The 7 Bowl Judgments


Series: Revelation

Passage: Revelation 15:1-16:20

Speaker: Jeff Thompson

We move into the final few weeks of The Great Tribulation as the Lord unleashes the 7 bowl judgments in rapid succession, in preparation of The Second Coming.

Transcription (automatically-generated):

Well, can you believe it? There are still those who are claiming that the book of Revelation is hard to understand. And to them we say stole Quince. For you see, the word it's self revelation, means something has been revealed. And the first words of this amazing book tell us exactly who is being revealed.

It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. And God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised those who would take the time to read and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in Revelation chapter one, verse three, let's claim it together. It says, Blessed is he or she who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near. But God knew there would still be those who would say, It's just too hard to understand.

So to make it easy to understand, he also included a simple and easy to follow outline. And we find that in Revelation chapter one, verse 19, where Jesus gives John these instructions, he says, John, I want you to write the things which you have seen that's the resurrected and glorified Jesus in chapter one. Then, John, I want you to write about the things which are that refers to the Church age which began around 32 Ad, continues to the present day and is prophesied in chronological order in chapter two and three. And then lastly, Jesus says, John, I want you to write the things which will take place after this. After the Church age comes to a close.

John is told to write about future events after the end of the Church age. So when does that happen? In Revelation four, verse one, let me read it to you. John writes, after these things I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard, that was the voice of Jesus in chapter one was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.

And up John goes, serving as a picture of the Church who will be raptured to be with the Lord. Jesus takes all of chapters four and five to make sure we don't miss the fact that the Church is safe and secure with Him in heaven before his wrath is poured out on the Earth that has rejected Him. In chapter six and in Revelation 616, those on the Earth reveal that at that time everyone will know and understand where these judgments, where this wrath is coming from because they will identify it as the wrath of the Lamb. And who is the Lamb? In Scripture it's Jesus.

So chapter one gives us the focus of Revelation chapters two and three take us through the Church age up to the present day. The Church goes up in chapter four, verse one, we see her in heaven for chapters four and five before wrath comes down in chapter six. That wrath will continue for seven years, a time period known as the Tribulation. And it's documented in chapter six through 19, after which Jesus will return to the Earth with his Saints in what is known as the Second Coming. And they'll be even more revealed in the astonishing final few chapters of this book.

But here's what you need to know for now. If you love Jesus, then your story will end with the words, and they live happily ever after. Revelation chapter six through nine walks us through the first two sets of judgments unleashed on the Earth by God in the Tribulation. They started with seven seal Judgments, and when we reached the 7th Seal Judgment, we learned it consisted of seven trumpet judgments. And when we reached the 7th Trumpet Judgment, John pressed the pause button to fill us in on some additional details from the Tribulation so that we would have a Fuller understanding of events before the play button is pushed again.

In Revelation chapters 15 and 16 that we'll be studying today, that play button is pushed, and our chronological narrative resumes. You might recall that the 7th Trumpet was actually sounded back in Revelation chapter eleven. But because we've been in pause mode, we have not yet seen its consequences. And we're going to discover that just as the 7th Seal Judgment was made up of seven trumpet judgments, the 7th Trumpet Judgment will consist of seven bowl judgments. We're going to look at Revelation 15 and 16 together because they offer two perspectives on the same set of events.

Revelation 15 really describes what takes place in heaven, while Revelation 16 describes what takes place simultaneously on the Earth. With that in mind, let's dive into the text. At the beginning of Revelation 15. 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.

You might want to underline that word complete. These seven bold judgments are going to complete the pouring out of God's wrath upon the Earth. And the word last confirms that there is indeed a chronology to the judgment narrative of Revelation. These are the last judgments because they come after the seal and after the trumpet judgments. We can be so hypocritical in how we think about God, because many will say, how can you believe in a loving God when Hitler was allowed to do what he did, when any of the other atrocious dictators and tyrants were allowed to do what they did?

But those same people will then ask, how could a loving God order the extermination of the Canaanites an entire people group? And here's the hypocrisy. We want God to deal justly with great evil, and yet we accuse him of being unjust when he does. If you'll do the historical research, you'll learn that every people group God commanded kill, such as the Canaanites was wicked and evil in ways that I don't feel right detailing in Church because it's unspeakable. Honestly.

