Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Genesis 3:15-24; Isaiah 13:6-9; Luke 21:34-36; Romans 1:18.
The Apostle Paul describes the day of the Lord as coming with “sudden destruction” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Just what is this rapid devastation all about? If you were to survey this term on the Internet, you would find a wide range of responses.
Some believe that sudden destruction will happen on our planet when the United States and Great Britain go to war against Germany and the European Union. The U.S. won her last war during World War II and will be humbled by smaller countries. All of this will happen suddenly.
Another Romanian claims to have seen in vision that the sudden destruction described in Scripture will happen to the United States. Russians spies will discover hidden nuclear warehouses and bomb them, causing the U.S. to burn up.
Still another teaches that the so-called rapture will take place at the same time as second seal of Revelation and sudden destruction will also happen. Part of the theory is that the current President of the United States is the antichrist.
Perhaps the most graphic and disturbing truth (according to one web page) about the meaning of “sudden destruction” is the doctrine of hellfire. This site emphasizes, “Hell is real” and is at the center of the earth where temperatures reach over 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It describes one man’s experience of being “to hell and back” when he was being resuscitated in a hospital emergency room. Another excerpt describes drillers who apparently broke through into hell, lowered a microphone and heard the screams of a woman!
Believe it or not, there is a Christian rock and roll group called “Brimstone.” Some of their titles include: “Red Moon”, “The Tribulation”, and “Sudden Destruction.” They describe themselves as “hard-hitting, biblically based rock and roll.”
In this week’s Sabbath school lesson on “Final Events” we look at Paul’s description of the day of the Lord. This day will certainly come suddenly, especially for those unprepared. And it will be a day of destruction for our earth. The unexpected event will surprise people who are not getting ready for Jesus to come. Though we cannot pinpoint the day or the hour, we know we live at the time of the end from the signs spoken of in the Bible.
Sudden destruction will come, but for the Christian, it will not be “destruction” but “salvation.” Paul says, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).