A WAKE UP CALL
The solar eclipse witnessed across the United States on August 21, 2017, has sparked a lot of discussion among Bible believers–especially those familiar with the blood moons that occurred on Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015. One of the ways in which God communicates with human beings is through signs in the heavens. (See Genesis 1: 14; Joel 2: 30-31; Amos 8: 9; Luke 23: 44.) In the month since the eclipse, we have witnessed a chilling number of earthquakes, fires, and category 5 hurricanes. In fact, the intensity and rapid succession of these “natural disasters” is reminiscent of the “birth pangs” recorded in Matthew 24: 8.
God is trying to get our attention, and He’s not whispering. He is shouting. If you don’t have a Hebrew calendar, get one. September 21 was the Feast of Trumpets, one of “God’s Appointed Times,” described in Leviticus 23: 23-25. On the Biblical calendar, the Feast of Trumpets falls on the first of Tishri. Tishri is preceded by the month of Elul, a time of repenting.
WHO NEEDS TO REPENT?
Although everyone needs to repent, repentance begins in the house of God (1 Peter 4: 17). We need to repent for individual sins as well as the sins of the nation. (See I Corinthians 6: 9 for a list of individual sins and keep in mind that Paul is talking to believers.) National sins include–but are not limited to–abortion and redefining marriage.
THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE
Other than the sins listed above, what is God’s benchmark for judging the nations?
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all of the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12: 1-3, ESV).
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done [to Israel], it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head (Obadiah verse 15, ESV).
THE DAY OF THE LORD
September 21 not only commemorated the Feast of Tabernacles. September 21 also marked the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, with an emphasis on “human dignity,” “peace,” and “safety.” These are comforting words except in the context of 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-3, which describes the Day of the Lord.
Now as to the times and epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying “peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape ( NASB).
THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Where are we on God’s timeline? Is the Great Tribulation–referenced in Matthew 24: 1-28, Mark 13: 3-23, Luke 21: 10-34, and Daniel 12: 1–a future event? Or has it begun?
And there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21: 25-28, ESV).