“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.” ~Revelation 15:1
In chapter 11 of Revelation, the seventh trumpet is sounded. Then there is a break, and John fills in details about the seven key figures of the end times in chapters 12-13. Chapter 14 outlines what is yet to come. Now, in chapter 15, if I am following Revelation correctly, the seven bowl judgments, which will be next, and are the last of the wrath of God being poured out, are a result of the seventh trumpet.
God has been slow to anger, full of grace and mercy, long-suffering, giving everyone a chance to come to Him through Jesus. But He is not only a God of love. He is also justice and righteousness and holiness and truth and light. And He cannot allow the wickedness of man to continue unchecked. God will put a stop to it, and the earth will suffer the consequences for rejecting Jesus and choosing sin and Satan.
It is very sobering to look at this aspect of our Creator God, our Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He gave up His Son to die on a cross. But doesn’t it make sense? He is perfect and sinless- He is the ideal Judge. No bias or prejudice, all-seeing, all-knowing- He alone is truly worthy to decide what is good and what is evil, what punishment is deserved. If we can accept the justice system we have, with imperfect people as our judges, holding lives in their hands, so that our country might be protected from killers and thieves, we should be able to understand that God also must hand out judgment and “sentences” for crimes. The difference here is that, in God’s righteous eyes, we are all criminals, all guilty. Our sins are clearly laid out before Him.
THANKFULLY, Jesus died in our place, took the “death sentence” for our sins and crimes, and then conquered death and rose again. All we have to do is believe and accept that He paid the price for us- we cannot appreciate or benefit from His gift unless we receive it and “open” it.
Because of this, when we as believers stand before God, He can reach for the Lamb’s Book of Life, and see that Jesus blotted out our sin for us and washed us clean in HIS righteousness. We cannot ever stand on our own merit, but we don’t have to- we stand wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus. No matter how much Satan accuses us (see Revelation 12:10), God doesn’t see our sin, only Jesus’ righteousness on our behalf.
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us; nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our trangressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” ~Psalm 103:8-13
The Church is promised that we will not suffer the wrath of God being poured out. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:9
Let’s pray that many others will join us and choose Jesus, and avoid the wrath of God.