"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." (Revelation 6:12-14)
These fearful events are the precursor to what is coming. The stars are likely meteors that shower the earth. Mankind has witnessed enormous earthquakes in the past, yet they pale in comparison to what is in store.
The heavens literally split apart possibly revealing what is the very countenance of God. This interpretation would seem to be correct based upon man's fear of God's countenance in the following verses. The word behind scroll is the same word translated book in 5:1.
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)
Men would rather be buried alive than face God's wrath. Would not repentance be a much better option? A man's heart is very hard and rebellious. People want what they want. Catastrophic events, war, famine and widespread death are not sure guarantees of man's repentance. Sometimes people would rather be covered over in some hopeless attempt to escape God's punishment than come to Him on His terms.
These impressive events parallel the Day of the LORD described in Isaiah 2:19-22. In that passage God says, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" This is a befitting reminder of man's uselessness in relation to the One whose countenance is sufficient to frighten the entire human race.