What is the World Coming to? (Part 10)
Greetings precious people,
Today we will continue our study of what the world is coming to, according to Godís Word, the Bible. We have seen in previous studies, that there will be a time known as the Tribulation which will last for a period of seven years. During this time a man will rise to power known as the Ďanti-Christí. He will lead the world in its final rebellion against God. It is at this time that God will bring judgement upon this world like it has never seen before. God will do this through a series of three sets of seven judgements known as the ĎSeal Judgementsí, the ĎTrumpet Judgementsí, and the ĎVial Judgementsí. We will begin to examine this last series of judgements in todayís article.
In Revelation 15, we see the scene in Heaven, as the final Judgements are prepared, "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested." After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed."
This is the beginning of the end. These last judgements will be the worst of all. The amazing thing is that during this entire time, God gives man the opportunity to repent of his sin and turn to faith in God. Sadly, he refuses and continues in his stubbornness and rebellion. Even as Godís judgement is falling upon man, he will shake an angry fist at God and curse Him.
Now in Revelation 16 the Vial Judgements begin. "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image."
Those, in defiance to God, that have chosen to pledge their allegiance to Satanís man, the Ďanti Christí, will pay a great price. God will strike them with ulcerating sores. Possibly covering their entire body. There will be no relief of the pain that will be caused by these. An important truth must be realized from this. Satan makes all sorts of promises to anyone that will follow him in his rebellion against God. However, he can never deliver on his promises. At best, it is only a short-lived pleasure that he can give. Anyone that chooses to believe his lies will pay dearly in the end. It is never worth it!
The second Vial has devastating effects worldwide. Revelation 16:3,
"Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died."
After this comes the third Vial. Revelation 16:4-7, "Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due." And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements."
I would like you to take special note of what is stated in the final sentence. Godís judgements are faithful and true. God knows what He is doing. He is Just, Righteous, and Holy. We are not! As we hear of these judgements, our tendency is to bring into question Godís motivation and character. This is because we do not understand His Holiness and Righteousness. We can only think and see things on our level. We see the judgements that man makes, how they are full of corruption and self serving motives, and try and bring God down to our level. God never makes His decisions on manís level or by manís standard. Godís judgements are always right and just.
The fourth Vial Judgement is seen in Rev 16:8-9, "Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory."
Next comes the fifth Vial Judgement. In Rev 16:10-11, "Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds." Rather than cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy, man curses God. It has always amazed me how hard sin can make a manís heart.
The sixth Vial is next. In Revelation 16:10-16, "Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon."
Unfortunately we have run out of time and space for this week. Next week we will look at who the dragon, beast, and false prophet are as well as what Armageddon is and the final Vial Judgement. We have seen in this study how stubborn a person can be. If you havenít bowed your knee and heart to Jesus, please do so now. Repent of your sin and turn to God in faith for salvation and the forgiveness of sin. Understand this, the longer that you resist Him, the harder your heart will become. Turn to Christ now!
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail email@example.com
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine