Summary: We are are in danger of refusing to repent and refusing to soften our hearts, just like the last generation facing the final punishment poured out on the earth.
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The people facing this judgment, the death of half the world’s population, desolation and destruction on an unimaginable scale, refuse to repent. To understand some of the destruction I think it might be helpful to watch this video of one of the most renowned scientists in the world today, Michio Kaku, discussing one form of destruction sure to come on the world which fits with Revelation chapters 8 & 9.
So, a meteorite (as described in Chapter 8) could unleash a super volcano (one possible part of what is described in Chapter 9), destroying ½ of the human population, as well as much of the plant and animal life on the planet.
This is the context in which people refuse to repent.
Some of the things they refuse to repent of are elements Jesus warns the Church about in his letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 . . .
Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: . . . they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. . . . Concerning Jezebel: 2:20 By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (engaging in a form of idol worship) 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. . .
3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
Psalm 135 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
This brings us back to Revelation 9:20-21
Last week I said “this group of un-repentant, rebellious human beings is just ugly. Their incapacity to change is deeply disturbing, and brings up many questions”:
Unfortunately, we have to ask ourselves these questions-as the Church. It seems the sins of unrepentance described in Revelation 9 are not unique to the Tribulation generation. Such hardness of heart seems to be a part of the Church as well.
How could people fail to repent when facing such horror and destruction?
It seems that a lack of repentance is a response like a muscle, which builds strength and endurance with practice. The last generation has practiced hardening their heart to God to the point that They are no longer capable of repentance.
Even at the end of the world, people refuse to give in to God’s plans. Why?
What does it take to get our attention? Is it possible the lack of repentance of this end-times multitude serves as a warning to the Church today?
How can such hardening of the heart take place?
The are many examples in Scripture of hardening of hearts
1. Pharaoh 8 times he hardened his heart
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 7:13
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 7:22
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 8:15
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 8:19
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 8:32
Pharaoh Hardened his heart Exodus 9:7
Pharaoh (and his officials) Hardened his heart Exodus 9:34
Pharaoh Hardened his Heart Exodus 9:35
Then, finally, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. God strengthened Pharaoh in the decision he had made.
2. the people of Israel.
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
And we see this prophecy of God was fulfilled in the time of Jesus