End Times Prophecy Sermon: Part Four
For you prophecy buffs reading this, you'll notice I left certain parts out (i.e. the two witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, etc.). This was done in the interest of keeping the sermon within its 25-or-so-minute allotted timeframe.
I hope those who have been following this series have enjoyed it so far. May the Lord use what is read here as practical application for your life, and may you be reminded daily that His coming is soon so you can be encouraged in your walk with Him, and to strive all the harder for holier living so you are not caught ashamed at His coming.
Here it is:
The Wrath of God and the Coming of Jesus
Ladies and gentlemen,
God Almighty is a God of mercy and a God of love. This we know. After all, the most famous of all Bible verses says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God did not want us to die in our sins. While we were still His enemies, Christ came and died for us so we can be reconciled to Him. (Romans 5:8)
But let us not take that Love and Grace for granted. We do it all too often and think, “Oh, I can sin because God will forgive me.” I’ve done it and I’m not proud, but there you have it.
Instead let us also remember there are many parts that make up God’s character. Love is a part of it, most definitely, but God is also a God of justice. Look at Israelite history: it is filled with God bringing judgment upon them when they did not repent.
God is also a man of war. (Exodus 15:3)
God is also One who will see to it that the wicked get what’s coming to them: wrath. (Isaiah 13:9)
Let us not create for ourselves a God who is love and only love and nothing else. To do so would be creating a god that doesn’t exist. We must know and remember the Lord in His entirety, not just a part of Him.
Which brings us to today’s sermon: The Judgment of God.
When the final years of history commence, God will pour out judgment—several—on the earth. His goal? To get the world to take Him seriously and to turn their hearts toward Him before it’s too late because once His Son returns, that’s it. No more second chances.
Because a human being is stubborn, selfish and downright wicked. We want to do things our own way no matter what the cost, even at the cost of our eternal soul. God will use these judgments He will visit upon the earth as a means to jolt us back to reality, to pull us from our sinful behavior and turn to Him even if, at first, it is out of downright fear.
So what are these judgments and where in the Bible can we find them?
They are written in the book of Revelation and, no, it’s not cryptic. Remember back to our first discussion: Scripture is to be taken literally unless otherwise stated (as in a vision or dream, always told us such or revealed by such phrases like, “I saw...”).
The Judgments of God
The Seven Seal Judgments
On the Isle of Patmos, John the Apostle was imprisoned for his faith in Jesus. While there, the Lord came to him personally and gave him a vision of what would happen in the last days leading up to His return and the Day of the Lord.
In Revelation 4: 1-2 we read:
“1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.”
Then, when it came time to open up the first of the seven seals on the scroll of judgment and no one was found worthy, Jesus showed up and He was the only one found worthy.
In Revelation 6: “1I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”
This first rider is the Antichrist, identified with other areas of Scripture dealing with him by the fact that the rider has a crown (authority to rule) and holds a bow but no arrows (will rule with peace) and has gone out to conquer.
This man will be the world’s last dictator.
“3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.”
This second rider is War. It says right in this verse that the rider will take peace from the earth. If there’s no peace, there’s war, right? Further, it states that his influence will cause men to slay each other. It also says “peace from the earth” not “peace from just part of the earth,” so this indicates there will be a massive war worldwide, everybody against everybody.
“5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
This third rider is Famine. The verse says “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages and three quart’s of barely for a day’s wages.” Obviously, a quart of wheat or three quarts of barely aren’t worth a full day’s wages but one day they will be and, at that time, few, if any, will be able to afford to eat.
“7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
As a result of the war and famine, the death of many is inevitable.
“9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”
This fifth seal is one of hardship for the saints and of martyrdom. “...those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony [of Jesus] they had maintained.”
“12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
There will be a huge earthquake and, as mentioned also by Jesus in the book of Matthew, the sky will turn black, the moon will turn red and the stars will fall to the earth.
Later it says that man will cry out and try and hide from the Lord because they understand that the day of His wrath has come.
“1When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
This is huge. So huge that in Heaven there will be silence for about half an hour because of what’s to come. Half an hour! I don’t know about you but I can’t stay quite for longer than five or ten minutes.
Fire will be hurled toward the earth. Thunder will boom and roar, lightning will pierce the sky and there’ll be an earthquake.
Things then change modes a little now that the seven seal judgments have passed.
The Seven Trumpet Judgments
“6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
7The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
The hail and fire that will come from Heaven will burn and destroy one third of the earth, a third of the trees and all the grass.
“8The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
Something massive comes down from Heaven—possibly a meteor—and hits the sea, turning it to blood. As a result, a third of all that live in the sea will die likewise a third of all the ships on the sea will be destroyed.
“10The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”
A star will fall from the sky and destroy a third of the rivers and on the springs of water everywhere. It’ll turn the water bitter (the name “Wormwood” means “bitter”) and many will die as a result of drinking it. Water resources will suddenly be reduced and we all need water to survive.
“12The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, 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 turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.”
Darkness will prevail after this. Our current light resources will dim to only 2/3 their brightness. Likewise, we’ll lose a third of our current daylight hours and likewise there will be a portion of the night which will be extremely dark.
Then God cranks it up a notch because, “13As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: ‘Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!’”
“1The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.”
