Thursday, August 6, 2020

Are You Ready for the Big One?

Why should we care so much about what is going to happen about the future, if there is very little we can do to prevent what will ultimately happen? Why is it relevant to us today? Jesus told us that in the last days, there would be a quickening, it's an Old English medical term, it describes a pregnant woman whose birth pains increase the close she gets to delivery. The quickening is the increase in frequency and intensity, and timing of the birth pains. So who cares about Revelation 6?

Today we are going to talk about creation quite literally becoming unhinged, the mountains crumbling. We can understand that living in California, but not in the magnitude that it will be happening one day. When some of the largest quakes here in California happened, the dust that settled from the mountain ranges was intense as they sunk by 3 feet in some places. When this event happens, it WILL get your attention. You might say well who cares? As we study Revelation 6, and we see an increase in violence, an increase in earthquakes, increases in war, all of these increases that we are seeing, what does it mean? It means that these are stages being set for a grand and awesome presentation that is coming. Notice that earthquakes are not ending, they are increasing. Famine isn't going away it is becoming more prevalent. Man is not becoming more peace loving, he is becoming more hateful and violent.

So what does this mean? It means we are leaning, trending and are moving toward, like a pregnant women, is going to increase as Jesus said in the last days. He promised that when these things begin to happen in intensity and frequency it is pointing to these biblically revealed events. We are reading and studying Revelation 6 to recognize that the stage is being set for the future. When we see these things, Jesus said to "Look up, for your redemption draws near." We rejoice in knowing that Jesus remains on the throne no matter what we are going through.

God wants you and I to know the Book of Revelation. It is the only book in all the 66 books of the Bible that comes with a special blessing of those that read it and hear it words. But it is also the least read book of the Bible, because people are afraid of what it says or they simply do not understand what they are reading so they avoid it. The reason most people find it difficult to understand is because it first demands that we read the Old Testament. It can never be understood without first reading the Old Testament. Every chapter in the Book of Revelation will point you back what was given via the Old Testament and the Old Testament prophets. God has given us the Bible so we can understand it. But the portion of scripture we are going to study today we will not want to get it. We don't want to understand it. Yet not all of it is terrifying news.

Chapter 6 in Revelation begins the advent or the unveiling of the Tribulation Period. You don't even have to be a Christian to have heard of the Tribulation Period. It is a time yet coming and it hasn't happened yet. We have already studied about the rise of the Antichrist and the coming of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and from Revelation 6:12-17, you can nestle this portion right in between the first 3 1/2 years of the 7-year Tribulation, right in the middle. These verse launch us into the second half of the Tribulation period. You may be wondering just what is the 7-year Tribulation Period.

The Bible promises us that just before Christ comes back to earth, there will be a consecutive and specific 7-year period of time, that will be triggered or commenced by a peace treaty signed by a European political leader, with Israel and it's neighboring enemies. You can read more about that in Daniel, chapter 9, and 2 Thessalonians 2 and 3. As you read that, you will understand that God will put His eyes back on the nation of Israel. The significance of that is that prior to 1948, there was no nation of Israel. That for nearly 2000 years, Israel has been dispersed as a country and as a people, and as a nation to all the world. Again the Bible is accurate and true and the scriptures said before Christ returns this Antichrist or instead of Christ, this impostor Christ, will come to the nation of Israel via Europe, out of the Ancient Roman Empire, and the very day of his advent will be known to the world, no one will be mistaken as to whom this man will be. The scriptures say that he will sign a peace treaty, with Israel and its surrounding neighboring enemies for a duration of 7 years. That is amazing because Israel and peace is top news. Peace treaties with Israel is what all nations of the world are seeking after. It would be such a benefit if Israel and its neighbors had peace. Things would calm down, trade would do better, the markets of the world would do better, so much would be better and the Bible anticipates this. The Bible is more current than tomorrow's newspaper. As we begin our study, we are now 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation, and I wish I could give you a feel good message about what we are going to be studying today, and we can't skip it because we are instructed to give the full counsel of the Word of God. So how do you present this horrific future event, very, very terrible and look at it today?

We can look at it this way. YOU do not have to be here when this happens and the things we are about to read, unless you are crazy. You'd have to sign up, so to speak, to be involved in the hellious things that are coming to the earth. You would have to deny everything that history and the Bible has to say about God and His redemption through Christ. You'd also have to lie against your own logic. You'd even have to sin against your own conscience. You'd have to go against historical accuracy and facts. You'd have to discredit and discount all the things that have gone on in your life, and in the lives of those people who have been around you who have come to know God. You'd have to spend all of your time, all of your effort, to discredit the fact that the Bible is real and accurate. The Word of God.

