JEREMIAH 38:17-18: “Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the LORD God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, you will live, and this city will not be burned. You and your household will live. But if you don’t surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians. They will burn it down, and you will not escape from them.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Will God protect His people in times of judgment? This is a question that many are asking themselves as they look at the conditions of our world. There are many different opinions among believers. Some believe that they will escape all judgment, and others believe that they have to prepare for the coming judgment by stocking up on supplies and building shelters. As we read the Scriptures we see that the Lord is always faithful to warn His people of any coming judgment. This was true in Jeremiah’s time, and it also true in ours.
Over and over again the Lord warned the people of Judah in Jerusalem to repent. When the vast majority would not repent, He warned the remnant to surrender to the King of Babylon and live. Even as judgment loomed, and as King Zedekiah refused to repent, the Lord still offered King Zedekiah, and those living in Jerusalem, a way of escape to preserve their lives. The Lord sent prophet after prophet with His warnings and calls to repent – yet they would not listen. The Lord always warns His people when judgment is coming.
Some will ask, “What about those who believe and fall victim to the collateral damage of judgment?” It may appear that they do not escape, but this is not the case. There has always been a distinction between the visible and invisible church, the professing crowd and the faithful remnant. It has always been the faithful remnant that God preserves. And those of the faithful remnant that die in faith, that are persecuted unfairly, are given a special place in God’s Kingdom. They receive both grace to endure and a place of honor for their suffering!
- “They won the victory over him because of the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life so much that they refused to give it up.” (Revelation 12:11 GW)
- “When the lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of God’s word and the testimony they had given about him. They cried out in a loud voice, “Holy and true Master, how long before you judge and take revenge on those living on earth who shed our blood?” Each of the souls was given a white robe. They were told to rest a little longer until all their coworkers, the other Christians, would be killed as they had been killed.” (Revelation 6:9-11 GW)
So, the faithful believer in Jesus Christ has no reason to worry about the coming judgment upon the world. They will either be protected and given an avenue of escape to endure, or they will be given grace to overcome and to stand before the Lord victorious, clothed in His white robes of His righteousness! The common denominator is – the faithful believer does not have to fear. Whatever we are called to endure, whatever life will bring – God’s grace will be sufficient. He will always provide for His people, and He will always give them both warning and an avenue of escape – in death or in life!
God’s perfect love casts out all fear!
So is this truth relevant to how we live? Absolutely! This blessed assurance should embolden us to live a life of overcoming faith. We do not have to hide and fear what is coming to this world. We know that God will always provide for us. Therefore, we are given His grace to live boldly in this world, to extend His love, His hope, and His life to all! We are to work tirelessly in being peacemakers in our world until He returns. We are not to become distraught with the constant threat of wars and the rumors of wars. Jesus warned us of all these things. He promised that He would come again to establish His righteousness and judgment as He completely overcomes the power of sin, death, and the devil.
Our call is to occupy until He comes.
In life or death we are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength. In these days of uncertainty, there is no time for Christians to hide. We must come out of the shadows and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be willing to lay down our lives so that the light of His truth can shine. God will never leave us nor forsake us, and He will always go before us with the prophetic word of encouragement, warning, and protection to prepare our hearts for what is at hand!
- “Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. The devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. Your suffering will go on for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. Everyone who wins the victory will never be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:10-11 GW)
In Jesus Name!