By Pastor Hal Mayer
Dear Friends, Because of the huge earthquake near Sumatra and its Tsunamis, which at the time I’m preparing this sermon has tentatively killed more than 150,000 people and leaving 5 million homeless, i have decided to do a special sermon on the Tsunami diseaster. This disaster threatens to become the world’s most lethal disaster, and as the numbers go higher, I have felt impressed to bring the following message to you on the destruction of the world and our need of preparation. The message for this month is vital in light of what is happening in Asia.
You probably remember hearing the news stories of the horrible destruction of life and property spanning over 5,000 miles as huge, powerful Tsunami waves crashed into cities surrounding the Indian ocean and as far away as east Africa. As I read report after report, I began to recall statements in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy concerning the end of time and the great destruction that has been prophesied against the large cities. I want to share some of these quotations with you from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and also quote from the public press. Listen carefully.
But first let us pray. Our Father in Heaven. You are our God who knows and loves all. We know that it is in mercy that you bring judgments on the earth so that some souls who are still sensitive to your Holy Spirit might repent and make their lives right. Lord, many of your own people are not ready. Please Lord help them to wake up! Help them to see their danger. Help them to recognize their wickedness and turn to You and be delivered from their sins. Help us all to warn others of the impending danger. The events in Asia are but a small foretaste of what is coming upon the earth. Please help us to see our condition and repent and turn to you while there is still time and mercy still lingers. In Jesus name, Amen.
Please turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Matthew, chapter 24, vs. 32 and 33. Jesus said, ““Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [the coming of the Son of man] is near, even at the doors.”
Now let me read to you from the book Counsels on Health, pg. 268. “The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities, God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth.”
My dear friends, The 9.0 earthquake in Asia, the strongest in 40 years, and its aftermath of tsunamis, has many lessons for us. With huge casualty counts and over 500,000 wounded (Tsunami death toll may Top 100,000… 12/29/2004, Canadian Press), I am reminded of some of the scenes depicting the destruction of the world at the end of time. Could we be nearly there?
We are told in the book Patriarchs and Prophets , pg 100, that “when God’s judgments shall fall upon the earth before its deluge by fire, the impenitent will know just where and what their sin is—the despising of His holy law.” Notice that she is talking about the judgments that shall fall upon the earth before its deluge by fire. This is referring to the disasters that will occur before the final destruction. On page 101 she says, “The sins that called for vengeance upon the antediluvian world exist today. The Fear of God is banished from the hearts of men, and His law is treated with indifference and contempt. The intense worldliness of that generation is equaled by that of the generation now living.”
From The Faith I Live By , pg 343; “The Lord will arise to shake terribly the earth. We shall see troubles on all sides. Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea. Navies will go down, and human lives will be sacrificed by millions.”
Imagine that! 150,000 people killed in Asia is nothing compared to what is going to happen. The loss of life will be counted in millions. The quake and tsunamis in Asia are really quite small compared to what is coming. The descriptions of the chaos and destruction however are almost incredible. But they are a powerful warning. The Red Cross declared this a disaster of “unprecedented proportion in nature.” (Red Cross: Tsunami Toll Could Top 100,000, 12/29/2004, Associated Press). The Indonesian Health Ministry reported that in addition to the lives lost, a million people are homeless in Sumatra alone, and Sri Lanka counts another million (Waves Leave Millions Homeless, 12/29/2004, Reuters). Southeast India suffered a similar fate.
The tsunamis travel at jetliner speeds of around 500 miles per hour mostly under the surface of the ocean. But when it nears the land, and the water becomes more shallow, the fast moving water underneath has to come up, which pushes the water higher and higher as it speeds toward the shoreline. It has tremendous force of energy behind the wall of water which attacks the coast, and anything on it ferociously causing substantial damage and destruction.
