The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!”
::Hebrews 12:27-29, MSG
There’s a Great Shaking coming.
Storms are brewing. The thunderings of Tribulation are in the distance. The hoofbeats of the Horse and Rider are fast approaching. And the Church is not immunized.
I’m afraid you read that right.
The Church. In Great Tribulation.
Yes, the Church: the not-yet translated* Church on earth. As satan’s empire makes its last push and hurrah, she – the Bride – is ‘making herself ready‘, by being purified in the fires of tribulation. It’s her destiny to be presented to her Bridegroom Lord ‘without blemish or weakened testimony’ as a suitable mate to reign beside Him for eternity!
And all the people said,
Two millennia ago, the disciples sensed their own shaking and asked the Master about it. Their questions in Matthew 24 sound terribly familiar to many today:
- How will we know?
- What will it be like?
- When will it happen?
To which Jesus answered with SEVEN straight parables (see Matthew 24:3; 24:32-25:46)…
Back in the 70’s there was a popular ballad in the contemporary church that had some sketchy theology, but the only near-salvageable lyric was in its refrain: “I wish we’d all been ready.”
This was the primary focus of Christ in His final sermon. He wanted His people to be ready, though not just the Jewish men in front of Him, but the context includes all future disciples of Jesus.
John, the Revelator, picked up the mantle of the Master and has left us with a spot-on blueprint of how the Church will indeed come through Great Tribulation with faith intact.
Some time ago, my Lions** and I made it through the first 12 chapters of Revelation over the span of a few months before we set it aside for a season. I’m convinced chapter 12 is one of the most important revelations in the book. I long to return to it before time gets away from us all.
The Revelation of John is to the Church in every era – not just the first couple of centuries. It makes its appeal to her in all seasons, times and expressions, and is a guidebook, a manual for faithfulness in hostile cultures, and a hymnbook for a worshipping, ostracized people.
Revelation is not a survival guide for those “left behind” but a manifesto for the Church awaiting her ultimate glorification by going through great tribulation. This beautiful, harrowing, graphic epistle gives her hope and tells her how and why she must “endure to the end”.
The guys and I – along with the ladies for a couple of those studies – did learn together that we, the people of God and followers of Jesus, need chiefly EIGHT THINGS to prepare for and, yes, even thrive in tribulation:
Aside: I won’t offer a lot of commentary, but will leave you with some scriptures for follow-through
We’re gonna need:
(Rev 13:17; 17:9; 1Cor 1:30; 2:16b)
(Rev 14:12; 13:10; 12:11,17b; Rev 14:4,5; 16:15; 17:14; Matt 24:13)
FEAR OF GOD
(Rev 11:18; 14:7; 15:4)
HAVE NAME IN THE RIGHT BOOK
HAVE A LISTENING EAR
The phrase “he who has ears to hear” is found 16 times in Revelation (Rev 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 5:5; 6:2; 11:7; 12:11; 13:7; 15:2; 17:14; 21:7)
STAY IN FAITH
YOUR DEEDS MATCH YOUR CONFESSION
(Rev 14:13b; Rev 19:7,8); but they are HIS righteous deeds in us (Rev 15:4)
DISTANCE SELF FROM WORLD
(Rev 13:8; 14:9-11; 17:8)
Yes, beloved, a Great Shaking is coming. But it is not for us to quiver and shiver and tremble in fear. In fact, God says we will come through it for one VERY good reason:
For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.
::Isaiah 54:10, Amplified
Action Step: Which of these 8 that were addressed is requiring more of your focus going forward?
*I do believe in a rapture, but place it at the end of the tribulation when ‘those who are alive’ will be caught up to meet their Lord and departed loved ones and escort them back to earth
**My young “lions” are a group of twenty-somethings, a dozen or so young men I’ve had the pleasure of fathering spiritually and whom I am committed to prepare for the Day of Christ’s return.