Friday, January 5, 2018



"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:20).
It is easy to become discouraged as one year progresses quickly into the next. New Year is a time, for a multitude of different reasons, that many struggle with and find difficult. But of all people, in a world that is obviously coming apart at the seams, we who have placed all our hopes and aspirations in Jesus alone have reason to be optimistic!
One of the most important messages given by Jesus before he ascended into Heaven has brightened my Christmas and New Year for a long time; it is the message that Jesus is alive and that He is coming again soon!
As the disciples stood gazing into the clouds after the resurrected Lord had ascended from the surface of the earth, rising higher and higher into the sky, to be eventually hidden in the clouds, two angels suddenly appeared with a vitally important message:
"Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
There is a hope embedded into this message that one day Jesus will return for his own, that he will one day return for us! Just a short time earlier, whilst Jesus was celebrating Passover with his disciples, he revealed to them,
"Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward" (Jn. 13:36).
The disciples must have felt crushed; after all, this was the man most of them believed would usher in a new Messianic age, and here he is telling them he is departing and leaving them in their greatest hour of need. The disciples must have been distraught, feeling as if the very ground they stood upon had been pulled out from underneath them.
But then Jesus reassured them,
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (Jn. 14:1-3).
Jesus was departing from them with a specific purpose in mind, and he had a definite plan to return. He wasn't intending to just leave them, but described a specific scenario through which they would once again be united to him.
Jesus referred to a Jewish wedding to help his disciples understand. Using this imagery, Jesus attempted to convey not only the absolute certainty of his return, but the inexpressible joy that would also accompany it!
In Jewish weddings, after paying tribute to the bride's father and establishing the marriage covenant with his father-in-law, the Jewish bridegroom would return home to his own father for a time to prepare a dwelling place in his own father's house fit for his bride. This is where the Jewish bride and bridegroom would later live, in the father's house.
After completing the dwelling places for himself and his new bride to his father's satisfaction, and allowing his fiancé to adjust to and prepare for married life, the father of the groom would indicate that it was time for the bridegroom to return for his beautiful bride! With a shout the bridegroom would announce his arrival, and along with his trusted companions and friends, would take her away to her new home. The bride would leave her old home on hearing the voice of her new husband and immediately leave for her new home. In fact, she wouldn't even look back!
This is the imagery that Jesus used to convey the meaning of his absence. This imagery perfectly fits the concept of the rapture of the church when Jesus Christ, after leaving to prepare a place for his bride, would once again return so that, "...where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3).
Later, Paul goes on to describe how Christ "loved the church and gave Himself for her ... that He might present her to Himself a glorious church" (Eph. 5:25, 27).
The apostle John, in his Apocalypse, glimpsed this glorious future when he saw the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: "The Lamb [Christ] has come, and His wife has made herself ready ... arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright" (Rev. 19:7-8).
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, this is your destiny; this is your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:13).
From the first members of the Bride of Christ, huddled together in the upper room during the final Passover celebration, to each member of the church today, each one has now become through Jesus Christ, a royal priesthood.
God is forming his Church from all the nations of the world, from Jew and Gentile; we are a part of that number if we follow and believe in Jesus Christ alone.
"I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd" (John 10:16).
When Jesus departed he emphasized that his purpose was to prepare a place for his followers, and that he would shortly return for them. The phrase "...and if I go and prepare a place for you..." conditionally links His departure with His return: "I will come again" (Jn. 14:3).
The analogy of the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony that Jesus uses guarantees Jesus' return for the rapture of his church. Therefore,
"Be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand" (Jas. 5:8).
We are entering a time in history that the Bible speaks much of. Indeed, the Bible talks more about the events of this generation than any other, more even than of the time Jesus first walked the shores of Galilee two thousand years ago.
The coming months may bring difficulties. For some of us this may mean persecution; indeed, each passing day seems to confirm this reality. If the Lord tarries much longer, the Body of Christ will begin to experience real persecution here at home, just as it is currently in the Middle East.
But we have a living, dynamic and real hope. We have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior. Never will he leave us; never will he forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Jesus is coming back soon, and it is this living hope that will give us the strength and courage to move forward in this coming New Year, even if persecution is lurking up ahead.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).
"However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived'- the things God has prepared for those who love him..." (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Happy New Year all!