Suffice to say, they were an entire culture of Hitlers who were raising generation after generation of little Hitlers, conditioned from birth to be evil and perverse beyond belief. And yet God gave them hundreds of years to repent, but they would not. God will only pour out his wrath on the Earth after giving the Earth thousands of years to repent. And the lack of repentance by those who reject Jesus to the very end proves that they would never have repented under any circumstances like the Canaanites, the Earth will have reached the point where it cannot merely be reformed. The slate will have to be wiped clean.

The logical question is not how could God judge the Earth so harshly? The logical question is why has he given us so much time to repent? Two Peter 39 tells us, the Rapture and Tribulation haven't happened yet for one reason. God is long suffering. He's patient toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God is just. He's patient, and he desires everyone be saved. The only reason anyone will experience the wrath of God will be because ultimately they choose to they choose wrath over Jesus. Jesus is the one who offered up his body and blood to offer everyone a place in his family. That's why it's nothing short of blasphemy to suggest that God is not loving.

Any attempt to argue that point falls apart at the foot of the cross where Jesus died in our place. Verse two, John writes, 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. The people John sees are those who were martyred in the great Tribulation for refusing to worship Antichrist or take his Mark. You'll recall that in Revelation 1211 we read, they overcame him. They overcame Antichrist because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.

And they did not love their life even when faced with death. We've talked before about how the earthly Tabernacle and temples mirrored the true temple, which is in heaven. The sea of glass that exists in heaven was mirrored on Earth by the brass sea, a labor or Basin that was used by the priests for ceremonial washing. In Ephesians 526, Paul tells us that we are sanctified and cleansed not by washing with water but by washing with the word. The picture we're meant to understand is that symbolically, these precious great Tribulation martyrs are standing on the word of God, not in a disrespectful sense, but in the sense that the promises of God are their firm foundation.

They held onto them as they were enduring hardship on the Earth and the Great Tribulation, because remember that in that time, Antichrist will be committing open genocide against Jews and believers. He thinks he's succeeding, but he's really just running a shuttle service to heaven, which is a much better place to be during the Great Tribulation. The fire that's mentioned here, along with the sea, points to God's judgment, and we'll see how that's connected in just a moment. Verse three, it says, they sing underline the song of Moses, the servant of God, and underline 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, or O King of the nations. More accurately, who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name, for you alone are Holy.

These Tribulation martyrs are singing the song of Moses, the first song recorded in Scripture back in Exodus, chapter 15, verses one through 18. And they're also singing the song of the Lamb, first heard in Revelation, chapter five, eight through 14. A few hours before the song of Moses was sung for the first time, the Israelites were in a hopeless situation, pinned against the Reed sea with the Egyptian Army bearing down on them and nowhere to run. The triumph of evil over good seemed inevitable. And yet, just a few hours later, they found themselves standing safely on the other side, watching the water close around the Egyptians, burying them in the depths.

That is exactly what will happen for those martyred in the Great Tribulation. In the blink of an eye. Through death, they will be transported from their darkest hour to their greatest hour. They will be delivered by the Lord and will watch as he deals with their enemies. How perfect it is then, that as they sing the Bible's first song, they also make it the Bible's final song.

When following Jesus gets you killed. It might seem strange to then sing words like, Great and marvelous are your works. Just and true are your ways. But you see, the reality of heaven completely changes the equation for those who belong to the Lord. Heaven changes everything.

Don't lose sight of heaven. These martyrs left the Earth in a wave of persecution, suffering and death. They were losers on Earth, but Champions in eternity because the reality of heaven changes everything. They get there into the presence of God and all the pain and suffering is forgotten. They're just so happy to be there.

Heaven changes everything. The final part of their song in verse four says this, for all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested. The word shall tells us that this is speaking of the future tense. It's talking about what will take place after the Second Coming, after the Tribulation in the millennial Kingdom. Zachariah 1416 talks about this time and give some additional details.

And it shall come to pass that everyone who has left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles. In the millennial Kingdom which will begin with the Second coming, the Mosaic feast of Tabernacles will be reinstated. Each of the Hebrew feasts point ahead prophetically to a time when they will be fulfilled. The most obvious example is Jesus laying down his life as the ultimate Passover lamb, fulfilling the Passover. In Acts chapter two, we see the greater fulfillment of Pentecost as the Spirit is given.

Because Christ has fulfilled the law. The true fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles will take place in the Millennium. Instead of celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, we will celebrate the Lord bringing us out of the world and into his Kingdom. And incredibly, Sakuraiya tells us in the next verse that not everyone will accept the invitation even in the Millennium. It says, and it shall be that whichever of the families of the Earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts on them.

