The last days: Days of God’s wrath Revelation 6:1-17, 16:1-21
The last days are days of increasing apostasy and sin. Sin has natural consequences but it also is visited by the displeasure of God. In mercy the Lord often visits upon men some token judgement as a warning of the full measure of wrath that lies ahead. The Lord certainly does this over the course of the last days.
This Divine retribution is seen throughout the prophetic Scriptures. We will focus on some highlights from these two passages.
I AN OVERVIEW.
Cp Rev 6:1-17.
- Under the command of Christ. These horsemen are His cavalry and ride out against His enemies over the entire period of the last days and usher in His return. They appear as He opens the seals of the Divine revelation.
- They visit distress upon the earth. These are various instances of Divine judgement.
- The view of the saints, v9-11. God’s redeemed recognize the need for vengeance on sin. They are praying for it even as these events progress towards a climax. God’s people must seek to know the mind of God in this regard. It is not a question of a personal vendetta but a desire to see the holy and true God judge and avenge wickedness.
- This campaign climaxes in the day of wrath. The events associated with the horsemen are but precursors to, and warnings of, wrath. Cp Matt 24:6-8. The things associated with the horsemen are but the beginning. What dreadful expressions of wrath await the ungodly who refuse to repent!
II A MORE PRECISE FOCUS.
Cp Revelation 15 & 16.
Rev 15:2 dates these events to within the final 3.5 years of the age. In this time there are 7 great strokes of Divine wrath, climaxing in v17.
- Again, the perspective of the saints is prominent, v2-4, 7.
- Seven vials of wrath.
- These are administered from the open holy place. The throne of God is unveiled and men must deal directly with God without human input or influence, v8. The voice of God authorizes these episodes of wrath.
- Token amounts. The vessel is a broad, shallow cup. Just a small quantity is in view.
- The structures of the earth affected. God displays His wrath in this way. Even in this it is mitigated, coming through a physical medium. What will it be to face that wrath directly and immediately.
- Targeted, v2, 6, 9, 10-11, 15.
- This is the experience of the wicked. Cp Ex 8:4, 9:4.
- The pressure of these strokes is toward repentance! They are solemn warnings to turn and flee from the wrath to come. But it is resisted by wicked men.