Monday, January 4, 2016

Oh, Them Days

Revelation‬ ‭9:3-6‬ ‭- Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
Ah, yes. Revelation! The study continues. The Bible shows us in this book what physical signs will happen in our future. Very similar things happened early in the Old Testament also. Remember the plagues? Frogs, lice, boils, thunder, lightening, hail and fire, waters turning to blood so they become undrinkable, and other torments. 

If those happened in the Old Testament, what we see in the New Testament will happen also. God does not lie. He has written the Bible so we may know, be warned...and know there is a Way we can have for hope, protection, eternal life. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. ‭‭(Acts‬ ‭2:19-20‬)

While the plagues of Exodus were mostly earthly, the occurrences in Revelation are more cosmic. Maybe even our growth in technology has something to do with it. 

But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately. Then He said to them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. ‭‭(Luke‬ ‭21:9-11,25-28‬)

These are exciting times for those who trust the Lord, who have responded to His call to allow Him to become Lord and Savior in their life. We see the signs, the wars, rumors of wars. We are to trust Him in all things. We are to realize He is in complete control over all we see happening, especially if we can't make any sense of what's happening. If Revelation teaches anything, it is that we keep looking up because our redemption draws near. But woe to those who scoff. Woe to those who like Pharaoh in the Old Testament rebelled right to the end, allowed his heart to be hardened, perhaps became frightened but would not show it, even after the death of his firstborn son. 

In Revelation it says that there will be a group who do the same. They will refuse to repent of their sin, call on the Lord for salvation and shake their rebellious fists at Him. Any of us could do this if we are not prepared. Even believers. But if we call on Him now and truly trust in Him our chances are much better. We may go through trials, but if we remain steadfast we will be protected and saved by the Lord, Himself. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19)  Who can comprehend what He can do? Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans‬ ‭11:33)‬ ‭

Though there will be a Day of the Lord where His wrath will come to this earth for its sin and rebellion against Him, for those who know Him, it is the glorious hope talked about in Titus: ...looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ... (Titus‬ ‭2:13)

There's always a positive side to all the Bible tells us. There may seem to be a lot of don't do this or that, but like a father wanting only good for his child, God has to be stern, because He is holy and we are so not. We fall so short of being good...He must separate Himself from us until we receive the free gift of salvation from His Son Jesus. He is the only way. All the accounts in the Bible point us in some way to Him. We must believe all the things in the Bible. If we don't search the scriptures how will we know? We cannot rely on man...only God.

Here's a sobering truth:

2Peter‬ ‭3:2-6‬ ‭- ...that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

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