We continue on in the fourth chapter of Jeremiah. In today's verses, he is in anguish over the devastation that has occured because of the judgement of God for the sins of the people.
19 - 26: " Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet; I have heard the battle cry. Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment. How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the trumpet? My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good. I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone. I looked at the mountains and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. I looked, and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger".
Many people kind of skip over passages like this in the Old Testament, because they don't see how passages like this can relate to us in our present day. Again, I tell you that the Lord has given us all these tales of history for us to learn by.
Jeremiah says that the devastation was so vast, that the earth seemed to be in its original state. We see in Genesis 1:2, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep". How scary that must have been for him to see what was once a beautiful land, be turned into this condition.
How do you see our world today? Do you look around and see as Jeremiah did, the continuing and increasing evil? Does it grieve your heart, as it does mine, to see the conduct of people getting more selfish, more hard in heart?
The Lord allowed the invasion of the enemy in order to bring his people to repentance. He continues to do this throughout time, for the same purpose.
Jesus tells us in the Gospels, and then in the Revelation of John, that we as believers, are to be ready in an instant, for his calling home of the church, which is referred to as the "Rapture". (I Thessalonians 4: 16 - 18 says, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words.) Another passage that speaks of this snatching away of the church is found in (I Corinthians 15: 51 - 52: "Listen, for I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep(die), but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.)
The world will suddenly be missing millions of people, and many will know what has happened, because they have either heard it in church at some point, but never took the step to receive God's gift of salvation, or they have heard it from those who were believers, trying to witness to them. All of a sudden, it doesn't sound so silly as it did before when they heard it, and they will grieve in heart because they missed their chance. There will be many who have no explantion of what occured, and there will be all kinds of excuses and reasons that will be broadcast around the world.
For those who are not believers at the time of the Rapture, they will still have the chance to get redemption from the Lord during the Tribulation, but they will not have it easy here. They will live in a time when one has to take the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell - they will be martyrs, some being be-headed for their faith in Jesus.
After this occurs, the world will go into what is called "The Tribulation", which will last for a period of 7 years. The judgements during that time will be horrific, much like those we just read in Jeremiah today. There will be plagues, famine, and death all around. This is the time when the Anti-Christ and his false prophet will deceive the world into a false sense of peace, before they show their true colors, and wreak havoc, and evil everywhere.
My reason for telling you this, is so you can make sure you get yourself right with the Lord, and don't have to be around for that time of evil. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus while you have time! All you have to do is confess to him, that you know you are a sinner, and need a Savior. Confess that you trust God in that Jesus was God in the flesh, who came to earth and lived a sinless life, was crucifed and resurrected after three days. He will take over from there, and renew your life.
If you have a Bible, read the books of the Prophets, along with Paul's letters, and the book of Revelation. Ask God to open your eyes and your heart for understanding of the prophecies.
I would also suggest reading a series of fictional books based on this subject, called, "Left Behind". There are 13 books, written by Tim LaHaye, and are a good and easy read, telling the story of what it could be like here on earth after the Rapture of the Church.
With each day, I feel more and more, the urgency to tell everyone about Jesus, and his love for us, and how to recieve his gift of Salvation. I pray for other believers to have the same conviction in their hearts - to reach out to those who are lost, and tell them how to find the One Way, the ONLY way, to God, which is through Christ Jesus. (John 14:6 - Jesus answered, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.")