Within half an hour of the quake, the north end of the island of Sumatra was hit with a high speed, powerful Tsunami wave of 33 feet or more with such force that it flattened nearly everything in its path. Within two and a half hours after the earthquake near Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Southeastern India, nearly 1500 miles away on the other side of the Indian ocean, were devastated with no warning. People watched the waters recede and wondered what it was all about. Then suddenly, the huge wall of water came crashing onto the shore with immense force killing thousands of people and destroying the homes of millions. At the very most, people had 20 minutes of warning. Before it dawned on them what was happening, it was too late (Waves Leave Millions Homeless, 12/29/2004 Reuters).
From Reuters News Service, “Waves up to 10 meters tall flattened houses, hurled fishing boats on to coastal roads, sent cars spinning through swirling waters into hotel lobbies and sucked sunbathers and fisherman off beaches and out to sea.” (Waves Leave Millions Homeless, Reuters 12/29/2004).
From the book Evangelism we read on page 29, “The time is near when large cities will be swept away…”
From the book Last Day Events , pg 27 and 28 we read; “What mean the awful calamities by sea—vessels hurled into eternity without a moment’s warning? What mean the accidents by land—fire consuming the riches that men have hoarded, much of which has been accumulated by oppression of the poor? The Lord will not interfere to protect the property of those who transgress His law, break His covenant, and trample upon His Sabbath, accepting in its place a spurious rest day.” Notice that it is often without warning that disaster comes. “Calamities will come,” Ellen White says in the book Evangelism, “calamities most awful , most unexpected ; and these destructions will follow one after another.” That’s page 27. In this case, the destruction occurred in many places, one right after the other – all from one massive earthquake 12 miles under the surface of the water deep in the sea floor, even shifting the islands above it farther out to sea. (Scientists: Quake Shifts Islands, 12/29/2004, Reuters)
Though the shift of the islands above the fault lines seems significant (and it is), these are relatively small movements of undersea plates, considering what could happen and what will happen. Imagine what will happen when the whole world shifts and rocks like a reed. There are huge forces in God’s arsenal that are in reserve. This disaster is very small compared to what is going to happen, yet some scientists reported that the quake, in which one sub-ocean plate slipped under another, actually increased the speed of the earth’s rotation slightly, similar to the way a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms. They estimate that the earth now tilts an extra 2.5 centimeters as a result of the quake. (Sumatran Quake Sped up Earth’s Rotation, 12/30/2004, Nature.com). Now we can perhaps understand why the earth’s axis tilted during the huge upheavals during the flood. This quake was powerful, but it is quite small relatively speaking.
Ellen White comments that there will be disasters by rail, see; The Faith I Live By , pg 343. The Associated Press reported that in Sri Lanka, around 1000 people were on a train that was traveling along the coast. The Tsunami hit the train, knocked it quite some distance off the tracks and mangled its eight carriages into twisted metal killing most of the people on board. Travel by train is one of the primary means of transportation in many of these developing countries and trains are always full of people. (Tidal Wave Death Toll Rises to 44,000, 12/28/2004, Associated Press) So when disaster strikes a train, many people die.
Indonesia is a nation largely given to the idolatry of Islam. Listen to what the prophet says: “O that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities, now almost given to idolatry.” That’s from the Review and Herald , September 10, 1903. Did you hear that? Thousands of cities will be destroyed. No doubt hundreds of villages were destroyed in this disaster. They are not large cities, most of them are only villages. When the real destruction comes, watch out for the big cities. They are one of the targets of God’s judgments. Is it any wonder that God has called us to move out of the cities?
No doubt some of God’s judgments will involve allowing Satan to bring great destruction to the world too. From Counsels on Health , page 461, “While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, [Satan] will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “The haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5. Notice that the destruction is because they have transgressed God’s holy law.
And now this familiar quote: “The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere. That’s from Great Controversy, pg. 614. It doesn’t take much for an angel, whether evil or good to level a city.
