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“Judgment is Near”
by Art Sadlier   
July 1st, 2012

For 120 years Noah warned the world around him of the coming judgment of God, because of their sin and wickedness. No doubt, after years of warning, the people around Noah began to deride him. I can almost hear them saying, “Noah you’re a crazy old man, we have never even seen a drop of rain. What’s a flood?

Then one day the sky grew dark and the black clouds began to scud across the horizon. Noah doubtless, cried even louder, “Judgment is near.” The cries of Noah went unheeded and the rains came down and the floods came up and the judgment of God carried them all to a watery grave.

The judgment of God has been threatening our world for some time now. The rebellion and sin and wickedness of men have been mushrooming all around the world in recent days. The words of Psalm 2: 1-3 are, in a special sense, being fulfilled right now in our world.  “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

Today there is a unique and tremendous open rebellion against god and His Word.

Whatever God commands, men rebel against, and whatever God restricts from men, men plunge into with reckless abandon. Today so many are brazenly defiant of God!

What we read about Noah’s day, we see in our world today; “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). That is true of the present hour.

Last month we talked about a convergence of perfect storms which give us a warning of disaster on the near horizon. We may sound like a broken record, however, in the light of that which is about to happen to our world the warning needs to be sounded loud and clear and it needs to be sounded over and over again. Judgment is coming. The Day of the Lord is at hand. Jesus is coming.

The Word of God is filled with warnings of this now impending “Day of the Lord.” The scripture has long been pointing to this awesome, fearful day. Listen to some of those warnings from scripture.

Matthew 24:21; “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Jeremiah 30:7; “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”

Zephaniah 1:15; “That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”

Isaiah 2:19; “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”

All of history has been pointing to this day. The flood of Noah’s day prefigured it and we are now standing on its threshold. John told of the same yet future day in Revelation 6:15-16; “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.”

The Bible tells us much about this terrible day. Early in the tribulation period one quarter of the earth’s population will die in the judgments that fall.

By Revelation 9:15 another one third will be killed which will mean a total of over half of the population dead. After the bowl judgments probably two thirds of the earth’s people will be dead. If the Bible teaches that, and it does, do you think we should warn men and women of what lies ahead? The Lord through Ezekiel commanded us to do so; “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand’ (Ezekiel 3:17-18).

There are those who tell me I keep harping on the same thing month after month; however, like Noah I have one all consuming message: judgment is coming; it’s time to repent and be saved. Ezekiel said; “...Blow the trumpet and warn the people.”

Jesus said in Matthew 24:22; “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.....” Does that help you to understand this awful soon coming time? Actually seven years after the trumpet sounds and the sheep and the goat judgment takes place, there will not be a living unbeliever alive on the face of the earth. Notice what Paul said comes with the tribulation period, “Then sudden destruction cometh upon them......and they shall not escape.”

If only the world would realize and understand what awaits it! Believers have the light of God’s Word and they have the Holy Spirit to enlighten them. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5). The problem is that unbelievers are in darkness. Verses 6-7 reveal this, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.”

The contrast is that the believer is in the light, he is awake and he is sober. The unbeliever is in the dark, he is asleep spiritually and he is as if drunk. That is our world today; that is why it is so hard to get this message through to the unsaved.

Understand what awaits the world after the trumpet sounds. One second after the trumpet sounds there will not be a single believer on earth. No salt to resist corruption, no light to dispel darkness. When the church is raptured out of the world the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit will be terminated; then evil will be unrestrained.

2 Thessalonians 2:7; “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (the Holy Spirit) who now letteth (restraineth) will let, (restrain) until he be taken out of the way.” The Holy Spirit will still be in the world to draw men to Christ, but his ministry of restraining evil will be terminated.

If you think evil is bad in the world now, you haven’t seen anything yet! This earth will become a living hell when the Day of the Lord begins.

What is God’s purpose for the Tribulation Period?

God has a purpose in everything He does. We see at least four major purposes of God in the soon coming Tribulation Period, also known as the Day of the Lord.

To Punish Sinners and Remove them from the Earth

The flood was a pattern or a type of the Tribulation Period. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” All but Noah and the other seven members of his family were removed from the earth; probably several billion people, only those who believed God remained.

We repeat what Isaiah said in Isaiah 13:9; “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” That is what God says; it is pretty clear and quite specific. God hates sin and God hates the sins unbelief and disobedience. Scripture says that “God is angry with the wicked every day.” The Psalmist says, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil...” To love men and women is to warn them of the consequences of their sin.

Isaiah 13:11 further describes that coming day; “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Verse 13 says; “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”

To Bring About a World Wide Revival

Speaking of the tribulation period Jesus said; “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

The Lord will raise up 144,000 apostle Paul’s who will preach the gospel to the whole world.

  • A great multitude will be saved and be martyred. We can look into heaven and see this throng; “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-10).

These are a special group of saints, not of the church and not of Israel. We see their eternal reward and their eternal position in verse 15; “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”

  • Another great multitude of gentiles will be saved who will survive the tribulation and go into the Millennial Kingdom in their natural bodies to populate the kingdom and reproduce.

These will not be a part of the church or a part of the nation of Israel. Matthew 25:31-34; “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Look what happened to the few unsaved gentiles who survived the tribulation, verse 41; “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”           

To Redeem Israel

During the tribulation period the Lord will separate believing Israel from unbelieving Israel. Today Israel is in unbelief and this process will take place as some Jews are saved and some reject the gospel. Zechariah 13:8-9; “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

We read about that wonderful time of Israel’s salvation in Zechariah 12:10; “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

God will work on Israel during the tribulation period to bring them to the end of themselves. He will put their backs to the wall and they will behold their Saviour and recognize Him as Messiah. That process has actually already begun and it will consummate with the salvation of every living Jew at the end of the tribulation. Romans 11:26; “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

To Judge and Destroy Apostate Religion

All down through the church age there has been apostate Christianity, which claims to represent Christ. In fact it is that which opposes and attacks the true church.

Apostate Christianity has always been a problem for the church. When the true church is taken out of the world apostate Christianity will explode in growth and fill the whole earth. At the mid-tribulation point God is going to judge apostate Christianity and destroy it. It is called the harlot church and we see it and its great expansion in Revelation 17:15; “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

In verses 16-17 we see God using antichrist to utterly destroy counterfeit Christianity at the mid-tribulation point; “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

Satan has been rebelling against God for 6,000 years. Every time he strikes a blow at God, he discovers God turns it to His own glory and to His own purpose.

All of the prospects of the coming tribulation period ought to help us to gain a right perspective. 

1-     On the poor unsaved around us.

2-     On God’s hatred for sin.

3-     On God’s grand and glorious purposes that are soon to unfold.

During WW11 a US aircraft ditched in the Pacific Ocean, many of the crew drowned, but five managed to scramble onto a life raft. They drifted for twelve days in the burning sun, their skin was scorched by the sun and their rations were exhausted. Their lips were cracked, their tongues were swollen and they shrank into living skeletons. Two went mad and leaped overboard. Another died quietly in the night and they rolled his body overboard.

There were two left, when the rescue vessel found the raft only one was alive. The survivor wept as he told the story of his companion’s death. He said, “The night before you found me it rained, the raft caught a pail of fresh water. I tried to give some to my buddy; it would have saved his life. He fought me; he thought I was trying to poison him with sea water.”

My unsaved friend that is a picture of your condition, Christ died to save you and He is desperately reaching out to you. He is offering you salvation full and free but you think He is trying to poison you. You are turning away from the water of life and you will die and go to hell forever. Come to Christ in repentance and faith right now before it is forever too late.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).                                                 

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