Who can STAND before GOD’s JUDGMENT upon this EARTH? "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?" (Rev. 6:15-17)
The book of Revelation is the only prophetical book in the New Testament, and gives us a glimpse of the events that are going to occur in the future. Starting from chapter four, we get a bird’s-eye view of the coming apocalypse on earth and the promised joy of heaven. The contrasts are so severe that anyone seriously reading this book should secure their future on God’s side immediately. The good news is that those who embrace Christ and His provision for sin can anticipate a celebration that will exceed their greatest expectations. However, those without Christ have cause to tremble for their refusal to accept His offer of deliverance from the wrath to come. Who can stand before God’s judgment upon this earth?
The book of Revelation is clear every person living on this earth will experience God’s judgment one day in the future. The mention of seven types of people (v. 15) suggests complete judgment, as does the characterization of “the great day of His wrath” (vv. 16, 17). God will send a tremendous earthquake that will rock the whole world (6:12–17; Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11). The darkening of the sun, the reddening of the moon, and the falling of the stars (perhaps meteors) to earth will be the consequences of this judgment. Evidently the sky will appear to split and roll back in two opposite directions, and people on the earth will glimpse the throne room in heaven. The very sight of God in heaven will be far more terrifying to them than the physical consequences of this judgment. They will realize that the outpouring of God’s wrath in the Tribulation has come, and they will run from the presence of God in terror!
God’s wrath is presently revealed against unbelievers by letting them go their way and face the consequences of their behavior in the future (see Rom. 1:18–32). However, the great day of His wrath (see Rom. 2:5) is still to come, and who is able to stand on that day? The message is plain: only in Christ is there hope of escaping wrath! Unbelievers, no matter how strong, cannot stand on that day when God will judge the people of this earth. Only those protected by the Lord can stand, whether on earth (7:1–8) or in God’s presence in heaven (7:9–17). However, no rebel will be able to stand up against the Lamb’s indignation on the Day of the Lord!
Let us note that the only way of escape is being offered right now. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). Since this world is to be so thoroughly shaken, we should place our hope in God starting today (Luke 12:32–34; 1 Cor. 7:29–31; Heb. 12:25–29). Without God on our side, there is no way that we can stand before God’s judgment upon this earth. If we instead wait to accept Christ’s offer of salvation, understand that this will only increase our risk of experiencing God’s adverse judgment in the future. There is much more to life than the here and now. The choice we make has eternal consequences, so let’s make the right choice today!