There will be no reign in the Millennium. This will be a physical manifestation of what is already a spiritual truth because we've all been invited to fellowship with the Lord today. But it's a choice. And if we decline the invitation, we will find our souls dry. That's what happens when we choose to say, Well, I just don't have time to meet with the Lord today, or I just don't have time to go to the place where God's people are gathering.

I've got a lot going on right now. If you dig into the scriptures you read through the New Testament, you'll find that the Lord loves it when his people get together around his name. He blesses those times he moves in those get togethers, he revives us through them. Back to Revelation 15 and verse five. Remember, we're in heaven at the moment for this.

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, white robes speak of righteousness. And these Angels are dressed like priests. And now we see the judgment that the fire in verse two was alluding to. These Angels are preparing to pour out the final portion of God's righteous judgment upon the Earth.

Verse seven. 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. Let's keep going right into chapter 16, which is going to describe the contents of each of these bowls of wrath.

Verse one. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven Angels, Go and pour the bowls of wrath of God on the Earth. These seven bold judgments will be rapid and will be immediately followed by the Second Coming, so we know they take place very close to the end of the Great Tribulation, likely over the final few weeks. Verse two. 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 who embraced the leadership of Antichrist and Satan by taking the Mark will experience an unexpected side effect, a torturous sore. If I were speculating and I am, I would guess the sore will occur on the part of their body where they received the Mark. These people rejected God and took the Mark because they believed it would be the solution to all the world's problems. We do the same thing every time we reject God's ways in favor of our own. We know what God's Word says, but we believe that something else will bring us greater relief.

And what happens? Well, the Bible tells us sin is pleasurable for a season. It tastes sweet at first, but inevitably it always ends up bringing pain and destruction. Always. Perhaps you've been through a season where you wrestled with viewing God as a killjoy, a Big Brother type Overlord who sees everything and uses that power to try and find out if there are any on the Earth who are actually having fun so that he can put a stop to it ASAP.

That view of God generally changes when you begin to take an honest look at what sin is doing to your life. Because it's never pretty too much of the time, we fail to grasp the reality that sin has natural consequences, and 99. 9% of the time Jesus forgiving your sins does not exempt you from experiencing them. When we have to face those natural consequences, we have no right to blame God for anything. We're merely reaping what we've sown if you're still trying to get away with sin, you're only hurting yourself.

It's a Fool's errand. You are sowing things that you do not want to reap, and God loves you enough to tell you clearly in His Word. You don't want to do that. You don't want to do that. The wise man or woman eventually realizes that sin is stupid.

It's almost as stupid as being angry at God when we have to face the natural consequences of our own sins. Lastly, on this first bold judgment, I want to make sure that we notice that it is specific to those who have taken the Mark of the beast and worship Antichrist. In other words, those who have chosen Jesus and are still alive on the Earth at this time will not be affected by this judgment, and you can make the case that they will somehow be protected from all the bowl judgments, verse three. Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea and it became blood as of a dead man and every would you underline every living creature in the sea died? The text seems to say fairly clearly that the sea turned to blood, literally the kind that flows out of a dead man.

As a result, every living creature in the sea died. Did you catch that all life in the oceans and seas will die? All of it. Those on the Earth rejected the blood and water that flowed from Jesus's side on the cross, the blood and water that speaks of Salvation. And now they must deal with blood and water that speaks of condemnation.

Some people get confused about these bold judgments and think John is repeating his description of judgments from earlier chapters. The short answer is that these are distinct, separate judgments. And to ensure we don't get confused, God divided the judgments into three sets of seven, with each set of seven being given a different format seal, trumpet, and bowl. And we're going to find that this judgment is only part one, with the next bowl being part two. Take a look at verse four.

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the Rivers and Springs of water, and they became blood. The implication seems to be that the second bowl judgment turned all salt water to blood, while this third bowl judgment turns all fresh water to blood morbidly. This means blood will be all that's available to drink for those who have rejected the Lord. And while some may cry, that's horrible, that's not fair. Note the explanation provided by this third angel, verse five.

And I heard the angel of the water saying, you are righteous, so, 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 the 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 your judgments. The angel says, Lord, these people rejected your blood and delighted at spilling the blood of your Saints. So you have given them blood to drink. And this is a righteous judgment?

Yeah, it's pretty dark stuff, but maybe we can shed some light on it. If you're a parent, then you probably know how it pushes a button. If anyone messes with one of your kids, you might be a peace loving Jesus following Christian man or woman. But if someone messes with one of your kids in a serious way, you know they're going to see a different side of you real fast. God is so gracious because unlike me, his first response is never wrath upon those who have harmed his kids.

