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The Preferred Earthquake

An earthquake is a fantastic and, many times, terrible event. In our time, we have been hearing about earthquakes altering the landscape in many nations of the world. The record shows that earthquakes are happening with greater frequency and more severe impact than in any similar period of time in history. Nothing we have seen up until this time, however, compares with a devastatingly great earthquake which is still to come.

Describing this, the Apostle John says, “And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (Rev. 6:12-14).

Here we have a description of an absolutely awesome event. From this brief account in the Prophetic Word, some observations need to be made. This because, even reading these pages now, may well be persons who will be impacted by that incredible disturbance.

The first observation which is apparent is the fact that this earthquake will be a very smashing event. The light disappears when the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair. The moon assumes a frightening appearance as it becomes like blood.

Accompanying this earthquake are a series of cosmic events as the stars of heaven fall to earth. Here we have not simply a meteor or two, but stars in such numbers so that this phenomenon is like a fig tree casting untimely figs when shaken by a mighty wind.

As if this were not enough, the heavens depart as a scroll and the mountains and the islands are moved out of their places. Obviously, nothing in all the earth will remain unshaken at the advent of this overwhelming quake.

As we read this frightening description, we remember that again and again earthquakes are described in the Bible as signs of divine judgment. Yes, it is apparent that the wickedness of men can even cause the earth to tremble. A little imagination invested in these words can cause in each of us almost a feeling of participation in this great form of the Judgment of Almighty God. We must learn and never forget that the universe, including this entire earth, is a fragile, destructible thing. What seems so solid can be blown away into dust by one puff of the breath of the eternal God. Millions have died in earthquakes far more gentle than this one. An earthquake means the loss of everything and must certainly be called a frightening experience indeed.

We can make a second observation from this account in the Word of God. That is that there is coming an experience more frightening to natural men than even this devastating earthquake. What is that experience? It is that inevitable event when sinful men will stand unprotected before the naked judgment of God. This awful earthquake is described as to its effect upon the men of earth: “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” (Rev. 6:15). Cowering in the crevices the rulers of earth extended a great cry, they “said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16). So it will be that the tardy discernment of the brave and the beautiful of earth will esteem the wrath of God as a more devastating experience even than a mighty earthquake. Better to be crushed by a falling mountain than to stand undefended before the Judgment of the Eternal God. These rulers of earth suddenly developed a proper view of things, but alas, by that time it was too late.

Is there not a lesson here for all of mankind? The people of earth, living a tranquil life and presuming that tranquility will continue, give not a thought about the end of earth and the first day of eternity. Preoccupied with the fading things of time, they think not at all about the reality of eternity that is soon to break upon them. Believing not at all in God or His Judgment, the foolish denizens of earth will arrive astonished before the throne of God on Judgment Day. When they hear the judgment of eternal damnation, they will say something like, “How could this happen to me?” They should have learned long before that “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

We can also observe that the Scripture states that the Day of Wrath is inevitable. It says, “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:17). The great day of the wrath of God—what a statement! We know from the New Testament that man is treasuring up wrath against the Day of Wrath and revelation of the righteous Judgment of God, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:6). For a long time now, the world has been amassing a treasure of divine wrath without ever considering the awful denouement of it all. Judgment Day is coming. Any person is a pitiful fool who does not make that consideration a first principle of life.

We have a final question, “Who shall be able to stand?” There is an answer to that question which we can announce with certainty and with joy. Who shall stand? Every person who has believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knows God’s precious Son as personal Savior. Each one of these individuals will stand and will be unaffected by that final Judgment. In fact, we will not stand as guilty before the King of the universe, but we will actually share His judgment throne. Yes, “the saints shall judge the world” (I Cor. 6:2). Having been delivered from all judgment by the death of Christ on Calvary’s cross, we shall be a part of that judiciary which judges the world in that awful hour. Yes, we will be able to stand, undisturbed by the fires of divine retribution. The judgment which we deserve has already been poured out upon Christ at Calvary. We are, therefore, free from judgment, from condemnation. So it is that the Psalmist says, “The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Ps. 1:5).

We have a recommendation, then. As that awful hour of divine judgment draws near, each one of us must be sure that we know Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin’s dreadful consequences. Let us also remind ourselves of the awful situation that is coming upon our world, which reminder should lead us to be overt, outstanding witnesses for Christ. Before the Judgment of God impacts this world with the velocity of an earthquake, we must snatch individuals like brands from the burning and bring them to the place of faith in Christ. Because of the shortening of time, no effort is more strategic than that of preaching the Gospel of the grace of God and offering to people the unsearchable riches of Christ. That is strategic activity indeed.

From the writings of Dave Breese

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