Posted in ark, brimstone, sodom, wrath

He will shut the door; which side will you be on what that day arrives?

I like doors. How can so many rectangles be so different and so descriptive of who the people are who live behind them? I take pictures of doors a lot.

When I arrive home from a loud and busy day at school, being on the Spectrum, I’m especially sensitive to noise. I savor the quiet.  So when I unlock my door, open it and step inside, and close it behind me, I breathe an audible sigh of relief. Doors shut out the outside, barring unwanted things. Doors allow for rest and repose for those inside. Doors are amazing.

The Bible references doors frequently. One of the seven I AM statements Jesus made, in fact, was that He is the Door.

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9).

Christ is the door. This he saith to those who pretended to seek for righteousness, but, like the Sodomites, wearied themselves to find the door, where it was not to be found. [Genesis 19:11] (Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible)

The Sodomites could not enter through the door. Neither could the unwise virgins.

And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ (Matthew 25:10).

The Lord does not open the door for the pleading virgins. He says He never knew them, and condemningly, the door remains shut.

The Ark which Noah built had a door, too. For 120 years, Noah, a preacher of righteousness, (2 Peter 2:5) pleaded with all to enter into God’s safety. They refused. They perished.

And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in. (Genesis 7:16)

Our pastor preached on the Flood this past Sunday. He said that Noah and the family went inside, and then God shut the door. What a terrible thing it would have been for Noah himself to shut the door against his neighbors and friends. “But he wasn’t asked to shut it,” our pastor said. “God did it.”

The door was shut against the Sodomites. The door was shut against the unwise virgins. The door was shut against the antediluvian world.  In Isaiah 55:6-7 we read,

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

God is love and He is mercy. He is long-suffering, but His mercy, love, and patience will end. At a point at which only He knows, the door will shut, the number of the Church will be complete, (Romans 11:25-26) and He will call His Bride home to heaven. Then He will send His wrath upon the unrighteous and the Great Tribulation will be terrible in its effect. Though many will come to faith during that woeful time, they will not be protected from His wrath as the Church is promised to be. (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Just because it’s not the rapture or even the Tribulation do not delay entering through the Door of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to obtain salvation, forgiveness of sins, and to escape the wrath. Flee from the wrath to come!

Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7).
Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:18). 

We will first consider the question of John the Baptist. “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” 

I have no doubt that the Pharisees and Sadducees were very much surprised to hear John addressing them in that way, for men who wish to win disciples ordinarily adopt milder language than that—and choose more attractive themes—for they fear that they will drive their hearers from them if they are too personal and speak too sharply. 

There is not much danger of that, nowadays, for the current notion now abroad is that Gospel ministers can sew with silk without using a sharp needle and that, instead of piercing men with the sword of the Spirit, they should show them only the hilt of it—let them see the bright diamonds on the scabbard, but never let them feel the sharpness of the two-edged blade! They should always comfort, console and cheer, but never allude to the terror of the Lord. 

Charles Spurgeon, Flee from the wrath to come! 

But I do not see fire and brimstone smoking in the distance, you argue. It is a fine and lovely spring day, and all things are going on as they have been? Why worry about some kind of wrath, which is hard to believe anyway?

Because He will shut the door! He hates sin and His long-suffering regarding sin will end, just as it did at Noah’s time.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)

At an hour or day you do not know but God knows, He will shut the door and rain down His anger. His plan is specific. It could be in ten years it could be in the next moment of time. God has planned it and it surely will come to pass, just as it did in Noah’s time.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:11-12).

And in addition, because God isn’t seeming to rain down fire and brimstone at this moment in your section of the ungodly world, does not mean He isn’t about to harden your heart so that you will never be able to go through that door of righteousness. (Romans 9:18). His wrath could manifest itself in your internal standing, and not just the external disaster of His visible wrath.

When the door shuts, you want to be on the right side of it. The palpable sense of relief and joy you feel when you arrive home to a loving family and a warm supper and rest and safety from the plagues of the day will be magnified a million-billion-google-fold when you are carried to the bosom of Jesus in His ark of safety and love, forgiven of sins and cleansed, washed and nurtured and grown when you receive your glorified body and given the mind of Christ in full, and knowledge of Him face to face.

Imagine what a day that will be. And because the terror of the LORD is real, imagine being a resident of Sodom, futilely beating on the door until you weary yourself. Imagine uselessly appealing to Jesus from outside to open it and hearing Him say, “I never knew you.”

On which side of the door will you be when you breathe your last, or when the wrath finally comes?

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. (Revelation 3:7).

Posted in scripture photo, wrath

Scripture photo: Rebukes ("Church Bulletin" series)

Church bulletins are great. They contain information the congregant will need during the week, such as which deacons are ‘on call’, who is going to staff the nursery next week, and what time the church supper starts on Wednesday. Some pastors include sermon notes, or a devotional.

The cover always contains a pretty picture and a lovely verse. The picture is always eye catching. One might see a meadow-covered mountain top or a close-up of a pretty flower. The verse is always likewise. Always. It’s encouraging, or it speaks of God’s love or a promise of God.

I’m irked by this.

Leave it to me to be irked by something pleasant, right? But just once I’d like to see a different kind of verse on the front of a bulletin, a verse that speaks of God’s wrath, or His justice, or something unpleasant. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” says 2 Timothy 3:16, so let’s not always focus on the verses that please us or encourage us. What about the verses that challenge us, or convict us, or make us think, or speak of an aspect of God that’s increasingly denied these days, such as His wrath?

