My heart breaths heavy again this morning as I read in the news about the earthquake which caused such destruction yesterday in Christchurch, New Zealand.
I am sure I am not alone in wondering whether this earthquake manifested in the natural is symbolic of what is currently taking place in the spiritual realm and foreboding of what the Spirit of God is beginning to do in His Bride. Is this mere coincidence or are we truly living in the days prophesied by Jesus himself in Matthew 24? Is the shaking of Christchurch yesterday literally announcing the shaking of Christ’s Church today?
I do not mean to be insensitive to those who have lost a loved one yesterday during the earthquake. Far from it, as I myself know of two families who may have got caught in the disaster. I am yet to find out. But for those of us who are Christians and say we believe the word of God, we cannot continue to cover our eyes and our ears in the hope that these things will pass, when many of the natural disasters, wars and general chaos taking place in the world today are clearly spoken of in the word of God as the birth pangs of a new world order which will be established with the second coming of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Jesus very much insisted on us being ready for such a time. Though he clearly said no one knew when it would come, he insisted with equal emphasis that precisely for that reason, we should always be prepared, keep watch.
Sometimes I find it overwhelming and astonishing how clear and straight to the point the word of God can be. Often we hide behind the excuse that the Bible can be ambiguous in some passages, and blurry as to the meaning of some of its content, which I agree it can, but I fear that in some instances, particularly in the very relevant passages which concern us as the Christians of this generation and those to come, God is clear, transparent, resolute and firm in his statements. When Jesus speaks of the impending disaster and chaos to come in the last days, he immediately warns us all to be ready at all times ensuring then that we are proved loyal and faithful to his commission and commandments as the children of God. And then he goes on to sum up how our faithfulness and obedience will be measured on that final day. He says:
When the son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25, 31-36
If you are a Christian reading this, how are you faring in those areas? Clearly our faithfulness and obedience will have nothing to do with church attendance, how many church rotas you have your name on, how many committee meetings you attend or how many prayer meetings you religiously are a respected and trusted part of. It simply boils down to this as far as Jesus is concerned: What did you do for the least of these?
There is also nowhere to hide from the candid warning from Peter in 1 Peter 4, 17-18:
“For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, if it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
It is time to begin to look in the mirror as Christ’s Church and to face some very hard questions and deal with the even more disappointing answers. Only the months to come will tell whether this shaking taking place in Christchurch yesterday is indeed the blowing of a trumpet which brings tides of judgement and justice being established on this earth. In any case, Christians must know that for the ungodly to have any kind of hope of redemption, we must first begin to put our own affairs inside God’s family in order. God in his grace and mercy has granted us a long, long time to repent in humility and seek Him with all we have for direction and obedience of His will, but The Church in many instances and countries continues to follow the will of men.
Has the time now come for God to intervene for once and for all?
“For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24, 21-22
Heavenly Father, we lift to you those lost in yesterday’s tragedy and ask that in your grace and mercy you restore the peace of the families of lost ones, you make your presence clearly felt in their hour of desperate need and brokeness. It is my heart’s desire that as they seek you with all they have, they will find you and when they do, nothing will be able to separate them again from your love, not even the schemes of the evil one aimed to set unrest, fear and doubt in their hearts and minds. God, we know through your word that the day will soon come when the wedding of the Lamb will take place, when the Bride would have made herself ready, clothed in fine linen, bright and clean. Holy Spirit bring conviction upon those of us who need to repent for not obeying your will, for putting ourselves first, for defiling your holiness with our idol worship and denying you in the process. Send your fire Holy Spirit, purify your Church Lord Jesus, open our eyes and our ears, help us to be ready for the coming of the great, glorious and wonderful day upon us. AMEN