Thursday, January 4, 2018


- By Matt Leasher -

The Rapture
For those of us that are secure in our hope of the promised redemption of our bodies at the Rapture of the Church (Romans 8:23), we still grieve daily for our friends and loved ones that have not received this promise that comes with being born again in Christ Jesus.  We may get weary in repeating this hope and gospel message to them; but we must never get discouraged, knowing that our labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).
While we know that the judgment of the Lord is soon coming upon this wicked Godless world, we also know that the Lord is not willing that any should perish and that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  And even though the Lord is long-suffering in His grace, when that long-suffering runs out, He will continue to strive to bring sinners to repentance.
That is the underlying purpose of the Tribulation period.  It will be a time of Abba Father's tough love towards His children who would not come to Him through the atonement provided by His Son during the Age of Grace.
There will be many in the left-behind world that will immediately turn to God when the Rapture occurs.  We all know people who say that they won't believe something unless they see it first, and we've heard many people say that about the Rapture.
I believe the martyrs in Revelation 6:9-11 are those people who witnessed the Rapture and immediately remembered the words of their loved ones who tried to warn them that this would happen if they did not receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.  They are given white robes and told that they must wait a little while longer until the rest of their brethren, who would be killed as they were, are completed.
I believe the apostle John sees the rest of the Tribulation saints in Revelation 7:9-17, which is a parenthetical chapter.
I also believe that these Tribulation saints are the virgins (or bridesmaids) that join the Groom and Bride (Church) at the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).  In the ancient Jewish wedding tradition, the bride and groom spend seven days alone to consummate the marriage, and then they have the wedding banquet afterwards.
This is the reverse order of how most weddings are arranged today where the wedding banquet comes before the consummated honeymoon.  The bridesmaids are not going to join the Groom and Bride until "after" the seven-year consummation period is completed in heaven, which coincides with the seven-year Tribulation that will be occurring on earth.  That is one of the reasons why the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs on earth.  That is where the bridesmaids are!
It is interesting to note that there are no groomsmen mentioned for the Groom, but the Bride has "bridesmaids."  This is because it is the Bride (the Church) who planted the seeds of the gospel that will carry into the Tribulation period to help set the course for the bridesmaids.  The gospel message is centered on the Groom-the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.
I've heard some theologians say that no one will be saved during the first half of the Tribulation. But the cry of the martyrs in Revelation 6:10 is asking for vengeance upon "those who dwell on the earth," signifying that it was within the time frame of the early part of the Tribulation (which begins in Revelation 6:1) that their martyrdom occurred.
Once again, I believe these martyrs are those that were left behind because they were lukewarm in their acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior, as warned about in Revelation 3:16.  I call these people "fence sitters," as they want to just sit on the fence and not choose a side, whether it be for Christ or against Christ.  But Jesus said,
"Those who are not with Me are against Me" (Matthew 12:30).
Since they could not choose a side, the Rapture will have chosen it for them!
Many who come to saving faith in the early part of the Tribulation will likely come to faith out of remembrance of what their Christian loved ones preached to them prior to the Rapture.  This could be the reason that we see the martyrs mentioned in Revelation 6 before the 144,000 witnesses from the twelve tribes of Israel are mentioned in Revelation 7.
The 144,000 will be supernaturally protected while evangelizing in a world of strong demonic forces (Revelation 9:4), and yet the seal judgments that occur before the mention of the martyrs in Revelation 6 are all the result of catastrophic occurrences brought about my mankind, clearly demarcating the two groups.
Sadly, among these martyrs will also be those that relied on their own religious works as their security for their salvation.  They will quickly realize that all of that was in vain and that it is only through faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross that is acceptable to the Lord for salvation.  This is evident in the fact that they are killed for their "testimony."
"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9).
These early Tribulation martyrs will have an immediate testimony because we, the Church, ministered to them before the Rapture.
Many "religious" people will not listen to the message of being saved by grace or that the Rapture of the Church is at hand.  Their self-righteous rituals are their stumbling blocks to hearing the truth, and those stumbling blocks will cause them to stumble themselves right into the worst seven years in human history.  It may be hard to get through to them now, but we are planting seeds regardless of their current response.
However, the Tribulation saints are going to have it much harder than just being saved by faith.  They are going to have to keep their faith and their works for salvation!
"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).
The Lord always honors our choices; and since many people have chosen to be justified by their own merits, the Lord will allow these Tribulation saints to practice what caused them to be here in the first place.  They will have to keep both the Law and faith in the finished work of Christ.  But I want to point out that no one will be justified before God in just keeping the Law in any dispensation (Romans 3:20).  In fact, if you try to just keep the Law in this current dispensation, it will only bring God's wrath upon you (see Romans 4:15)!
