Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, September 19, 2015
“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:14–17).
No matter how ominous the signs of the times appear to us, it is God’s intention to shine the light of encouragement in such a way that all of us will see that His goal has always been to restore our relationship with Him. He is coming back for people who love Him. He is giving us the power and privilege to grow in that love today.
As we mentioned in yesterday’s thought, the events that are described under the sixth seal occurred sequentially just like the Bible describes. On an epic, historic scale, a great earthquake hit the Kingdom of Portugal in Lisbon in 1755. Then on an epic, remarkable scale, the sun went dark and the moon appeared blood red on May 19, 1780. Then, right in the sequence the Scriptures predicted, on an epic, historic scale, there was an incredible star shower on November 13, 1833. If these major events occurred following the events revealed under the preceding five seals, then that which occurs under the seventh and remaining portion of the sixth can be easily predicted as the next big thing. Notice I said the next “big” thing. Obviously, just as with the rest of the seals, some time has to intervene between events. This is true, but that which has been most remarkable has always come, just like God said.
We already mentioned that we would discover more clues that fill in the blanks following these four events in later chapters of the Revelation. The seventh seal actually reveals God’s work of protection for His people before the fulfillment of the last huge event. We will discuss that too. But, for now, what is the last big event that proceeds the earthquake marker and signs in the skies? Jesus is coming! John saw a cataclysm in the heavens and as a scroll can be rolled together as it opens, the sky will make way for her King’s appearing. Just as hundreds of Old Testament prophecies predicted the first coming of Jesus when He was miraculously born to His virgin mother, Mary, many prophecies foretelling the Second Coming will also soon be fulfilled. Just as there were those who were unprepared for His arrival then, there will be those who are unprepared for His arrival that is to come. Just as there were those who were prepared for His arrival then, there will be many who are prepared for His arrival to come soon.
The truth is that if we are happy to see Jesus symbolically everyday in prayer, Bible study, serving others, and worship in general, we are preparing to rejoice when He comes in the clouds in power and great glory. What if we habitually have no real regard for His presence in our daily lives now? Will we miraculously enjoy Him at that time after we have entertained the enemy for so long? I think the answer is obvious in our theme text.
Yet, there is hope! If you or I find ourselves in the position that we do not necessarily look forward to the Second Coming, because we don’t enjoy Jesus’ company now, we can repent. We can ask the Lord to forgive us for disregarding Him for so long. We can ask Him to give us His Spirit and to create a desire in us to do His will.
God does not give us these revelations to scare us straight. He wants us to realize that He has been cooking up a plan to finally restore everlasting peace, joy, and order to the universe. He wants us to be able to enjoy it, but we need to cooperate with Him so He can eradicate the sin in our lives, which is the only hindrance to His plan for us. Let’s begin to cooperate with Him more today than we ever have in the past. Then, one day we will look up, “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; We have waited for him, and he will save us: This is the LORD; we have waited for him, We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9).
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please help us to really begin to enjoy your presence today. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.