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Revelation 15-16

posted 11 Mar 2013, 02:55 by Joshua Monteiro
The ultimate worship war
15:1-4 The worship of the saved, as they sing the song of Moses (Exodus 15)- a song of how God has done everything to rescue us from evil and slavery, and deserves worship from everyone. The question remains- what will God do with those who refuse to worship him.
15:5-8 The holy wrath of God will be poured out.
Question: why will God pour out wrath on those who refuse to worship him?
    1) Creation- God created us and gives us our being. If we refuse to use our words and deeds to glorify him, he has the right to take away his gifts
    2) Value- God is the judge of all the world, the one who maintains value (good, beauty, truth). He knows he is supremely good and worthy of worship. If he     allows people to persisit in worshipping other (created) things, we are worshipping something less than the best thing. If God allows that to continue, he         undermines any value system remaining.
    3) Joy- God knows that true joy comes as we worship him, and that worhsipping other things does not bring us joy
16:1 The seven plagues poured out (see links to Plagues of Egypt in Exodus)
Plague 1- sores- only for those who worship beast
Plague 2 and 3- life giving water turns to blood- justice as they spilt blood, and so "taste the consequences" of their violence
Plague 4 and 5- life giving sun struck- first scorching, then darkness (link to darkness on cross). May be literal of last days. May be symbolic of God's revelation becoming intense but painful (as God shows his presence and exposes sin, which the unrepentant experience as a horrible thing), and then being removed leaving an emptiness. Note they curse God, refuse to repent and refuse to glorify God
Plague 6- the gathering for the last battle- Euphrates dries up as sign of armies free to march into Israel (symbolic?). Frogs a sign of demonic activity and lies in gathering world together against Jesus.
Plague 7- end of world- earthquake shakes the world. 
Message for Christians- You will never face God's wrath, because Jesus bore it for you. Only those who worhsip the beast suffer God's wrath poured out. Difficulties and sufferings are not wrath but discipline and sharing in Christ's sufferings- and on the last day we will rejoice at God's wonderful salvation.
Message for those who resist Christ to the end- your suffering is the beginning of God's wrath, and your refusal to worship Jesus is futile.
Message for a suffering world- you can choose to turn and glofiy God and worship Jesus- and your sufferings will gain meaning, and have good brought from them. Or you can reject Jesus, and sufferings are beginning of wrath. 
3 issues left hanging. 
    1) What happens at the last battle (Ch19-20)
    2) What is Babylon (Ch 17-18)
    3) What is the rest Christians will enjoy like (Ch21-22)