Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Our "Safe Place"

By Dennis Pollock


The Book of Revelation is considered fearful, mysterious, and not too relevant by many Christians. Many non-Christians, if they know it at all, mock the book as the delusions of a demented old man and question how any reasonably sane person could ever read it or believe it was inspired by God.

However, Revelation was written by one of the chief apostles, John, and Jesus Himself makes an appearance in it. It cannot be lightly written off by Bible-believing followers of Christ. One reason that many dislike it so much is that God seems pretty upset throughout much of the book, in fact downright furious. In these 22 chapters we find death and destruction all over the place, and what's more, God seems to take the credit for it. All the misery being described is the result of angels blowing trumpets and pouring out "bowls of God's wrath," and so forth. This is not merely a description of wicked men bringing misery on themselves by their own foolishness, the way a man might get pneumonia by walking for hours in a cold rain. This is an angry God finally rising up and severely punishing a wicked, ungodly world.

In the sixth chapter we get an idea of things to come, as John describes what appears to be a worldwide earthquake, with the mountains and islands trembling violently, followed by a terrible shower of meteors slamming into our planet. John writes:

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

Day of God's Wrath

All men (and women) are in terror and cry out for the mountains to cover them. The wealthy, the powerful, the weak, and the poor are alike in terrible peril. And somehow they recognize where the danger originates: "The great day of (God's) wrath has come…"

We don't use the word wrath much these days, certainly not in the secular world, but sadly not even in the church or in the pulpits. But wrath is a Bible word and a biblical concept. It essentially means "anger on steroids." God is not mildly annoyed or irritated or feeling a bit grumpy – He is furious. And terrible destruction and misery will fall on our world as a result.

Jesus anticipated this time and described it this way: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22). All of this flies in the face of the popular but totally erroneous doctrine heard in some churches these days which insists that since Jesus died on the cross, God is never angry with anyone. He has, in their minds, somehow lost the capacity to get angry. All His anger was poured out on Jesus, and no one need ever worry about His anger again, saint or sinner, Christian or atheist, prayer warrior or wife-beater. Regardless of your behavior, God thinks you're just wonderful and is so happy that you pay Him even the slightest attention!

The Jesus of Revelation

The Book of Revelation demolishes this kind of thinking if anyone ever bothers to read it. Earlier in the book, we find Jesus addressing seven different churches, and we discover He was angry with some of the believers of those days. To one church He says: "I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth" (Revelation 2:16). Of another group He warns: "I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts" (Revelation 2:23).

Without question, God can still get angry, even "post-cross." To deny this would be to display your Biblical ignorance and/or biases. Some people read these things and decide it is all too scary, better to leave it alone; surely if it is going to happen at all, it won't happen in our day. Better to live my life as usual and pretend this book does not exist.

But the Book of Revelation does exist, and the wrath of God is a very real thing, every bit as much one of His attributes as His love, holiness, and sovereignty. And whether this great tribulation occurs in our day or a thousand years from now, fleeing God's wrath is something every smart and informed person needs to do. But how to flee and where to flee? Those are the pertinent questions.

Jesus compared the Last Days to the ancient story of Noah and the flood, found in the Book of Genesis, saying: "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man…" (Luke 17:26). Most of us know the story well. We know that a great flood covered the earth and destroyed every living thing… all except for Noah and his family, and the animals Noah brought into the ark God had instructed him to build. As the floodwaters surged in those terrible days, there was only one place on earth that was safe. No doubt some climbed to the tops of the hills and mountains; others climbed the tallest trees, hoping that the rains would let up and they might be saved. But the waters kept right on rising, until every tree, every hill, and every mountain was entirely covered, and all who climbed them, hoping for refuge were drowned. The only safe place was the ark. It was large enough, stable enough, and well-provisioned. In the ark, survival was possible; outside the ark death was certain.

Not Appointed to Wrath

Jesus tells us that this story of Noah was a foreshadowing of the "Last Days," that time when once again God's wrath will be poured out on a worldwide scale. But in this day, the only safe place will not be a physical place. It will not be a boat or an underground bunker filled with survival supplies of macaroni and cheese in ten-gallon buckets. The only place of safety is not a “place” at all, but a Person, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us: "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…" (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Our world has an appointment with the anger of God, but those of us who have trusted in Christ and have been born again through faith in Him have had our appointment cancelled. We will not face the wrath of God, not in the great tribulation or in the Day of Judgment. As Jesus discussed the terrible events of the Last Days, He said, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

Jesus Himself is our place of refuge. Christians are described as those "who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:18). In Jesus we are forgiven, we are safe, we are secure. Last February most of Texas was hit with the coldest week of weather most of us Texans could remember. We had several days when the high temperature never climbed much above zero (Fahrenheit). This would not be so unusual for people from Chicago or Michigan or Canada, but for us Texans it was a nightmare. Our water pipes froze, and many lost electricity for several days.

Attacked by the Cold

In our case, we only lost our electricity for about ten hours. As the terrible cold blew into the Dallas area, our heater no longer worked, and we watched the temperature in our house drop and drop. I wanted to go find a motel, but my wife insisted we hold down the fort, which we did. Finally, the power was restored, and I heard the reassuring sound of our heater roaring back to life. Within a few hours our house was comfortable again. We did not get our water for several more days, but we could work around that. At least we were warm.

For the next few days, with the temperature dropping below zero at night and hardly getting above zero in the daytime, we lived comfortably. I worked at my computer, we enjoyed nice meals, drank coffee, watched television, had Bible studies, and carried on with normal living. The only reason we could do this was our house. It kept us warm and cozy and protected against the freezing winds and biting cold. Had we tried to survive by living and sleeping in our back yard, we would have died. We could not have survived those freezing nights. They would have found us cold, stiff, and dead in our yard. But instead, we were only minimally affected by the bitter cold. Our house preserved our lives; its walls, insulation, and heater made life not only possible but comfortable and pleasant.

Jesus, Our Warm Home

What our house was to us in that cold season, Jesus is to us spiritually. He is our place of comfort and safety. He keeps us from the cold winds that blow and the freezing temperatures that paralyze and kill. To be in Jesus is to be safe and warm, loved and functional, even in the worst of storms and bitterest of cold. And for sure, our world is a cold world. Wickedness, violence, and threats to our well-being abound. Stay in this cold, angry, wicked world too long, and you will become just like it. You will freeze and die spiritually.

But when we come into God's house, when we come "into Jesus" we are safe and all is well. And for this reason, the Bible speaks frequently about being "in Christ." All people are either "in Christ" or outside of Christ. Blessings abound when we are "in Christ." The Bible says:

  1. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…" (Romans 8:1)
  2. "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…" (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  3. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

While the snow rages, while the cold winds blow, while ungodly men mock and despise us, while our world turns further and further from the sacred words of Scripture, we do not fear. In Christ Jesus we are warm, we are safe, we are comfortable, we are forgiven, accepted, justified, and secure. In Jesus Christ all is well. Jesus is our ark of safety; He is our warm house in a freezing world.


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