At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Hebrews 12, verses 26-27.
Some words about the end. Remember that movie line from our last time: “everything will be alright in the end. If everything isn’t alright then it isn’t the end.” Today’s words talk about the end. The end is coming.
According to the internet, the end should have happened this past weekend when the hidden planet, Nibiru, was supposed to crash into the Earth. It didn’t happen. And, if you remember your American history, the Millerites thought the world would end sometime between 1843 and 1844. It didn’t happen then either. And REM sang that this is “the end of the world as we know it.” So far it hasn’t happened, which is good for their record sales.
When the end comes, you’ll know it. You’ll hear the trumpet. You’ll see Jesus in the clouds. You and everyone around you and everyone everywhere will acknowledge that He is God, that all you’ve learned about Him is true, and that He’s back. Will you be what remains because it cannot be shaken?
In the past, God came with fire and earthquakes and, well, announcing His presence. Throughout history, He’s made His presence known. I think about that scene from Forrest Gump when Lieutenant Dan is screaming at God to show Himself, and Forrest says “and then God showed up” as a hurricane starts to blow. When the storm had passed, the tortured lieutenant was at peace, and God provided a new wealth for Dan and Forrest. Isn’t that kind of a small picture of what God does? The majesty of God is an amazing thing. The power of a storm, the magnificent sunsets and sunrises, volcanoes, vast seas, sun-swept deserts and snow-capped mountains: nature screams out praise to God simply by existing as He created it. That’s here and now in a fallen world where His majesty is viewed through the gauzy lens of our sins. God can do as He pleases; we’re here in the world He created for us.
When the time is right, God will shake it. What God created by words – by The Word – will be shaken again by His words, by the return of The Word. Only God the Father knows when; not even the Son and Spirit with whom He’s in perfect union know. When the Father deems it time, all will be shaken, all will be turned over, all will be moved. Everything will be turned upside down.
Will you remain? By accepting Him as your only salvation, you can stand fast. When the physical and spiritual shaking starts, will you be able to? When the fallen world realizes its predicament and quivers in terror, will you stand up and welcome this advent? Will you have put your trust in Him and realize that, once again, He will make all things new as He shakes the world at its foundation?
The end didn’t happen in the 1840s, and it didn’t happen when REM sang about it 20 years ago, and it didn’t happen this weekend. Today, weathermen forecast the weather for tomorrow and the next few days. Project managers plan work for the next few weeks, months, and years. Government bureaucrats march towards deadlines, athletes train for the next game, and kids are planning for Halloween (next week). And if God deems that, right now, the world should be shaken and time be at its end then that’s exactly what will happen. Nothing we can do can stop it. Indeed, if it ushers the return of Jesus, I don’t want to stop it. I’m ready for the end. How about you?
For further reading: Exodus 19:18, Haggai 2:6, Isaiah 34:4, Isaiah 54:10, 1 Corinthians 7:31, Hebrews 1:11-12, 2 Peter 3:10, 1 John 2:17.
Lord, You will shake everything when the time is right. When You do, I pray I am standing for You, eagerly awaiting Your return.