Now this. When Emergency workers reached Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra island they found whole towns and villages wiped from the map. It is estimated that over 40,000 died in Meulaboh alone, a city of 120,000. (Towns Vanish in Aceh, 12/30/2004, Reuters). This was not the only town. There are literally hundreds of towns and fishing villages that dot the shoreline of these countries. Resorts and beaches have been turned into cemeteries. But the rescuers were overwhelmed and had few resources to bury the dead. I quote from the Associated Press again. “The streets of Banda Aceh were filled with overturned cars and rotting corpses. Shopping malls and office buildings lay in rubble, and thousands of homeless families huddled in mosques and schools… ‘There is not anyone to bury the bodies,’ said Steve Aswin, a UNICEF official in Jakarta. ‘They should be buried in mass graves but there is no one to dig graves.’” The report also described how Muslim families used cooking utensils and even their bare hands to dig graves. (Asian Death Toll Rises to 40,000, 12/29/04, Associated Press). Apparently there was not enough equipment to dig graves such as were needed in this emergency.
Bodies were laid out on the beaches in open air morgues for identification. Decomposing bodies were strewn throughout the rubble, but scenes of unimagined grief were repeated across Asia. Mother’s who had watched their children swallowed by the waves could not be comforted. Fathers wept in anguish as their dead children were presented to them on a gurney. Hardly a family in most of these Asian nations didn’t have some loss in the disaster. In some cases, whole families were wiped out. (Tsunami death toll tops 80,000, 12/29/2004, CNN)
About one third of the victims in India were children. Many of them buried in mass graves, denied the benefit of a service or private family mourning. A whole generation of Asians were lost because of the deaths of so many children. Many of them worked in the coastal areas along side their parents in the fishing industry. Think of the grief of their parents. (Generation of Asians Lost As Children Die, 12/28/04, Associated Press)
“Where are my children?” wept 41-year-old Absah, as she searched for her 11 missing children in Banda Aceh. “Where are they? Why did this happen to me? I’ve lost everything.” (Generation of Asians lost at Children Die, 12/28/2004, Associated Press). It happened so quickly that no one had time to prepare. There is not a warning system in place in the Indian ocean region, but even if there was, it would not have made much difference to the people of Sumatra.
From the Associated Press, “On Monday, parents wept over the bodies of their children in streets and hospitals across the island (of Sri Lanka), even as some dead children still dangled unclaimed from barbed wire fences.” (Generation of Asians Lost As Children Die, 12/28/2004, Associated Press).
The scriptures says that a time of trouble is coming upon the world “such as never was.” These scenes of anguish in Asia are but a faint warning of what is coming upon the whole world. Up until now, we have nothing on record of such a widespread disaster. Most earthquakes affect a relatively local region. The earthquake in Turkey a few years back killed 30,000, for example. But the effect of this quake in Asia covers a huge portion of the Asian world and has killed so many people that it may become the biggest disaster on modern record. Perhaps the Bible flood is the only event that has exceeded its magnitude. Though we do not know the number of deaths, we know that there were large populations and that only eight were spared.
Perhaps you noticed that some of the areas hit hard in Thailand and Sri Lanka were the luxurious resorts where people gather for pleasure. You may have even read reports of celebrities who were caught up in the general maelstrom. Ellen White saw destruction such as this in vision. “While at Loma Linda, California, April 16, 1906, there passed before me a most wonderful representation. During a vision of the night, I stood on an eminence, from which I could see houses shaken like a reed in the wind. Buildings, great and small, were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and the homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence, and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified.
“The destroying angels of God were at work. One touch, and buildings, so thoroughly constructed that men regarded them as secure against every danger, quickly became heaps of rubbish. There was no assurance of safety in any place. I did not feel in any special peril, but the awfulness of the scenes that passed before me I cannot find words to describe. It seemed that the forbearance of God was exhausted and that the Judgment day had come. (9T 92 and 93).
