Tremors in the Land
Sunday, January 17, 2010
By Pastor James May
Tremors are rocking our world everyday. There is not one day that passes, as we draw ever nearer to the coming of the Lord, when the earth is silent, for even the very ground upon which we walk is crying out for deliverance from the power of sin that has gripped it since the fall of Adam in the Garden, thousands of years ago.
Romans 8:22-23, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
I chose the word “Tremors” as the title of this message because it means that there is an involuntary shaking. Tremors are caused by a number of things such as fear, weakness and even excitement. All of creation is trembling in anticipation. It can be seen through the trembling of the ground like that which has stricken the poor country of Haiti this week. It can be seen in the economic woes of a world on the brink of financial collapse. It can be seen in the behavior of people everywhere, whether in acts of anger an protest; or in acts of prayer and praise. This trembling is a involuntary action on behalf of some and an action by choice by others; but all of it added together is a sign that something of tremendous magnitude is about to happen.
In the forces of nature that trembling is seen as even the very earth moves beneath our feet. The United States Geological Survey states on its website that millions of earthquakes occur every year but that most are too small to detect. It also states that there are at least 50 earthquakes every day and usually more than 20,000 each year that are strong enough to be recorded. They range from a magnitude of zero to ten. The one that destroyed Haiti and killed an estimated 200,000 people was measured as an 8.0. It’s like taking this building and shaking it 8 feet or more, up and down and back and forth. Not much would be left so now you can see why so many were hurt or killed in Haiti.
It has been in the news that Pat Robertson blamed Haiti’s woes on their ancestor’s decision to sell out to the devil back in the 1700’s to get out from under the rule of the French. Now I don’t really think that Mr. Robertson meant that Haiti didn’t deserve help from what I have seen, and he expressed a lot of concern for the people of Haiti. They don’t need criticism and judgmental attitudes or condemning speeches. They need all the help that the world can give them.
I was thinking about that, and although I don’t believe that Pat Robertson meant what people are saying, we should note that God does judge for sin. But what makes us think that Haiti and it’s voodoo practices are any worse than the United States and our efforts to kick God out of our society altogether? Is their sin any worse than ours? Do they deserve punishment any more than we do? I think not.
Someone else said that this disaster could be good for the people of Haiti because it will give them a chance to start over and build a better and stronger society. Well why don’t we just give them a good kick while they are down and say that it’s their own fault for living in Haiti. They should have moved or done a better job in building their homes and buildings to hold up better.
It’s true that their housing is substandard and that they are a very poor society, and these circumstances only added to the number that were killed, but its too late to point fingers of blame. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Help them; don’t criticize them.
Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Does God send judgment for sin? Of course He does, and His judgments are right, but Haiti doesn’t deserve judgment any more than any of the rest of us.
Jesus was talking to his disciples in Luke chapter 13 when he made it a point to say that not all things bad that happen to people are because of an act of God’s judgment for sin.
Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Luke 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luke 13:4 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?
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
We can’t point fingers at those who practice voodoo, or anyone else. Except for the grace of God, we could all be lost in those collapsed buildings and piles of rumble. It could be any of us crawling through tons of debris looking for loved ones and crying in the streets over those who have been lost forever. What Haiti needs is prayer, compassion and help. I thank God that our country can help them. In times like this we should do all we can. If it was us who needed help, we wouldn’t care if it came from Muslims, Buddhists or whomever. We are all in this thing together and we can’t turn our back on hurting people, no matter who they are.
When you get down to it, all of these things that are happening are signs that we can say are pointing toward something far greater that is coming. Tsunamis that kill thousands of people, wars and earthquakes that do the same thing, are all a part of a greater scenario. They are all signs of a trembling in the earth, and in all of creation.
Some of the trembling is caused by fear – the hearts of men tremble at the thought of such great natural disasters because there is absolutely nothing that we can do to stop them from happening. The forces of nature, trembling at the approaching appearance of Almighty God, who created it all, tremble because there is a great day of judgment coming; a day when all sin shall be judged; and a great purging of sin will destroy this world so that a new world may be brought forth in righteousness.
