Monday, November 8, 2010

The King is Coming

Rev. 6:9-17 NLT  
   9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them. 
   12  I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. 
    15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”

A message that the Lord has for His people in this passage is in how He comforted the souls of the martyrs.  There is a point coming when the final martyrdom of God's saints will be complete and God will not tolerate one more! God has set and appointed that time to act. The seals, the trumpets, and the bowls of revelation unpack the steps of the Lord, the Lamb of Sacrifice, taking His place on the Throne of God and setting up the final judgement.

There are different interpretations about how to apply these images. Some would find their fulfillment across the centuries of human experience since the first century. Some would say there are different dispensations of time that take place, a pre-christian era, a 'church age' ending in a rapture of saints, and a tribulation period ending with the Return of Christ and the saints the binding of Satan for a Millennium, and Christ's reign on this earth. This then is followed by the last battle by Satan and his ultimate destruction, along with a whole new heaven and earth and God's people transitioning to their new bodies. Dispensationalists, themselves, do not fully agree on how to they interpret the timing. 
We can realize that we were not meant to identify the timeline of these events. We were merely to recognize that God has already won, and our job is to persevere in His love, grace, and in obedience until He comes or takes us home.

The other message we can draw from this passage is that people are more than deceived by sin. They are captured and enslaved to it. Unless they are willing to deny their self-centered nature to humble themselves before God, they cannot overcome sin. You, however, can. However, for those who do not, there will come a time when, even faced with supernatural events depicted in Revelation, they will not. They will, rather, futilely try to hide from the face of God-- the Lord Jesus Christ, coming to judge. They will fail.

You who walk with Christ, in the end, you win because He has won. The King is coming.
Your servant in Christ's love

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