“The first of all commandments is: ‘Here, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)
In every era God has had His faithful people–people who have done His will and enjoyed His favor. Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5) as he labored to build the ark, and he “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Abraham heard the call of God and set out on a long journey, not even knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8); his faithful obedience brought blessing to all families of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3). Faithfully for over forty years Jeremiah gave God’s word to an unbelieving people, and he lived to see God’s word proved true. Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38); and she became the mother of God’s Son and our Savior.
God’s faithful people may feel lonely at times, for many unfaithful are choosing the wide road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Elijah once thought that he was the only faithful one in Israel, but the Lord knew that there were seven thousand more (1 Kings 19:18).
Yes, God has His faithful people in the world today–people who not only do His will but also share His Word and help others to do His will. In this world they may experience either prosperity or persecution, but in the world to come they will have joy forever.
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Mark 12:17 (NKJV)
“Then I watched as the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black like rough black cloth, and the whole moon became red like blood. And the stars in the sky fell to the earth like figs falling from a fig tree when the wind blows. The sky appeared as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
Then the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the rich people, the powerful people, the slaves, and the free people his themselves in caves and in the rocks on the mountains. They called on the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us. Hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb! The great day for their anger has come, and who can stand against it?'” Revelation 6:12-17 (NCV)
These judgments will produce terror in the hearts of all living men. Their hearts will be filled with fear–not primarily because of the physical disturbances or the awful wars and pestilences, but because they will see God on His throne. Men will plead to be hidden “from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb.” They will go to any length to avoid facing their Creator and Judge, even to seeking death under the rocks and mountains in which they will try to hide. All classes of people will be affected. As has been true throughout history, there will be no general or mass turning to God in repentance, but only a turning from the face of God. Charles Ryrie