Micah 3:1-4:13; Revelation 6:9-17; Psalms 134:1-135:4; Proverbs 28:23-24
OT: “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will stream to it, and many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about his ways so we may walk in his paths.” For instruction will go out of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem… Though all the peoples walk in the name of their own gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.” (Micah 4:1-2, 5 CSB)
It is my belief (and I believe it to be supported by scripture) that the closer we get to the day of the Lord, the darker the things of this world will become as the gospel of the kingdom continues to cover the earth and burn with ever-increasing brightness. The distinction between light and dark will grow more and more pronounced and the choice between death and life will be more and more definite.
In the prophetic picture that Micah saw of the last days – the last days being the days that lead up to the day of the Lord – he saw people walking in the name of their own gods, but he also saw people streaming from all the nations to worship the Lord God and learn to walk in His ways. The “last days” began the day Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, therefore we are in the last days right now. We can see the days growing darker and the prevailing culture moving further and further away from the word, will and ways of God. As the days grow darker, we can be encouraged knowing that the light of the gospel is also growing brighter. However, for the light of the gospel to continue growing brighter and brighter until the end of days, we the people of God, must faithfully walk in the name of the Lord our God and faithfully be His witnesses to the ends of the earth – even in the midst of the ever-darkening culture.
NT: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, the one who is holy and true, how long until you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” So they were each given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little while longer until the number would be completed of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters, who were going to be killed just as they had been. Then I saw him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of hair; the entire moon became like blood; the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a high wind; the sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”” (Revelation 6:9-17 CSB)
As the seals are removed from God’s written testament of His will, as the “last days” progress further and further toward the day of God’s wrath, and as the times grow darker and more influenced by evil; there will be faithful believers who will give their lives for the sake of God’s righteousness and the furtherance of His gospel… and that will continue to happen until the cup of God’s wrath becomes full to the overflowing. However, those believers can be assured of two things: 1) they will be rewarded for their faithfulness by being forever clothed in white robes of righteousness, and 2) their death for the sake of the word of God and the name of Christ will be avenged.
The closer we get to the day of the Lord, the evil of the world system will result in terrestrial and cosmic upheaval. In Romans 8:19-22, Paul explained that since the fall of man, all of creation has been groaning with deep pains for the fulfillment of God’s purposes and plans through a redeemed humanity. Just as a woman’s labor pains increase in intensity until her baby is born, so do the groanings of creation. The earth will shake and the kingdoms and systems of this world will quake uncontrollably to the point that the arrogant leaders of the world will run and hide in abject fear and hopelessness.
All of these things will progress and grow in intensity for one main purpose: to prepare people’s hearts for the return of the King. Will there be people that shake their fists at God in anger and arrogant rejection? Yes, there will. But there will also be many who will become broken through the tribulation and will come to faith in Christ as His glory is revealed in ever-increasing measure by His power and authority, and the testimony of His saints… even unto death.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that though times will continue to grow darker, the greatness of Your name and the glory of Your gospel will continue to grow brighter and brighter. I want to be a part of that ever-increasing brightness. Fill me with boldness through Your Holy Spirit, that I may continue to be a witness of Your goodness and testify to Your never-ending love and faithfulness to save, heal, redeem and restore by grace through faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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