First of all, I could not care less, what some Mayan calendar has to say about anything, particularly "the end of the world". We are directed biblically to only look to the Bible as the source of truth, not some Mayan calendar. This post has to do with the movie "2012", which has packed theaters - full of people witnessing the apparent "end of the world".
Of course, I had to go see this film, and it portrayed a dramatic shifting of the earth's crust and a dramatic shifting of the magnetic poles, all of which led to massive destruction of the earth. The movie portrayed the destruction of entire continents in dramatic ways. In my group attending the movie, it led to much discussion.
The world will actually have this level of destruction - in fact, things will actually be worse for the earth during the Tribulation. I have a bad habit of ignoring most of the destructive elements of the Tribulation for two main reasons:
- First, I know that I won't be here to experience the massive destruction of the earth during the Tribulation, and these destructive elements are simply a continuation of the birth pains that we already see.
- Secondly, it is very easy to read the words within the book of Revelation without REALLY appreciating the massive destruction which will occur on earth.
The book of Revelation, specifically chapters 6-18 focus on the events of the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, there will be 21 separate "judgments", the seven "seal judgments", the seven "trumpet judgments" and the seven "bowl judgments". These judgments get progressively more massive and progressively more severe.
These judgments are so epic, and so massive it is hard to comprehend. Just look at a few of these judgments and contemplate how massive and how "huge" these judgments will be:
- The fourth seal judgment - "I looked and there was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." So, we can see that even early on during the Tribulation, in one specific judgment one fourth of the world's population will perish from warfare. That would be approximately 1.5 BILLION people. Imagine the magnitude of that one single judgment.
- The trumpet judgments: "The first angel sounded his trumpet and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up..." Can you even imagine this? ONE-THIRD OF THE EARTH.
I'm not very good with geography, but one-third of the earth would be in the neighborhood of North America, South America and the African Continent. Probably more. Can you imagine all of this burning to complete destruction?
Then, shortly after this epic destruction, we see the following: "The second angel sounded his trumpet and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed." So now, with this addition, not only is a third of the earth destroyed by fire, a third of all oceans is effectively destroyed by "blood".
If that weren't enough, we then see the following: "The third angel sounded his trumpet and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water...A third of the waters turned bitter and many people died from the waters that had become bitter."
Still in the trumpet judgments, we see something even more epic and concerning: "And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind." Thats right. One-third of mankind is now killed. Earlier, the earth just witnessed one-fourth of the population killed, and now we see where one-third of the remaining earth's population perishes. Combined, thats over 1/2 of the entire population of the earth.
It gets worse.
Ultimately, we read descriptions of all remaining sea life dying, and all remaining fresh water on the earth becoming "blood" and thus undrinkable.
Then we read the final judgments:
"The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him."
"The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done."
And the conclusion - the last judgments, which occur just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
"The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying 'It is done!' Then there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about 100 pounds each fell upon men."
So we can see, the terminal part of the "birth pains" cumulates in this: The entire world will be plunged into darkness. A massive earthquake, the largest the earth has ever had - a quake that will literally level ALL remaining cities on earth. Imagine being in complete darkness and then experiencing a world-wide earthquake so large that every remaining city is completely destroyed.
This makes "2012" look like a cartoon. If you happen to view this movie, I urge you to reflect on how similar events WILL take place during the coming Tribulation. Fortunately, Christians have a way out of this world's judgment. These scriptures are clear and concise and certainly worth repeating here:
"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth." (Revelation 3:10)
"...to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
"For God did not appoint us to suffer this wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
"If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men - if this is so, then GOD KNOWS HOW TO RESCUE GODLY MEN FROM TRIALS and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment..." (1 Peter 2:7-9)
Here, the apostle gives an example of Lot being spared from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and clearly states that this destruction was only an "example" of the coming Tribulation. But he also reminded us, that like Lot, God will spare "Godly men" - in this case, the body of believers who are alive at the time of the Rapture.
The Bride will be with the Bridegroom during the Tribulation - in Heaven. That much is clear from the scriptures.
Not only that, but the Bible shows Christ's bride, in heaven while all of this carnage is taking place on earth. In Revelation 19, the apostle John shows us what is taking place in Heaven - a celebration - because finally, the earth is ready for the return of Christ, to set up HIS rule on earth:
"After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
'Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants'"
"Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and the bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear (fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Blessed are those who are invited to the supper of the Lamb! And he added, 'These are the true words of God.'"
We, the Church - the body of believers who believe by faith, not by sight. We are seen biblically as the Bride of Christ. We have a date - in Heaven. A date with Christ Jesus, as promised. We are not scheduled to experience the Tribulation on this earth. We will be in Heaven - celebrating the wedding - celebrating the ensuing wedding supper of the Lamb. Preparing to return with Christ in His epic glory - to end the madness and carnage that a non-believing world has experienced.
The movie "2012" shows epic destruction of the earth. It should serve as a reminder of what will take place on earth during the Tribulation. A place that you don't want to be anywhere near once it starts. And there is only one way out - and that is through the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus.
It might be a good time to make sure your "spiritual house" is in order because the time is rapidly approaching.