Summary: Why would a loving God send people to hell? Today we will see the terror of facing God with our sins and then we will discover why the penalty, as horrifying as it is, is a fair and just penalty.
Purpose: To describe the judgment of sinners.
Aim: I want the listener to fear and reverence God’s holiness.
INTRODUCTION: Why would a loving God send people to hell? Many people don’t want to believe that hell exists, or that it only exists for those who have committed really bad things (which usually includes only those things that we aren’t personally guilty of). Today we will see the terror of facing God with our sins and then we will discover why the penalty, as horrifying as it is, is a fair and just penalty.
What would it be like to stand in the presence of the God of the universe with your sins unforgiven? Our text today answers that question.
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present "the things which are"
Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future "things which will take places"
6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation: the first six seals
8-11; 13:11-18; 15-18 B. The wrath of God: the seventh seal
Ch.19-20 C. The worship of God
19:1 1. A description of worship "salvation...glory...power"
19:2-6 2. Four reasons to worship God "true and righteous"
19:7-10 3. The Believer’s eternal union with Christ "marriage of the Lamb"
19:11-16 4. The King appears "He will rule them"
19:17-20:3 5. The King acts "great supper of God"
20:4-6 6. The results of following Christ
Vs.4b a. Persecution now "beheaded...not received the mark"
Vs.5, 6b b. Eternal life later "death has no power"
Vs.4a, c, 6 b. Blessing forever "Blessed and holy"
Vs.7-10 7. The results of NOT following Christ
Vs.7-8 a. Foolish decisions "come out to deceive"
Vs.9-10 b. Eternal death "fire...devoured them"
Vs.11-15 8. The eternal fate of the unforgiven
Many years ago a survey was taken of 607 heads of households in Wisconsin. They were all asked this question: Do you believe that you will go to heaven? 83 percent said they expected to go to heaven. Five percent said they didn’t know and seven percent declined to answer. Only five percent said they expected to go the opposite direction.
Are most people going to heaven? Jesus said, No. Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.(NAU)
So, what are the majority of the people going to experience when they meet God?
Vs.11-12a a. The scene
This same scene is described by Peter: 2 Peter 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (NAU) 2 Peter 3:10-12 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (NAU)
Vs.11a (1) The throne "great white throne"
The word THRONE appears 45 times in Revelation, while it only appears 16 times in the rest of the NT.
The throne we see here is different than the one we saw in chapter four. Notice: Revelation 4:3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. (NAU)
The throne here is white which speaks of God’s purity and holiness. There is NO rainbow of God’s promise and there is no Lamb, just pure blazing holiness.
Vs.11b (2) The One on the throne "Him who sat upon it"
There is no question that this is Jesus Christ. John 5:22 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, (NAU)
1 Timothy 6:14-16 ... the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. (NAU)
Vs.11c (3) The panic before the throne "earth and heaven fled away"
Remember what happened when the 6th seal was opened? Revelation 6:14-16 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (NAU)