Here is today’s entry:

In this Old Testament verse, God is prophesying against the Philistines. God’s promise here serves as a specific warning about the Philistines and a sort of comfort to the Israelites, whom the Philistines were harassing. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says of the general promise here,

Those who glory in any other defence and protection than the Divine power, providence, and promise, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their glorying. Those who will not leave it to God to take vengeance for them, may expect that he will take vengeance on them. The equity of the Lord’s judgments is to be observed, when he not only avenges injuries upon those that did them, but by those against whom they were done. Those who treasure up old hatred, and watch for the opportunity of manifesting it, are treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath.

A parallel verse to the Ezekiel verse comes from Psalm 9:16: “They shall know Me, not in mercy, but by My vengeance on them.”

It is a fitting concept on which to end the imaginary “Church Bulletin” series. Far from presenting only one attribute of God, the “pleasant” side as most American worship bulletins do, it is comforting to see Him fully, including His wrathful side. His holy justice, His perfect rebukes, His righteous anger, these are comforting in their own way. Any persecuted Christian whose family has been slain would take comfort in knowing that future justice will be done to the persecutors. In Israel’s Old Testament days, that would be the Philistines. In our day, it is still the Philistines, though Middle East persecutors are not called that now.

“But what if there is a lost person in the church who reads these about His anger or wrath or holy justice?” Then I say “Good.” Sinners need to understand that God’s anger abides on them. The sword of vengeance is pointed at their heart and soul, to be released any moment at God’s good will and pleasure. Sinners must understand we have a loving and merciful God because we have a HOLY God.

——————————-

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #1, Vulture

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #2, Anguish

Scripture photo: “Church Bulletin” Series #3, Hell

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #4, Lake of Fire

Scripture photo “Church Bulletin” series #5, Wrath

Posted in deliverance, judgment, micah, old testament, wrath

Micah’s question: Who is like God in His judgments?

EPrata photo

The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. (Micah 7:2 NIV)

Some thoughts on Micah’s entreaty regarding the moral breakdown of Isaraelite society, after listening to James Montgomery Boice’s exposition of Micah 7.

God has stored up His wrath on sinners for His great Day. We know this because it is promised repeatedly throughout the Bible. But that does not mean He is not judging now, also. He does send His wrath onto the earth when He judges nations. (Romans 1:18). He is supreme in His holiness, and one of those supreme attributes is that He judges now. When He judges a nation, its rulers, and its people,  He shows us that the wages of sin really is death. (Romans 3:10). On a more individual level or regarding a family unit, when we go our way He begins to show us the frustration of sin in our lives, and eventually if someone is unrepentant, destruction comes- ether now or later.

Micah begins his picture of judgement on national Israel by showing a three-pronged cycle.

1. God judges moral breakdown in a society. “Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets.” (Micah 7:2b).

2. It continues with a breakdown in leadership. “Judges accept bribes. Rulers demand gifts. The powerful dictate what they desire— they all conspire together.” (Micah 7:3).

3. His judgment finalizes with breakdown in the family, the most personal and foundational of all. Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. (Micah 7:5-6)

The cycle Micah describes above begins with a general immorality in a society, descends to more personal immorality such as corrupt leaders, rulers, and judges. It ends with neighbors betraying one another and one’s own intimate family members being an enemy. A society exhibiting that kind of judgment is truly at the end of its national life.

We see that last-stage internal family betrayal as an indicator of a society’s moral breakdown is repeated in Matthew 10:36, “And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”

Societies break down, that happens. What Micah is doing in recording his own day’s societal breakdown is that he was showing the breakdown against God’s moral excellency. In chapter 7, Micah is talking about the judgment of God upon a rebellious society. What makes this so significant, is that this is an aspect of God’s judgment in the here and now (of Micah’s day, of Jesus’ day and of our day and of the future day) and not only a future Day of the LORD. It’s like this- if a society refuses God who made them and blesses them and protects them, then breakdown will follow. This promise of wrath revealed upon corrupt and rebellious societies is mirrored in the New Testament cycle of Romans 1:18-32, a cycle which I’ve mentioned often.

When you see this kind of breakdown is should be evident to the people as to what has happened in their national life. In Romans 1 it effectively states that when they would not have God, He would not have them. When a society rejects God, the decline of national life is inevitable. They reject God, He rejects them. They rebel against God, He gives them over to rebellion. After a while it is impossible to detect who is doing the rejecting, as the very sin a society chose becomes their very own judgment.

Micah asked, Who is like our God in His judgments? and it is good and wise thing to remember and ask ourselves in this day.

Yet for all the reality of wrath and judgment, there is a promise of deliverance! There is no one like God in His judgments, yet there is no one like God in His deliverance. God judges, but He delivers and when He delivers, He shepherds! He is a good God who cares for His flock. Micah was speaking specifically of Israel and to Israel here, look at the promise of future deliverance of the nation God has elected!

You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.

He is a God who fulfills His promises! What do we need to do in the meantime, as we wait for the glorious return?

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
(Micah 7:7)

Posted in death, discernment, hell, jesus, love, sin, wrath

When love includes hate

I had a Twitter interaction this week. With an opening like that, you know how the rest of this is going to go.

There are Christians on Twitter who tweet verses about God’s love. This is fine and great. I do that too! But there is an overemphasis in social media on God’s love, and rarely presentation of our personal sin, or His wrath, or the world’s curse or death, or hell. Yet Jesus spoke more of hell than heaven.