Every time the news breaks that a great natural disaster has occurred, whether it’s the flood of a great city like New Orleans, or the tsunami in the islands, or an earthquake in Haiti, the hearts of men tremble in fear for we don’t know when or where the next one will come. It could be here in America. Scientists are predicting a super volcano may erupt in the geologically active area around Wyoming that would wipe out most of America in a cloud of burning gas and molten lava. There isn’t a day that goes by when scientists aren’t predicting another disaster is on the horizon. Global warming destroying ice caps, rising oceans flooding every continent and even some predicting a complete reversal of the rotation of the earth, are only a few of the things that strike fear into the hearts of men.
Does not Jesus warn us that these days would come? Why should they surprise us? Luke 21:25-26, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
Yes, there is a trembling in the natural world and all of creation trembles in fear as it is prepared to face the judgment of an omnipotent, righteous Creator.
There is a trembling in the land because of weakness as well. No man alive has the power to stop what’s coming. The power of man is no match for the power of nature; nor is our power any match against the powers of darkness, or the power of God. We are pawns in the hands of powers that are beyond anything that we can imagine. In times like this, unless you can rest assured in the hands of a loving God, knowing that He is in control of all things, including your very life, then you can only tremble in your weakness and wait for the inevitable.
Now the third thing that will cause us to tremble is excitement. This one is a good kind of trembling. I believe that the people of God should be trembling with excitement in these last days.
Luke 21:27-28, "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
All of the natural disasters, and the deaths of untold thousands, and all of the confusion, the fear, the upheavals in nature and in world governments are all signs that we are drawing ever closer to the end of the reign of the devil and the power of sin over God’s creation. Jesus is getting ready to seize ownership of his kingdom and there’s nothing that Satan can do to stop it, even though he is going to do his best to try.
While all the world trembles in fear and dread, we who know Jesus Christ as Lord, and who are given prior warnings of all that will happen, are looking forward to the coming of the Lord with a trembling excitement.
I want to see Jesus! I want to see that New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven adored as a Bride coming to her wedding. I want to see Jesus establish a Kingdom of Righteousness. I want to see that place called Heaven and to live in that bright eternal day. I want to see all of those who have gone before and who are waiting for me in that place of beauty, peace and rest. But most of all, I just want to see Jesus, the One who died for me!
Doesn’t your heart just tremble inside of you when you think of that great day that is soon to come?
I know that we are just beginning to see the trembling that is coming on this old world. I believe that it’s only going to get worse from here on. According to the Word of God, the earthquakes will grow stronger; the tsunamis may grow larger; the volcanoes may erupt more often, and who knows what other natural disasters will occur? As the day and time of our Lord’s appearing grows ever nearer we should prepare ourselves for all of these things to happen more often and with more devastating effect.
Are these the judgments of God upon man for sin? Perhaps some of it is; we can’t discount God’s love trying to reach out to us by sending warning signs in the form of judgments. But the real judgments for sin won’t even begin until Jesus catches his Bride away. That’s when the really powerful judgments begin upon sinful man.
Those who know the Lord should not let all these things cause us to tremble in fear. Oh the flesh may get a little frightened from time to time; but we are not to live according to the flesh but according the leading of the Holy Spirit. God is not bothered by, or surprised by any event that happens in this world. He has known that they were coming since the beginning of time. God knows how to keep those that belong to Him.
Jesus is coming soon and we should prepare for his arrival. We should go about our daily lives with that thought on our minds all the time. Perhaps this will be the day that Jesus comes to take his Church away. Live every day, trembling before God in excitement, as you anxiously await His coming.
Let the world tremble in fear. Let all of nature and all of creation tremble in weakness at His soon coming. But we as Christian should be trembling with excitement for we know that our redemption is at hand.
Let us have compassion on those who don’t know Jesus. Let us do all we can to help them, care for them and pray for them. But most of all, let’s tell them about Jesus.
One of the greatest joys that we can experience and something will truly cause you to tremble with excitement is when you lead a soul to the Lord and see them give their heart to Jesus. All of Heaven trembles with joy and excitement right along with you.
In these last days, everything in creation will be trembling; some in fear, some in defeat, some in weakness. Let us, who are called by the name of Jesus, tremble with excitement as we watch the events unfold before our eyes that will bring us to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are tremors in the land. Make sure that you tremble for the right reason.