The Earth Trembles
In a previous blog post I discussed one of my favorite subjects--the earth. Jesus and Paul told us to be watchful for the signs that would indicate to us the end. We won't know the exact hour or even the day--but we will know the season for the end and His return. The earth is a huge sign that is often overlooked.
As a woman travails in birth for the delivery of her child, the earth is in labor. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and other weather disasters are speaking to us--these are the birth pains. The intensity and frequency is increasing the closer to birth, and that is what's happening to the earth.
In that previous blog post I found myself in an unusual writing stream discussing a covenant placed in the earth. The end of that covenant results in the earth and the heavens dissolving. Sometimes people will say the earth will be made over. Actually, it's going away in order that the covenant contained within it will be terminated. The Bible discloses a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is the ark placed in the earth that contains this covenant. The earth is literally a clock and Jerusalem is the face of that clock. Look at what Peter reveals to us:
knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (II Peter 3:3-13 NKJV)
Up to Noah, there were some seriously unholy things taking place that invited God's response to purge the earth with water. God managed to preserve the promise of Genesis 3:15 by limiting His options to the family of Noah. Through water baptism as a symbol of newness of life, the earth passed away. The earth, and the covenant it contains, is preserved until the day of judgment in the end. The end of the earth and its covenant will be with fire--a fire intense enough to dissolve its very elements.
These days, because of the high risk associated with delivering babies, doctors are increasingly opting to recommend inducing labor and avoiding vaginal delivery. For families who chose to deliver naturally--they don't really know when the birth will take place, but they certainly know when it's getting close and with the onslaught of labor pains, the day of delivery is revealed, although the hour and minute may remain elusive. The closer the pains hit and the increased intensity of those pains are the signs that delivery is eminent.
God set this up in Genesis. The Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, begins in Genesis. The curse upon the woman was the pain of childbirth. The curse upon man was to toil the earth and learn to live by its seasons. The purpose of this is to intimately connect him to the earth so he would be aware of the signs for the end. The earth is the clock and the alarm is set.
After the flood, God re-issued the seasons:
While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22 NKJV)
The earth carried the curse of the woman suffering for thousands of years with labor pains and as its clock ticks closer to the time of delivery, the earth's birth pains would draw closer and more intense as a woman in childbirth. Paul said it first. He was right on.
Notice in this passage from Peter that I shared, he begins with the warning:
knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (II Peter 3:3, 4 NKJV)
Scoffers look backwards. The Greek root's entomology relates to deception. These people are focused on themselves; they can't see beyond themselves and their own desires for their selfish selves. They have no vision beyond what affects them. They are deceptively focused on themselves. The very sad thing is these scoffers are also Christians.
Biblical prophecy promises discomfort. Scoffers refuse to accept any vision for impending doom or destruction. They are blind to fiscal cliffs; they believe someone else will take care of them. Nothing bad will happen--no matter what they do.
Jude also addressed scoffers using the same word but here it's presented as “mockers”:
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 1:16-19 NKJV)
Scoffers look backwards, but Peter shows us, the people who are seasonally aware, look forward:
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; (II Peter 3:14 NKJV)
Peter releases us to look forward with anticipation for the signs of the end. Prophecy is not doom and gloom....for the Christian. These are signs of a glorious birth. The pain of childbirth cannot diminish the joy of a newborn baby.
Church, it's time to arise to the stature of the full image of Christ in which you were destined in these last days. Arise, church, arise.
What do you think is the most important and immediate task of the church?
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