Catastrophic Destruction Ahead When Jesus Returns

I don't know about you, but I view those pictures coming out of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian and stand aghast at the destruction.  All that remains of people's lives are just fragments - splinters of chairs, pieces of pictures, shreds of blankets.  We are coming to find out that many of these people truly had nothing to begin with.  A small cubicle that they called home.  A few pieces of furniture - a chair or two, a table, and a bed, hardly more than that.  Their lives were devoted to working at the resorts where elite travelers came and enjoyed the sun, the surf, and the tropical breezes of the Islands.  But Hurricane Dorian ripped away the facades and exposed the real world of the Bahamas. 


Seldom have we witnessed the total devastation wrought by a storm as we have seen from Dorian.  The loss of life is expected to climb as search teams begin to clear the rubble left behind.  To date, some 70,000 Bahamians are homeless and destitute.  Many will be unable to rebuild their lives on those islands; many simply will refuse to do so, seeking to relocate to better places.  But where to go?  That is the question confronting many of those people. 


Hurricane Dorian has created an opportunity for the Church to rise and to be "the hands and feet of Jesus" to these people.  Already organizations such as Samaritan's Purse and World Vision have teams there in the Bahamas setting up places where provisions - food, water, diapers, clothing - can be obtained.  In so many ways, the Church is much better equipped to respond than is that of government.  In addition, the Church provides encouragement through sharing prayer and the Word of God to those who are troubled.  The Church provides hope for tomorrow.


But, as I viewed those pictures, my mind raced to those scenes that will occur literally around the world when the judgment of God is poured upon for the sins of the world.  Jesus said that there would be earthquakes in various places.  We could translate that word to mean "unusual places."  We are certainly seeing that on an almost daily basis these days.  John, as he is writing The Revelation, relates that "there was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.  The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place" (Revelation 6:12-14). 


I don't know about you, but that description sounds ominous, perhaps even frightful.  Hurricane Dorian did not cause the Bahamas to move; it just caused those islands to be destroyed.  Can you comprehend the total destruction when those islands do, in fact, move?  When the Rocky Mountains collapse and are no more?  What happens to cities like Denver and Boulder?  Islands move...mountains disappear...the result: People cry out for someone to protect them from the wrath of Almighty God (Revelation 6:16-17).  And this is just the beginning of destruction.  John sees death abounding - wars, famines, disease, and wild beasts. with the result that over half of the world's population will die.  Staggering!  Incomprehensible! 


These words of John always grab my attention.  I remember reading of the horrific tasks of civilians and military burial details following a battle of the Civil War.  Thousands of bodies were retrieved from the battlefields - the rocky dens, the fence rows, the cornfields, the forests.  It took days and weeks for the burials to be completed.  Then what do you do with the horses and mules whose bodies littered those same battlefields?  But, what happens when the corpse count is not in the thousands but into the millions?  I have to admit that I have a very difficult time envisioning millions of bodies after a battle, let alone how to bury them.  But God has a plan.  John writes of this plan: "And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, 'Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.'" (Revelation 19:17-18).  Vultures, eagles, hawks, ravens - the carrion birds will come by the thousands to gorge themselves upon the bodies of those slain in this final battle of human history. 


But then will be ushered in a time of peace that the world has not known since the Garden of Eden.  Satan will be locked in the Abyss, Jesus will reign from David's throne in Jerusalem, and all will be well.  The earth will know peace.  The earth will know real joy.  The earth will experience the very presence of God in a way unseen since Jesus walked here upon the earth.  With the song writer we exclaim, "What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see." 


As I viewed those shroud-covered bodies lying within the ruins of the Bahamas, I ask myself this question: How many of those people were ready for "that day" when they would see Jesus?

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