped. Politicians will be powerless to stop the increase of religious sentiment and the laws will be enacted overnight. Compare Daniel 3 with Revelation 13 and you will find that modern Babylon’s story parallels the experience of ancient Babylon. Modern Babylon, like ancient Babylon, will be made up of many religions, cultures and nationalities.

 

Satan Appears in Person

 

Planet Earth has received a deadly blow and chaos reigns. The next event described in Revelation is the fifth trumpet. The fifth trumpet reveals the devil himself will appear on Earth after the “dust settles” from the asteroid impacts. He may first appear in the Middle East, Perhaps Jerusalem. The Bible does not say, but many orthodox Jews anticipate the imminent arrival of Messiah to deliver them from their enemies. Their hopes for the coming Messiah would provide an excellent platform for Satan to weave his masquerade of deception and use it to great advantage. This would be especially effective, since many Christians believe the Jews are still God’s chosen people. In addition to the Jews’ expectation of the coming Messiah, the Arabs also believe a Deliverer will soon appear. It is not hard to see why the Middle East could be an excellent geographical target for Satan!

 

The Fifth Trumpet

 

Be assured that God will only allow the devil to physically appear after a significant part of the world has heard the gospel. Satan is allowed to appear because most of the Earth has already heard and rejected the gospel as proclaimed by the 144,000. Therefore, God releases and allows the devil to rule over those who refused to recognize Him as the Almighty. This is an interesting point about the Great Tribulation: Each man will have a master, either by his choice or by force. So, who will it be?

 

The fifth trumpet of Revelation 9:1-11 is described by John as the bottomless pit being “unlocked.” God shows John something that looks like a great swarm of locusts coming up out of the Earth. As the swarm draws closer to him though, John can see that they look more like riders on horses. Directing this “swarm” of riders is an angel king whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek, is Apollyon. Both names mean the same thing: “destroyer.”

 

The release of Satan and his angels from the bottomless pit reveals three important things. First, Satan will not come in the clouds of glory exactly like Jesus. Although Satan will do everything in his power to imitate Jesus’ second coming. God limits the deception of the devil. Satan will appear to come down from the clouds in various places. This is why Jesus said,  “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.” (Matthew 24:23) Second, God does not allow Satan to physically appear on Earth until the first four trumpets have sounded. Last, the physically appearing of the devil is designed by God to force everyone into a firm decision. The door of salvation is still open for anyone who might repent of his or her rebellion and turn to God.

 

According to Revelation 9, after Satan and his evil angels appear, they will torment the “unsaved” people for five months. Scripture does not reveal just how the torment is inflicted and what the torment is. However, it does say that the torment will hurt like a scorpion’s sting. People who are afflicted will long to die, but they will actually survive the ordeal.

 

An Angel of Light

 

Satan will so dazzle Earth’s inhabitants with his glory that many people will believe his claims to be God based on his appearance alone. Paul says, “…for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) Revelation states that when Satan appears, he will be so dazzling and glorious that most people will be awestruck when they actually see him! “…The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast….” (Revelation 17:8, Italics added.)

 

Satan Works Miracles and Wonders

 

Satan’s first work after appearing “in the flesh” as a glorious god-man will be to convince the world that he is divine – that he is actually God. Paul warns, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the second coming) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God….The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Corinthians 2:3,4,9,10)

 

One miracle that Satan will use above all others to convince doubting people that he is God will be to call fire down out of Heaven at will! This “proof of divinity” will make his deceptions secure for many, many people. John says, “And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth….” (Revelation 13:13,14)

 

Satan the “Lamb-like” Beast

 

John describes the appearing of Satan as a “lamb-like” beast. The intended contrast is obvious, since Jesus is referred to in Revelation as “The Lamb” more than 29 times. Because the devil masquerades as Jesus, John describes Satan as a “lamb-like” beast who speaks like a dragon. John also warns that he will make every effort to deceive the world.

 

Obviously, this coming demonic god man will rule over Babylon. The ultimate purpose behind his deceit is to unite as many people as possible into a one-world religion and then implement his one-world order. Satan will eventually obtain a death penalty for those who will refuse to meet his demands. At that time, the followers of Jesus will be exposed because they refused to join ranks with the devil and receive his tattoo, the mark of the lamb-like beast. After Satan has appeared in various places on the Earth for a few months, he will call on his followers, located in every nation, to take control. He will ask his followers to arm themselves and fight to establish his kingdom. Revelation 9:13-21 describes the sixth trumpet and a world war. This war will be similar to the Civil War that occurred in the United States – brother fighting against brother – only this war will take place in every nation on Earth. Satan’s followers intend to dominate their respective nations on behalf of the one they believe to be God! Millions will die as a result of this war. The Bible says in Revelation 9:16 that the number of troops will be 200,000,000. The devil himself being the angel king, will have four generals that will have 50,000,000 evil angels under each of their commands, to slaughter the non-righteous wicked and the saints when the sixth seal is opened. Because of the carnage from this world war, wild animals will multiply rapidly. They will feed on the dead like the birds that feed on the wicked after the second coming. (Revelation 19:21)

 

A Day of Testing

 

The seven trumpets are specifically designed by God to awaken the world to the return of Jesus. If anyone wishes to receive salvation during this time-period, he or she must worship the Creator of the heavens, Earth, the sea and the springs of water. The word worship simply means ‘to render obedience.” Now, every Christian should know that man is not saved by obedience, for the Bible states that we are saved by faith. (Ephesians 2:8,9) Therefore, the primary purpose of the Great Tribulation is to test faith. God is going to test the faith of every person by setting before us a life or death test. In this context, each person’s faith will be revealed through obedience! Those choosing to submit to the laws of man will reject God’s sovereign authority. Those choosing to submit to the laws of God will reject man’s effort to dictate how God is to be worshiped. It is interesting that the penalty for rejecting either law – God’s or man’s – is death. Read Daniel 3 and Daniel 6 for two stories that demonstrate the ultimate test of faith.

