Tuesday, March 19 2019
Everyone wants to see justice done. Many people wonder about the justice of God. However, no one can escape God’s just wrath without Christ appeasing justice and making one just before God (Rom 3:23–25). God’s justice toward all does not negate the Christian from desiring justice toward the wicked. The Book of Revelation teaches believers how God brings judgment.
John’s Revelation depicted the first-century enemies of the church as two beasts. One is is “the Beast” a ruler of Rome and the other beast is “the False Prophet,” the false media promoting worship of the Beast (Rev 13). Because of their wickedness upon the earth, a voice called for God’s wrath to pour upon the earth (Rev 16:1). Plagues described as 7 bowls of wrath came upon the earth. God’s justice came upon the people who worshiped the Beast and bore the mark of the Beast (16:2). In the third plague, an angel declared, “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due” (Rev 16:5–6 ESV).
After enduring the plagues, the wicked did not repent and glorify God but cursed God (Rev 16:8–9). Likewise, humanity endures today the consequences of sin and many curse God instead of turning to God. In the fifth plague, God exercised His wrath against the throne of the Beast plunging his kingdom into darkness. That wicked kingdom gnawed in anguish, did not repent, and cursed God again (16:10–11). The faithful can expect that many in the world would rather rail against God than submit to God’s love and justice.
The nations gathered for war at Armageddon, but God gathered them for judgment. John reported that a great earthquake from God concluded the Battle of Armageddon before it started. In this symbolic presentation, God overcame the nations and the city of Rome (Rev 16:17–21). Furthermore, John saw the city of Rome as a prostitute drunk on the blood the saints and witnesses of Jesus (17:1–2, 7, 18; cf. 18:24). As the nations with the Beast made war on Jesus, Christ conquered them as the Lord of lords and the King of kings (17:14). God put it into the hearts of the nations that their kings turn against Rome to devour and burn Rome (17:16; cf. 18:8, 17–18). Rome falls by the violence it stirred (18:21).
In Revelation, John revealed Christ leading His army to Armageddon where Christ came conquering with a sword from His mouth and ruling with a rod of iron (Rev 19:11–16). The Beast and the armies of the nations that gathered for a battle never engaged, yet God had already won. Christ’s army captured the Beast and the False Prophet and cast them into the lake of fire (19:17–21). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31).
Living by faith through difficult trials includes trusting and having confidence in God who will work justice now and on judgment day. No matter who is ruling in this world, “Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments” (Rev 16:7).
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