Sunday Sermon, 2020-02-02, “The Wrath of God”

“The Wrath of God”

Revelation 6, 8-9, 15-16

Today’s sermon is terrible. Today I want to show you the terrible consequences of rebellion and sin.

God’s wrath is depicted in the Book of Revelation in disturbing ways. Today we’re going to look at 5 chapters of the book … the 5 chapters which depict the painful results of a world run amok.

Let’s look at each chapter briefly:

Revelation 6 … The Seals are Broken

Revelation 6:1, As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!”

Seven Seals (1-6):

  • 4 horsemen.
  • war.
  • famine.
  • lesser earthquakes.

Revelation 8 – 9:  The Trumpets are Sounded

Revelation 8:1, When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. 2  I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets.

7th seal, then first 4 trumpets:

  • silence ½ hour.
  • hail and fire.
  • mountain falls to earth.
  • star falls.
  • lights dimmed.

Revelation 9:1, Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.

3 remaining trumpets

  • bottomless pit (“hell on earth”)
  • locusts that sting like scorpions.
  • plagues.
  • 1/3 world dies to violence and plagues.

Revelation 15 – 16:  The Bowls of God’s Wrath are Poured Out

Revelation 15:1, Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion.

Revelation 16:1, Then I heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels, “Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.”

7 bowls of wrath (the Great Tribulation)

  • Boils.
  • Sea, river, and springs all ruined.
  • Sun scorches the earth.
  • Darkness.
  • Sores.
  • Demonic spirits set loose.
  • Battle of Armageddon prepared.
  • Earthquake.
  • Islands sink. Mountains leveled.
  • Hailstorms with 75 pound stones. Revelation 16:21,There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm.

Questions I have …

1.  Why?

a.  To give people the opportunity to repent.

Revelation 9:20, But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idol that can neither see nor hear nor walk! 21  And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 16:11, … But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.

b. To deliver justice.

Revelation 16:4-7, Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood. 5  And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying, “You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was, because you have sent these judgments. 6  Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward.” 7  And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just.”

2.  Is the news all bad?  No! There is victory, there is hope in the midst of the pain. had.

Revelation 15:2-4, I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were all holding harps that God had given them. 3  And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. 4  Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”

3.  Where do I fit in to this scheme of the end-times? Will I have to endure these events?

Take comfort in what Jesus told the church at Philadelphia:  Revelation 3:10, “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.”

There is NO RAPTURE described in the Book of Revelation. We find that in …

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

4.  What is the timeline of Revelation?

(Pre-Tribulation Rapture)

The Tribulation (3 ½ years)

      1.   Seven Seals

(Mid-Tribulation Rapture)

The Great Tribulation (3 ½ years)

      2.   Seven Trumpets

      3.   Dragon/Beast/False Prophet

      4.   Seven Bowls

(Post-Tribulation Rapture)

The End-times

      5.   2nd Coming of Jesus

      6.   Millennial rule of Christ

      7.   Great Judgment

      8.   New Heaven and Earth

      9.   Eternity

I like the idea of a pan-trib perspective, which says, “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I’m sure it’s gonna’ pan out!”

5.  What should I be doing now? In the middle of this description of the Great Tribulation we hear this from the Lord: 

a.  Be alert.

Revelation 16:15, “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

b.  Be certain about which “world” you’re in.

Revelation 8:13, Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.”

MAIN POINT:  For the new to come, the old must go.

ILLY: Set nice table. get dishes from dollar store. explain that we broke the beautiful setting. God violently shakes this table … to prepare it for its ultimate setting … a new heaven and new earth.

Concluding remarks from Preaching the Word Commentary:

God is good, and he made the world good. (show how nicely the table is set)

Humanity responded to God’s goodness by rebelling against him and exalting themselves as gods. (take hammer and begin smashing the “world)

Rather than obliterate these rebels, God sent his Son as a love gift to reconcile the world to himself.  God became man. (place flower vase on table)

Jesus willingly obeyed, giving his own life to pay the penalty for the sins of humanity. (place vase on side)

Humanity responded to God’s generous gift of Jesus the same way that we responded to his generosity in giving us life and this world in which to live: we crucified Jesus. (smash vase)

Apart from the new birth and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, if we had the opportunity, we would crucify the Father along with the Son and place ourselves on the throne. And one after another we would assassinate each other seeking to make ourselves God. The tribulation of Revelation shows us the consequences of our rebellion and sin.  (repeatedly smash table. throw rock ‘hailstones’ on table)

But there is only one who is truly God. He mercifully shows that everything humans worship instead of him is bankrupt, and he does so to display his wealth, which he offers to all who will repent and trust in Jesus. But rather than surrender their rebellion, wicked humans respond to the terms he offers by cursing him and gathering to make war upon him. (violently shake table)

Today, we have experienced the tribulation chapters of the book of Revelation. It’s been a terrible sermon. But, this is not the end of the book. There is much more to come … and finally we will get to Revelation 21:1, Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared …

For the new to come, the old must go.

A closing prayer … “Dear God, we have seen the terrible consequences of our rebellion and sin. We know that Your Wrath is coming upon our world, and we also know You have shown us Jesus is the antidote to Your wrath. Lord, hold us tightly until we see You face to face. In Jesus’ name, amen.”