Hard-Knock Life

Hard-Knock Life

How’s the weather?

In recent years, reports around the world of extreme cold during winter or record-breaking heatwaves in the summer have become more and more commonplace.

It’s not always presented in mainstream media, but if you do your research on recent natural disasters, you’ll soon find that the frequency and intensity of heavy flooding, ferocious storms (hurricanes/tornadoes/cyclones/typhoons/ginormous hailstones), earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, terrible, far-reaching wildfires, sudden mass animal/fish deaths and even occurrences of insect plagues have been increasing all over the world for a number of years now.

While we’ve never had consistently perfect weather anywhere (or during any period post-Fall) on earth, these notably unusual changes look as though the earth might be heading towards some kind of ‘breakdown’. Our beloved planet may not be ‘holding it together’ so well anymore, and things could very well be starting to go irretrievably haywire.

How’s the weather?



Extreme? . . .

Maybe it’s only considered a bit unusual where you live . . . With sluggish seasonal changes, like lingering cold when in years past, summer would have already been well on its way. Or an extended and erratic transition into each new season – different weather almost every day – as if the new is jostling with its predecessor until it finally settles.

Strange. Out of the ordinary. Like something’s ‘off’ in the heavens and in turn, with the forecast.

Are we to blame?

Polluting fossil fuels, the destruction of natural habitats, bucket loads of waste and rubbish dumped everywhere . . . It would seem so.

And why ever not? God purposed humans to be caretakers of the earth: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15); “The righteous care for the needs of their animals” (Proverbs 12:10). We were never supposed to abuse the power we were given. But we did and we still do, and it all started when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God (Genesis, chapter 3). All of creation fell under a curse, known as “The Fall” and since that time, the earth has been longing for the return of the righteous rule of its Creator who would restore life back to the paradise it once was: We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time (Romans 8:22).

Let’s be honest, we’re all cursed and groaning in this life – in some capacity or another – and our weather patterns clearly suffer dysfunction at times as well.

And yet, something is different. There seems to be more than just the ‘usual curse problems’ currently being experienced in the natural realm and these magnified disasters are very much connected to the specific time we are now living in.

We are witnessing so-called ‘symptoms’ of an underlying issue in the world today; physical manifestations of things falling out of balance.

So what is the earth trying to tell us?

Psalm 19:1-4  The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.


The Bible tells us that God’s heavenly handiwork gives Him glory, having a ‘voice’ that reveals knowledge. Similarly, this voice is found again in the ‘groan’ of creation described in Romans 8:22.

The natural realm has a voice, and it does communicate.

Genesis 1:14   Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for SIGNS and for seasons and for days and years . . .

Acts 2:19   ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke’ (See also Joel 2:30).


The Bible also tells us that as the time gets closer for Jesus’ return, evil will increase on the earth: As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” . . . 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold . . .” (Matthew, chapter 24).

2 Timothy 3:1-2 The Dangers of the Last Days:  You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money . . .


One has to wonder at this point, that if a sin-cursed world becomes eviler  (more evil), then how will a ‘groaning’ creation respond? Will its cry – its protest – increase, and in what ways?

Trouble afoot, folks.

Jesus described the early stages of this kind of trouble by comparing it to the pain that a woman experiences when she gives birth. And to keep things on point, let’s remember that there WASN’T ANY PAIN RELIEF for women giving birth in Jesus’ day.

Talk about a hard-knock life . . .

Matthew 24:4-8   Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”

Luke 21:11 . . . and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.


As Jesus said, earthquakes and famines are just the beginning. Once things really get underway – in a post-Rapture world, with the 7-year period of the Tribulation in full swing – the natural realm will well and truly ‘lose it’. There will be a great earthquake, the moon will turn the colour of blood, and the sun will be darkened (Rev. 6:12). One-third of everything we need to live: water, food, and light will be destroyed. Hail and fire mingled with blood will rain down and burn up all the grass and one-third of all the trees (Rev. 8:7) An asteroid the size of a mountain will plunge into the sea, and one-third of all sea creatures will die as a result (Rev. 8:8). A giant meteor known as ‘Wormwood’ will fall from heaven, poisoning one-third of the earth’s freshwater (Rev. 8:10). One-third of the earth will be plunged into darkness (Rev. 8:12). The ocean will turn into (actual) blood, and absolutely everything left living in it will perish (Rev. 16:3). All freshwater will then also be turned into blood (Rev.16:4). The sun, once a provider of light, warmth, and life, will scorch people with fire (Rev. 16:8). And then there will be another earthquake, so great that every island and mountain will be destroyed. There will also be a storm so great, 100lb (around 45kg) hailstones will be spewed upon the earth (Rev. 16:18 and 20-21).

