Throughout the world there have been recent natural disasters which have caused monumental damage to people and property. Weather stories from around the world make the headlines every year and nearly everyone admits that the weather is bizarre. North America is not exempt from weird weather. We have had drought some years and floods other years on the prairies, floods in the Mississippi valley, hurricanes on the south and east coasts, ice storms in the St. Lawrence River valley, record snowfall on the east coast, tornadoes in the central regions, and drought and forest fires on the west coast. I live over three hundred miles from where 178 forest fires are now burning (mid August), but last night the smoke from those fires was so intense, when I looked up at the moon, it was red. Surely these events are the beginning of trouble, but there is more to come. Jesus spoke of a time of great trouble to come before his return. “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” Luke 21: 10,11. Much of this has happened and is happening in our time. Floods from unrelenting rain have caused famines and pestilence in places like Pakistan and China. We have heard of earthquakes that devastate towns and villages in places like Iran and Haiti. These disasters are exacerbated by the fact that there are so many people in the world. Our people saw nation rise against nation in the last World War, and the twentieth century saw more wars than any preceding century. These wars caused more famine and pestilence. Jesus continued in his prophecy: “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 upon the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 21:25,26. It is nuclear power that is in heaven. It is in each star and in nuclear weapons. With the increase in obesity in our society, we can see how men’s hearts will be failing them for fear.
Despite these troubles coming upon us, we are promised deliverance if we call upon the Lord. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel 2:32. The mount Zion mentioned is the New Jerusalem coming from heaven, the city of the Great King. When the trumpet of the archangel sounds, and Jesus Christ and the Holy City descend from heaven, Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. This will occur at the end of the time of great trouble.
Jesus told us to call upon the Lord before the time of great trouble. “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36. If we remain faithful to the Lord, He will be with us in the time of trouble, as promised in Psalm 91. “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” Psalm 91: 14,15.
Eventually the destruction on the earth will be so great that our people will call on the Lord. “Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.” Ezekiel 36:36,37. We must not wait for that day of desperate prayer. We must pray now. It is time to call upon the Lord.