Unbelievably. His first response is to invite those people to be adopted into his family too, so that they might experience his love, have a change of heart, and be brought to the place where they cry out, Father, please forgive me. That's what Jesus did for the Apostle Paul, a man who had devoted himself to the task of persecuting Christians. But what do you think happens when God extends that amazing Grace going above and beyond, offering the life of his only begotten son to call those people to repentance? And they respond by saying, yeah, I know your God and I know they're your kids, but I don't care.

I'm not going to stop. I just love killing your kids. You know what happens? Revelation 16 happens, and the response of all of us in heaven, along with the Angels, will be to say, this is righteous and just verse eight. 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.

This bowl is poured out on the sun. It changes something about the sun, stirring up unusual activity on its surface. Perhaps it will be solar flares of an intensity and multitude that will actually cause burning on the bodies of those on the Earth. Isaiah wrote about this time it's on your outlines, saying, The Earth mourns and fades away. The world languishes and fades away.

The haughty people of the Earth languish. The Earth is also defiled under its inhabitants because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting Covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the Earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the Earth are burned and few men are left. Verse ten then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his Kingdom became full of darkness.

The 9th plague of the Exodus was also a plague of darkness, a darkness the Lord described as darkness which may even be felt. It's terrifying, and it tells us that it was also a spiritual darkness, a small preview of the eternal outer darkness that awaits those who reject the Lord. We can safely assume the darkness of this fifth bold judgment will be similar in nature, and the text seems to imply that this darkness will be limited to the Kingdom of Antichrist. Perhaps places like Petra and possibly other parts of the world not ruled by Antichrist will be exempt from this judgment, and if so, it would parallel the distinction God made between the Israelites and the Egyptians during most of the Exodus plagues, and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. The idea is that they're chewing on their tongues to try and release just a drop of moisture in their mouths.

There will be scorching heat. Now think about this scorching heat and nothing to drink but blood in a darkness that can be felt while they also have this festering, painful sore on their body. The Puritans used to say the same sum that melts the ice, hardens the clay. And verse eleven shows us that those on the Earth will be the latter. It says they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores from the first plague and did not repent of their deeds.

The Church has been removed from the Earth. The fullness of the Gentiles has been added to the family of God and the door of Salvation for the Gentiles. And the Tribulation is closed. Almost all remaining Jews are hiding in Petra after fleeing Jerusalem. Antichrist is on his throne in the desecrated temple.

It's going to be a time of darkness on every level, the likes of which the world has never seen nor will ever see again. Back in Revelation 13, four those who rejected Jesus were in awe of Antichrist. It says, So they worship the Dragon who gave authority to the beast, and they worship the beast, saying, who's like the beast who is able to make war with him? At this point in the great Tribulation, the Lord is answering that question emphatically verse twelve. Then the 6th 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.

The Euphrates Rivers is referred to 25 times in the Bible. It constitutes the northernmost boundary of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants, and it is Antithetical to the Jordan River. The Jordan leads to the promised land, while the Euphrates leads to Babylon. This plague serves a specific purpose, and we're told what it is. The Euphrates will be dried up so that Kings from the east can move across it to the Western side.

The implication is that these Kings will be leading armies. At the time Joan reported this, the east was considered to be anywhere east of Israel. In modern Western thinking, we generally assume the east refers to somewhere like China and Asian countries. But remember the Magi, the wise men who came to visit the infant baby Jesus, also came from the east, which was Babylon, modern day Iraq. I think these Kings from the east will most likely be from China and or India, but there's room, technically, for many different countries to fit under the umbrella of that term.

Where these Kings from the east going with their armies? I would suggest that if we look ahead to verse 16 for a moment, we'll find our answer. It says, and they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. All indicators are that these armies are heading to the Valley of Jesrael in Northern Israel, better known as Armageddon. Why?

We'll discuss that in just a few verses. You know, people used to scoff at the idea of the Euphrates drying up. But that all changed when Turkey completed the Attitude Dam. In a project primarily undertaken for political reasons, Turkey lies upstream of Syria and Iraq, and this dam gives them the ability to cut off the flow of the Euphrates for up to a year should they feel the need to do so, which they did as recently as May 16, 2014. In the political world, Turkey wants to see Syrian dictator Bashar Assad ousted.