Although we have mucked up the earth, there’s much, much more to this worldwide ‘freak weather/disaster’ story than mere mismanagement of the resources which God gifted us. In fact, the End of Days weather forecast, where trouble meets trouble, was prophesied thousands of years ago.

Bible: 1.

‘Global Warming’: 0.

These unsettling and ever-increasing changes on earth are a timepiece – a warning – of coming Divine judgment and the soon dawning of the Tribulation period.

They are precursors to a far more terrifying and dangerous time to come upon the earth, signifying the End when all left behind people of the earth will have to face a reckoning with their Maker – whom they have ignored; whom they have refused to acknowledge:

Jeremiah 12:4   How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field be withered? Because of the evil of its residents, the animals and birds have been swept away, for the people have said, “He cannot see what our end will be.”


How foolish for anyone to think that God doesn’t see and know all! Or that He doesn’t even exist for that matter!

He is the Almighty. He is the Maker of All Things (Jeremiah 10:16).

Amos 4:13   For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals His thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The LORD God of Heaven’s Armies is His name!

Amos 5:8    He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns darkness into dawn and darkens day into night, who summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the face of the earth–the LORD is His name—

Amos 9:6   He builds His upper rooms in the heavens and founds His vault upon the earth. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the face of the earth. The LORD is His name.

Jeremiah 10:13   When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He generates the lightning with the rain and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.

Isaiah 40:12   Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or marked off the heavens with the span of His hand? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills with a balance?

Genesis 1: The Beginning   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”


God made the world, and He employs nature and the natural order of things –  which He set up  – to display His existence and glory to any and all who would seek Him out and know Him. Still, there are many who don’t give any of this a second thought.

Jeremiah 5:22-25   Have you no respect for Me? Why don’t you tremble in My presence? I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. 23 But My people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned Me. 24 They do not say from the heart, let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for He gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right. 25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.


We may ignore His written Word, but God still speaks to us through His Creation. He’s been using it for millennia to get our attention.

Romans 1:20   For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.


Anyone who ever studied even a little of the natural world, whether from watching a nature documentary on TV, reading a good book on the topic, or having taken highschool-level biology, would have been introduced to something of the incredible variety of flora and fauna found living within the many, delicately-balanced ecosystems found on our planet. Many of us have heard of and perhaps seen what it’s like in the temperate forest, the tropical rain forests, the deserts, the grasslands, the taiga, the tundra, the chaparral, and underground caves. Then there are the aquatic ecosystems, which include all freshwater as well as the ocean. God created ecosystems, each with its own special climate, terrain, and specific types of wildlife – all of which support and are in balance with one another.

And these seemingly meagre examples (due to my inadequate and very basic description) are just a drop in the humungous bucket that contains all of the varied, complex, beautifully integrated creation-mix of God’s wonderful, carefully crafted, and breathtaking 3D artwork.

The wonder, magnificence, and often dazzling qualities of this vibrant and diverse natural world reflect only a minuscule portion of the glory and beauty of the Creator – and yet it is more than enough to cause us to stand and stare in awe of what we see. He shows us that He is a God of order, not chaos, that He has always intended good and not harm for His world and its inhabitants. He made the universe with physical laws to keep the world turning as it should, to sustain life and make it enjoyable – EVEN WHILE it temporarily suffers under the curse of sin.

Wherever we look, we can bear witness to (and appreciate) His awesome, unique, and intelligent designs – His inventions! And in doing so, we have the opportunity to acknowledge Him, thank Him, and know Him.

Everyone likes a sunset . . . and for most, even more so when viewed from the beach: the rolling waves, the sea view, the salty air.


But what if the sunset was taken away? What if the ocean was no longer safe for us to use to cool ourselves on a hot summer afternoon? What if refreshing early morning walks along a quiet beach (while enjoying just a hint of the first rays of the sun’s warmth against our backs) were no longer possible?

Thankfully these pleasures have not been eroded away just yet.

