Last week, we looked at what happened when the seals were removed from the Scroll and God’s judgment began to be executed.
It was bad.
In today’s Bible reading, angels blow trumpets and more calamity is hurled at the earth. Without the context of the rest of the Bible, these actions sound cruel, both to mankind and to the rest of creation (sun, moon, etc.)
We tend to think that Adam’s choice in a garden so long ago wasn’t that big of a deal. It was just a “missing the mark” moment. A mistake.
But when taken in the context of the rest of Scripture, much more happened that day in the garden. So much more!
When taken in the context of a representative — THE representative head — of creation choosing Creation over Creator, the enormity of the offense comes to light.
When Adam bit into the forbidden fruit, he snubbed The Cosmic Benefactor.
When Adam bit into the forbidden fruit, Adam raised his middle finger at God.
And the book of Revelation records the Cosmic, cataclysmic effects of that seemingly innocuous act of satisfying a hunger. The hunger Adam was trying to satisfy was more than an empty stomach. Adam was trying to fill Adam with Adam. And Adam was created with a hunger for His Creator.
Sin is in our DNA.
Each of us inherited sin from our first father. Each of us inherited lostness. Each of us inherited alienation. Each of us inherited an inclination to tell God where He could go with His plans for an eternal relationship.
And there, but for the grace of God go all of us.
All of us.
All. Of. Us.
Praise God for His grace! Praise God for His mercy! Praise God for His patience. For His second chances. For His 8,000th chances.
If you haven’t turned from your sin and turned to Him, please do it today! Don’t wait, because once The End begins, there are no 8,000th chances.
There are no second chances. And eternity is a long time.
So turn from your sin and turn to God. Stop trusting yourself and your plans. Trust God and His plans. Come to know Him. Spend time getting to know Him better. And fall in love with Him.
There is an American Religious Cult that claims only 144,000 people will be in heaven (of course, all of which are from their cult). Everyone else who has an eternal hope will live in Paradise on Earth.
Is that what Jesus says in today’s Bible reading? Emphatically no. But what does Jesus say about the 144,000 in Revelation 7:4?
“And I heard the number of the sealed: 144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites” Revelation 7:4 (CSB)
Lest there be any confusion, he clarifies that the 144,000 are twelve thousand each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 12,000 x 12 = 144,000.
He continues by saying next that “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. …” (Revelation 7:9 CSB)
So no, there won’t be 144,000 people in heaven. There will be 144,000 Jews, PLUS this “vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.” John says he can’t count the number of people like you and me. He only counts 144,000 Jews. Now note: John is in heaven and sees this innumerable multitude of people.
Do you have to be Jewish to go to heaven? Obviously not. He specifies how many will be in heaven from each of the twelve tribes, but John doesn’t tell us how many Gentiles will be there, only a “vast multitude”.
Will you be there? I don’t know if you will or not. Only God Himself and you can know if you’ll be in heaven. If you aren’t sure, let me assure you that you can know (1 John 5:13), but only God can tell you if you will be there or not.
Don’t live in doubt!
If you aren’t sure, ask God to confirm for you whether or not you’re saved from His eternal judgment. He’ll tell you. And if you aren’t saved, cry out to Him, asking for forgiveness. Ask Him to apply Jesus Death Penalty Payment to your bankrupt account. It’s free for the taking. But if you don’t take what is freely available, God won’t apply it to your eternal deficit account.
If you are saved and if you are sure, spend a few minutes today thanking God for His goodness. Thank Him for His faithfulness, His goodness, and His grace.
With today’s Bible reading, we begin to see the “bad news” as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are sent out to execute God’s judgment. We see the martyrs of the faith as they’re told to wait just a little while longer before God avenges their blood.
Finally, we see natural disasters, the violence of which causes all of the people from kings to slaves to hide in caves, hopelessly begging to be buried in a rock avalanche so they might avoid God’s judgment. It doesn’t help.
Jesus will return. No one knows the day or hour. It could be today. You aren’t promised a single minute.
If you don’t know Jesus, don’t delay. Repent of your sin and turn to Jesus. Trust Him for His sacrifice for your sin. Let The Father apply Jesus’ Death Penalty payment to your desperate, bankrupt account on God’s Righteousness Ledger.
And having done that, turn to God’s Word to get to know Him better. Read it every day. Memorize verses that God leads you to. Study it with other Believers. Worship with other Believers. And tell your lost friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers about the hope you’ve found and the coming judgment of God.
It’s all about a relationship with your Creator. Bask in that relationship and fall in love with Him every day.
Please don’t delay!
In today’s Bible reading, John describes a dilemma. The One sitting on the throne holds a sealed scroll. An angel calls out, asking for someone who is worthy to open the scroll and break the seals. John says he was grieved because no one was worthy to read it or to even look in it. John wept. (Revelation 5:4)
But then, someone resembling a slaughtered lamb steps forward. And heaven erupts in praise: The slaughtered Lamb is worthy!
Don’t miss this. Don’t be distracted with the creatures. Don’t be distracted with the description of the creatures. Don’t be distracted by any of it because the main idea behind what’s going on is that Jesus is worthy to read God’s scroll. He is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12) John can’t count how many angels cried out in praise. He only says “countless thousands plus thousands of thousands”. (Revelation 5:11)
If you want to go to heaven, but don’t like the idea of worshiping God, you’re going to be miserable in heaven.
When the Lamb opens the scroll, the angels sing a new song. (Revelation 5:9) Imagine an eternity of new songs.
I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! Revelation 5:13 (CSB)
Imagine the sound of every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them praising God. Simultaneously. Awesome!
Then worship begets worship as the four living creatures approve with a hearty, “Amen” and the twenty-four elders bow in worship. (Revelation 5:14)
I’m sure that John was not just a little overwhelmed. He compares what he sees with what’s familiar to him. He constantly describes what he sees as “It was like ….” and “It had the appearance of ….”
I’m grateful for John’s descriptions. But it’s difficult to imagine creatures that John describes in today’s Bible reading. I’ve never seen creatures that look like that. Ever. I guess the closest I’ve seen is the characters portrayed in the film version of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings. Of course, those characters are fictional.
But just because I’ve never seen the creatures John describes, or just because I can’t imagine them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’m sure there are lots of creatures that exist that I’ve never seen before. Occasionally, we’ll see pictures in the news of a newly-discovered creature found in some remote jungle or ocean trench.
Today’s reading is another reminder that God is immensely creative. And I’m not.
Whereas we (I) tend to get caught up with trying to visualize John’s description, John just gives the description and says that the creature worshipped its Creator. Regardless of what a creature looks like, a day will come when that creature — every creature — will bow to worship its Creator.
Every one of us will bow before our Creator. We can choose to bow and worship Him now — and get to know Him and enjoy Him now! — or we will bow reluctantly later. But we will all bow before Him and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10–11)