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What the Bible says about Disasters Motivate Repentance
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Amos 4:6-12

What are we to think of the disasters this nation has been experiencing of late? If they are not direct signs of the apocalypse, what are they? What God says to Israel through Amos.

Between verses 7 and 12, God mentions sending them drought, blight and mildew, locusts, plague, military defeat, and divine punishment for sin, yet after every disaster, Israel still refused to repent. So, God warns them in verse 12 that He would bring on them a major judgment—His wrath, their Day of the Lord, a day of “darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18-20).

This passage suggests that the disasters we have recently seen are warnings to the nation that God is aware of its sin and the people's drifting from Him. He is trying to get their attention so that they realize that they need to repent and return to Him. These disasters, then, are precursor judgments and threats, prods to motivate repentance and a restored relationship.

The ultimate judgment of God comes later, and Christ's return happens according to the prophecies recorded in Scripture. They are straightforward—not esoteric, not discernible only to biblical numerologists or experts of some mysterious Bible code. The prophecies will be fulfilled in real, visible, unmistakable events.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The End Is Not Yet

Matthew 24:29-31

In Christ's description of His second coming in verses 29-31, He depicts it as a unique occurrence. His return will be so astounding and powerful that the people of this world will quail in fear, thinking that they are all doomed to destruction. His return will not be in secret or done in a corner. It will be wonderful, glorious, frightening, and decisive. And it certainly has not happened yet.

Isaiah 66:14-16 is a parallel passage:

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies. For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

After building His church, the Bride, to the point that she is complete and ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus Christ will return in wrath and power as the great Judge to slay His enemies and set up His Kingdom. It will not be a good or fun time. The Day of the Lord is a time of death and destruction. As Amos 5:18 says, “It will be darkness, and not light,” and not an event in God's Plan that we should desire. While it is necessary for God's justice to be satisfied, it will be a time of appalling loss of life and devastation. In Malachi's words, it will be a “great and dreadful day” (Malachi 4:5).

In one way, we can be thankful that that Day has not yet come. Would we have been ready if it had? As the days darken toward the return of the King of kings, true Christians need to heed the warnings embedded in these latest disasters and repent of their sins and move even closer to God. Christ is preparing His Bride, and she will make herself ready for His glorious appearing (Revelation 19:7). If we desire to be part of that Bride, we should do as the apostle Paul advises in Ephesians 5:15-16: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The End Is Not Yet


 




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