Today’s Reading: Revelation 8-9.
(Context: The opening of the “seals” in chapter 5 and 6 leads directly to the opening of the “trumpets” in chapters 8 and 9. The time period for the opening of the “trumpets” would likely be in the middle part of the “Great Tribulation”, in other words in year 5 or 6 of the Antichrist’s reign.)
C.S. Lewis once said, in classic fashion:
Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
Why does God bring such horrendous and hideous world-wide trial upon the world during the Tribulation? It is for the exact same reason he brings it now. In the Tribulation he will darken the sky, cause billions to die from natural disasters, cause the world to experience complete darkness, and fill the earth with disease, hatred, and suffering. Why?
God brings trouble in our own lives, on a daily basis. There are two types of people in the world, 1. those who recognize God and have put their faith in Christ as their reconciliation with an angry God, and 2. those who reject either God or His way of reconciliation through Christ. Both need pain and suffering on a regular basis, it is God’s way of speaking to us, to help us understand the shortness of this life and it’s lack of meaning without Him. Both types of people need suffering:
1. The saved need suffering to help them become more like Christ, to be better ambassadors of God’s love & redemptive power on earth, and to keep us from the sin that so “easily entangles us” and causes us to suffer for it. Sin is like cutting oneself, it is not good for us, it causes us to leave God’s love, and also harms the society around us, both near and far.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:6-7)
2. Those who reject God (the world will be full of such, even more than now, during the Tribulation, where hatred of God will run rampant for their love of Antichrist) also need discipline, in order to see their need of a Savior. To realize their wretchedness their hopelessness without their Creator, and their deep-seated desire to be loved as one is.
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4)
This doesn’t mean we should attend funerals over parties, but it raises the question: do we ever think about the afterlife or life’s meaning when everything in life is ‘jolly’? No, we don’t. That is why pain is the “megaphone to rouse a dying world“.
You see, pain is a blessing, it’s God’s future trumpet for the dying world under Antichrist, and pain is God’s current call to repentance and reconciliation to Himself. Nothing has changed, nothing will change. Therefore His judgement in the End Times will be for mankind’s good, out of love and not solely in punishment.
We serve a truly remarkable and wise God!