As the writer at Bible.org stated,

It may be worth noting that in Deuteronomy 28 (and following), the blessing section (28:1-14) is a great deal shorter than the cursing section (28:15-68). 

Speaking only of hell or wrath isn’t good either. God is a balanced and perfect God, and speaking of any and all of His attributes is always fruitful. But the excessive focus on “love” is, well, sickeningly sweet to me. Presenting only the ‘good’ attributes like love to the world, gives the world a picture of a Holy and Sovereign God as needy and wimpy.

Here is how the Twitter conversation went. I saw this tweet being re-tweeted by someone who I follow and follows me:

So I replied with this from Revelation 19:11,

And she valiantly and staunchly tweeted back:

She didn’t even tweet back a verse of love, but instead chose to deliberately cut out the part of the verse that says He makes war and judges. Those attributes are not so popular, and they get very little airing on public forums like Facebook, comment sections, and Twitter. So I answered:

And there was no reply.

I had heard a Phil Johnson sermon this weekend that I enjoyed. (What Phil Johnson sermon ever isn’t to enjoy? 🙂 Here is the part where Pastor Johnson was explaining how an overemphasis on Jesus’ love diminishes even the holy attribute of His love to a man-centered false notion of love that is far from the truth. Here is Pastor Phil Johnson:

Love Not The World

Now this is vital, because there are a lot of people who want to make the principle of love a kind of ethereal goodwill that is strewn about indiscriminately on every conceivable object. In fact, in the culture of American Christianity, if you include the mainstream denominational groups and everyone in our society who uses the label “Christian,” I think it’s fair to say that the prevailing notion of Christian charity in society at large is an idea of love that is always benevolent, always congenial, always positive about everything. 

I hear this all the time. Years ago, when I first began to investigate and catalogue the Christian resources on the Internet, I made a large list of links to other Christian Web sites. And in order to keep them all straight in my own mind, and in order to help Christians who might not be very discerning about doctrinal dangers on the Internet, I classified my links to other web sites Web sites according to their doctrinal soundness. So there’s large a category of links I have labeled helpful, and then there are other categories called “Bad Theology” and “Really Bad Theology.” And then a few years ago I found I had to add a category called “Really, Really Bad Theology.” And I’ve annotated every link on those pages to help explain why I categorize them as bad.

And to this day, nearly every week of my life, I get e-mail messages from people who are convinced that it is inherently unloving to label anyone else’s ideas bad theology. And they write me to chide me for posting my disagreements with other Christians’ doctrine on the Web. 

But the love that is called for in the New Commandment is not a vague, indiscriminate congeniality. Real love for the truth necessarily involves hatred for error.

Real love for God includes hatred of error. One error is the gauzy exclusive focus on Jesus-as-boyfriend, “in love” with His bride wearing a wrath of braided daisies and never the Crown of many diadems. Here is where the rest of the Revelation 19:11 verse takes us. To verses 12 and 13:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

The picture of Jesus than the one where He is smilingly depicted as sitting among the disciples among a field of, um, daisies is the one that social media and immature Christians exclusively present. The picture of Jesus as a bloody, judging, sin-avenger? Not so much.

Both pictures are true. Always tweeting, showing, describing, or even living, one picture of Jesus exclusively and not the entirety presents a false God.

John MacArthur’s sermon “Why the World Hates Christians, Part 1” also urges us Christians to speak of Jesus and His holy attributes of wrath, sin, judgment etc. It’s important. Don’t neglect putting them out into the world, he said, because it’s sin if we don’t. Here is Pastor MacArthur:

The world will hate you if you “start identifying evil as evil. We don’t want to do that. Let me help you. The Pope is evil. He is from the Kingdom of Darkness. He is anti-christ. Anyone who would say atheists are going to heaven, is anti-christ. Jesus said you will die in your sins and where I go you’ll never come because you believe not on Me. Not only do you need to believe on god but on Jesus Christ.

Homosexuality is evil. Gender identity tampering is evil. Adultery is evil. Fornication is evil. Lying is evil. Pride is evil. Self-centeredness is evil. Self-righteousness is evil. That’s why they killed Jesus, because He said their religion was evil. … 

John 7:7 says that the world hated Me before they hated you, because I testify of the world that its deeds are evil. If we don’t SAY that, we’re sinning. You can say it in love, but it has to be said.

Call evil what it is: evil.

We must love and talk of the attributes of God that the world hates to hear about, such as judgment, hell, wrath, and sin. If we don’t, who will?

Posted in chile, good news, tsunami, wrath

Chile endures 8.3 quake, tsunami

Yesterday Chile was rocked by a large 8.3 earthquake. It is the first quake of this magnitude this year. Annually, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) expects about 1 quake per year in the 8.0-8.9 range. Many years, there are none in that range. In recent history, there has been a statistically remarkable year in which there were 4, something that had never happened in the years of USGS tracking (since 1912). That happened in 2007.

Chart by EPrata. Click to enlarge

Here are yesterday’s Chile quakes with large aftershocks the USGS has listed:

6.7 53km W of Illapel, Chile
6.5 54km S of Ovalle, Chile
6.4 64km NW of Illapel, Chile
7.0 25km W of Illapel, Chile
6.4 58km W of Illapel, Chile
8.3 46km W of Illapel, Chile

There were many other quakes of various lower than 6.0+ magnitudes, as you can see from this USGS map.

