Summary: Fear God, not man.
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THE RIGHT KIND OF FEAR
“The nations raged, but your wrath came” (v. 18a).
“The nations were filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come” (NLT).
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (v. 15b).
The book of Revelation was written to Christians who were being persecuted.
Fear GOD, not MAN.
“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29).
“[The temple] is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months” (v. 2b).
And when [the two witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them (v. 7).
What is the temple (vv. 1-2)? Two interpretations:
• A REBUILT temple in Jerusalem
• The church—we have God’s PRESENCE
Who are the two witnesses (vv. 3-13)? Two interpretations:
• Two individuals similar to MOSES and ELIJAH
• The church—we are God’s PROPHETS
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth” (vv. 17-18; cf. Psalm 2).
The Bible repeatedly declares that God is filled with wrath because of the sin of man:
• “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation” (Jeremiah 10:10).
• “The LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it’” (Jeremiah 25:15).
• “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. [...] Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him” (Nahum 1:2, 6).
• “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
• “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18).
• “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5).
This song of worship reveals five truths about God’s wrath: