#21 The Coming Judgment
Our text is found in (Rev 6:1-17) and we are dealing with the final judgment of the world. Now some would ask, “Why should we be judged! We’re good people. We’re doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. We have evolved into what you see at this particular time. We are the current model of mankind. We are merely following our instincts. It is the survival of the fittest.”
We know from the book of Romans that men do know about God. No matter how much they try to deny it, they are, to quote Paul, WITHOUT EXCUSE! They cannot deny His handiwork. But what they do is suppress the truth for the purpose of engaging in their sinful behavior. Some people even try to invoke the name of God saying, as the homosexual community has, “God made us this way.” The simple truth of the matter is this: Mankind will do whatever it takes to gratify their sinful desires. The Israelites ‘sacrificed’ their children in the altar fires of Moloch to insure a good crop, and they ‘worshiped’ Ashtoreth with the temple prostitutes in the groves.
There is really no difference today. Modern man worships the god of hedonism, self-pleasure and self in general. Today’s woman who wants to be free to do what she wants, meaning all the sex without the burden of children, sacrifices the fruit of her womb at the altar of free choice and ‘reproductive rights.’ As I said last week, sinful mankind loves their sin more than their own lives. They don’t care about consequences! Consider the drug addict who is so sold out to his drug that he doesn’t care whether or not he contracts Aids from a fellow user who shares his needle. The drug; his sin, is worth more than life itself!
Consider this passage from (1Ki 21:25) which gives us a graphic reminder of the power of sin. “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. In fact God had this to say of Ahab in (1Ki 16:30) “Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all who were before him.
I would dare say that today’s world is filled with many ‘Ahabs.’ Hitler walks the streets and Charlie Manson is your neighbor. Jeffrey Dahlmer is your local butcher. The spirit of lawlessness is afoot; the spirit of antichrist is growing bolder and louder by the hour. Sin is applauded everywhere while godliness, and anything that has to do with goodness and righteousness is booed vehemently. Jude paints a clear and unmistakable picture of our world today in his brief but powerful epistle. Consider these words. (Jude 1:4-19) 4For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them , since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
8Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 14And it was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
We know from the word of God that behind all of the overt evil that we witness each and every day lie the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. This is the reason for the existence of hell. God tells us that Hell has been prepared for the devil and his angels and for everyone who remains unrepentant and dies in their sins.
The angels kept not their first estate but rebelled against God and will be judged for their sin. Adam and Eve rebelled against the command of God and were cast out of paradise; their sin being imputed to all future generations. And those who love their sin and hate the God who made them will suffer the consequences of their sin for all eternity.
This is the premise of this book; the ultimate judgment upon sinners for their sin! And we have seen the beginning of this horrific time of judgment in the Book of Revelation. God sends out a conqueror. Now I think of the statement of Jesus who said that He came in His Father’s Name and men did not receive Him. He came in righteousness, exhibiting the life of godliness. And men hated the light and would not come to the light lest their evil deeds be exposed.
But someone was coming in his own name and men will receive him.
Sinful man is looking for a savior, a person who will rescue man from all the problems here on earth. The problem is that they aren’t looking for a deliverer from their sins (they categorically deny any wrong-doing; even the existence of sin) but they are looking for someone who can clean up the ‘problems’ and give sinful man a clean slate in which to start the sin-cycle all over again. The antichrist will set himself up as a god to be worshiped as the god of men. He will oppose all that God Himself stands for!
He will be evil and will exalt evil and men will flock to Him. So here comes the “savior.” The First Seal—False Christ 1Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” 2I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Instead of fixing the problems with the world he makes them worse. Sinful man has placed his trust in sinful man, has made flesh his strength and wants nothing to do with the only One who can help him. Having turned away from truth to error, having embraced the lie they are blinded to the plight they are in, having placed all of their trust and faith in the false Christ who will lead them into The Second Seal—War
3When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” 4And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. Some savior this is. We are complaining about the war in Iraq right now. But this is a war ‘over there.’ The war that we see in our text is here, among all mankind, even in America! 9-11 was terrible. I saw the second plane hit the tower and was stunned by what I witnessed! But again, that was in New York! That was thousands of miles away. We are talking about a worldwide war, in our own back yard. Peace is removed from the earth! The Restraining Hand has been removed and God has sent a sword in its place!
5When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” Suddenly the whole earth is in want. Men are starving and it doesn’t matter if you are rich or old. I think of the dark days of Germany before Hitler; when men would walk around with wheelbarrows full of money trying to by a loaf of bread.
This will be much worse! And the ‘savior’ will not be able to help because this is judgment from God. He is visiting the due penalty for the heinous iniquities of sinful man upon his head, including the head of the ‘savior!’