Currently we are saved by grace through faith no matter how well we keep the Law or not, (Ephesians 2:8).  That is the absolute beauty and mercy of God that He has chosen us to be born in this dispensation of grace, where we have the opportunity to be sealed with the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ.
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14).
After the Rapture there will be many that will be wallowing in regret at the missed opportunity that they had let slip by their whole lives.  They will quickly remember every single time the gospel was preached to them.  Some will still reject it but many will quickly repent and call out to their Savior.
This may result in the biggest revival there ever was; however, it won't last long as the Antichrist will prevail over them (Daniel 7:21 & Revelation 13:7).  This is what differentiates the identity of the saints of the Church Age from the saints of the Tribulation period.  Jesus said of the Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail over it (Matthew 16:18); and when Satan is cast out of heaven to run rampant on the earth, the Holy Spirit empowered Church will have been caught up to heaven prior to that.
Knowing what lies ahead for the Tribulation saints, we the Church can prepare them in several ways.  The first and most important thing is to never pass up every opportunity we get to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them in love and grace.  We don't want to brow-beat them with doom and gloom, but we do want to inform them of what it is they are being saved from when they receive the Savior.
"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him" (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
Even if we don't win souls for Christ in the here and now, we can have peace of mind knowing that we did our part in the Great Commission and leave the rest to the Lord in prayer.
The chaotic left-behind world is going to be searching for answers as to what is going on; and there is a good chance that the internet will be down for an extended period of time and then likely controlled by the Antichrist system when it comes back up.  So it would be helpful for us to leave physical Bibles around in our homes, cars, sheds, etc., anywhere that a left-behind person may happen upon it.  The Bible is going to be their life source!
If the decor in your house consists of Bible verses and Scripture references, then you are already one step ahead of the game.  A person may enter your house after the Rapture, see those references on your wall, and then be inspired to look them up in the Bible that you left on your coffee table.  In my house there isn't a single room that doesn't have at least one Bible verse openly displayed.
We can also leave gospel tracts in various places.  Perhaps keep the pockets of all of your coats in your closet loaded with gospel tracts so that they will be found and read when someone uses your coat for warmth.  You can also keep them in various places in your car such as the sun-visor, glove box, center console, etc.  Gospel tracts are at a size that allows you to be creative in their placement.
Another thing we can do to prepare the left-behind is to leave some survival kits of different sorts in our homes, knowing that we won't need them.  It is always good to have a good stock of bottled water and large water containers at hand as well as dried food and first-aid kits.  The supply house that we leave behind for the apocalyptic world after the Rapture may be limited, but it will provide a good start as they seek salvation; and it will also display the hearts that we had for them when they come across these thoughtful food staples and provisions.
There are some Christians that feel we are so close to the Rapture that they have notes prepared describing what happened and what to do, which they leave on their kitchen tables every day.  There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that and it could even be a way of opening up a discussion about the Rapture for anyone that sees it now!  The Rapture is often laughed at by the unbelieving world; but if they see just how serious we Christians are about it, then perhaps it would trigger them into looking into it more seriously themselves.
The New Testament gives no instructions to the Church as to what to do or how to survive the Tribulation period; instead the Lord told us to store up our treasures in heaven, and we do that with charity both now and in what we  provide for the left-behind.
Basically the best way we can currently prepare the Tribulation saints is to let our light shine and display our faith and trust in our Savior openly.  Many Christian homes are already set up in the way that I've just described, and our lives are to glorify the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ both now and in the ages to come!
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


by- Terry James 

We've been over it before in this column. However, things are shaping so rapidly it again needs our attention. Prophecy watchmen on the wall should pay close attention.
The seminaries consistently ignore this prophetic indicator altogether. Or they steadfastly say it is to be applied to Jews alive during the Tribulation. It is not for the Church.
I say-and have done so for years-that the prophecy is specifically for our time-that is, the Age of Grace.  I'm referring to Jesus' foretelling of the time of His next intervention into the affairs of mankind. He described those days being like the days of Noah and the days of Lot.
'm convinced the prophecy involved is so important for us to consider as this new year begins that we will include it here it in its entirety.