In recent years, Turkey has tried to accomplish this by arming Syrian rebels. But once Russia came to Assad's aid, such an outcome became essentially impossible. One of the other tactics Turkey tried was strategically cutting off Syria's water supply from the Euphrates. But tragically, all this tactic did was devastate Syrian and Iraqi civilians who rely on the Euphrates for many of the essentials of life. Some Bible teachers speculate that this geopolitical conflict could lead to most of the Euphrates having already been dried up by the time this judgment takes place, ensuring hard ground for things like tanks to drive across as opposed to a swamp.

But as always, we should remember that we don't need a naturalistic explanation for any of these judgments. God can just make them happen. But I felt these details were interesting enough to share. And speaking of preparing the world for Armageddon, check out verse 13. And I saw three unclean spirits like underlying, 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 prophets.

So they're not literally frogs, but to John, their appearances somehow, like frogs, one of these things comes out of each member of the unholy Trinity, and the next verse tells us what they are and what they do, 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. These frogs are demonic spirits that are going to come out of the unholy Trinity and be sent to perform amazing signs for the Kings of the Earth. Now, we don't know what that means, and we should just be honest about that. We don't know if these demons will appear literally in front of the Kings of the Earth, or if they will possess human messengers sent by Antichrist. We just don't know.

Well, these armies will assemble at Armageddon. Multiple Old Testament prophecies seem to make it clear that their target will be Jerusalem, which is about 60 miles to the south. Satan will realize that he's at the end of his end game and will seek to do whatever meaningful harm he can in the little time he has left. And apparently one of his goals will be at that time to wipe Jerusalem off the face of the Earth. It could be that things are so devastated by this point that Antichrist doesn't have the military resources to take out Jerusalem on his own.

It's also possible that the plan will be to move on to Petra and try once again to wipe out the Jews that are being sheltered there by the Lord when he has the additional help of the armies from the east. Why they all end up at Armageddon doesn't really matter. The point is that ultimately it will be the Lord who causes them to be gathered together in that place like grapes being gathered into the wine press. As we talked about last week, in verse 15, Jesus says, 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.

This is both an encouragement and a warning to those on the Earth who will read this. During the Great Tribulation, Jesus came as a thief to Rapture his Church, and many did not see it coming. Jesus will come again at his second coming as a thief, and many will not see it coming. So Jesus counsels the man or woman who will read this in the Great Tribulation to stay committed to him and continue walking in righteousness, no matter the cost. When we give our lives to Jesus, he graciously wraps us in robes of his righteousness and knowing that Christians need not fear being ashamed when they stand before the Lord one day.

Verse 16 and they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. The armies of the world rallied together to partner with the armies of Antichrist, meeting at a place called Armageddon. If you do a Google search for Jezreal Valley and look at the image results, you'll find photo after photo of a massive Valley about 60 miles north of Jerusalem, 20 miles long and 15 miles wide. This beautiful Valley is where the Great Tribulation will reach its conclusion. It's a place with an unparalleled history of war, having been the site of more battles than any other location on Earth.

The ground is rich with the spilled blood of soldiers. It is where Samson fought the Philistines. Gideon overcame the Midianites with just 300 men. King Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neko and King Saul by the Philistines. It's where Deborah and Barak defeated Cicera and Jabin's 900 chariots.

And it's where the Turks, Muslims, Syrians, Egyptians, and Europeans have all waged war. In 1799, Napoleon faced the Ottomans here, emerging victorious and calling the Valley, quote, the most natural battleground of the whole Earth. The 6th bowl was preparation for Armageddon, moving the pieces into position. And the 7th bowl is Armageddon. Verse 17 then the 7th angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of Heaven from the throne, saying, It is done.

This angel pouring out his bowl into the air is a reference to Jesus description of Satan as the Prince of the power of the heir, his reign as a ruler of the Earth, while Satan has been confined to Earth by this point in the tribulation, this is a cleansing of sorts of his former domain of Mid heaven, of the heir, so to speak. It's the voice of God that will declare it is done marking the end of his judgment of the Earth. Now if you were with us for our last study in Revelation 14, you will recall that when the armies of Antichrist and the Kings of the Earth are gathered in Armageddon, Jesus will return at the second Coming, and they will all turn their weapons on him. But there will be no battle. Jesus will simply annihilate them as grapes being crushed in a wine press.

Verse 18 and there were noises and thunderings and Lightnings, and there was a great earthquake harkening back to the earthquakes that hit Jerusalem during Jesus first coming as he died on the cross, and again when he rose from the dead. Such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the Earth. Just look at what this earthquake does in verse 19. Now the great city that's Jerusalem was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. We'll explain this in greater detail when we talk about Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 over the next couple of weeks.

