We continue this week with Revelation 15:5-8:
After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.
Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
As we read in the text last week, and as we see throughout the Scriptures, God will pour out His wrath upon the evil at the end of the age. We are told what that wrath will be, and are given a clear definition of the evil ones who this wrath will be poured out on. As verse 4 in this chapter (the final verse we covered last week) made clear, the nations would come to worship the Lord because of His judgments. As we see in the Book of Acts, one aspect of the Gospel presented by the apostles was the coming Judgment Day. This struck a real fear of God into the hearts of the people and the potentates (see in Acts 24 for an example).
God loves all men and desires their salvation. He prefers mercy over judgment. However, when His mercy is refused, His judgment is sure. He will not relent in this because of His love for the world. It is sin that is killing us, and it is sin we must turn from to escape His wrath. Consider this clear word from Galatians 5:19-21:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The apostle does not say that those who have done these things will not inherit the kingdom, but rather those who “practice” such things. When we rationalize and justify sin, rather than preaching the biblical truth that sin leads to death, then we allow people to continue living in the condition that puts their eternal life in jeopardy. It will not be a good thing on the Judgment Day to be a teacher who has done this.
God forgives sin that is confessed and repented of. To repent means to turn away from it. The judgment of God is sure on those who do not repent of the sin as God has defined sin. He can have great patience with those who fight the good fight and resist the sin, even though, as James 3:2 asserted, we all stumble at times. As we are told in Proverbs 24:16, even the righteous “fall seven times,” but then we are told “but they rise yet again.” Our falling does not seem to displease the Lord as much as our getting back up and fighting pleases Him.
What obviously displeases Him and brings His wrath are those who start calling evil good and good evil, as we see in Isaiah 5. When we start rationalizing sin and say it’s not wrong, we cross a most serious and deadly line. To rationalize or marginalize sin is to blur the only path to life and reconciliation to God, which is repentance and salvation provided by God through the cross of His Son. Therefore, warning about the consequences of sin is the only true mercy and compassion.
Keep in mind that the first lie of Satan was intended to get Adam and Eve to doubt the clear Word of God. This is still his most effective strategy against God’s people. Do not doubt the Word of God, even about uncomfortable subjects such as God’s judgments and His wrath. To start compromising the Word of God is to do what Adam and Eve did—fall and start down the path of death.