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
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you rejoice that you have Christ!
WEDNESDAY: Jesus Has Liberating Power
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
—Revelation 16:8-9, emphasis added
The last words of the Old Testament pronounce a doom upon those who won’t allow Jesus to be their Sun of Righteousness: “For behold, the day is coming, … and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings …” (Malachi 4:1-2).
Jesus is either the Sun of Righteousness who heals you—or the One who will burn you to stubble. The choice is yours. What is your response to Jesus Christ? Have you come to Him to heal your sin-sick soul and to give you eternal life? Or are you turning away from Him and willingly hardening your heart by locking its door to keep Jesus out (Revelation 3:20)? He will consume you if you do, and you will experience a foretaste of it in the emptiness of life right now.
The Fourth Bowl—The Ultimate Sunburn: Every year, around a million people are diagnosed with skin cancer in America, most of which is caused from an overexposure to the sun’s rays. Yet people still lay out in the sun. Similarly, when God causes a solar fire to scorch all the earth dwellers, they will stubbornly face the sun’s heat rather than repent. So they will curse Almighty God instead.
Listen to what John Phillips has to say in Exploring Revelation about Revelation 16:8-9: “The sun, in its normal state, pours out a continuous stream of high-energy particles which race toward the Earth at a peak speed of three million miles an hour. The earth is surrounded by a field of radiation, the magnetosphere, which protects it from full exposure to this deadly assault.
“God who created the sun and the Lord Jesus who lit that solar furnace will turn the thermostat up during this time of the Tribulation. Everyone will find that the earth is a prison house and they are going to be trapped. This will be much like when irresponsible parents leave their child locked in the car and the heat inside builds up and incapacitates or even kills the child. God is going to let this planet become a locked prison house and it is going to get hotter and hotter until people are scorched.”2
So Jesus, who can free men from doom and liberate them from damnation, will still be rejected. What a contrast of choices—to be burned up or blessed beyond description! Have you made your choice?
Jesus has liberating power. Without Jesus, life on earth is a burning prison house (Revelation 16:8-9). But He has the power to set the prisoner free, and “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36; see also 8:31-35). This is what is wonderful about Christ—He liberates us and breaks the power of sin. However, the world doesn’t want Jesus, and so they are imprisoned.
To all who look to Him, Jesus is liberator in three powerful ways: (1) He leads us in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14); (2) He crucifies our flesh so that we can die daily to self (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:31); and (3) He washes (KJV) and releases (NASB) us from our sins (Revelation 1:5). Are you in the triumphal procession? Are you dying daily to your flesh? When you fall, do you let Him wash you?
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