This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/

 

 

 

Rejoice That You Have Christ

(Revelation 16)

As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you rejoice that you have Christ!

 

 

 

SATURDAY: Jesus Has Securing Power

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

Revelation 16:17-21, emphasis added

 

Against the rumble of the seventh bowl’s massive quake comes the final glorious portrait of Christ!

The Seventh BowlA Massive Earthquake: As we study this mega-quake, the “Big One” that has long been feared, allow yourself to hold on to the immense and powerful security we have in Christ.

The judgments of Revelation 16:17-21 I take to be literal. What is described here is very possible with today’s weapons. Other than the hail and lightning, the same effects would result from both hydrogen and plutonium bombs. Consider what Lehman Strauss has to say about this:

 

“It is done!” Here is the perfecting of the judgments, the consummation of God’s wrath, the final overthrow of all opposition. Once before our Lord uttered similar words from the cross when He cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and at the time there was an earthquake (Matthew 27:51). But then He was bearing the judgment for man’s sin. However, the next time He speaks of a finished work, it will be the consummation of judgment upon all who have rejected Him.

The seventh angel tips the seventh bowl of judgment in “the air,” the present headquarters of Satan (Ephesians 2:2), followed by thunders, lightning, and hailstones weighing upwards to one hundred pounds. This is the final destruction of every religious, political, and educational institution that man has built apart from God. It is the collapse of all man’s hopes and dreams. But with all of this, men still refuse to submit to God’s rule. All that men consider stable, they must watch crumble. Many people marvel at such descriptions of the severity of God. I marvel at the unconcern and wickedness of men’s hearts.6

 

Have you ever looked at a map of the fault lines of the earth? Like an egg, God has cracked the earth just right for this moment. Note where they run: from Alaska to Chile, from Siberia to New Zealand, from the southern Mediterranean fanning out across the Mideast and then across Asia and south to the heart of Africa. When those tectonic plates move in one quake, the power of 20,000 nuclear bombs is unleashed. On December 26, 2004, the resultant tsunami from just one quake killed 150,000-plus souls. And in Pakistan and India, over 70,000 lost their lives in a quake in the fall of 2005. With more far-reaching devastation than that ahead, our ultimate security can only be found in Jesus.

Jesus has securing power. In verses 17-21 of Revelation 16, we see that without Jesus there can only be hopeless destruction. As the world converges on Jerusalem in Satan’s last effort to destroy the Jews, God will convulse the earth and obliterate them with hailstones. But with Jesus there is securing power from the One who gives us our ultimate eternal security (Romans 8:31-39; Hebrews 7).

On Mount Calvary, grace redeemed the world by the sacrifice of God’s Son. On the plains of Megiddo vengeance offers up the armies of the world in a sacrifice of doom. Both are blood baths; both are the descent of wrath upon sin. And both are brought about by God’s bitterest foes who, in spite of themselves, work out God’s perfect and sovereign will. Across both Mount Calvary and the plains of Megiddo can be written the words of Peter: “The Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28). From each of these bloodbaths proceeds a supper: one a feast of remembrance for the people of God, and the other a feast of retribution for the carrion.

 

Make a choice to live in hope: At Calvary there rang up to the gates of heaven a victorious cry, “It is finished!” And at Armageddon there rings down to earth an answering cry from the temple gates in glory, “It is done!”

Both events shake the earth—the quake of Matthew 27:51-54 at Christ’s Resurrection and here in Revelation 16:18,the greatest quake of all time. Both events attack and conquer Satan’s domain. At Christ’s death the graves opened and saints were raised from death (contrary to Satan’s power); in Revelation 16 the seven bowls will be poured out on the air—the present headquarters of Satan.

Both events represent a path: which are you on? One leads to the enduring hope of eternal bliss in the presence of your glorious Savior, Jesus Christ. The other leads to utter hopelessness and devastation with the ultimate destiny of eternal suffering in hell with the devil and his fallen angels—forever separated from the God who loved you and gave himself for you.

Jesus has sanctifying, life-giving, satisfying, liberating, enlightening, conquering, and securing power. Faith in this beautiful Jesus is the victory that overcomes the world! So rejoice if you have Christ—and sing this wonderful old song with joy in your heart to Him!

 

Faith Is the Victory

Encamped along the hills of light, Ye Christian soldiers rise,

And press the battle ere the night Shall veil the glowing skies.

Against the foe in vales below, Let all our strength be hurled;

Faith is the victory, we know, That overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love, Our sword the Word of God;

We tread the road the saints above With shouts of triumph trod.

By faith they, like a whirlwind’s breath, Swept on o’er every field;

The faith by which they conquered death Is still our shining shield.

To him who overcomes the foe White raiment shall be giv’n;

Before the angels he shall know His name confessed in heav’n.

Then onward from the hills of light, Our hearts with love aflame;

We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night, In Jesus’ conq’ring name.

Refrain:

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!

O glorious victory, That overcomes the world.

—John H. Yates, 1837-1900

 

 

 

 

 

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