I will now read from a private report of a family involved in a self-supporting Adventist ministry in India. They had been at one of the beaches in Tamil Nadu with 18 school children the very morning of the tsunami, but had left the beach only minutes before it hit the exact spot where they had been having morning worship. I quote, “Our group arrives at Chinglepet (train) station after running the gauntlet of thousands of people fleeing the sea side dwellings in fear and panic on foot clutching on to whatever they could carry. Many were mourning and crying for the loss of their loved ones. It seemed as if the Lord had opened a small window for us to see exactly what would happen at the end of time. This was no movie.”
Jesus said that men’s hearts would fail them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, Luke 21:26. This family, under the protection of the mighty angels continue their ministry, warning people of the coming crisis. But the fear, panic and anguish at the coming destruction and desolation is unimaginable. But we do not have to fear. We have to warn the people of the destruction that is surely to come. We may feel safe where we live, but we cannot let ourselves be deceived. Great disasters will happen in the most unusual places and in the most unexpected ways.
Psalm 7:11-13 says, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.” Those who trample on God’s law, no matter where they are, and those who persecute those who would be loyal to God’s law, will be the object of His wrath. Have you ever been persecuted by others because of your faith? Perhaps even other church members have ridiculed you for your loyalty to God’s word in the way you live such as your dress, or your food or because of other standards. Perhaps you have heard sermons against the supposed “legalists” who are genuinely trying to live by God’s law through His power. These are mild forms of persecution. God sees it all and will one day recompense those guilty of persecuting His true followers.
Asia is not the only place where this kind of disaster can happen. There are tectonic plates near the west coast of the United States that some scientists call a “loaded gun.” I’m quoting now from an Associated Press article, “Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast. They are a loaded gun that could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes – too fast for the nation’s deep-sea tsunami warning system to help.” (Scientists: Tsunami Could Hit West Coast, 12/29/2004, Associated Press).
Imagine the devastation that could take place in San Francisco and its huge surrounding populations. What about Seattle, where some of the richest men in the world live. What about Vancouver and even Los Angeles? Think about it, God in His mercy prevents Satan from destroying the world. If the right conditions exist, these cities could be wiped out by earthquakes and powerful Tsunamis in their wake. What are the right conditions? It’s not really the tectonic plates. It is the condition of righteousness. When these cities have become so much like Sodom. When they have passed the limits of divine forbearance like Gomorrah, then God will rise up in judgment.
And it will happen. Listen to this statement from the pen of inspiration. “Well-equipped tent meetings should be held in the large cities, such as San Francisco; for not long hence these cities will suffer under the judgments of God. San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them in wrath.” That was written in 1902, four years before the San Francisco earthquake. What must it be like today, a hundred and three years later. You can find that quote in Evangelism pg. 403 and 404.
If ever there were cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, it is San Francisco and Oakland. The homosexuality is open, public and aggressive. But there are many other wicked seacoast cities, like New York, Boston, Miami, Amsterdam, Venice, Stockholm and Sydney. The list could go on and on.
Here is another one from Conflict and Courage, page 53. “The judgments of God are soon to be poured out upon the earth. ‘Escape for thy life’ is the warning from the angels of God. Other voices are heard saying: ‘Do not become excited; there is no cause for special alarm.’ Those who are at ease in Zion cry ‘Peace and safety,’ while heaven declares that swift destruction is about to come upon the transgressor.”
Those ministers who have not raised the warning to the people will be held accountable for their destruction. “Wickedness is reaching a height never before attained, and yet many ministers of the gospel are crying, “Peace and safety.” That’s Acts of the Apostles , pg. 220. What happens “when they shall say, Peace and safety?” “Sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” I Thessalonians 5:3.
Imagine the horror of those ministers that refuse to give the warning on the final day of destruction and desolation. Listen to the words of God’s prophet. This is from the chapter in Great Controversy called “Desolation of the Earth.” “The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. “We are lost!” they cry, “and you are the cause of our ruin;” and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God’s people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.” That’s pg, 655 and 656.