The quake sparked a tsunami warning. Tsunami waves hit the Chilean shores. The nationwide tsunami warning for Chile has since been lifted.

Chile quake triggers mass evacuation and tsunami alert

At least five people died when the 8.3-magnitude quake hit. Residents of Illapel, near the quake’s epicentre, fled into the streets in terror as their homes began to sway. In the coastal town of Coquimbo, waves of up to 4.5m (15ft) in height hit the shore. A tsunami alert was issued for the entire Chilean coast but has since been lifted. … The authorities were quick to issue tsunami alerts keen to avert a repeat of the slow response to the 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010, which devastated large areas of the country. More than 500 people died in the quake and the tsunami it triggered and memories of the tragedy are still raw. … Three people died of heart attacks and another two were crushed by falling rocks and masonry, officials said.

Many news articles went on to describe the panic and fear that overcame residents as the quake continues to make the buildings and the earth sway, roll, and jump. It gives a slight insight into the great fear and panic of what the Tribulation will be like, when quakes so large they bust out the USGS monitoring instruments, when people drop dead on the spot for fear of what is coming on the earth.

people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
(Luke 21:26)

The Tribulation is a real period of time when God’s wrath will be unleashed in full force. His wrath rests restrained upon the condemned ungodly now, (John 3:18) but a day is coming when His wrath will be poured out.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

We are living in a time where His grace reigns, and He is calling many to Himself. But the day will come when grace ends and wrath reigns, to show His holiness and His justice in a different way than restraint and love. It will be a day of blood and anger and terror.

I say these things to Christians because of the Christian culture that excessively focuses on love to the exclusion of the reality of wrath. But when we fail to remember the reality of the doom for the ungodly and His righteous anger to punish them, we only give half the story of the News. There is Bad News (wrath, sin, death, and hell) and there is the Good News (grace, repentance, salvation, and peace).

Earthquakes are always a reminder of Who is in charge of the earth and its inhabitants, and that while grace and love are poured out now, the day will come when things will change. Please witness with love but offer the entire News story to those who need it.

Posted in grace, hope, prophecy, revelation, sin, wrath

"Be saved today"…what are we actually saved from?

I love it when preachers, teachers, theologians talk about the Wrath of God. I do love the wrath of God because it is part of Him and His holy and perfect attributes. I do not love that people will undergo the suffering of His wrath due to the penalty of their sins. The wrath is a serious, serious thing.

I love it when preachers, teachers and theologians speak of the wrath because many others of them who are supposed to teach the full counsel of God do not. I know of churches where a pastor might go into a long, involved altar call, pleading with folks to come forward as music softly plays, and yet never mention wrath, sin, death, or hell. This is not the full counsel of God. Here, Bob DeWaay explains what the full counsel of God actually is.

As I have had people explain it to me: “people don’t go to church to feel worse about themselves.” So, it is deemed irrelevant to discuss the sin nature, and relevant to help people feel better about themselves. What about the glory of God? Are we to hear a powerful, Biblical presentation of God’s glory, His holy nature, our fallen condition, and the necessity of a blood atonement to appease the wrath of God (Romans 3:25)? Again, these matters are not likely to be deemed relevant to many.

Before my own conversion, I heard people say things like ‘the lost need to be saved’. I did not understand what “lost” meant. I joked that those dumb Christians were always going on about being lost but I knew exactly where I was. Har har har. And as for “saved? I had no clue what the threat was that we needed saving from. Yet this is exactly the reason why we should not dilute or on any way water down the message Jesus gave to us, His ambassadors. Ambassadors in real political jobs must convey the message from their superiors exactly as stated. It is not up to the Ambassador to change the message. (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are only witnesses and messengers, and the message has been set. It includes the “unpalatable” doctrines of sin, death, hell, and wrath. There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any one moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God. ~Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”.

The fact is, God’s wrath is the threat. And it is very real. Here are some theological thoughts from J.A. Milliken, and E.E. Carpenter, on what God’s wrath is and why we need saving from it.

WRATH, WRATH OF GOD

Used to express several emotions, including anger, indignation, vexation, grief, bitterness, and fury. It is the emotional response to perceived wrong and injustice. Both humans and God express wrath. When used of God, wrath refers to His absolute opposition to sin and evil. When used of humans, however, wrath is one of those evils that is to be avoided.

The OT speaks very frequently of both God’s wrath and human wrath, but the wrath or anger of God is mentioned three times more often than human wrath. There are some 20 different Hebrew words, used approximately 580 times, that refer to God’s wrath in the OT.

the wrath or anger of God is mentioned three times more often than human wrath.

… These anthropopathic terms must not be construed in such a way as to attribute to God the irrational passion we find so frequently in man and which is ascribed to pagan deities. They do, on the other hand, point to the reality and severity of God’s wrath in the OT (Isa. 63:1–6). God’s wrath is not capricious but is always a moral and ethical reaction to sin. Sometimes that sin may be spoken of in general terms (Job 21:20; Jer. 21:12; Ezek. 24:13) and at other times specified as the shedding of blood (Ezek. 8:18; 24:8), adultery (Ezek. 23:25), violence (Ezek. 8:18), covetousness (Jer. 6:11), revenge (Ezek. 25:17), affliction of widows and orphans (Exod. 22:22), taking brethren captive (2 Chron. 28:11–27), and especially idolatry (Ps. 78:56–66). The means by which God expressed His wrath was always some created agency: His angels, His people the Israelites, Gentile nations, and the forces of nature.

