Friday, February 16, 2018

Revelation 16:17-21 The Final Cry from God's Throne

KEY TEXT: Revelation 16:17-21 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. 

KEY THOT: Jesus' cry at the Cross, "It is finished!" signals the completion of Christ's atoning work of turning away God's wrath that makes God's mercy available for all mankind. But the final cry coming from God's throne that "It is done!" marks the end of God's grace and the final judgement upon the earth. It will trigger off an earthquake "such as there had never been since man was on earth" (v.18). It will split the city of Babylon into three parts and all the cities of the nations will fall. It will also trigger an explosion so huge that every island and mountain will be thrown up into the sky, resulting in giant hailstones falling back on earth. The destruction will be so terrible that instead of repenting, people will start cursing God because of the suffering caused by the giant hailstones.

While the first cry from the Cross--"It is finished!"--offers mercy to all, the final cry from the Throne--"It is done!"--ends that offer and brings the age of grace to a close, as Christ returns to earth to set up His kingdom. We are still living between the two cries. While there is still time, we should re-examine our lives and strive to obey Christ absolutely so that we will be rejected when He returns:

  • Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'" .

There is no such thing as a nominal or lukewarm Christian. We are either red-hot for Christ and obey His commands totally, or we are not Christians. This may sound like a shocking statement, but it comes out of Jesus' own mouth: "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16).

These words are spoken by Jesus to the Church after the Cross, not before. So, they are spoken in the era of grace. As His coming draws nearer many believers' love for God will grow cold as they embrace lawlessness. Jesus himself has already forewarned us: "And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24:12-13).

A church survey done in one large Singapore church shocks the leadership: it reveals that almost one-third of those surveyed thought pre-marital sex is okay. This is perhaps a manifestation of the spirit of lawlessness that is already creeping into the church.

Abba-Father, Your final judgment will be so terrifying that people would curse You rather than repent. May Your early warning in Revelation turns our hearts from lawlessness towards complete submission to You. Amen.

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