The ministers have a special responsibility to warn the people of their sins and give them the testimony that will help them understand their danger. Yet those who do this are often accused of being legalists, unkind, or just not meeting the people’s needs. So instead, ministers usually present sermons on love or on themes not calculated to stir the sinner to repentance and humility before God. You may not be anybody important, but you must give the message of warning to those within your influence. I must call upon you, our ministers especially to faithfully give the warning message, else you will suffer the wrath of the people as well as the wrath of God.
Listen to what the servant of the Lord said about the message that we are to present today. From the 1st volume of the Testimonies , page 321 we read, “In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God’s faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was borne by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as His shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them.” God will indeed hold them accountable for their smooth sayings. Now more than ever, the law of God is to be lifted up before the people as the just requirement of a holy God. At the same time we are to hold up Jesus as the sin bearer and the one who can empower the sinner to keep the holy law.
But how often do you hear sermons about the destruction of the wicked? How often do you hear sermons about the Law and its binding claims on your life? How often do you hear sermons about the impending crisis? Instead of these important themes, church members hear about the love of Jesus for the sinner, and His unconditional grace over and over again. Present Truth, and the things shortly to come are not part of it. Repentance is not part of it. Turning from sin is not part of it. Preparing for the Sunday law is not part of it. This grace is emaciated. It has no substance. We hear it over and over again. It soon means nothing. Perhaps it needs to be said that warnings that appeal only to fear are not sufficient because they only bring temporary reform. But warnings that are wrapped in a godly life of ministry and love to others will have a life-changing effect. Warnings that draw the sinner to Christ the sin bearer and His saving power are what can break the heart and win the soul to Christ permanently. It is therefore important that in giving warnings we must also represent the love of God and His care for others by our actions.
The coming day of the Lord and its world-wide destruction will take most of the earth’s inhabitants by surprise just as the tsunamis surprised the people of Asia. What an incredible tragedy this will be. Millions upon millions will be lost because of the neglect of ministers to preach the warning message.
The scripture says in Rev. 6:14, that at the second coming of Christ, “every mountain and island were moved out of their places .” Now we have a little idea about how this will happen and what it is like.
Reuters reported that “The massive earthquake that devastated parts of Asia permanently moved the tectonic plates beneath the Indian ocean as much as 98 feet (30 meters), slightly shifting islands near Sumatra an unknown distance, U. S. scientists said Tuesday. (Scientists: Quake Shifts Islands Nicobar and Simeulue Farther Out to Sea, 12/28/2004, Reuters). This should be no surprise to us.
Furthermore, the scripture says in Rev. 16:20 “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” According to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Hassan Sobir, “the whole Maldive archipelago had ‘for a moment disappeared from the plant earth’ under the waves, and suggested that some of its lowest-lying islands may have gone forever.” (Bad Water, Decaying Dead Threaten Tsunami Survivors, 12/28/2004, Reuters). Imagine what it will be like when the whole sea bed shifts and the plates move away from dry land sinking deeper into the sea. What will happen to the islands? They are likely to disappear. They will sink with their tectonic plate.
The description of the Lisbon earthquake is perhaps the lone rival on record to the death and destruction of this earthquake disaster in Asia. But it now sinks in comparison. Ellen White comments about it in great controversy.
“…there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa engulfing cities and causing great destruction.
“It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, “some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations, and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the adjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains.”— Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, page 495.
“At Lisbon ‘a sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterwards a violent shock threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes sixty thousand persons perished. The sea first retired, and laid the bar dry; it then rolled in, rising fifty feet or more above its ordinary level.’ ‘Among other extraordinary events related to have occurred at Lisbon during the catastrophe, was the subsidence of a new quay, built entirely of marble, at an immense expense. A great concourse of people had collected there for safety, as a spot where they might be beyond the reach of falling ruins; but suddenly the quay sank down with all the people on it, and not one of the dead bodies ever floated to the surface.’—Ibid., page 495.