God’s wrath is not capricious but is always a moral and ethical reaction to sin. 

In the prophetic books the wrath of God is commonly presented as a future judgment. It is usually associated with the concept of “the day of the LORD” (Zeph. 1:14–15), or simply “that day.” That day will be a great and terrible day, a day of darkness and gloominess, day of the vengeance of God (Joel 2:2, 11; Isa. 63:4). While some of these prophetic utterances may have referred to the judgment of God in history, their ultimate fulfillment will come in a final act by which the world and its inhabitants will give account to God (cp. the NT use of the “day of the Lord,” 1 Thess. 5:1–9; 2 Pet. 3:10).

The wrath of God is not mentioned as frequently in the New Testament nor is there the richness of vocabulary that is found in the OT. There are only two primary NT terms for wrath: thumos and orge. Both are used to express a human passion and a divine attribute or action. When used of human passion, wrath is repeatedly named in lists of sins that are to be avoided, and if not, may incite God’s wrath (Eph. 4:31; 5:6; Col. 3:8; Titus 1:7).

Some have seen a distinction in meaning in these synonyms, the difference being that thumos expresses a sudden outburst of anger whereas orge emphasizes more deliberateness. There may be an intentional difference in occasional uses of the terms, but this does not prevent both terms from being condemned as vices when applied to human passion. In addition, both terms are used to describe the character of God, particularly in the book of Revelation.

There is great emphasis in the NT placed on the wrath of God as a future judgment. John the Baptist began his ministry by announcing the wrath of God that is to come, from which men should flee (Matt. 3:8). Jesus, likewise, pronounced a wrath that is to come upon Israel and produce great distress (Luke 21:23). Paul speaks of a day of wrath to come that awaits some, but from which believers are to be delivered (Rom. 2:5; Eph. 2:3; 1 Thess. 2:10). The idea of a future wrath of God is unfolded on a large scale in Revelation. It is described in very graphic terms, as cataclysmic upheavals in the universe (Rev. 6:12–17), “the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty” (Rev. 19:15 HCSB), and “the cup of His anger” (Rev. 14:10).

John the Baptist began his ministry by announcing the wrath of God that is to come, from which men should flee

In the NT the wrath of God is not only a future judgment, it is a present reality. It does not merely await people at the future judgment. Jesus stated that the wrath of God abides on unbelievers, and consequently they stand presently condemned (John 3:18, 36). For Paul, God’s wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Rom. 1:18), all people in their natural state are “children under wrath” (Eph. 2:3 HCSB).

Theological Considerations: The doctrine of the wrath of God is unpopular in much modern theological discourse. Some deny that there is ever anger with God. Others think of God’s wrath as an impersonal moral cause-and-effect process that results in unpleasant consequences for evil acts. Still others view God’s wrath as His anger against sin but not the sinner.

God’s wrath is real, severe, and personal. The idea that God is not angry with sinners belongs neither to the OT nor to the NT. God is a personal moral being who is unalterably opposed to evil and takes personal actions against it. Wrath is the punitive righteousness of God by which He maintains His moral order, which demands justice and retribution for injustice.

God’s wrath is real, severe, and personal.

Moreover, God’s wrath is inextricably related to the doctrine of salvation. If there is no wrath, there is no salvation. If God does not take action against sinners, there is no danger from which sinners are to be saved. The good news of the gospel is that sinners who justly deserve the wrath of God may be delivered from it. Through the atoning death of Christ, God is propitiated and His anger is turned away from all those who receive Christ (Rom. 3:24–25). Therefore, those who have faith in Christ’s blood are no longer appointed to wrath but are delivered from it and appointed “to obtain salvation” (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9).

SOURCE: Millikin, J. A. (2003). Wrath, Wrath of God. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1688–1689). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

What do the wrath and salvation have to do with each other?

“Wrath” is a strong term, reserved in the English language almost exclusively for describing “God’s anger” with human beings and their sinful actions. The Greek word orgē expresses the idea of “justifiable anger for unjust actions.” It is used throughout the New Testament to describe God’s anger toward the sins and unbelief of humanity.

The Old Testament and the New Testament both teach that God is storing up His anger for the great and final day of judgment. This day is frequently called the Day of the Lord. The concept of the Day of the Lord was developed by the prophets to warn Israel and the nations that no one can escape the righteous outpouring of God’s wrath (Amos 5:18–20). This day was still spoken about by the New Testament prophets, John the Baptist and John the visionary (Matt. 3:7; Rev. 6:16–17).

Those who do not profess faith in the risen Christ remain in their sins and will be subject to God’s wrath, whereas those who believe in Him are delivered (Eph. 2:3; 1 Thess. 1:10). The good news of the New Testament is that Jesus has come to deliver us from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9). Those who have been delivered are reconciled with God because they are no longer under condemnation (Rom. 5:10; 8:1).

Those who do not profess faith in the risen Christ remain in their sins and will be subject to God’s wrath, whereas those who believe in Him are delivered

God’s wrath will be poured out on the devil, his angels, and all who rebel against Him. This is graphically portrayed in the book of Revelation, as we see scene after scene of God executing judgment on the ungodly. God’s stored-up wrath will be unleashed in awful ways, as He brings destruction on: the earth, those dwelling on the earth, the merchants of the earth, false religions, the antichrist, and all the enemies of the gospel. Ultimately, God’s wrath will be satisfied when He has put the devil, his angels, and all unbelievers in the lake of fire, to be tormented for eternity in eternal separation from God (Rev. 14:10; 20:10–15).

