Lots of people say they believe in a God of love. They readily recognize His love in God sending His Son to pay for the sins of mankind. But then there’s the supposedly altogether different God of the Old Testament—all plagues and punishments and prophecies.
This magazine focuses on biblical prophecy, so much of which—though it leads to the only true hope that exists—is dark and painful to think about.
Ask yourself: Can you recognize the God of love in those prophecies?
Biblical prophets were never popular. Their message was despised. Many of them were martyred. Their warnings are still maligned today.
Jesus Christ condemned hypocritical religious leaders who said, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets” (Matthew 23:30; New International Version). These were the very men who were plotting to kill Christ Himself.
Notice—it is the God of love who sends prophets. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify …” (verse 34). Christ prophesied the popular rejection of God’s message would continue!
Why is prophecy so important to God?
Consider: God’s way leads to life—abundant life. Any contrary way leads to misery and death (Deuteronomy 30:19; Proverbs 10:17). When people are off course and rebelling, God tries to warn them—as any truly loving father would—of the consequences of their actions.
Prophecy is God’s method of showing you the end results of the way you live your life—good or bad. For every prophecy about great tribulation, there is another about great exultation! Which of them applies to you depends on your choices.
Consider the scriptures that speak of the Great Tribulation. As sure as those prophecies are, so too are others that speak of a small group of people whom God will protect from that ordeal (e.g. Revelation 12:13-14). These will be individuals who have already accepted God’s correction, who have already turned from the way of death. God has no need to inflict the Tribulation on them. He never punishes without cause, and then only after exercising enormous patience. Respond to God’s warning today, and you will be protected.
We must deliver this warning whether or not you respond. The message is as unpopular as it ever was. As the prophets of old learned through experience, the vast majority of those who hear do not heed. Christ Himself, though He attracted great crowds and healed countless people, had a loyal following of only 120 at the end of His ministry (Acts 1:15). Though the Trumpet goes to hundreds of thousands, only a handful have chosen and committed themselves to God’s way of life.
But there is a prophecy that gives us in this work tremendous hope. It drives us to keep sending out free literature, publishing online and broadcasting on television—even if few respond today.
It is found in Revelation 7, just after that book’s description of the Great Tribulation. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes …. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (verses 9, 14). The world will have endured the horrifying time of Satan’s greatest wrath. But a multitude so great it cannot be numbered will come out of the Tribulation, having accepted God’s correction, repented, and been spiritually washed by Christ’s shed blood. A sobering yet fantastic picture!
These undoubtedly will be people who are familiar with God’s warnings—people like you, who study them in the Bible, who read literature from God’s work. They will watch in terror the tragic and nightmarish fulfillment, step by step, of everything they had read and heard about! Sadly, it will take being plunged into that shocking reality before they will finally realize how deadly serious God was in issuing His warnings.
Nevertheless, these people will finally recognize the God of love in those prophecies and will turn to Him in heartfelt repentance. When they do, God will mercifully protect them from any further hurt. They will live to see the dawn of the Kingdom of God.
Thus, much of the fruit of God’s work today will not be borne until this future time.
Regular readers of the Trumpet receive quite a complete picture of the future of world events. If you do nothing about the warning contained in the prophecies we regularly highlight, you are described in Ezekiel 33:30-32. There God tells His prophet, “And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.”
Which choice will you make? If you heed the warning of God’s representative today, you can be protected. If you choose to ignore it, all we ask is that you do not forget it. Remember—as you watch it come to pass before your eyes. Remember what God says of you and of all who heard His message and knew in advance what would happen: “[W]hen this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them”! (verse 33).
Remember—so you can recognize the God of love in that terrifying punishment, and then act upon this precious message of love.