In today’s episode of “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer,” we look at two earthquakes described in scripture. One accompanies God’s terrifying presence on Mount Sinai and the other, the completion of Christ’s atoning work where the separation between God and His children is finally and forever overcome.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we continue this discussion of “Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters: What is God Saying to Us?” If you were with us for the past episodes, you know that I was emphasizing that what we see today in natural disasters, even in a pestilence like COVID, we are actually seeing a preview of what eventually will come upon this world. And what will come upon this world will be absolutely terrifying.
So we spoke about hell, the final judgment and all those things that are mentioned in the book of Revelation. But today I want to give you some hope. I want us to understand once again the glories of the Gospel. In order to do this, I want to reference the fact that the first earthquake mentioned in the Bible is in Exodus 19. God is preparing the people for the ten commandments, and it says that there was lightning and thunder and the mountain shook. And if you read that passage, you’ll know that God told people, stay away! As a matter of fact, if a beast touches the mountain don’t touch that beast, kill it with a dart or or shoot it with an arrow or stone it. In other words, get back. Sinai was God coming to man without a mediator, God in all of His Holiness. In fact, it says in the 12th chapter of the book of Hebrews. It says that the sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I trembled with fear.” So, that’s the first earthquake. But I want to take you to another earthquake, of course, there are many other earthquakes in between, but I want to take you to an earthquake that’s described in Matthew 27. Jesus is dying on the cross and the Bible says that the veil of the temple is ripped from top to bottom and then it said that the earth shook and the rocks were split in pieces. Think of that earthquake. Now in Hebrews 12, what you have is a contrast, the contrast is between Sinai with all of its judgments and then the author says in verse 22, “But you have come to Mount Zion to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to the innumerable angels in festal gathering to the assembly of the first born who are enrolled in heaven and to God, the judge of all.”
Old Testament—“stay back!”; New Testament—“You have a new mediator.” Jesus Christ, when he died, He bore the terrors of Sinai and today we invite people to come to Him because we come now to a different mountain. We come to the mountain that is referred to here as the mountain of the living God, the mountain of Calvary and we invite people to come. Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus Christ is the one who delivers us from the wrath to come? These are very serious truths, you know, because we’re living at a time when there is a great deal of indifference to God even in evangelical circles, we think to ourselves that we can domesticate God, that He is something like us. This passage in Hebrews 12 tells us that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It says our God is a consuming fire and, my friend, today, I hope that you have taken your protection in Jesus Christ and I hope that if you have, you tell others that they too can be protected from the coming wrath of God through Jesus Christ.
You say well, Pastor, what’s the takeaway of all this? Well, I want to give you a poem. “The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do. My savior’s obedience and blood hides all of my sins from view. My name on the palm of His hands eternity cannot erase. Forever there it stands, a mark of indelible grace. Thank God for Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come. Thanks so much for joining us. I hope that you’ll join us again next time, but as for today just go with God.