SOURCE: Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 427). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Do we have hope to escape the wrath, then?

Here is how Jonathan Edwards concluded his masterpiece sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has flung the door of mercy wide open, and stands in the door calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God; many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are in now an happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him that has loved them and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.

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Posted in brimstone, gomorrah, mercy, prophecy, remember lot's wife, sodom, wrath

"Homosexuality is the unfailing characteristic of paganism"

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin, 1852

In reading the Word of God, it is such a delight when one re-reads the same passage and yet unearths new insights. It’s a delightful mystery to me how this happens, but it is also a wonderful confirmation that the Word is living and active, just as was promised. (Hebrews 4:12).

In reading through Genesis, I’m up to Genesis 19. This is the pivotal chapter where God sends Jesus in a pre-incarnate visit along with two other angels to speak with Abraham and to render destruction onto Sodom (and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, and apparently Zoar was also slated for destruction but mercy came when Lot pleaded to be allowed to live there).

In searching out the parallel scriptures the Spirit brought the following to mind:

Mrs. Lot. I’ve always wondered about her turning into a pillar of salt. I’ve always wondered about the admonition from Jesus to “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32).

Well, if you read right before verse 32, Jesus is saying what NOT to do when the day of Destruction comes,

31On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32″Remember Lot’s wife.

Mrs Lot had turned back. She was already behind, and she did not merely glance back, but had turned back, thus becoming embroiled in the destruction. Also by her action she demonstrated which path she wanted to take (the broad path).

I was also astounded to learn there is another parallel verse which mirrors the language of Genesis 19, in Judges 19. When I read the parallel verses I had to double-check them to make sure I wasn’t reading the same incident.

Genesis 19:4-9

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down.

That we may know them …” This is a euphemism for homosexual intercourse. “This is the carnal sin of pederasty, a crime very prevalent among the Canaanites,” and also the unfailing characteristic of paganism. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

Judges 19:22-26. Gibeah’s Crime

22As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” 23And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. 24Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.” 25But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. 26And as morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was light. (Judges 19:22-26).

James Burton Coffman Commentary says

“Stand back …” If Lot had thought up until that moment that he enjoyed any real influence in Sodom, it disappeared with this blunt rejection. The gratification of carnal lust is supreme with every homosexual. They would even subject Lot himself to their vile passions. The corollary to this is that, given the size of the sadistic mob converged upon Lot’s house, the unhindered gratification of their lust upon three men would inevitably have ended in their murder as well. The insight into this kind of situation which is provided by a similar incident in Judges 19 is all the proof that is needed that murder would have resulted.

And this brought me to pondering human nature. If a society turns away from God, aberrant sexuality always results. This is because giving in to lusts and passions always results. It is our nature. The incident at Gibeah exemplifies the parallel to Romans 1:24-25. The incident at Sodom exemplifies Romans 1:26-27.

the permissive views of the current society are not sufficient grounds for setting aside divine law. Furthermore, it may not be supposed for one moment that God is any more pleased with the sexual aberrations associated with Sodom in our own day than He was then. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

In another interesting tidbit, Genesis 19 opens with a report that Lot sat at the gate. This means he was an administrator of some sort of the city, enjoying status in adjudicating and enjoying a measure of influence and status.

However that instantly came to naught when Lot asked the men not to gang-rape the angels. First the men revealed what they had thought about him all along, ‘you’re a foreigner, not one of us!’ Despite all of Lot’s compromises, all his trying to fit in, ‘be relevant’ amid a hostile and polluted people, it didn’t work. It will go well for us Christians if we remember this. We are aliens, and as much as we may be tempted to dampen the Gospel message, make it ‘palatable’, drinking beer with the fellows and making crude jokes, being relevant ourselves, it will not work. They know we’re not of them, even if we forget this once in a while.

Secondly, the minute Lot asked them not to gang-rape the angels, their next response was “Don’t judge us!” Again it will go well for us to remember that no matter how many happy laughs you have shared with unbelievers, the moment you point out their sin they will cry foul. Worse, if you’ve been a hypocrite and tried to blend in with them, they will have a legitimate complaint against you in saying you’re the pot calling the kettle black.

Lot was barely hanging on to righteousness there in Sodom. He was as low as he could go and still be called a righteous man. If he was a New Testament believer he’d be like one of those barely making it in, as through the fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). As for the rest of those in Sodom,

The judgment of the Lord upon Sodom was justified. The apostle Paul stated flatly that proponents and practitioners of the type of sins visible here are “worthy of death” (Romans 1:32), and the permissive views of the current society are not sufficient grounds for setting aside divine law. Furthermore, it may not be supposed for one moment that God is any more pleased with the sexual aberrations associated with Sodom in our own day than He was then. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

And as I pondered depraved human nature after reading Genesis 19 and Judges 19, it makes me all the more in awe of God. All the scriptures testify about Jesus (Luke 24:27, John 5:39). His love for us even as we are depraved sinners is a profound truth, one that humbles my mind and crushes my heart. What a sinful degradation Sodom was (and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim) yet the Lord spared Lot and his daughters. He spared them even knowing they would incestuously lie with one another and begat a tribe that would be at enmity with Him until the Day of His return. What love! What mercy! What a mystery why our God loves us so. I am tremendously glad He does though.

