Dear Wake Up Family:
Last year, I began reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This massive tome is broken into three volumes of which I am currently on the second. Solzhenitsyn’s monumental and exhaustive accounts of one of the cruelest ideologies in history should be read by everyone everywhere. It’s astonishing what humans will do to one another. Solzhenitsyn escaped from Russia and lived in the United States where he wrote many articles and gave many lectures. His most well-known, I think, is the Templeton address given in 1983 titled Men Have Forgotten God.
In his address, he stated, “More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God.”
He continues, “All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all…. Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die.”
Solzhenitsyn’s lecture title very succinctly reveals why God will exact the great tribulation upon the world: because mankind has forgotten God. History has proven, time and again, that when times are good, God is forgotten. God’s patience with sinners has always been misinterpreted. But when God initiates global suffering, suddenly, overnight, a great awakening will occur.
Christians talk about God’s love and His wonderful salvation and forgiveness, but they don’t talk about the things that make Him angry. Some even deny God has wrath. Consequently, His judgments will confound many Christians, and they will be unable to reconcile what they are witnessing with their understanding of God. Their faith will disappear and terror will overwhelm them.
To be clear, God does not need our adulation. Instead, He wants us to love, adore, and worship Him because whatever we worship we imitate. God will use the destructive forces of the trumpets to arrest the attention of all survivors, hoping they will consider His gospel. In this setting, the world will hear the unvarnished truth about God and His authority over mankind. God creates this setting so everyone can hear the truth. This is why we must listen for and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, while at the same time, reaching for the next rung of the ladder.
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)