But when we see elements of the natural world dismantling, the real question about such hullabaloo shouldn’t just rest on what the earth is saying, but rather on the One who made it, who is in charge of it, and who controls it. We have to go higher to the Source of the earth’s voice and find out what the Maker of the earth is actually saying.

 Look at this Scripture verse to see what God is saying:

Jeremiah 13:16   Give glory to the LORD your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the dusky mountains. You wait for light, but He turns it into deep gloom and thick darkness.


And let’s take another look at the Romans 1 portion of scripture shown previously, but this time – the extended version:

Romans 1:18-20   For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.


The past predicts the future.

Over and over in the Bible, there are accounts of God’s judgment upon people because they either didn’t take God seriously or treated Him as if He were just a figment of the fool’s imagination. And just like in the future Tribulation judgments we studied earlier on from the book of Revelation, these judgments involved some sort of upheaval in the natural realm – a loss of balance and order, for a time – through pestilence (disease/viruses), storms, plagues, darkness and even death (much of which we already see at play in the world today). Sadly, Bible verses about natural disasters which crop up, again and again, are always directly related to – you guessed it – God working to ‘reroute’ the stubborn, rebellious hearts of people.

But take note, God always gives plenty of warning before judgment arrives – and these warnings often last for many years. Why do you think increased natural disasters have been happening all over the world, particularly in the last few years? It’s no coincidence. Incredibly, the book of Jeremiah records that God waited a whopping 800 years for the people of Israel to change their hearts and minds and turn back to Him. That’s how longsuffering, patient, and fair God is! Seriously, can someone give God a high-five? He always gives people more than enough time to repent.

But when time’s up, look out!  . . . TIME – IS – WELL – AND – TRULY – UP.

I don’t care who you are or what you currently believe: Nobody wants God’s timer to run out.

So to take the real question a step or two further – and just to put it out there ONE MORE TIME – we need to ask: Looking at the way things are in the world today, are we being warned by God, right now, of coming judgment?

 Are we running out of time?

The account of Moses and Pharaoh in the book of Exodus (7:14 – 12:36), is quite well known in terms of God meting out judgment through various forms of ‘natural’ disasters. I think quite a few movies were made based on this Bible story. In summary, God sent ten calamities upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people free and allow them to worship God. These calamities came in the form of:

1. All freshwater turned to blood (Ex. 7:17-18),

2. A plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-4),

3. Swarms of lice or gnats (Ex. 8:16-17),

4. Swarms of flies (Ex. 8:20-22),

5 Pestilence killing all livestock (Ex. 9:1-4),

6. A plague of boils (Ex. 9: 8-9),

7. Thunder, fire, and hail (Ex. 9:22-23),

8. Swarms of locusts (Ex. 10:4-5),

9. Darkness across the land – so thick it could be felt (Ex. 10:21-22),

10. Death to every firstborn male, human, and animal (Ex. 11:4-7).

Pharaoh was so stubborn and so proud that he (along with his entire kingdom) suffered ten times before he relented! Crazy guy.

Yes, the past certainly predicts the future. But there’s more to God’s judgment than just the proverbial angry slap in the face with a cold, wet towel:

Joel 2:  An Army of Locusts   Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand – a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste—nothing escapes them. They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defences without breaking ranks. They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. 10 Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. 11 The Lord thunders at the head of His army; His forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys His command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?


It’s a pretty bleak picture that’s painted in the second chapter of the book of Joel.

So far, so bad.

But the story’s not over yet . . .

This next scene is quite different.

Let’s brave it and keep reading:

Rend Your Heart:   12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord Your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity . . . 21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things! 22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. 23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. 24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. 25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm —My great army that I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will My people be shamed. 27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will My people be shamed.”


Notice that God’s motivation in using the natural world to get His point across is not rooted in malice toward rebellious people. He uses calamity to turn things around for the ultimate good of those He is punishing, and He always desires to restore and heal afterward. Genuine repentance (when dealing with THE GOOD GOD, THE ONLY GOD of the Bible) always leads to life.

And yet, we can be so hard-hearted toward Him! So stubborn against a Holy, Just, and Good God! We stupidly continue to refuse to have anything to do with the One who loves us the most. When we deserve to be squashed like bugs and be forgotten, God executes his ‘re-route’ plan with mercy. The punishment, although harsh, never actually matches the crime of our rebellion and indifference. Folks, the temporary trials and hardships of the Tribulation will never match the horror of an eternity without Christ, in hell. God will use an interim period of Great Tribulation on the earth to push you, the unsaved, the left behind, (hopefully) into His loving arms – where there’s forgiveness and eternal safety. The alternative is just too horrible to contemplate and He does not want that for you at all!!!

