The Horrors of Christ's Wrath
"He will . . . say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' "
-Matthew 25:41, emphasis added
Let us now look at that future moment when the trumpet sounds and the Lord opens the Tribulation to begin reclaiming His rights to the earth. One by one Christ will unroll the seals of Revelation 6 As each seal is broken, He will take further possession and control of His inheritance. Listed below are excerpts from the opening of each seal:
- First Seal (vv. 1-2)-The Conqueror: A crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer (v. 2b).
- Second Seal (vv. 3-4)-Conflict on Earth: It was granted ... to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword (v. 4b).
- Third Seal (vv. 5-6)-Scarcity on Earth: He who sat on [the black horse] had a pair of scales in his hand.... "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine" (vv. 5b, 6b).
- Fourth Seal (vv. 7-8)-Widespread Death on Earth: The name of him who sat on [the pale horse] was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth (v. 8).
- Fifth Seal (vv. 9-11)-The Cry of the Martyrs: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" ... And it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed (v. 10b, 11b).
- Sixth Seal (vv. 12-17)-Cosmic Disturbances: "There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, ... Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place (vv. 12-14).
Finally, in Revelation 11:15, when Jesus Christ unrolls the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet blows, it will be complete-He will have taken back the rule of His planet: The seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
During this terrible time of tribulation, one out of four people will die (6:8)-some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and many others by the "beasts of the earth." Death may come instantly, without prolonged dread, or it may come slowly and painfully. In 2006, the world's population was 6,491,353,180; that means that at least 1,622,838,295, or more than five times the current population of the United States, will die. Can you imagine that? Because the population of the world doubles every thirty-nine and one-half years, the number of people who will die grows larger every day.
In addition, one-third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, and everything else that is green will be destroyed (8:7). The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (8:12). The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts shaped "like horses prepared for battle" will come upon the earth. Those locusts will be permitted to sting men like scorpions, and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says that men will beg God to let them die, but they will not die (9:6).
During the dreaded Battle of Armageddon (14:20), the blood of those killed in battle will flow for 200 miles, and reach up to the bridle of a horse (about four feet) in the valley of Jezreel. And there will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (18:8).
What has just been described in the last three paragraphs represents only some of the highlights that describe the living hell you will avoid if you are part of the Rapture!
But before mankind is destroyed by nations or his own hand, the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Do you have the hope of being caught up in the clouds to meet our blessed Lord in the air? Has Christ's forgiveness been applied to your life? If not, it can be today. God still stands with open arms saying: "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:22).
Altogether, as many as half the people on earth will be killed during the Great Tribulation. Because the events to come will be so horrible, God has promised that His born-again ones will be taken home to be with Him before His wrath falls upon this planet. Do you now see why God refers to the Rapture as a "blessed hope"? If He were to come today, would you be part of that glorious home going?
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