It is better to read this study, thank God for what you are going to miss, and tuck it under your belt so to speak as a witnessing tool for others, because it is very very likely, as it is for every generation of Christians for the last 2000 years that we certainly could see the advent of Christ in our lifetime! When you look around at the things that are taking place in the world today, it is amazing especially when we get into today's topic of earthquakes. When you mention the word earthquake, what do you think of? Probably California! Most people around the world ask how people handle earthquakes or what is one like if they have never experienced one? Most people in fact don't want to live in California for that very reason. They don't want to experience an earthquake! The great thing about earthquakes is just when you realize you are having one, it's over!

Being a native Californian, we can remember those really powerful quakes, Sylmar, Northridge, even Landers/Big Bear. The great thing about earthquakes is on the days following them, church attendance is packed. It would be great if we had an earthquake every Saturday night, the churches would be packed! Everybody always turns to God for the moment anyway. There are things that go on that you never forget them. It has that affect on us. There are certain events that do that to us. I am sure you all remember where you were when September 11th happened. You remember it like it was yesterday.

The Bible speaks of a time when the natural and created elements breakdown and not only that but God's creative powers begin to break down as well. The Bible is amazing because it reminds us that it is God that is holding all of the universe together. He is doing it by the command of His power and by the keeping of His Word. As we get into Revelation 6, this morning, remember you don't have to be here when these things begin to take place.

Revelation 6:12-17 ~ "I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall of us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

These people have seen very bizarre and cataclysmic events and now we come to the division of the seven year period, right in the middle of the 3 1/2 years and atmospheric disturbances are taking place in the heavens above. Not only that but there is a great earthquake. The largest earthquake in US history happened in 1812, in New Madrid, Missouri.  Three earthquakes within 24 hours, the first one 7.4, 7.6, and 7.7. Some even estimate that it was in the 8's. We don't really know because the Richter technology hadn't existed yet. This is what we do know. Imagine an earthquake in Missouri of all places, and that shaking was felt by people living in Alberta, Canada, and Denver, Colorado. It was felt in Mexico City. Seismologists tell us that if the earthquakes are centered in just the right place, and are great enough, they could be felt simultaneously around the world. This is a scientific possibility. The truth of the matter is that God said, there is going to be an earthquake that will be felt by the world. We will see more about this in future studies.

When an earthquake hits, you are immediately humbled. There is nothing you can do. We see a humbling of a great host of people at this time. Don't get discouraged. We don't have to be here when that happens. When creation breaks down, it is the day that God releases His grip. These divine judgments begin to come to pass. What is significant about the sixth seal of all the seven seals that we are reading through is the one that directly releases God's judgment. This is the judgment of God. This is one of the reasons some church don't talk about this, is they are trying to grow their churches. You don't talk about stuff like this if you want people to come to church. But the fact is that it needs to be studied so you are rooted in truth than to give you an update on a church picnic. You don't want a church packed in on falsehood. This is serious stuff. Maybe it will help you to share the good news with others you meet today that this world is burning up. It's falling apart and God has given us a way to salvation to skip all of this stuff.

The Bible says that God is going to release His grip upon this earth.

Romans 8:22-23 ~ "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, you have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. "

How does someone get through this Tribulation time? How do they get saved by Christ? You don't have to go through the Tribulation period. You can accept Jesus Christ today, and the Tribulation could start at any time after the rapture of the church. The point is, you could die today, irregardless of what we are studying today, you could die today. You need Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior, today, right now. If you are granted time to live, Jesus has said, He is coming back for the church in John 14:1-3, where He says, He is going to pick you up and take you to Himself. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Jesus is coming to get us. Here's the thing, you don't have to go through this time on earth. You can be taken away from it, Luke 21:36, Jesus makes these promises. So trust Him now as Lord and Savior, be ready at any moment to go up with Him, because you don't have to go through any more suffering including the Tribulation period without Him. Jesus Christ has promised a way out. It is vitally important that you understand that order to things. Accept Him now because you could choke on your dinner today, or you could die of old age. Accept Him now. Jesus has promised to rapture His church out before the great Tribulation period begins. You don't have to go through it, you can go up with us if He comes now. Trust in Him today by calling out to Him.

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