Demonic locusts will rise from the earth and torture mankind. Those who are not protected by God, who don’t have His seal of Redemption on their foreheads, will be tormented for five long months. It says in verse 6 that the pain will be so bad men will long to die but it’ll be impossible for them to do so. Can you imagine hurting so bad and wanting to kill yourself but no matter what method you try, you can’t? A gun to the head won’t do it. Burning yourself alive won’t do it. Hanging, drowning, poison—nothing will work. You will have to endure God’s wrath for the appointed time of five months.
What will these evil locusts look like?
“7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.”
“13The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ 15And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.
17The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.”
Through the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that comes out of these horses’ mouths, one third of mankind will be killed.
And what’s sad, Revelation goes onto say that mankind still does not repent. Even after all these judgments poured out on them so far—instruments of God to turn men’s hearts toward Him, instruments meant to jolt us and smarten us up—man still does not repent.
And so the seventh trumpet will sound and, as Revelation says in chapter 10 verse 7: “...the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”
And the seventh trumpet sounds:
“15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign for ever and ever.’ 16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying:
‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
18The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’
19Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”
Lightning, thunder, earthquakes and a gigantic hailstorm will ravage the earth on the day this trumpet is sounded.
The Seven Bowl Judgments
It is with these last seven judgments that the wrath of Almighty God will be complete.
Seven angels will be handed seven golden bowls, each filled with the wrath of God. In turn, they will each pour them out on the earth.
The first bowl:
“2The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.”
All those who took the mark of the beast, aside from already sealing their fate in hell, will have to undergo this judgment while they’re still on the earth. Ugly and disgusting and painful sores will break forth all over their bodies. There will be no cure or help.
“3The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.”
The sea will turn to blood and all fish will die, limiting even more of what’s left of our food supply after all the previous judgments.
“4The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.”
Now water will be scarce because of this judgment.
Some might think how could a loving God do this? This isn’t fair!
Listen to what this third angel says: “You are just in these judgments,
you who are and who were, the Holy One,
because you have so judged;
6for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
Mankind is now paying for the persecution it will and has unleashed against the church during this time. We will be hunted and persecuted, tortured and killed by Antichrist and his followers because of our faith in Jesus.
Are you ready for this? If not, today is the day to get ready by giving yourself to Jesus and getting your priorities straight with Him.
“8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. 9They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.”
People will be struck with fire because they refuse to repent and glorify the Lord. Even after experiencing His awesome power, humanity will still not bow down. This is proof that mankind’s pride knows no limits.
“10The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.”
Antichrist’s kingdom will fall into a darkness so thick and black and terrible that it’ll actually hurt. Yet they still will not repent.
“12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.”
This river will dry up, allowing passage into the Valley of Megiddo for the Battle of Armageddon.
Evil spirits will arise and perform false miracles, get people to follow them and lead mankind even further astray from Almighty God.
“17The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ 18Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.”
The entire Earth will feel this earthquake. The whole planet will be shaken. Jerusalem, the great city, will be split in three parts. Every other city on the planet will collapse. Friends, on that day Winnipeg will fall to rubble. The islands will be buried, the mountains will crumble. Hailstones 100lbs each will fall on men.
And yet still man will curse God and not repent.
On that day there will be a great city—Babylon—a wonder of the world. Yet an evil place, one filled with sin and darkness. It’ll fall to ruin.
(Side note: Babylon is already being revived on the world stage, further proof we haven’t much time.)
These judgments could happen one right after the other, but it seems that there will be a bit of a breather between each one. How long of a breather, it doesn’t say.
The Glorious Appearing of Jesus
All these signs, all these judgments, all of history—was leading up to one thing:
Jesus Christ coming to the earth to rule forever and ever!!
And, boy, is this world going to be in for a surprise when they see Him.
You see, humanity has one of two images in their minds when they think of the Lord:
A guy in a robe, with long hair and a beard, standing on a hillside preaching. Or the same guy battered and bloody and beaten, hanging off a cross.
When Jesus comes again, finally we’ll see Him for who and what He is: the King of kings and Lord of lords, radiant and in glory, majestic and all-powerful.
He is, after all, the Almighty!
In Revelation we read:
11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
On that day, the sky will fold by like a scroll and Jesus Christ will appear with legions of His saints and angels and together they will ride down to the earth from Heaven and destroy the armies of darkness led by the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon.
Apostle Paul wrote about the Antichrist’s doom at Jesus’s arrival on Earth:
“And then the lawless one...whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.”
Jesus Christ will come in power and glory, just like He said to Pilate in Matthew 26:64.
“But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
And it will be fulfilled, the verse that we used to open up this series:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” - Acts 1:11
Finally, human history will come to an end and Jesus Christ will bind the devil for 1000 years and cast him and his Antichrist and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire.
The Lord will then rule from Jerusalem on the throne of David for 1000 years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
At the end of that 1000 years, the devil will be released one last time and will amass a great army of humans as numerous as sand on the seashore (Revelation 20:8) and lead one final revolt against the Lord.
But Jesus will overcome them and fire from Heaven will destroy them. (Revelation 20:9) Then the devil will be cast into the lake of burning sulfur, where the Antichrist and False Prophet already are, and will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
After that, the dead will be judge and those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 11:15)
And then there will be a new Heaven and new Earth, for the old have passed away. Then the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, will come down from heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband (Jesus). Then God will say, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3)
Our cry should be just like Revelation 22:17 says:
17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come! And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
Jesus says: “Yes, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:20)
Are you ready?