Warning of Coming Destruction Essay

WARNING OF COMING DESTRUCTION

            The Lord our God is a loving God. He blessed us with everything we had, with things that we need. He answers our prayers and listens to our cries. We can see what He has made through the things around us. However, have you ever thought/consider that the same God who loves us and provides us our needs, the God that created the earth and everything in it, is the same God that poured out his wrath to his people many times in history as recorded in the Holy Bible of which one of the most well-known was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Many books of The Holy Bible, both Old and New Testament, predict the coming of God’s wrath not only to a country or a nation but on the whole world.

            The first chapter of the Book of Zephaniah warns us of the coming destruction, when everything will be wiped out from the face of the earth, all the animals, plants and everything in it. Let us read the passage from Zechariah 1:2, “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. On that day, the day of the Lord’s wrath, nothing will be able to save the people, not even their wealth, for the Lord will suddenly end the lives of those in the earth. Indeed, the Lord is a loving God but He cannot overlook sin for He is a God of justice and righteousness. Zechariah announced the coming of God’s wrath as was seen in the early times in the history of the chosen people, of Israel that was caused by the people’s sins and unrighteousness. In the same way, Zechariah revealed that another time will come will God will destroy everything in due to the same reason as that recorded in the Old Testament, due to unrighteousness and sinfulness of man.

            The sorrow that God felt from the disobedience of man can be seen even in the first book of the Old Testament. Let us read Genesis Chapter 6. Verse 5 says “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. 7So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them”. This passage is consistent with the prophet Zephaniah. It is man’s sins and wickedness that gives pain to God, the same reason why God punished the Israelites and will punish the whole earth. The same wickedness that God saw in past were the same wickedness and sinfulness that most people today practice. They thought that their sins will go unpunished but on the contrary, Matthew 12:36 say “men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken”. Even our words will be judged much more our deeds.

            Let us continue reading from the book of Zechariah chapter 1. Verse 14 says “The great day of the Lord is near-near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there”. The day of the Lord will not be a day of laughter, of songs, dances and rejoices. Instead it will be a day of cries and bitterness. No one knows when the day of the Lord will come just as Jesus taught. Let us open our Bibles in the Book of Matthew chapter 24. Verse 26 says “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angles in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. Jesus Himself, the Son of God, do not know when that time will be and surely no man can ever predict the day or even the year when God will pour His wrath on the earth and all that is in it. No one knows when it will come but we can be certain of one thing, just as the prophet Zechariah spoke of, it is near. As time passes by the day of the Lord is coming nearer and nearer.

            Although we do not know the time, Jesus gives signs when it will be near. In Matthew 24: 6-14 Jesus says “6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7”Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various palaces. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At the time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”.

            Can we see the signs of the end of age happening in our time? Are there famines, wars and earthquakes? Yes these signs are happening in the present time. There had many wars in past. The war in Iraq can be considered the latest. There are also calamities and famines. There are various tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, typhoons and earthquakes form various countries killing thousands and thousands of people. 1The most recent earthquake that caught world attention happen just recently when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti leaving thousands of people in the streets shouting and crying with no place to go. These are the signs that the Lord gave and we can see them happening today. Indeed, the day of the Lord is coming nearer and nearer.

            Let us now look at the succeeding verse of the chapter from the Book of Zechariah. Chapter 1 verse 15 says, “15That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness”. The day of the Lord will not be a happy one. 2”The time of the Lord will be a time of intense Judgment bringing terror, warfare, distress, and death”.  Most people believe that there will be happiness, a paradise when the Lord comes. However, before reaching paradise a judgment is certain when all man will be judge according to what he has done.

            Prophets are chosen people to deliver the message of God. In most cases, they are called in order to tell the message of repentance on the people. Time after time people forget the reasons that God was angered and continuously practice things that are not pleasing before God. The message of repentance has been very used in history of the Israelites and surely, the message of repentance is needed in our time now.  3”As plainly stated later in his prophecies, Zephaniah wasn’t just given to describe God’s people then, he was also describing those who claim to be God’s people now”. God’s messages that were revealed by the prophets in the Old Testament are the same messages that need to be placed in the hearts of the people today since this generation is full of sinfulness and lawlessness giving into the desires of the flesh not realizing what is right from wrong.