Then every island fled away and the mountains were not found. Here's something really interesting. What seems to be going on with this great earthquake here is not a judgment, but rather a preparation of the Earth's geography for the return of Jesus. It will TerraForm the planet and return it to its preflood condition, which seems to be free of isolated Islands, inaccessible mountain ranges, deserts, tundra, and the like. We don't know why Jerusalem will be split into three parts, but it seems to have something to do as well with preparing the city for Jesus's imminent return.

So write this down. Verses 18 through 20 prophesied The Earth will be geographically altered in preparation of the return of Jesus. The Earth will be geographically altered in preparation of the return of Jesus. Verse 21 and great hail from heaven fell upon men. Each hailstone about the weight of a talent.

A talent is somewhere between 86 and £135. I'm pretty sure the exact number is irrelevant because if you're struck by a hailstone that only weighs 86 lbs, you're still dead. It says Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail. Since that plague was exceedingly great, the hard hearts of those on the Earth will be yet again on full display. They blaspheme God in verses nine and eleven, so God sends this catastrophic hail on them.

And how do they respond by blaspheming God for sending the hail? These people have chosen to reject the Grace of God, which means they are choosing to be judged under the law. And guess what? The law prescribed is the punishment for blasphemy death by stoning. I'll wrap up with a couple of thoughts here.

I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again. If you ever feel like the concept of God's wrath and eternal hell is unjust, cruel or extreme, you need to understand this. Any good justice system assigns a punishment that fits the crime. The more severe the crime, the more severe the punishment. The life of a person should be more valuable than the life of an animal, for example.

With that in mind, let me ask you, what is the value of God? What's the value of God God's worth is quite simply, infinite. It's incalculable. Therefore, the wrath of God and eternity in hell is the appropriate punishment for spitting in his face and rejecting Him. It's just right.

It's in proportion to the offense. And we've got to understand and this is such a hard, hard truth, we've got to understand that any desire in us to lessen the severity of God's wrath or the severity of hell is really a desire to devalue who God is. If the punishment must fit the crime in order for justice to be done, then the only way to reduce the punishment is to reduce the severity of the crime. And the only way to do that is to reduce the value and worth of God. I know that's hard, but the worth of God must not cannot be reduced so that we can claim hell and his wrath are unjust.

God is infinitely worthy. He has loved us infinitely, and rejecting Him is infinitely evil. Would you write this down? The severity of God's wrath is proportionate to God's worth. The severity of God's wrath is proportionate to God's worth.

Last thing as we read through wrath upon wrath upon wrath, remember this is only a small glimpse into the punishment our sin deserves. It's also only a small glimpse of what was poured out on Jesus on the cross in our place. And when we get to heaven and understand what Jesus went through for us, we too will say, Righteous are your judgments, Lord. I will never get over the fact that Jesus took the wrath that was appointed for me upon Himself in my place. I'll never get over that.

Romans five eight, Paul writes, But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And then in Romans 832, he says, he who did not spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things? Listen to me, Church. Tune in. Don't miss this.

Not only in eternity, but right now, right now. Righteous are your judgment, Lord, when my prayers go unanswered and I don't know why.

Righteous are Your judgments, Lord, when I'm faithful to God but it seems like the only result is more things going wrong. Righteous are Your judgments, Lord when I experience the natural consequences for my sin even though I'm forgiven Righteous are Your judgments, Lord let's pray. Would you buy your head and close your eyes? Lord thank you for Your word and we're just reminded again the very fact that we're reading about this is for one reason. It's because you don't want people to experience it.

You've shared this with your Church you've shared this with the world in Your word so that instead of having to be under wrath and condemnation they can be under the Grace which you purchased for us with the body and blood of Your Son Jesus on the cross. So thank you that you are so good and you are so patient and you are so loving and we do confess or Righteous are Your judgments, Lord and so I ask that as we go through our daily lives even as we face challenges and have questions that sometimes don't get answered, that we would live and speak in such a way that testifies to how trustworthy you are that testifies to the fact that the one thing we are certain about is Your character that you are good and you are loving and everything you do is righteous. We know that with absolute certainty. So I pray for any among us who are watching or listening to this, Father. I pray that you would fill them with faith in the certainty of Your character and goodness, Lord, we love You, Jesus.

We bless you. It's in Your name we pray. Amen.

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