I believe in the prophecies of the Bible and thus I know there is a time coming, a time of trouble, a time when God begins to judge the world for wickedness. Many Scriptures speak of it from the Old to the New Testament –
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” – Jer. 30:7
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” – Joel 2:31
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” – Matt. 24:21
These are just a few of the Scriptures that speak of this time so, since God has warned of this time so often, shouldn’t we pay attention? Why is it coming? Is there a way to escape it?
If one reads the context of these warnings, it is clear it is coming because of mankind’s rebellion against God. Sometimes man’s own wickedness unleashes its own judgments. Some sins carry within them their own judgments: a life of drunkenness is likely to carry within it sickness such as kidney disease, or gluttonous eating will take its toll on the body, or following wicked leaders because they offer gain will ultimately lead to destruction such as Hitler unleashed. But, most devastating of all will be God’s judgment – and it is coming.
But, there is a way to escape it and Scriptures highlight this in both Old and New Testaments.
“Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” – Zeph. 2:3
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” – Rev. 3:10
Zephaniah is writing to the meek of the earth. The word he uses for meek carries the connotation of ‘gentile’ and ‘saintly’. It was said of Moses that he ‘was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.’ Such people are humble but, this does not mean they are weak, especially when following the Lord. They are what most of us wish we were but, often are not. Then Zephaniah gives two clues for survival – seek righteousness and seek meekness! These are the two elements of personality that will cause God to keep us in the midst of the coming Day of Jacob’s trouble. Of course righteousness means living according to the Lord’s standards and not the world’s standards. It does not mean being politically correct but instead being Godly correct! Putting away all things that offend the Lord. And we have to ‘seek meekness’ because it is not natural to us. It requires dying to our fleshly desires in favor of God’s desires.
In Revelation, the Philadelphia church was promised a deliverance because they kept the ‘word of the Lord’s patience’ but, what does that mean? A few verses earlier we were told what they did to deserve this promise.
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength (they were not spiritual giants), and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.“ – Rev. 3:8
Here we have a serious problem because a majority calling themselves Christian today don’t know what the words of Jesus are – let alone keep them! If you just read the Red Letter words of the four Gospels, which are the words of Jesus, you will find a Jesus who is much different than the Jesus taught in most churches today. The Apostle Paul gave a stern warning that most pay little attention to –
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” – 2 Cor. 11:4
Many churches today gloss over sin, teach little about repentance, and blatantly accept ideas God calls abominations. Some teach there are many ways to God or deny the gifts of the Spirit are for today. The spirit of Jezebel is alive and well in many denominations as well.
If you read the words of Jesus, you will find He interprets things differently than many do today. For example: (1) There is no alternative way to God or heaven other than through Him (John 14:6), (2) It is not easy to become a true Christian but, difficult. Many are called but, few are chosen (Luke 13:23, 24, Matt. 22:14).
And then finally, you not only have to know the words of Jesus but you have to not be ashamed to publicly acknowledge Him. You have to live your life in such a way as to bring honor to His name and His memory. That pretty much rules out all politically correct nonsense, Hollywood, and TV (wow!).
There is a way to escape the ‘hour of trial’ that is coming but few will find it according to Jesus. But, before I discourage you too much, I offer this word of encouragement – if you try, God will help you. Remember Jesus said to the Church of Philadelphia –
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” – Rev. 3:8
Even though you have little strength, He has enough for you if you but try.