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New International Version
3 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.
4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry.
5 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.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.
9 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?
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.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing – grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
17 "Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, "Spare your people, LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?"
3 A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yes, and none has escaped [the ravages of the devouring hordes].
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses and horsemen, so do they run.
5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains they leap--like the noise of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a mighty people set in battle array. [Rev. 9:7, 9.]
6 Before them the peoples are in anguish; all faces become pale.
7 They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war. They march each one [straight ahead] on his ways, and they do not break their ranks.
8 Neither does one thrust upon another; they walk every one in his path. And they burst through and upon the weapons, yet they are not wounded and do not change their course.
9 They leap upon the city; they run upon the wall; they climb up on and into the houses; they enter in at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened and the stars withdraw their shining. [Rev. 9:2-4; 16:14.]
11 And the Lord utters His voice before His army, for His host is very great, and [they are] strong and powerful who execute [God's] word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can endure it? [Isa. 26:20, 21; 34:1-4, 8; Rev. 6:16, 17.]
12 Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].
13 Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].
14 Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly.
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; assemble the elderly people, gather the children and the nursing infants; let the bridegroom [who is legally exempt from attending] go forth from his chamber and the bride out of her closet. [None is exempt from the humiliation.]
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Have pity and spare Your people, O Lord, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the [heathen] nations should rule over them or use a byword against them. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?
King James Version
3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Becoming a Christian
Would you like to experience forgiveness and new life from the God of the Bible, who calls every person to believe that he sent his son Jesus Christ to make this possible?
The Bible explains why everyone needs to receive forgiveness and is called to serve Jesus Christ. The consistency of the Bible story, which was authored by people living thousands of years apart from diverse cultures and even different languages, is often cited as evidence of divine inspiration. Wikipedia has a list of many Biblical prophesies which have come true.
The story of God's plan to restore his relationship with us can be summarised in eight famous Bible verses below.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The truth in these verses is simple, yet to embrace it means letting go of all our personal hopes and dreams and embracing God's greater purpose for our lives instead, a purpose far above anything we could dream or imagine.
This is the most important decision you will ever make, because it affects not just the rest of your life here on earth, but what comes after as well. Don't put it off until too late. If you died tonight make the decision to spend eternity with your loving Father in Heaven.
If you're wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions from Mary Fairchild on About.com: