The Signs of the Times (15): Wrath

editor - 30 September 2018

“…I watched as He opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the 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 withstand it?’…”
Revelation 6:12-17 (NIV)

In the similarities with Jesus’ sermon on the End of the Age from the Mount of Olives, the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation is now talking about the signs of the darkening of the sun, the moon red as blood and the stars falling from the sky, even the shaking of creation itself. Cosmic catastrophes. The end of the world seems to have come.

It sounds very much like the prophetic description of the Day of the Lord from the Old Testament. Didn’t Joel prophesy: “…The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…” (Joel 2:31 NIV). The sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

“…This is what the Lord says: ‘The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.’…” (Jeremiah 4:27-28 NIV)

Terrifying words. No more delay. No more postponing of the judgement by the Lord as with Nineveh when the city repented. After the oppression and persecution of the believers, after the blood of the martyrs, there is no more a further delay or escape. Enough is enough. Even the heavens, the Universe, turn their face against humanity and planet earth.  The constellations of the stars and astrology cannot turn the tide.

Isaiah 13:10 says: “…The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…”  Isaiah 47:13-14 says:“…Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up…”

The night when no one can work (John 9:4) has come. The time of mercy is over. Long-suffering and patiently waiting is over. The judgement of God has come. Repentance is no longer possible.

Scripture talks about conditional and unconditional judgements from God. In the case of Nineveh (Jonah 3), repentance was still possible. Yes, even with Sodom and Gomorrah if ten righteous ones would have been found (Genesis 18:22-33). But now not anymore.

We’re not there yet. Do we use the time of mercy that God is still giving us, to get our lives right with Him? There is only one safe hiding place: (the finished work of) the Saviour (John 3:14-21).


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible.The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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