Summary: There is a big difference between the bowl judgments and the other judgments. The seal judgments and the trumpet judgments will be limited judgments. But the bowl judgments are total judgment. The bowl judgments will stop man’s ungodly ways upon earth.
At the end of the world, right at the close of the period of history that the Bible calls the great tribulation there is judgment coming to this earth. There are three judgments during the last days of human history.
1. The seven seal judgments
2. The seven trumpet judgments.
3. The seven bowl judgments.
There is a big difference between the bowl judgments and the other judgments. The seal judgments and the trumpet judgments will be limited judgments. But the bowl judgments are total judgment. The bowl judgments will stop man’s ungodly ways upon earth. PRAYER
READ 1. This voice must be the voice of God. We can’t help but note that this is the wrath of God being poured upon the earth. This is it. God is just and righteous. We can be sure that He will make right all the wrongs and injustices in the world. He will not allow ungodliness and evil to continue on and on without being stopped.
READ 2. The first bowl judgment is poured out on earth. What is it? Some kind of ulcerous sore. People will be afflicted with some kind of festering, cancerous sore. The idea of it all is that the sores will be harmful and malignant, open wounds and foul smelling. Painful, ugly, humiliating and embarrassing. The sores will cause agony and torture, giving no rest during the day or night. They will be incurable.
But note that the judgment is poured out only on the antichrist and his followers, only on the people who receive the mark of the beast and worship him and his government. The first person we probably think of is Job but Job was not being punished. It was not God’s wrath that fell on Job. These sores are more like the judgment of boils that fell on the Egyptians.
READ 3. The second judgment is poured out on the sea. Theologians believe this is referring to the Mediterranean Sea and not to all the oceans of the world. If it meant all the oceans, little human life of any kind could survive. That would affect the coming judgments as you will see. However, many commentators feel this does refer to all the seas of the world and that the next judgment refers to all the fresh waters of the earth. This is one of those areas where we will have to wait and see.
We have to remember that the center of the antichrist’s power will be in the Middle East or in some nation of Europe that was part of the old Roman Empire. So the concentration of judgments will probably be there. The sea will become some kind of blood red contamination and all sea life will be killed. Imagine the sight of all sea life washing ashore, the smell and sight of death everywhere.
Imagine all the fishing industries going bankrupt and the effect it will have on the economy. We have seen that this is possible because of the red tide that sometimes strikes the coastlines. This shows us that the sea can be contaminated. In the end, the whole sea will be destroyed. We also saw the waters of the earth turn blood red as one of the plagues on Egypt.
READ 4-7. The third bowl judgment is poured out on the fresh waters. Again, theologians believe that this will be on the fresh waters near the antichrist and his followers. Otherwise, all of earth would die in a few days. This is the same judgment that fell on the sea. This means that there will be little water available throughout the Middle East and Europe where his power is concentrated.
Just think of the water and food that will have to be transported and airlifted into the Middle East and Europe from other parts of the world. As we will see later on, the armed forces will no doubt be supplied first.
First, note that these judgments are predictions about what is going to happen in the end time. So there are always people who hear about the judgments and question them because they don’t fit in with their idea of God. To them God is too loving to ever do such a thing.
Jesus knew there would be objections to these judgments. So right here in the middle of the third judgment, Jesus Christ reminds John and us why God is going to pour out His wrath on the earth and destroy it. There are actually two reasons:
1. First, because of the mass murder that will be launched in the end time. We have already talked about the great holocaust that will take place.
2. The second reason God will pour out His wrath is because God is true and righteous. He is just. So in the end time God will be confronted with all this evil that He can no longer take. He is going to punish all these evil-doers.