And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1.
When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received “the latter rain,” “the . . . refreshing . . . from the presence of the Lord,” and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received “the seal of the living God.” Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, “It is done.” . . .
When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.
Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. . . . Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure.
Maranatha p. 265
—–Please pray for David and Kristina as they travel to the mission field. Pray that God will bless their work for Him. Rose
When Eileen was in gradeschool, she had a classmate that was quite aggravating. He craved attention even if it was negative attention. Often, when we were getting ready to leave in our little, blue Datson, Paul would jump on the hood of the car. I was afraid to back out of the driveway with him on there, so I had to try to convince him to get off. Paul brought out some of the worse feelings in me. He could be so frustrating. So could his mother. No amount of talking with his mother helped. It seemed as if she didn’t even try to control her son.
One day, when Paul did his usual tormenting by jumping on the hood of the car, he learned a lesson that cured him of this form of tormenting. This time he happened to jump up onto the part of the hood that was right over the battery. He sat down—hard. Immediately he got a shocked look on his face and jumped off. His slacks were smoking! The metal on that little Datson was thin and could not hold his weight without bending. When the metal hood hit the battery terminal, it burned a hole through the hood, through his slacks, and through his skin!
How often we are like Paul doing something that gives us momentary enjoyment, but God’s Word forbids it. How fleeting that pleasure is, leaving us with a burning feeling of regret. We tell ourself that we will not fall prey to the wiles of the devil again, yet we continue it day after day.
God does not want to destroy us. He greatly desires to save us, that we may dwell with Him in His perfect world of happiness and joy. Day after day, His Spirit pleads with us even while we are doing that sin which so much hurts His Great Heart of Love. He says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam 3:22-26
How long our Dear Saviour bears with us for He is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Ps 34:6,7 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 He bids us, ” Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Tim 6:12 We must never sit in the rocking chair of do nothing. We must cooperate with our Master.
There comes a time, if we continue to resist His Holy Spirit, when our Great Redeemer can do no more. If we persist in our sin, He must leave us to bear the consequences even more surely than Paul bore the consequenses of his tormenting. He must say of us as He said of Ephraim so long ago, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17 By persisting in sin, we destroy all our happiness but now and for eternity. ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:10-14
May we turn from whatever things separate us from that close and loving walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. May we daily accept the grace and mercy that He so freely offers us, allowing Him to change us into His divine image. May our greatest desire be to continually keep our hand in His Great Hand of Love and walk with Him in close fellowship each day.
A Time of Trouble Such as Never Was