In the Matthew Olivet Discourse account, the Lord says that no one can know the day or hour of His coming. He next informs of what this time will be like and what to look for in being watchmen.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24:36-42)
Jesus further expands in the Luke account:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
We have looked numerous times at these words of Christ. We have noted that the time of which He spoke in prophesying these matters could not be the time of His Second Advent. The world will be almost totally destroyed when Armageddon is raging. perhaps as much as three-fourths of the earth's population will have died as a result of God's wrath and Satan's evil through the Antichrist's reign. it will not be business as usual.
This prophecy about Christ's "revealing" indicates plainly that it will be a time of buying, selling, marrying, planting-all of the activities that indicate business as usual. I maintain that because Christ doesn't emphasize things that are mundane; he was talking here about a time when business was much better than usual.
As long as five years ago, we expressed in this Nearing Midnight column our belief that it would be a time of economic boom, not bust, that would mark when the Rapture of the Church would occur. It would be the think not time because the world, economically speaking, would be doing quite well.
Of course, not all the world is doing well at present, economically or in any other way. This has always been the case. The poor will always be with us, the Lord, Himself, told us.
However, for the part of the world where economies have the capability to thrive, the world, Jesus said in this prophecy, will be doing quite well at the time He is next "revealed."
Almost every economic indicator is moving upward in America at this moment. This nation is the economic engine for the rest of the world. The better the U.S. does, economically speaking, the better the other nations who have the capability to thrive will do.
I'm dumbfounded at the fact that the true, Bible-teaching seminaries of America see this prophecy as being only for the Jews of the Tribulation. It seems to be a blindness they suffer.
However, I do know why the tremendous economic potential that has burst onto the scene is unheralded by the mainstream news media. They hate Donald Trump, plain and simple.
Now, I'm not so foolish as to think that the economic upswing is one built on sound economic principles. We are in a tremendous financial bubble that continues to grow by the hour. At some point it is going to burst. It simply defies the fiscal laws for it to continue without imploding.
However, it will not come to that point of implosion, I'm of the belief, until the Lord Says so. He is allowing it to move exactly toward the prophetic point the Lord Jesus foretold in the above scriptural accounts.
As I've expressed many times, this president is God's chosen man for this hour, a builder, an entrepreneur extraordinaire. But, the mainstream news prevaricators refuse to report the tremendous economic growth the nation is experiencing. To do so would move in the opposite direction of trying to bring America down so that the globalists can usurp its wealth and power to construct the world order they wish to establish. They want desperately to destroy this president's efforts to restore the United States to its former, leading status.
Antichrist's global platform will be constructed, I believe, when the Rapture occurs and this phenomenal economic bubble explodes and comes down around the ears of an unsuspecting world.
The year 2018 could be the time. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Dr. David Reagan

Satan has sold the world a bill of goods concerning the nature of God. Most people, both Christian and non-Christian, tend to view God as being a sort of Cosmic Teddy Bear.
They see Him as big and warm and soft, full of infinite love and forgiveness. He couldn't hurt a fly, and He certainly wouldn't be so cruel as to condemn or harm any beings created in His own image. On the Day of Judgment, God will simply give everyone a big hug and wink at their sins.
The only problem with this wonderfully comforting image is that it is a lie straight from the pit of Hell.
The True God
Yes, the Bible teaches that God is loving, patient, caring, and forgiving (Psalms 86:15 and John 3:16). As the apostle John put it, "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
Two of my favorite passages in the Bible emphasize the personal loving nature of God. One was penned by the apostle Peter. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 he says that we are to cast all our anxieties upon God "because He cares for you." That is a very comforting thought.
The other passage that I love to read over and over consists of words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:22-24 (RSV): "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I will hope in Him.'"
But the Bible also clearly teaches that there is another aspect of God's character that is equally important. It is the aspect that Satan wants us to ignore, and he has been very successful in prompting ministers to overlook it. After all, it doesn't produce popular sermons! I'm speaking, of course, of the holiness of God (Leviticus 11:44; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16).
Grace or Wrath?
The Bible teaches that God is perfectly holy. Because of this attribute of His character, He cannot tolerate sin (Numbers 14:18). The Bible says God must deal with sin, and He does so in one of two ways - either grace or wrath.
All of us seem to know John 3:16 - a very comforting verse about God's love for us. But few of us seem to be aware of the words recorded a few verses later in John 3:36 - words taken from a sermon by John the Baptist: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him".
The apostle Paul emphasized this point in his preaching and teaching. In Ephesians 5 he warns against immorality, covetousness, and idolatry, and then he adds this observation: "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:6).
