Springtime in the Arkansas-Louisiana-Oklahoma-Texas region evokes somewhat precautionary thought of nature’s most singularly powerful storms. By that, I mean storms that can do the most complete devastation within the areas across which they sweep.
These, of course, are the huge tornadoes almost certain to occur in one or more of the aforementioned states from April through June. Oklahoma, particularly, is prone to produce the most powerful of the twisters. We remember a couple of 300-miles-per-hour tornadoes within the last several decades in that state. One of them was considered by the weather experts to have contained the strongest wind ever recorded on planet earth. I believe that 318 mph was the figure.
My friends just outside Oklahoma City lost everything except their lives in one such monster storm a few years ago. Some of the readers of this column very generously contributed to a fund to help those folks–the family of a great personal friend of mine who is part of a team that heads a major prophetic ministry in Oklahoma City.
When I was last in that city, someone with me pointed out a company that manufactures and sells tornado shelters that was very near the TV studio where we taped some programs. It was a stark reminder of the fact that we were right in “tornado central.” Without a “fraidy hole” (as we in the south call them) to go down into, one is on his or her own. People are subject to the vicissitudes of the winds that come sweeping down the plains in springtime, as the musical, Oklahoma would have it.
As we point out constantly and consistently in these commentaries, there is a storm brewing. It is a supernatural storm, and it is a certainty. It will strike. It can be clearly seen gathering on the prophetic horizon.
Whether considering matters involving geopolitics, socioeconomics, religion, or any other aspect of the human condition, the forecast looks bleak indeed. No shelter of the human-manufactured sort can protect against the boiling, chaotic tempest that the Lord Himself predicts for times just ahead.
Daniel the prophet forecast the storm that approaches:
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
Jesus zoomed in more specifically to forewarn about the power and destructiveness of the coming supernatural storm:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:21)
The entire book of Revelation, of course, is a detailed, blow-by-blow description of that coming Tribulation tempest. John outlines twenty-one specific destructive aspects of the storm in a series of seven scrolls, seven trumpets, and seven bowls of judgment.
Again, there is no human manufacturer that could produce a safe place against what is certainly scheduled to be the worst time of destruction the planet has ever known (and that’s saying a lot, considering all life was destroyed by water in the Flood of Noah’s day). But, thankfully, there is a superhuman shelter that is readily available to each and every person alive today.
In thinking on that shelter, my own ruminations caused me to wonder more deeply about God’s promises.
Jesus prophesied that the time He next intervenes into the affairs of mankind–revealed by His catastrophic interaction–the world will be exactly like it was in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot. (We read of that prediction in Matthew 24: 36-42, for example.)
Like in those two instances, God’s children–those who are righteous in His holy eyes–who are alive at the time of the Rapture will be taken out of harm’s way. The terrible storm of His judgment will then fall. All believers will go into that supernatural storm shelter prepared for them in Heaven, while there is great chaos and carnage on the planet that is ripe for God’s wrath.
Many new believers who were left behind when the Rapture happened will come out of that Tribulation storm, some as martyrs and others as flesh-and-blood survivors to repopulate the millennial earth during the reign of Christ upon His Second Advent.
And, there is a second supernatural storm shelter that will be provided during the Tribulation tempest itself. I believe the following prophecy and promise applies to both the saints who will be raptured and to another group of believers –the believing remnant of Jews who will find shelter through God’s divine direction. This protection will likely include Tribulation-era Gentile believers to some extent, too.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:20-21)
Jesus, Himself, points the way to the supernatural storm shelter. It is the ONLY way to assure that we can be safe while the coming Tribulation tornado ravages a judgment-deserving world.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)