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The Measure of God's Wrath The Measure of God's Wrath

The Measure of God's Wrath

Many churches today want to give people a good experience. They want visitors to feel at home. The music is catchy and the sermon upbeat. This is understandable—we want visitors to return and members to stay involved. But if this is all we care about, we will rarely talk about God’s wrath.

Today’s text offers a glimpse of the measure of God’s wrath. Seven angels appear with the last seven plagues that precede the coming of Christ. This is the judgment of the seventh trumpet and the culmination of the seventh seal. It may help to think of the relationship between the seventh seal, the seven trumpets, and the seven plagues as nested. Like Russian dolls, the seventh seal contains the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet contains the angels with the seven bowls of wrath.

The appearance of the seven angels prompts those who have gained victory over the beast by following the Lamb to the point of death to break into song. Notice that those who are protected by the blood of Christ are not horrified at the thought that God’s wrath is about to be completed.

The plagues contained in the seven bowls are more extensive versions of those from the seven trumpets. (They also echo the plagues visited on Egypt in the Exodus.) The beast counters with warfare led by three demonic spirits who perform signs to persuade the kings of the earth to take up arms against the Messiah.

When they gather together at Armageddon, the stage is set for the final war against the Lamb. It will not last long: it involves a shout, an earthquake, and a plague of 100-pound hailstones (vv. 17–21). Instead of repenting, those afflicted by this last judgment will curse God.

Pray with Us

Please mention while you pray Donor Resource Management staff who process donations from Moody’s friends. Today we invite you to encourage Kyella Gilliam, David Kocourek, Amelia Mendez, and Patricia Fletcher in prayer.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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