Summary: Judgments from nature of never before seen magnitude, yet the unsaved will not repent.
Revelation 6: Terror, Confusion, Rejection (vs 12-17)
So far in our return to Revelation in the past few weeks, we have studied five of the seven seals in the scroll opened in sequence by Jesus Christ. These judgments upon evil mankind include the metaphors of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, representing the rise to power of Antichrist by diplomacy and intrigue, world war, famine and death. Last week we discussed the Tribulation saints that would be tortured and martyred for their faith in Christ, and how they were told to rest for a while until all of their brethren yet to die would be martyred as well.
As I had mentioned last week, the church--in the USA and in other "developed" countries--has largely fallen asleep. Or, better, said, fallen asleep to the necessity of serving others. Most people that profess Christ are looking for what they can get from the church and God, and are not interested in what they can do for Him.
A few years back, a popular book was written based on this verse:
1 Chron 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested. NKJV
So many people bought into the idea that they should ask the Lord to bless them. I feel that a large part of the prayer is just fine and dandy; there is nothing wrong with asking God to be with us in a powerful way, or for us to not cause pain to others. However, you have to remember that in the Old Testament it was a system of blessing and cursing; do well, be blessed, do bad you would be cursed. However, we live under grace, where you are already blessed because you have been saved by the blood of Christ.
Over the past ten years, I have seen people come and go from our little church in the country. Only two have left our church for doctrinal reasons, some have moved away but the vast majority of them have left because of just plain stupid reasons to be honest. One of the reasons that people have left is because they are looking for "the bigger, better church" with more programs and more "fun". They have become consumers in Christ instead of serving right where they are. Most often, people of this ilk want others to serve them and do not serve others; they are instead trying to get more "bang for their offering buck".
In countries of great persecution such as China, such thoughts are completely foreign to them. They are interested in furthering the gospel of Christ first and foremost. In fact, they are willing to suffer and die for that privilege that God has given them. Oh, how I wish this was the case here in our country, that we would have that same passion for lost souls!
There is coming, very soon, that day when the church will be no more; it will be in Heaven. We must strive to not look to be blessed, but to bless with the Gospel. And there is great blessing in the doing!
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. Rev 6:12, NKJV
Today, we begin a study of the opening of the sixth seal entitled in the New King James Version Bible as "Cosmic Disturbances". I think that perhaps a better title would be "Earthly and Cosmic Disturbances". In short, this will be perhaps the most terrifying time on Planet Earth up to that point in time.
The Koine Greek word for earthquake is seismos, the word we get "seismic activity" or "seismologist" from. It means "a shaking or shock" (Vine's) or "a tempest". In either case, it is a violent action. And the term for great in Koine Greek is megas; we get the words megaphone (bigger voice) and megaton (a unit that describes the power of one million tons of TNT) from this. What is being described by John is what is being predicted by many seismologists (those that study earth movement) today: The Big One. The biggest earthquake of all time.
There is much debate about the increase of earthquakes or the perception of such today. Some scientists feel that we are seeing more earthquakes because of more sophisticated monitoring equipment, and because of the vast number of such equipment compared to 20 years ago. However, it does not take a rocket scientist to see the increase of activity across the world. We have seen devastating earthquakes hit all over the world in the past twenty years; the Oakland CA area, China, Chile, Haiti, Japan, Russia, New Zealand--they are all across the globe. And it is not just the earthquakes that do the damage, but the resulting tsunami that has devastated Japan and the Indian Ocean region was shocking.