I was struck last week in preparing Sunday’s message on Revelation 9. As we travel through this amazing book, the reminders of God’s sovereignty over history and our lives are an unbelievable encouragement. I can entrust every detail of my life to Him because HE is in control, even in my darkest moments. Being shown the endless worship that surrounds God’s throne is beyond moving. Jesus, the Lamb, is at the center of this worship and rightfully so. Yet this perpetual worship is silenced as the heat is turned up through every divine seal and trumpet blast of judgment. God is holy. In response to the cries of His suffering servants, He is acting. And it’s not pretty.
In chapter 9, God’s judgment shifts from the ecology to people. Demonic torment is such that death flees when people long for it. This is followed by mass casualties. Sinners acknowledge God’s actions, but refuse to repent. They know they are on the receiving end of God’s judgment, but they would rather hold on to their sinful practices and lust-filled living. What does that tell us about the condition of our hearts? The prophets spoke well of the sinfulness of our hearts, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV)
I look forward this Sunday to stepping aside from Revelation to highlight Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel in Athens. We can all learn from his presentation. After all, the one now trumpeting the Gospel of grace used to harass and kill Christians! If the Gospel can transform a murderer’s heart, it can transform anyone...
- Pastor Colin