By Elizabeth Prata
We know that common grace exists in the world. Even the worst sinner knows of his Creator’s grace, (Romans 1:18) because they see it and experience it every day. Sunshine, rain, beauty, the planets in their courses, the tides in their domain. The regularity of seasons, the twinkle on the stars, the crops that come up. All these are examples of the Creator’s Common Grace. (Matthew 5:45b).
Common grace is a term theologians use to describe the goodness of God to all mankind universally. Common grace restrains sin and the effects of sin on the human race. Common grace is what keeps humanity from descending into the morass of evil that we would see if the full expression of our fallen nature were allowed to have free reign. (Source)
Common grace is not only displayed in the creation, but also in another aspect, a very important one. The human race is thoroughly depraved. We are all born with a sin nature. This does not mean every human is as bad as they could be. There are Mister Rogers in the world, and there are Hitlers in the world. Some people are definitely nicer than others, but we all stand in opposition to God and are at enmity with Him, performing sin. Total depravity means every human is totally unrighteous, every one. (Romans 3:10).
Common Grace is not just a display of beauty, but an active restrainer of sin.
It temporarily restrains sin and miliates against sin’s damaging effects. Apart from divine grace, the full expression of humanity’s fallen nature would be unleashed in society, with catastrophic results. Biblical Doctrine, MacArthur, Mayhue, et al
What would the “full expression of of humanity’s fallen nature” look like if common grace was removed from the world? We can know what it would look like because common grace in creation and restraint of man’s evil through the Spirit will be removed from the world. This will allow humanity to fully express its sin nature to the uttermost. It will be called the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 12, Matthew 24:15).
This is a future event that has not occurred yet. But it will.
When the moment begins, common grace will disappear. Hail and fire, mixed with blood, will be thrown upon the earth. Rains will no longer be regularly falling. Extreme droughts will occur. Earthquakes of mega-size will happen. Grass and trees will dry up, globally, not just locally as happened in the Great Dustbowl, for example. Crops will fail. Rivers will turn to blood. The son and moon will be darkened. Common grace that set the word in its place and given regular of seasons and times, won’t happen. Nothing of creation will be able to be counted on during the Tribulation.
Adding to the woes of humanity besides outward physical troubles such as thirst, pain, and starvation, will be a worse specter. Evil. The internal sin nature will have full expression. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). We look at different events in history now and shake our head at the evilness. Russian Pogroms Dachau and Buchenwald. The killing fields of Cambodia. The Colosseum games. We try to convince ourselves that those were one-offs. They were an anomaly.
But they weren’t. They were mere, dare I say, comparatively gentle peeks at a sin nature that is so corrupt and depraved we can’t even comprehend it.
In that terrible time, the inward, suppressed, usually hidden sin nature of man will be allowed to be fully expressed. The horrors of that time will be so bad that Jesus said
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:21).
Worse than brimstone razing Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim and killing everyone in those 4 cities of the plain (except 4). Worse than the global judgment of the flood where everyone on earth drowned (except 8 souls). Worse than the Golden Calf. Worse than when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6).
Wholesale murders and sorceries and sexual immorality and thefts… Antichrist and blasphemy and slavery and martyrdom… Every possible sin that man ever thought of will be present on earth and fully performed, and even new sins and evil will be invented. When God gives a society over, the passage below is what happens. We have seen it throughout history with this culture or that, and I believe God has given America over to its sins, but when being given over happens on a global level without restraint, just think of the horror!
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32).
The church will not go through this period. It is a time of punishment for Israel. We – the Church – will be assumed alive into heaven, both the living and the dead. We will be enjoying a welcome awards ceremony (Bema Seat), and consummation with Christ during this period of horror on earth,
If you are living in an area of America or anywhere, where sin is rampant, even though it is unpleasant, please think about what it will be like when common grace will be removed, rarely found, and sin will be fully expressed. The lost don’t know what’s coming.
Keep praying for the lost to come to Christ, generally and for specific people on your list (and mine, me too). Don’t waver, because the rapture is imminent. When that happens, the Tribulation will begin, Common grace will be a thing of the past. Grace won’t reign, evil will. Though the rapture has always been imminent, I feel that perhaps it will happen soon? I don’t know of course, no one does, but I’m grateful for a feeling of urgency, whether it happens tomorrow or after I die. I always want to be fervent for the Lord. In the face of the horror to come, who wouldn’t want to be?