 

The Seventh Trumpet

 

The mystery of God will be accomplished just before the seventh trumpet sounds. (Revelation 10:7) Everyone will have made his or her decision, for or against God’s truth. Everyone will have been sealed or received the mark of the beast. With all decisions final, God closes the door of mercy.

 

Just before the door of mercy is closed, there will be a great number of martyrs for the cause of Christ. When every decision has been made, the Heavenly temple will be cleansed and the wrath of God will be released in full measure upon the people who have received the mark of the beast.

 

 

Seven Last Plagues

 

The seven last plagues follow the seven first plagues (seven trumpets) and the seven last plagues include the four judgments! These seven last plagues are described in Revelation 16 and all who receive the mark of the beast will receive these destructive judgments. The first judgment is a plague of sores that falls upon those receiving the mark of the beast. The second plague, like the second trumpet, affects the sea; however, all the oceans of the world turn to blood like the blood of a dead man and all the sea creatures die. The third plague affects fresh water around the world. All the rivers and springs are turned to blood, so rivers and springs are turned to blood, so people who shed the blood of the saints and prophets are given blood to drink. The fourth plague causes the sun to scorch wicked people throughout the world. They will curse the name of God, but they refuse to repent and glorify Him. These plagues deplete what food supplies remain. Famine will become pandemic. Note that these plagues fall only on those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation. People remaining faithful to Jesus will not be affected by these last seven plagues.

 

The fifth plague focuses on Satan and his throne. His kingdom is immediately plunged into darkness and pain. The Bible indicates that Satan’s minions will gnaw their tongues in pain. This darkness seems appropriate for those who chose to reject the light of God’s truth.

 

The sixth plague causes the river Euphrates to dry up in preparation for the appearing of the Kings from the East (our Heavenly Father and His Son). Satan and his demons will attempt to gather all the armies of Earth to war against Almighty God, but God will end this attempt to challenge His authority. (Revelation 20:7-10) Both Jesus and the Father will appear in the clouds of glory shortly before the seventh plague occurs. This may be a new thought for some people, that the Father will attend the Son at the second coming. But notice the words of Jesus, “…But I say unto you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64) Compare this with Revelation 6:16,17: “They called to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” The seventh plague will demonstrate who is master of the universe and rebellion against Almighty God will no longer be tolerated. It aptly demonstrates what happens when sin comes face to face with a Holy God and His wrath.

 

Conclusion

 

When Jesus was here on Earth, He gave us a promise that resounds in the hearts of Christians to this day. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3) What a precious promise, especially when we consider what is before us. Paul describes the second coming like this: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

 

If you know Jesus as your Savior, you have no reason to be afraid. The Psalmist wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me….” (Psalm 23:4) If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, then do so today! Obey the teachings of Jesus and live by faith in His promises. Be willing and obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and God will take care of you. Search for God’s truth and it will strengthen you. Earth’s cup of iniquity is almost full. God is about to break His silence.

 

Revelation contains a story of desperate love for man. Jesus is anxious to save! Sadly, most people are unable to understand the character of God and His kingdom because we are so blighted by sin. However, God will bring to the front of every person’s conscience, the reality of His character by sending His judgments. Into this turmoil, He will send 144,000 messengers explaining the terms and conditions of salvation. Yes, He wants everyone to be saved, but many people will not listen, nor give the respect due to Him. Unfortunately, some people will have to discover their desperate need of a loving Savior in times of distress. What does it say of man when God is left with nothing other than the outpouring of His wrath to get our undivided attention?

 

Sound Asleep?

 

Many Christians scoff at the suggestion that the Lord will return this decade. They see no reason for all the excitement and say, “All things continue as usual – why all the fuss?” These people are content with spiritual poverty. They have no idea about the events coming upon the Earth, and even worse, do not want to hear about it! They like religious programming – entertainment that features talented singers and gifted speakers with clever ideas. They do not want to hear about the wrath of God nor the cross that they must bear. Unfortunately, Satan has convinced many within the Christian church that they are either safe from the tribulation or that life will continue as usual until Jesus returns. How sad that these deceptions are so widely accepted.

 

Get Prepared

 

If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that salvation comes by faith in Jesus and not membership in any church. God knows our fears are great and that man is made of the dust of the ground. Yet, God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place. Yes, the events before us are frightening. Yes, the coming tribulation will be more terrible than anything the world has ever experienced. However, the presence of God will be closer than ever before and His peace more valuable than gold. So, give yourself to Him right now. Tell the Lord that you are willing to be, to do and go as He commands. Then when He comes, YOU will be saved. Jesus guarantees it!

 

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