I am Lot. I am Mrs Lot. Do I have an intercessor pleading for me like Abraham did for Lot? I do. Not just my elder relative as Abraham was to Lot, but the Head of the Family, Jesus. (Romans 8:43, Hebrews 7:25). My High Priest intercedes for His people. What grace there is in that. What comfort there is in salvation.

Yet that comfort should not make us comfortable. The Day of Reckoning will come for the world like it did for Sodom, which is an EXAMPLE of the coming wrath to the ungodly. (2 Peter 2:6). Sodom and Gomorrah are used as warnings, repeatedly in the Old Testament to a rebellious Israel. (Isaiah 1:9; 3:9; 13:19; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:46-49; Amos 4:11; Zephaniah 2:9)

And through it all, Jesus said, Remember Lot’s wife!

REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE (Luke 17:32) J. B. Coffman:

I. She is a warning to all who are tempted to sacrifice their safety in order to win or keep more of this world’s goods.

II. If we strive to possess the best of both worlds, we are likely to lose both.

III. She is a reminder that being “near safety” is not enough.

IV. She is a warning that having begun to follow the Lord’s Word, one may still turn back from the way and be lost.

Yet He protects the righteous. He protects his children.

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. (Genesis 19:29).

How great is our God.

Posted in death, hell, judgment, prophecy, second coming, sin, wrath

Preaching wrath-sin-death-judgment as well as salvation-grace-redemption-hope

“Wrath”. EPrata photo

A third of the Bible is prophecy. There are fulfilled prophecies, prophecies that have been fulfilled and will be again (double prophecies, Pentecost, Acts 2:14-21), and prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. (Christ’s second coming)

There are complicated prophecies, (Book of Obadiah, Daniel’s prophecies) and simple prophecies. (Messiah will be born of a virgin, (Isaiah 7:14). Prophecies that involve war upon nations (Ezekiel 35:4) and prophecies that involve just one individual. (Eve will be the mother of all the living, Genesis 3:20; Mary a virgin would give birth, Luke 1:35).

Many Christians are fascinated by prophecy and study them diligently. But there is a prophecy that many people don’t like to study and it is one that affects all people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Jesus said He is coming again to judge the living and the dead. (Ecclesiastes 3:17; Jeremiah 17:10). Non-believers will be judged based on their works and condemned, and believers will be judged not unto condemnation but still, judged according to our works.

No Christian likes to be thinking about the prophecy of being weighed in the scales and found wanting. No one likes to think they have disappointed Jesus. We all want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). Not all of us will. Some will enter heaven by the skin of their teeth. (1 Corinthians 3:15).

Yet Christians are told several times about our coming judgment (not unto condemnation, but according to our works).

Believers are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12). We will all have to give an account of ourselves. Jesus will judge the decisions we made, whether they were founded on the flesh or upon Him.

One subset of judgment will be teachers of His word. Teachers of the Bible will be judged more strictly-

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1).

Grumblers will be judged-

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 4:11, James 5:9).

“Doom sky”. EPrata photo

All non-believers will be judged. As much as a Christian cringes at the thought of being judged by the Mighty Righteous God, non-believers absolutely hate us even mentioning it to them! The lost person becomes angry at the very thought of them having failed the standard God sets forth. Yet it will happen, at what is called the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.

This judgment does not determine salvation because the lost person’s eternal state is fixed at death. Everyone at the Great White Throne will be an unbeliever who has rejected Christ while they were living and is therefore already doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12). The judgment they will be experiencing is their life works projected like a mirror against a holy and righteous God and the level of their torment assigned. Yes, there are different degrees of punishment in hell.

Believers should think about this most difficult subject for several reasons. First, because as each person is cast (thrown) into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15) we can easily what John Bradford said. He was a martyr, imprisoned for the faith in 1553. As prisoners were paraded to the execution stake, Bradford would exclaim,

The pious Martyr Bradford, when he saw a poor criminal led to execution, exclaimed, “there, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.” He knew that the same evil principles were in his own heart which had brought the criminal to that shameful end. (Source A treatise on prayer by Edward Bickersteth (1822).

Over time the phrase has been amended to say “There but for the grace of God, goes I.” Any one of us could be that person facing the wrath of Jesus, condemned and tossed into the torment forever, unless it had been Him sovereignly saving us. We are no longer under wrath, but at one point in our lives, we were. Don’t forget that.

Second, the Christian should ponder these things because we must give the full counsel of God as we witness. (Acts 20:27). We must share the bad news before we can get to the Good News. The bad news that there is no one righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10). We all fall short of the glory of God and are destined for the Lake of Fire forever, to be punished for our sins by the Judge. We tend to shorten the witnessing moment because we expect the outrage and anger when sharing that the person we are talking with is a sinner in need of the grace of Jesus. It’s hard to make someone angry. Even pastors shorten the counsel of God, by omitting the sin-death-wrath-punishment part and then quickly get to the part that they think is more palatable, or “attractive.”

“Red heaven” EPrata photo

The full counsel means both sides, His sovereign choice of the people He elects to salvation, and the personal responsibility of each man to repent and believe else be eternally responsible for their sin. Spurgeon said of the full counsel of God

Running away with half a Truth, they are like men that go through the wilderness wearing only one shoe—they become lame in one foot—and that makes them limp all over. It does not matter which foot it is that is lame—the man is a cripple if either foot is thus afflicted.