We come under God's grace by placing our faith in Jesus and appropriating His atoning sacrifice for our lives (1 John 1:7). There is no salvation apart from Jesus (Acts 4:10-12). Those who have rejected God's free gift of grace in Jesus are under God's wrath (John 3:36), and they have no one to blame but themselves.
The Unchangeable God
Despite the Bible's clear teaching that our Creator is a God of both love and wrath, I never cease to be amazed at the number of pastors I run across who argue that the God of wrath is the Old Testament God and not the God of the New Testament. In the process they ignore another clear teaching of the Bible that is found in Malachi 3:6 where God, speaking of Himself, says, "I, the LORD do not change..."
The New Testament confirms this important point in Hebrews 13:8 where it says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever."
Types of Wrath
The Bible reveals several different aspects of the wrath of God:
*         Consequential Wrath - This is what might be called "sowing and reaping wrath." It is the wrath we bring upon ourselves when we reap what we sow through sinful living.
*         Cataclysmic Wrath - As evidenced in disasters, either natural or man-made, like the 9/11 attacks. God allows these as a way of calling people and nations to repentance.
*         Abandonment Wrath - The wrath exhibited by God when He turns His back on a person or a society, allowing self-destruction.
*         Eschatological Wrath - The wrath God will unleash on all the world during the Great Tribulation.
*         Eternal Wrath - The ultimate punishment God will inflict upon those who are consigned to Hell.
The Meaning of Wrath
Does this make God a "monster"? No! On the contrary, it proves His goodness, for how could a good God ignore the evil of sin and allow it to go unpunished? His wrath against evil will demonstrate His righteousness.
The prophet Nahum summed it up best. Writing of the love of God, he said, "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him" (Nahum 1:7). But a few verses earlier Nahum had also spoken of the holiness and wrath of God (Nahum 1:2-3): "A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished..."
God's wrath is never motivated primarily by a desire to punish. Rather, it is designed to bring people to repentance so that they might be saved. Even in His wrath, God remembers mercy.
God demonstrates His mercy in wrath by never pouring out His wrath without warning. He tried to warn Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He warned Noah's world through the preaching of Noah for 120 years. He sent both Jonah and Nahum to warn the pagan city of Nineveh.
Consider too how He sent prophet after prophet to call the nations of Israel and Judah to repentance (2 Chronicles 36:15-16): "The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy."
God's mercy in wrath is also manifested in the fact that He always leads up to His final outpouring of wrath through a series of progressive judgments. These judgments are outlined in detail in Deuteronomy 28:15-57.
This characteristic of God's wrath is demonstrated in the prophecies concerning the Tribulation. Rather than simply pouring out His wrath on the rebellious nations of the world, destroying them in one instant of overwhelming catastrophe, He subjects the world to a series of judgments that sequentially increase in scope and intensity (Revelation 6,8-9,16).
Although most people refuse to repent in response to these judgments (Revelation 9:20-21), there is "a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues" who do repent and respond to Jesus in faith (Revelation 7:9).
These radically different responses to the wrath of God illustrate the point that is often made by Billy Graham: "The same sun that melts the butter also hardens the clay." The wrath of God melts some hearts in repentance, but it has the effect of hardening the hearts of many others.
Wrath and the Redeemed
Many Christians respond negatively to Bible prophecy. It's not at all unusual to hear a Christian say something like this: "I don't want to hear anything about prophecy because it's too full of gloom and doom."
Well, there is a lot of gloom and doom for those who refuse to respond to God's gift of love in Jesus. But there is only good news for the Redeemed.
The Old Testament ends with a passage that presents both the gloom and the joy of end time prophecy. Malachi says that when the Lord returns, the day will be "like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff" (Malachi 4:1). That's the bad news.
But consider the good news: "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall" (Malachi 4:2).
There is no reason for any child of God to fear the wrath of God. Paul wrote that since we have been justified by the blood of Christ, "we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Romans 5:9). And in a most comforting verse, Paul told the Thessalonians that Jesus will "deliver" the Redeemed "from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The reason, Paul explained, is that "God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
A Plea
Are you under grace or wrath? The choice is yours. Jesus is coming soon. When He appears, will He be your Blessed Hope or your Holy Terror? Will you cry for the mountains to fall upon you? Or, will you go forth leaping with joy like a calf released from a stall?
God loves you and He wants you to accept His Son as your Savior so that you will come under grace and can participate in an event that will occur when Jesus returns (Isaiah:35:10).