Summary: Salvation is not completed until the process of sealing takes place in God’s people.
Signed, Sealed, & Delivered
The WHO placed Toronto on a travel advisory for the deadly new plague, and just on Wednesday, they lifted the ban. To date, the virus has killed more than 300 people around the world and infected more than 5,000—with the majority of cases and infections concentrated in Hong Kong and mainland China. China has reported 202 cases, bringing the death toll to 148 and the total number of cases to just more than 3300. In Hong Kong the death toll has hit 150, but the low number of new SARS cases gives credence to a WHO announcement that the infections had peaked there. President Bush has declared SARS to be a communicable disease and anybody diagnosed with it will be placed in isolation against his/her will. Our Master tried to tell us the signs of His coming and in Matthew 24:7, He said:
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Imagine if you will the entire planet being quarantined. Brothers and sisters God has had mother earth quarantined ever since He placed those two cherubim at the entrance of the Garden of Eden to keep man from becoming perpetual sinners. Sin has marred and infected the inhabitants of the earth for the last 6000 years. Unlike our newest pestilence, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, there is no escaping this plague. And the Lord has placed a travel advisory upon us and unless He heals us there will be no traveling to Heaven.
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God has destined this world for destruction, but all of those who love Him and have obeyed him will be saved. Turn with me into your Bibles to Revelation 7:1-4, we read:
And after these things I saw four angels, standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea. Saying, Hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
The Lord has placed four angels on the four corners of the earth. And these angels are holding back the four winds of the earth until He has placed His seal in the foreheads of his servants. Christendom has too often focused its attention on the mark of the beast but brothers and sisters the seal of the living God is the single most important work that God is doing in our time. It is paramount for God that before he unleashes the full power of the winds that He protects His people from its catastrophic effects.
Notice where these angels are standing. They are standing on the four corners of the earth. Well does this mean that the Bible is scientifically ignorant and antiquated by saying that the earth has corners? Absolutely not for you see brothers and sisters long, long before Galileo pointed his telescope into the Heavens, and Columbus set sail for India traveling west, Isaiah 40:22 declared that God sits on the circle of the earth: