Summary: The Judgement of God will come to the Earth and the Book of Revelation describes it in frightening detail.
THE JUDGEMENT COMETH
We are at an important stage in the Book of Revelation. We have seen in chapter 4 that God is worthy and sits on the Throne of the Universe. He is in charge of all and is Almighty, Holy, and Just. Chapter 5 introduces us to the slain lamb that is deemed worthy to open the scroll because He died for the sins of man. This lamb is of course Jesus Christ. Both God and Jesus are worthy of our praise and adoration and have the power and right to judge the world.
And so the judgement cometh. Revelation chapter 6 begins three series of judgement from God. We will look at the 7 seals first. Following that is the 7 trumpets and then the 7 bowls. Notice again the use of the number 7. What we will look at is the perfect judgment by the Perfect One. What follows is a description of those terrible times.
READ REVELATION 6:1-17
I. THE SIX SEALS
A. SEAL 1 = CONQUEST
1) The white horse symbolizes victory and would have been known to John’s readers because of the tradition of “Triumphs” in which conquering generals rode white steeds through the city to the banquet.
2) The rider is armed with a heavy war bow and is ready for conflict and is already given the victory… the crown of victory.
B. SEAL 2 = WAR
1) The red horse and the rider on it symbolize war. This is a powerful rider in that he has the power to take peace from the earth and make men slay each other.
2) There will be no peace on the earth until the Prince of Peace comes.
C. SEAL 3 = FAMINE
2) The scales show us that normal items for survival will sell at many times their normal value. There will be no luxuries. The result of all this war and conquest is famine. Only the very wealthy would be able to purchase the necessities of life.
D. SEAL 4 = DEATH
1) What follows war and famine? Death will come. Death will come to the earth because of war, famine, wild animals, etc.
2) The image is meant to scare us… pale horse, death riding on it.
E. SEAL 5 = MARTYRDOM
1) These souls who lost their lives because of their faith cry out to God for vengeance. How long will we wait for your judgement God?
2) God tells them they will have to wait. This God who is All-powerful and whose will is to be done will prevail, do not lose heart! More people would die for their faith in the future and so the time was not yet.
F. SEAL 6 = CONVULSIONS
1) What happens with this seal marks the end of the world as we understand it.
2) Words and passages like this can be found in Matthew, Joel, Isaiah, and Hosea.
3) Thus comes God’s day of wrath…
a) Earthquake- Matthew 24
b) The sun turns black and the moon red like blood- Joel 2:31
c) The stars fall from the sky- Isaiah 34:4
d) The sky rolled up like a scroll- Isaiah 34:4
e) The rulers of the earth hide- Isaiah 2:10
f) Asking for rocks to fall on them- Hosea 10:8
II. THE FINAL QUESTION
A. Who can stand?
B. It is the faithful of God who will make it through all of these trials. We have the hope and the knowledge that God is in control and we need not hide from Him or His wrath and judgement.
D. It is the beginning of the end when these things occur. We should not be surprised at any of this because the Bible has told us about it and Jesus has promised that these things will happen.
E. Be faithful, they are the ones who will stand.
ILLUSTRATION… Mark J. Molldrem, The Victory of Faith, CSS, 1997, p. 73-74
Planes drop out of the sky, killing all passengers. Mini-dictators initiate programs of genocide against neighbors. Forces of nature storm across the landscape, leaving devastation in their path. Bizarre individual behavior leaves heads shaking, "How can anyone do such things?" Accidents at home and on the highway steal loved ones away. All this gives credence to the sardonic line of a poem, which begins, "It’s a wonderful world to be born into, if you don’t mind a touch of hell now and then."
How do we respond to "a touch of hell now and then"? Do we go on a binge of moralism, chiding the sinfulness of a wicked world? Do we start off on a tirade against the irresponsible decisions people make? Over cups of coffee, do we chastise parents for ineffectiveness in exercising control and influence in shaping their children’s lives? Alone and in front of a mirror, do we berate ourselves over the personal failures in our own lives? All of us respond to the evil and tragedies in the world by engaging in moralism, judgmentalism, pointing fingers at others, and devaluing ourselves, especially when the evil and tragedy touches our lives. To do these things, however, is like tying a millstone around the neck with the expectation of still swimming in ten feet of water. There is no good news here; only the weight of a law that there will certainly be more of the same day after day. All of our moralism, judgmentalism,