“‘The shock’ of the earthquake ‘was instantly followed by the fall of every church and convent, almost all the large public buildings, and more than one fourth of the houses. In about two hours after the shock, fires broke out in different quarters, and raged with such violence for the space of nearly three days, that the city was completely desolated. The earthquake happened on a holyday, when the churches and convents were full of people, very few of whom escaped.’— Encyclopedia Americana, art. “Lisbon,” note (ed. 1831). ‘The terror of the people was beyond description. Nobody wept; it was beyond tears. They ran hither and thither, delirious with horror and astonishment, beating their faces and breasts, crying, ‘Misericordia! the world’s at an end!’ Mothers forgot their children, and ran about loaded with crucifixed images. Unfortunately, many ran to the churches for protection; but in vain was the sacrament exposed; in vain did the poor creatures embrace the altars; images, priests, and people were buried in one common ruin.’ It has been estimated that ninety thousand persons lost their lives on that fatal day.”
When you think about it, the Asia quake and its related Tsunamis and corresponding destruction, are a tiny glimpse of the massive upheavals this world is going to face. Are you ready my friend? Is your heart right with God. Are you getting ready for the crisis of your life? Is your faith in the three angel’s messages rooted and grounded so that it cannot be moved?
But were these people in Asia more sinful or more evil than we? Were their cities more wicked than our cities? Christ gave the answer when he spoke of the little disasters of his day. Turn to Luke 13:1-5. “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” These people were no worse than the ones Jesus spoke to. Likewise, we must also realize that we too must be humble and repent.
Only those that are sealed will have the protection of God. Listen to this solemn warning, “Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God. Those whose hands are not clean, whose hearts are not pure, will not have the seal of the living God. Those who are planning sin and acting it will be passed by. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great anti-typical day of atonement, will be recognized and marked as worthy of God’s protection.” That’s from Testimonies to Ministers , pg. 445
God’s protection will be very important to His people when the whole world is being destroyed. Disasters such as what happened in Asia will be more frequent and increasing in devastation. Ellen White experienced it in vision. “During the night a very impressive scene passed before me. There seemed to be great confusion and the conflict of armies. A messenger from the Lord stood before me, and said, “Call your household. I will lead you; follow me.” He led me down a dark passage, through a forest, then through the clefts of mountains, and said, “Here you are safe.” There were others who had been led to this retreat. The heavenly messenger said. “The time of trouble has come as a thief in the night, as the Lord warned you it would come.” That’s Maranatha, pg. 270
Disasters such as what happened in Asia will be more frequent and increasing in devastation. The world is becoming less stable, and more chaotic. As it does, attention will be turned on God’s people as the cause of the disasters. Already the demon impersonating Mary at Fatima has told the Pope that there will be huge disasters and that it is because of man’s rebellion to God. But this is deceptive. It prepares the people to be deceived, and will eventually become the basis for the persecution of the true followers of Jesus.
But God knows how to protect His people, but it will only be those that have repented and confessed their sins and sent them before hand into judgment. It will only be those that have earnestly purified their souls, putting away all sin, including secret sin. My friend, have you put away all sin in your life? Have you made sure that you are living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? Now is the time to prepare. Your probation is the only opportunity you will have to develop a character that will stand the test of your faith.
The crisis is stealing gradually upon us. Let us not delay any longer. Jesus needs you. He needs you to get your life ready for greater sorrows and greater chaos. He needs you to give the warning and help wherever you can to warn souls of their danger. Many people don’t want to think about it, but huge disasters are one of the ways God is waking them up. Let it also be a wake-up call to you and me.
Let us pray. Our Father, we were shocked by the magnitude of the devastation and destruction in Asia in the recent disasters there. But we know that this is only the beginning of sorrows. Please help us to get ready for the final crisis. We know that many of our fellow believers are not ready either. O God, show us how we can awaken them. May we live for you. May we put away all sin, our besetting sins, our secret sins, our little sins, so that we may have the Holy Spirit in later rain power. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.