            God has the power to give but as well as the power to take. He gives generously to those who obey Him. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever Believes in Him will not perish but has eternal life”. God is even willing to give us eternal life by obeying His decrees and believing in His Son. However, to those who do not believe, whose hearts are far from God, those who dwell in sinfulness and unrighteous, they will have to face the judgment of the Lord and surely, they will be together with those who will be wiped out from the face of the earth. Do you want to be one of them, to be destroyed by the wrath of God? Surely no one would want to be wiped out from the face of the earth but God’s judgment is certain no one will be able to stop it. Thus we must ask ourselves this, have I been glorifying God through my actions or am I one of God’s enemies because of my disobedience?

            The day and the time of God’s wrath is uncertain, what is certain is that it will definitely come and just as Jesus taught His disciplines in many parables, we must on the watch for that time. We must live a life in obedience to God in order to be saved rather than destroyed. For those who do not believe in God, your obedience will not in vain. Considering the idea that there is no God, what would you loose if you live a righteous life? Nothing, instead you will gain the trust and respect of those around you. On the other hand, if you don’t believe in God and live a selfish and sinful life and God does exist, the judgment day will come and you will surely be wiped out from the earth. And God does exist; we can see the evidence of His existence in the world around us, in the complexity of things and the miracles that happen through Him.

            Even in the revelation from the Prophet Zephaniah, when God spoke the words regarding the destruction of the earth and tribes of Israel, God foresaw that the people will not repent and turn away from their sins. God gave the people in the Old Testament a warning of the time to come but their hearts would not listen to the word of God and thus destruction came upon them. It is not God who brings judgment and destruction, it is man itself. We bring destruction to ourselves by disobeying God, by sinning against God, by living a selfish life far from the divine guidance of the Lord. On the time of the judgment, many will ask why God allow such things to happen. Even in the present time, when a calamity or disaster falls upon any nation many ask why the Lord has allowed such things to happen but what they did not see was the unrighteousness and sinfulness of man.

            Sin has a very long history. It is present even in the earliest of time when God created Adam and Eve. And just as it had been the cause of the punishment from God, it will remain to be the cause of God’s grief and punishment. We cannot live a sinful life and expect everything will go smoothly. We must be responsible of our actions for one day we will be help accountable for every deed we made, for very word we speak and for every sin we did. We would never be able to hide anything from God, not even a single sin and unrighteousness and just as the Lord says, no sin will go unpunished.

            It is truly impossible to live a life that is blameless before the Lord but what impossible with man is possible with God. God Himself provided a way for man to live, to have eternal life and be saved. It is true Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. He bears the sin of us all nailing in on the cross so that we can be blameless and clean before the God. It is only through Christ that we can be exempted from the Judgment that is to come. We can be considered enemies of god because of our sins but God even gave His only Son in order to save us from the penalty of our sins, from the sting of death, eternal death. We cannot truly please God through our own way of living. Romans 3:23 say, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 say that the wages of sin is death. There is no man living or dead than has not sinned. Only Jesus who is full man and full God lived a life on earth without blemish of a single sin. Only He has the right to save mankind and through Him, God offers salvation to those who believe.

            We cannot deny the fact that the signs given in the Bible are manifested in today’s time. It is evident and can be seen; the war, calamities and famine. The Day of the Lord is coming nearer and nearer and must all be prepared for that day. Through our own works we cannot be saved but it is through grace that we can live. God Himself offers us salvation and all we should do is accept it and live a life worthy of the Lord, a life that manifests true worship and obedience to the Lord. Just as the Prophet Zephaniah told, the Day of Judgment will come when the Lord will wipe out all the living from the face of the earth. This message is not for the people of the Old Testament but for the people of all time. We cannot deny the fact that sinfulness and lawlessness is all around us, sinfulness and lawlessness against God. We must be wary and seek the guidance of the Lord in order to attain eternal life. It is a matter if life and death fro the whole of eternity.

1 The BBC, Haiti Devastated by Massive Earthquake, 2010

2Malick, David, An Argument of the Book of Zephaniah
3Wayne, Blank, Zephaniah

Bibliography

Malick, David, An Argument of the Book of Zephaniah, No date. Data-base online. Available at
http://bible.org/article/argument-book-zephaniah
The BBC, Haiti Devastated by Massive Earthquake, 2010. Data-base online. Available at

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8455629.stm

Wayne, Blank, Zephaniah, No date. Data-base online. Available at

            http://www.keyway.ca/htm2004/20040606.htm