Sinful man wants to live forever, wants to find the fountain of youth in whatever form that may be. But unless he repents before God and cries out for forgiveness and the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ he will die! And then he will suffer forever in hell! Notice in this passage the (Heb 9:27) both the goodness and severity of God. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, here is the severity. If you die in your sins you will be condemned, you will stand on the left hand of Jesus and hear ‘depart from Me you cursed ones… But there is mercy to be found as we read in verse 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Jesus, the real Savior holds all life in His hand and will deliver those who love Him, who belong to Him! On the other hand those who hate Jesus and look for a human savior, a man to deliver them from their woes…The Fourth Seal—Death
7When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. Here is what man can do for you. Trust in man and die! Rely upon sinful mankind for your salvation and death will be the result and not just physical death. You will die and after that face judgment where Jesus Christ will declare, “I never knew you, depart from Me you evil doers.” At that you will be flung into outer darkness where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There you will be tormented forever and ever in the fires of hell!
What a different end awaits those who love Jesus! Though we may die horrible deaths, after this we too will be ushered into the presence of Jesus “For, as the scriptures tell us, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Ro 14:10b). But unlike the wicked, we will be placed on His right hand and granted admittance into paradise. There are those who will have to give their lives for their faith and even today this is occurring, in foreign lands. Now there may be people here in our country that go about killing Christians but do so in such a way that it does not seem out of the ordinary.
It is interesting that if someone kills or maims a homosexual or some other perverse individual it is called a hate crime. But when a Christian is killed for his faith, it receives no attention at all. From men! In fact there are those would kill all Christians with impunity if they could get away with it. It is only that Restraining Hand that keeps sinful mankind from carrying out their heartfelt desires. But one day that Hand will be removed and then wickedness will rule the day for the time allotted to it in the Heavenly decrees. As I said the killing of God’s people receives little or no attention from men! And Christians will die for their faith…Notice “The Fifth Seal—Martyrs”
1a) in a legal sense (think of a court case.)
1b) an historical sense
1b1) one who is a spectator of anything
1c) in an ethical sense
1c1) those who after Jesus Christ’s example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.
So you could literally describe a martyr, in the Christian sense, as one who has witnessed, or seen, or come to know Jesus Christ, has stood firm in his or her faith and has given his or her life for their faith. We see this in such publications as “Fox’s Book Of Martyrs.”
Men and women died gruesome deaths for the simple reason that they loved Jesus Christ! As I have stated before, in the Sudan it is against the law to be a Christian and the penalty is instant death. Once again, that is happening ‘over there’. But during the reign of antichrist, it will be worldwide. We read in verse 9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; they persevered to the end and sealed their testimony with their blood. Like Polycarp of old, they would not recant, they would not forsake the One Who had never forsaken them! And so they were killed for their faith.
And we read in verse 10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Now that doesn’t sound very loving. In fact it sounds down right judgmental. How dare they blame someone for their problems! And yet, and yet they were murdered by sinful men who hated them, who hated their God and who lashed out at them because of their testimony. They murdered these people in cold blood because, they were righteous and the worldlings were evil. They couldn’t stand the light and had to snuff the Christians out to ease their pain.
And these Martyrs are crying out to God Almighty that He might speedily avenge their deaths. God’s response; 11And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. Now we see the next seal and I see this as the answer to the prayer of the martyrs.
The Sixth Seal—Terror
12I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. In short, the world, the place mankind trusts in, this physical world just falls apart.
The earth itself is suddenly shaking under their feet. The sun, that orb that lights the earth, that object of men’s worship turns black. The moon, which many people believe can infuse them with power, suddenly becomes an object of fright. The stars, by which for centuries mankind has trusted in to guide them, suddenly are gone! The sky is split apart like a scroll! And this is not the first time God wrote this in His Word. In (Isa 34:4) we read “And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree.” Everything that mankind trusted in was destroyed. His foundation was shown to be sinking sand. When you jerk the rug out from under someone they fall.
Well, God jerked the rug so to speak, out from under the feet of sinful man. But the most shocking thing of all is that sinful man has come to know that there is a God in heaven! How do they know this? Because they see Him! Jesus speaks of His coming being as clear as lightning flashing forth from the east to the west. During His trial before the Sanhedrin many a railing accusation was brought against our Lord “But Jesus kept silent.” Isaiah tells us that like a sheep who is silent before its shearers, so He opened not His mouth and Peter says that He did not revile again but kept entrusting Himself to God who judges righteously. “And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, (whom the high priest did not know) that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. (Matt 26:63-64) Turn to the book of Jude.
(Jude 14) “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 ¶ to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Judgment day has arrived!
And what does mankind try to do? They try to run away. Fools! The people of Noah’s time couldn’t get away. Except for Lot and his two daughters, no one escaped Sodom and Gomorrah. None of the Egyptian army escaped the Red Sea. Jericho was totally annihilated. When God moves no one can withstand Him.
But still they try to get away. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16and they said* to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
This is exactly what David wrote centuries ago when moved by the Holy Spirit he said in (Ps 1:4-6) “The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.