I like what Pastor Steve Cioccolanti says: “God moves on the earth to get people’s attention. When He can’t get their attention through a speaker preaching the Word, He will use animals, and He will use nature.”

“That’s why He (Jesus) had to say to His apostle Peter, when Peter said He would never deny Christ, “Okay, I’m gonna send a rooster to talk to you” . . . “as soon as the cock crows thrice” . . . (Luke 22:34)

“He used a donkey to get the attention of a prophet named Balaam. Because Balaam’s heart along with the people’s hearts were so hardened, they wouldn’t listen to the words of God” (Numbers 22).

What lengths God has to go to get our attention!

Good thing He cares enough to try and reach people. Right?

Like sending His Son to die on each of our behalfs, paying for our sins?

You better believe it.

A distant and disinterested God means we’re all finished.

Without God actively pursuing us and ‘giving a damn’, there’s absolutely no hope whatsoever. No forgiveness and no redemption.

So let God get ‘all up in your face’.

You need the wake-up. You need the shake-up.

Let the gale-force winds blow, let the melon-sized hail fall and let the earth tremble under your feet.

You. Have. Been. Warned.

But take heart! Even if you’ve missed the message, you’ll find (just like in the book of Joel, chapter 2) that there’s still plenty of room for you in God’s heart should you choose to turn back to Him – even in the midst of judgment.

It is a hard-knock life.

Nothing is perfect, and there are many injustices going on everywhere, all the time, against humans, against nature.

And the earth, with all its bounty and beauty, also fails us at times.

But now, look around you. Things are starting to unravel in a different and more significant way.

Nature is getting ‘tetchy’.

Predictions for an End of Days weather forecast?  Cloudy with more than a chance of things going seriously ‘south’.

God is speaking. Time is almost up.

Hosea 9:7   The days of punishment have come, the days of retribution have come; let Israel know this! The prophet is a fool, the inspired man is demented, because of the grossness of your iniquity, and because your hostility is so great.

If you’ve been left behind, then Hosea 9:7 is speaking directly to you about the condition of your heart, and there’s nowhere to hide from its blunt, stinging truths.  

Clinging to the hostile and foolish idea that God is only a fable is now no longer an option (and frankly, it never really was). 

Your face-to-face meeting with God is sure. But will you remain hostile and indifferent despite being left behind? Will you continue to act as someone who is demented? 

Or will you freely, and honestly humble yourself before Him, having missed the Rapture – awakened and repentant?

I hope that God will not need to humble you on the day He calls you into His throne room . . . when it’s far too late for you to change your mind.

Job 38:4  Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell Me, if you have understanding . . .

No one, not one single person, needs to be on the receiving end of such a question coming from the King of Kings on that day.

Most, if not all Bible verses about natural disasters are connected to judgment are a clear warning. These warnings hold true today.

You need protection. You need the covering of God’s Son over your life, washing away your sins and bringing peace between you and the Almighty.  

Get under Jesus’ saving umbrella before the weather turns irrevocably, eternally bad.

For those left behind, things are going to get a lot worse in all areas of life, as Nature’s groan against the shackle of sin morphs rapidly into an earth-shaking, blood-curdling, 7-year long scream.  

Yet despite the reality of a world gone mad in the Tribulation, know that God’s compassion, His Word and His promises still hold true.

Isaiah 54:10   For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.


This is what you can have in Christ. 

Turn now to Jesus and be saved.


*Take a look at the youtube channel The Two Preachers to kick-start your research on the ever-increasing natural disasters that are happening now, which have been prophesied in the Bible to mark the coming of the End of Days. 

*Check out the website The Watcher – News in the “Links” for even more information on current natural disasters happening around the world.  

*Read through the Quick Guide “Left Behind” and find more information on page 18, which describes in greater detail the many natural disasters that will take place during the Tribulation.  

*Disruptions and extremes in weather patterns, as well as the increased frequency of other natural disasters, are just one part of a whole that form the bigger picture of End Time Bible Prophecy. Scroll to page 26 in “Left Behind” to learn more.  

*Turn to page 109 of the Full Guide, should you wish to say the Salvation Prayer.

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