Stuff of nightmares – the Lord’s Day of vengeance and wrath
2 Esdras 15&16 These are the words of the Lord: I shall show sinners no pity, My sword will not spare those murderers who stain the ground with innocent blood.
My anger has burst out in flame, scorching the earth to its foundations and consuming sinners like burning straw. Woe to sinners who flout My commands, I shall show them no mercy. I well know all who offend against Me, I consign them to death and destruction.
See the clouds – full of fury and tempest, their appearance is hideous. They will let loose a vast storm over the land. There will be terror and trembling throughout the world, people will shudder, stricken with panic. Huge clouds will pile up and ravage the whole land and its inhabitants. A terrible storm will sweep over all that is high and exalted, with fire and hail and flying swords.
Strong is the arm that bends the bow and sharp the arrows that He shoots. Once they are on their way, nothing will stop them until they reach the ends of the earth. Calamities are let loose and will not turn back. The fire is alight and will not be put out. When the scorching heat bears down upon you, your strength and splendour will wither like a flower. When the Lord sends calamities, who can avert them? When His anger bursts into flame, who can extinguish it? When the lightning flashes and it thunders, who will not quake with dread? [describing a CME sunstrike]
But you, servants of the Lord, listen and learn. This is His Word: take it to heart and do not doubt what He says: Calamities are close at hand and will not be delayed. As a woman giving birth suffers pangs, then comes the birth; similarly calamities will come and the world will groan under the pangs that beset it. My people, get ready and when these disasters surround you, behave as if you are strangers on earth.
Listen, you whom I have chosen, says the Lord: the days of harsh suffering are close at hand, but I shall rescue you from them. Have done with fears and doubts! God is your guide. As followers of My commandments and instructions, you must not let your sins weigh you down or any wickedness gain the ascendancy.
Woe to those who are entangled in their sins and overrun by their wicked deeds! They are like a field where the path is entwined with thorns and there is no way through. They are separated off in readiness for destruction by fire.
Ref: REB Apocrypha
This passage from the prophet Ezra, describes very well how the Lord will act on the terrible Day of His vengeance and wrath. Isaiah 63:1-6, Ezekiel 21:7, Isaiah 33:14, Jeremiah 30:4-7, Isaiah 13:6-16, Isaiah 30:26-30, Revelation 6:12-17.
But those Christian people who trust and believe in His salvation will be saved. They are told to be prepared – that is, be aware of what will happen, so as not to be taken by surprise. There is not a rapture, removal: ‘these calamities will surround you’.
THEN; God’s righteous servants will soon gather and settle into New Israel.
Isaiah 30:29 For you there will be songs and gladness of heart, as you march to music, on the way to the Mountain of the Lord; the Rock of Israel. Isaiah 12:1-6