March 11 "And they sang a new song, saying, 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation...'" Revelation 5:9 In chapter four of the Book of Revelation we saw the Rapture of the saints from the passage, "Come up here..." and there is no more mention of the church on earth until the end. Here in chapter five we see the church in heaven, all those who were redeemed by the Blood of Christ from every nation on earth, out of every people group, every tribe, every language. What a glorious sight is this multitude of redeemed believers in heaven singing a song to the One who redeemed them. And then ...the Tribulation on earth is about to begin as Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes the scroll deed to the earth and opens it. This unleashes the first judgments called "the seal judgments." And from here on is the wrath of Almighty God poured out upon the earth in increasing disasters until the end. Jesus said that if this time of wrath on earth had not been shortened, not a single person would survive it. "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved;" Matthew 24:22 The world is about to undergo worse disaster than has ever been upon the earth since the beginning, nor ever would be again. vs 21: "For then there will be great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." Before the flood of Noah, this righteous man preached for an entire generation as he was building the ark. "...and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of eight people, A PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;" 2 Peter 2:5 Imagine the frustration of this man as he labored away with his sons building a ship in a place where no rain had ever fallen. Imagine the scorn levied at him. "You're building a WHAT?" "Here???" "The man has lost his marbles!" Yet he continued laboring and he continued preaching, because he knew his God and that what his God had told him would certainly be. The prophecy would be a long time coming. From the day he received the Word from God until the day it began raining, many years went by, only adding to the mockery of the people as they watched, wagging their heads. But we know the end of the story. In the end, Noah went into the ark with his family and two or more of each kind of animal, and God shut the door. "So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; AND THE LORD SHUT HIM IN." Genesis 7:16 ...just as it will be when the Lord takes the born-again believers from the earth, and then shuts the door. "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here...'" Revelation 4:1 The Rapture is in the Old Testament too: "Come, my people, enter your chambers, AND SHUT YOUR DOORS BEHIND YOU... ...For behold, the Lord comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;" Isaiah 26:20 The day when the door will be closed is almost upon us. Many, many are going to disappear from this earth in that incomparable moment, leaving heartbreaking sorrow and regret to those on earth, many of whom will understand what has happened, because many friends and loved ones told them beforehand. Friends, if you are not right with God, there is still time to change your fate. You may have committed the worst sins recordable, but Jesus Christ has borne the judgment on them in your place. All you have to do is receive this gift he offers to all. Surrender your life to him, ask him to become your Savior and submit to him as your Lord. You will never, ever regret it.