Preparing the World for God’s Kingdom on Earth
The Bible tells us that at the end of the age, Christ will come again in all His power and glory to judge the world. And Christ also comes to set up God’s kingdom on earth and to reign over it. God’s kingdom on earth will look very different from the sinful world that we live in now.
The steps necessary for preparing the world for God’s kingdom on earth will involve a period or time of terrible judgments like mankind have never seen before. Scripture says: “The day of the Lord is great and very awesome: who can endure it? “(Job 2:11) The last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation tells about these end time judgments.
The book of Revelation was written by John, the apostle, and in the book of Revelation John describes the vision he was given of what would happen at the end of the age. John in his vision saw a door open in heaven and a voice inviting him to come up. John says: “At once I was in the Spirit and there before me was a throne in heaven., and Someone was sitting on it” (Revelation 5:2) John tries to describe the glory and majesty of the One on the throne and he describes the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures and the thousands and thousands of angels all worshipping and praising God around the throne.
The One on the throne held a scroll that was sealed with seven seals. The scroll must be opened for sin to be judged and removed from the earth. But no one there came forward to open it, since no one was able. There was a search in heaven for someone who would be worthy and able to open the seven seals of the scroll. But no one was found. Great sadness came over John as he sat there waiting and waiting and he began to weep.
One of the elders told John not to weep because: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5) Then John looked up and saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slaughtered, standing in the center of the throne. The Lamb came and took the scroll of Him who sat on the throne. Then all of heaven broke out in songs of praise and worship to the Lamb who was the only One worthy and able to open the scroll. And every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea also joined in praise and worship to the Lamb for overcoming the earth’s curse of sin. (Revelation 5:13-14)
When Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God begins to open each of the seven seals, the future Tribulation is presented. (Revelation 6:1-14) Bible scholars believe this Tribulation period lasts about seven and a half years. The first seal is broken and a white horse with a rider comes on the earth to conquer. This rider offers a false peace to the earth. The second seal is broken and a red horse with a rider comes on the earth to bring wars on the earth. The third seal is broken and a black horse with a rider comes on the earth rationing food and bringing famine to the earth. And then a pale horse with a rider comes on the earth bringing death to a quarter of the population of the earth.
The Lamb who was slaughtered continues opening the seals. When he opens the fifth seal, we see martyrdom. The souls of those people who were killed or martyred because they turned to God and His Word during this terrible Tribulation period are under the altar. These martyred people are calling out to God asking how long this terrible time will last. God gives them white robes and tells them to rest and wait a little longer for the end.
And when Jesus, the Lamb opens the sixth seal, the terrible judgments of God is displayed on earth. There will be a great earthquake. The sun turns black and the moon turns blood red. The stars in the sky fall to the earth and the sky rolls up like a scroll. And every mountain and island is removed from its place. Nothing in our earth as we know it is still the same.
The world’s inhabitants will recognize the source of their great distress. Instead of calling out to God, they hide in caves and call out to the earth to hide them from God. They want to live life their own way. They refuse to come to God and ask for help and repent. During all of this destruction the people on earth will ask, “Who can stand?” And the answer is given.
Two groups of people will be saved during this Tribulation period. (Revelation 7) God gives four angels the task of placing a seal on the foreheads of 144,000 Jewish servants of God. The seal will protect them from harm or death. There are 12,000 Jewish people sealed and protected from each of the 12 tribes. And these Jews become evangelists for their God, and they witness to the people during the Tribulation. The second group who will be saved during God’s divine judgment are a multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and languages. (Revelation 7:9-10)
The Church (Christians) are not mentioned in Scripture during this Tribulation period. Many Bible scholars believe that the Church is taken out before this Tribulation period begins. During past times when God judged the world’s sin, it seemed that the few who still worshipped God were spared. Noah and his family and their spouses were kept safe in the ark when God judged the world with a flood. And Lot and his wife and daughters were spared destruction by an angel leading them out before God judged Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. So, some believe that the Church will be taken out of the world before this Tribulation begins.
We read of these terrible judgments and we may become frightened. But all of Scripture tells us that God loves us and that if we come to Him that He will take us in. Psalm 9:7-10 says: “But the Lord sits enthroned forever; He has established His throne for justice, and He judges the world with righteousness: He judges the peoples with uprightness. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Your Name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”