How to Avoid What is Coming Upon the World
The world is rushing toward a day of judgment like nothing we have ever before experienced. Jesus called it a time of “great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). The Apostle Peter predicted that all the things man has created will be destroyed with a consuming fire, wherein even the very elements themselves will burn (2 Peter 3:7-10). The Bible vividly and repeatedly describes a nuclear holocaust that will occur as a result of the battles of the last days, which ultimately will lead to the final battle of Armageddon. It also describes an even worse period where God’s wrath will descend upon those who have destroyed the Earth as well as upon every person that has followed the Antichrist and received his Mark.
Despite these dark days of doom and gloom that will consume everything we have ever known, there still is an even greater hope for an escape to safety. The Bible doesn’t just predict the coming horrible events with no purpose—it tells us what is to come to get us to realize that we need an escape route which can save us from these judgments. The path to safety isn’t a map to some secret hideout or special strategy to prepare you to survive the last days. Real safety comes only from God in an amazing and unexpected way.
The Lord provides a simple route to getting through the horrible events of the end and avoiding the judgment to come. In fact, it is so simple that some people want to make it more difficult. The path to forgiveness and safety is illustrated by a brief account in the Gospel of Luke about an event that happened when Jesus was crucified. Hanging with him that day were two other men sentenced to death. In another place we are told that they were thieves. This is what Luke records in chapter 23:
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar
37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV)
As Jesus was dying for our sins, two other men were suffering death for their crimes. One of them mocked Jesus, while the other one acknowledged his sins and asked the Lord to simply remember him when he came into his kingdom. Jesus not only answered him, but promised that he would be with him in paradise that very same day! This passage illustrates how simple it is to obtain forgiveness from God.
This is why the Bible calls it “Good News”, which is translated in our Bibles as “The Gospel”. The truth is that Christ saved us from judgment by sacrificing himself and that all we need to do is acknowledge our sins and ask him for forgiveness. The thief on the cross obtained safety from judgment during the very last moments of his life. We too can avoid God’s judgment by following this very same act of faith. The amazing thing is that it requires no payment or work on our part—Jesus paid for it all upon the cross. That’s why the Lord didn’t require anything more of the thief; Christ was paying for it, not us.
If you can see the truth of God’s Word through the fulfillment of prophecy, then also realize that the Christ of the Bible is true, too. You can obtain safety from the coming judgment just by asking the Lord to remember you when he comes into his kingdom. If you ask him in truth and faith, he will answer you in the same manner as he did with the man on the cross.