Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...it will

In Revelation Chapter 8 we see such horrific things happening that it is impossible for us to even get our mind around. However, before these things, we are given an amazing picture what is happening around the throne of God in Heaven: The prayers of the saints being presented to God.

Revelation 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

After this we are given the picture of a level of chaos and destruction the world has not seen since the flood. Basically one third of life is destroyed. A third of the sun, moon, water, etc....all gone! Can you imagine the chaos. As I write this I can't help but think of how this is a small glimpse of life without the blessings of God. This is a small glimpse of hell...no light, no water...no purpose...no hope. I can't help but wonder, "why a third?" I wonder if it is not because God is still giving people time to repent during this period? We know that it is His will that all men would come to repentance and be saved. I am sure that during this chaos there will be those that come to repentance and be saved, and yet, there will be those that become even more callous and hardened...much like a saying I heard once, every time the Gospel is preached, its hearers hearts are either softened or hardened...potentially, and likely, this will also happen with those that are seeing the Wrath of God poured out on the earth.

Revelation 8:7-12 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. 12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

The segway in to Revelation 9, which is found at the end of chapter 8, warns us that although the first 4 trumpet sounds unleashed chaos on the earth, it is not complete chaos...yet. An angel cried out knowing what the last of the trumpets would bring.

Revelation 8:13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

Side note:
Whether this is significant or not, I’m not sure…but I am going to point it out none the less. The new translations (ESV, NIV, etc) say an “eagle flew” versus “an angel”. I don’t want to make a big deal of the translation differences because at the end of the day the main stuff is the plain stuff. I am only pointing this out because it makes me curious…not curious in a suspicious way, just curious.

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