Think often of the prophecy of the Second Coming of Jesus. He spoke of it more often than anything else. The Bible refers of it constantly. Within the Second Coming are a host of different prophecies. I agree, they are interesting to study. However, we need to remember that we labor for a holy God and He will return to judge the living and the dead.

Acts 10:42
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

Romans 14:9
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.


2 Timothy 4:1
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction

———————————————–

Further reading

What does it mean to preach the whole counsel of God

The whole counsel of God

What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?

Posted in blood, death, prophecy, salvation, tribulation, wrath

How many will die in the Tribulation?

If you watched Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie then you’ll remember the scenes of the plague where the corpse gatherer shouts “Bring out your dead!” (I watched Monty Python in the 70s way before I was saved, don’t judge me).

The London plague of 1665 is synopsized in the UK National Archives this way:

This was the worst outbreak of plague in England since the black death of 1348. London lost roughly 15% of its population. While 68,596 deaths were recorded in the city, the true number was probably over 100,000. Other parts of the country also suffered.

The earliest cases of disease occurred in the spring of 1665 in a parish outside the city walls called St Giles-in-the-Fields. The death rate began to rise during the hot summer months and peaked in September when 7,165 Londoners died in one week.

This artwork depicts the general attitude during the height of the plague.

The plague was nothing, nothing, compared to the upcoming Tribulation. Let’s look at what God promises for unbelievers left behind

Current world population (estimate) – 7,321,593,981. That’s 7 billion with a b.

Revelation 6:7-8 says,
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

So in rapid order, 25% of the earth’s people will die. A quarter of 7.3 billion people is 1,830,398,495 dead. That’s 1.8 Billion dead. Remember the 2004 Banda Aceh Christmas day tsunami that killed 250,000 people? Bodies washing up everywhere? Multiply that by tens of thousands and millions and you have some idea of the deaths that will take place when the fourth seal is opened. It will happen fast, too. The entire Tribulation will only be as long as 7 years, and the Seal judgments are opened at the outset, so pretty quickly bodies will pile up in the streets.

So after a fourth of the population dies, we have 5,491,195,486 remaining on earth. That’s 5.4 Billion people.

Revelation 9:18 says that another third will die quickly also, this time in the Trumpet Judgment. “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.”

This means that a third of 5.4 billion people will die. That’s another 1,812,094,510 billion dead. Billion with a B.

By now there are 3,679,100,976 people left. Of course there area great many fewer because countless numbers die in the wars, die or are killed due to violence because of no restraint on sin, and secondary causes like fires from unattended gas lines or cholera or starvation. So let’s estimate another billion have died from all those causes. That leaves 2.6 billion people and that is only halfway through the Tribulation. We have gone from 7.3 billion people down to 2 billion- or less.

I suspect the death from sin will be much higher than we even can comprehend. The Holy Spirit will not be restraining sin at all. All men will be able to be as bad as they can be, moral depravity will be at highest levels ever. People will kill with impunity, for no reason, just to see you die. They will die from drugs and alcohol other bodily excesses, illness, starvation, and likely suicides. We know that the world will be used to looking at death with no problem, because by the time the Two Witnesses are killed their bodies are allowed to putrefy in the street for three and a half days while the entire world looks at them and dances in joy over their death. (Revelation 11:9-10)

3,642,493,005 or half the current population will for a fact die. All those bodies laying around is unimaginable. Here is one graphic that shows 1 Billion pennies. This is only 1 billion, remember, and they are pennies, very small, not human bodies.

Source

Jesus said that if he did not come back, ALL FLESH would die. (Matthew 24:22). When you try to imagine the numbers of corpses it become a horror, unimaginable and hopeless. Burials will not keep up. Every zombie/apocalypse/plague/outbreak/dystopian movie you ever watched won’t even come close. The Left Behind movies were sanitized like meat under cellophane compared to the slaughterhouse the meat came from. The overriding feature of the Tribulation will be…blood.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia. (Revelation 14:20)

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10)

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. (Revelation 16:3)

And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. (Revelation 17:6)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. (Revelation 20:4)

People say that the Bible is a tale of two cities, Jerusalem and Babylon. We could say without stretching it that the Age of Grace is about the blood of Jesus- Holy blood. And the Tribulation is about the blood of sinners- Judgment blood.

So when I hear someone say “I’m a pantheist, it’ll all pan out in the end,” I know that person has no conception of the prophetic plan of God. They have no care for the billions of people who will die like animals under God’s judgment. The deaths, the stench of death, the desensitization regarding death, it all will be on a scale the mind will not be able to comprehend.

Yet each one of those deaths represent a soul, made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)

Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
and never see the pit. (Psalm 49:7-9)

No person, regardless of his means, is able to escape death; it is inevitable. (Hebrews 9:27) This passage anticipates the second death of hell, (cf. Rev. 20-11:15), except those who by faith have repented of their sin and embraced the only adequate ransom, the one paid by the Lord Jesus Christ by His death on the cross. (cf. Matthew 20:28, 1 Peter 1:18-19). ~John MacArthur

Knowing we live in the Age of Grace and were saved in it should give us knee-weakening, heart stopping gratitude to Jesus. And knowing what is ahead for the world and its people should give us knee-weakening, heart stopping fear of God and His mighty power and Holy wrath. He is coming soon.

Be ready.
Live like you’re ready.
Witness like it’s your last day on earth, because it’s could be- for you or for that person.