In 1893, Norwegian Expressionist artist Edward Munch painted what has come to be known as The Scream. Munch originally called his work The Scream of Nature.
According to Munch, the inspiration for the work came while on a walk at sunset. As the setting sun turned the sky to red, he sensed an “infinite scream passing through nature.” Historians speculate that a volcano eruption may have turned the heavens him into such a daunting red hue.
In Romans 8:22-23 Paul wrote about a different sound emanating from nature, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Nature groans in pain and so do believers as we wait in eager anticipation of the completion of our salvation when Jesus comes to take us home.
For those paying attention; world events scream with great danger for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior. For those who trust Him, we await the sound of the trumpet and shout of an archangel.
A SCREAM OF IMPENDING PERIL
If the Christ-rejecting world were to be granted a glimpse into what is coming for them during the tribulation, their faces would resemble the scene Edward Munch painted. For now, they remain oblivious to the signs of their impending peril we know as the Day of the Lord.
They cannot see how the signs of the approaching tribulation scream for all to see. Instead, they see their lives continuing for the indefinite future with the hope of future generations.
Have you heard of China’s surveillance system? China uses technology to monitor all the choices of many of its people (they have yet to implement everywhere). Based on such things as the places people visit, social media activity, who they e-mail, and what they buy, they receive a numerical grade. China recently used scores from this system to prevent over one and a half million of its people from purchasing airline tickets.
It gets worse. According to a recent report, a company in Silicon Valley is preparing just such a system for the United States. How would they use it? A news report last week stated that bureaucrats in the HHS (Health and Human Services Department) are considering employing a similar system to assign a social score for all those seeking to purchase guns in the US. I pray we never see such a system here, but I know it will happen after the rapture.
These systems scream Revelation 13 for all who are paying attention. Verses 16-18 describe the antichrist using just such a system to control the buying and selling of people worldwide during the tribulation.
The Bible also tells us that during the tribulation the antichrist will kill millions of believers and Jews. Currently, Satan is preparing the world to readily accept this scenario.
Jeff Klinzman, a former adjunct English professor at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made this comment on social media regarding Evangelical Christians, "Kill them all and bury them deep in the ground." Not surprisingly, he identifies with the fascist group Antifa. Every day, the left grows more intolerant of those who hold to biblical values.
Anti-Semitism also grows worse by the day. We see this throughout the world. In New York City, we see attacks against Rabbis on almost a daily basis. In the United States Congress, Anti-Semitism continues to rapidly grow along with hatred for Israel; it’s not difficult to imagine this demonic spirit someday seizing total control of these elected officials in the United States.
It’s so easy to see how those with such little regard for human life as demonstrated by their avid support of abortion would engage in the killing of those they regard as detractors to their fond beliefs.
The Day of the Lord, as described in Isaiah 24 and in Revelation 6-16 is rapidly approaching. The two recent developments I mention above show how Satan is relentlessly shaping the world for the arrival of his man, the antichrist.
I could list many more signs of impending peril for those who reject the Savior, but it’s time now for some good news!
THE SHOUT OF HOPE
For those of us in Christ, we wait for the shout of the archangel and the blaring of the trumpet, not the scream of a world experiencing the terrors of socialism and the devastation of God’s wrath. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 tells us, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
I grieve for those believers who remain asleep despite the screaming of the signs all around them. Some receive false messages from pastors who deny the biblical relevance of Israel’s modern day restoration and believe the church has replaced Israel or that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament promises for Israel. Other saints remain caught up in the things of this life and do not notice the tell-tale signs of a world set to explode.
We rest in the security of Paul’s words in Romans 8:1, “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The apostle further promises that all those who are justified will someday be glorified (Rom. 8:30); it’s an unbroken chain. Once God applies Jesus’ righteousness to your account (see 2 Cor. 5:21), your salvation is a done deal; its completion no more depends on us than did our initial salvation. If you are now truly in Christ, you cannot miss out on the rapture. (See my other post: Will Jesus Leave Us Behind?) Jesus will not leave you behind!
If that is the case, “what’s the big deal about being ready?” you might ask. It matters in terms of urgency. Those who recognize the lateness of the hour pray for the unsaved, support ministries and missionaries that proclaim the Gospel, and encourage other believers to remain strong in these perilous last days.
In addition, the Bible speaks of a special reward for believers who recognize the time and eagerly wait for Jesus’ appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). I believe the Lord will celebrate the faith of those still holding on to His promise of coming to take them back to His Father’s house in heaven (John 14:2-3). But ready or not, no true follower of Jesus will remain earthbound when He comes for us. We will all meet Jesus in the air.
The hour is exceedingly late; Jesus is coming soon for His church. I believe many who are reading this post will be alive to hear the cry of the archangel and the trumpet of God. This is also the hope of my wife Ruth and me.
For the unsuspecting world, sudden destruction will soon follow the rapture (1 Thess. 5:3). Many will come to faith in Jesus during this time of wrath upon the earth (Rev. 7:9-12). The majority of those left behind, however, will persist in their sins refusing the forgiveness the Savior offers to them (Rev. 9:20-21). Despite screams of terror that they will surely hear at this time, they will persist in their wickedness. Sadly, their agony will continue after death; their shrieks of pain will never end.
This is why we pray. This is why we warn others about the urgency of the times in which we live.
This is also why we look at the clouds wondering when we will meet our Savior there along with loved ones who already have gone to be with Him.