“Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”
Chapters 6-19 in the book of Revelation, describe the period known as the Tribulation. According to Daniel the prophet, it is a seven year period when the judgment of God is meted out upon the earth. The fact that this judgment is spread out over seven years is a testimony to the grace of God. Instead of being immediate and complete, this judgment is poured out slowly, in order to grant time for unbelievers to come to Christ. According to Verses 9-11, many will come to faith in Christ during this time. Sadly however, not all who are given the opportunity to come to the Lord do so. Some will ignore the warnings and attempt to avoid, or even hide themselves from judgment, rather than coming to the one who provides forgiveness. This is an all too common experience.
Matthew 27:19 “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.’”
Pilate had a unique opportunity to make a decision for the Lord. He had the testimony of three and a half years of Jesus’ ministry taking place right under his nose, coupled with the testimony of others who declared the innocence of Christ (Matthew 27:4), and the very Words of Christ Himself, declaring He was the King of Kings and the Savior of humanity (Matthew 27:11, John 18:36-37). Yet, instead of making a decision to follow Christ, he took the worst advice that has ever been given. He chose to listen to those who said, “have nothing to do with Jesus”, and in an act filled with symbolism, he washed his hands of Christ (Matthew 27:24). Sadly, many are following the advice of Pilates wife. Instead of coming to the One who will pardon and forgive. They are acting like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. All the signs are screaming out for the need to come to Christ, but like those in Revelation 6, they are running from Christ, and hiding in the caves, wishing the things designed by God to lead them to Jesus, would just go away.
Does that describe you? Are you trying to avoid God? Or have you realized, all the things in your life, both good and bad, have been designed by Him to bring you to the only One who can forgive your sin and make you right with Christ. Instead of hiding in a cave, or numbing yourself with religion, pleasure, substances or distractions, come to Christ and allow Him to wash you in His blood, and cleanse you from all your sins.
Pray now, “Jesus, forgive me of my sins, I want to become your follower and live for your glory.”
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Questions for Revelation 6
In chapters 4 and 5 we saw the heavenly scene focused first around the throne of God and next upon the Scroll which only Jesus was able to open. As the scroll is opened in heaven, our attention is drawn back to earth and the effects of the opening of the scroll upon this world.
1. In Revelation 5:1 we are told that the scroll has seven seals. These seven seals will lead into seven trumpets, which will then lead into seven bowls containing seven plagues. Remember that the number seven in biblical numerology means “completion”. Although not all details of what will happen are totally clear to us, what is clear is that a “complete” work is taking place. Keep that in mind as you study through the book.
2. How many of these seven seals are opened in this chapter?
3. John is exhorted to observe what the results of Jesus opening the scroll are; “come and see” he is told four times in the first seven verses. Read John 1:35-39. This is the story of when John and Andrew first met Jesus. Notice what He says to them in John 1:39. Do you think Jesus likes us to keep our attention upon Him and His work?
4. The first four seals bring four riders, each on a different horse. As you look at these riders and the effects that they bring upon the earth we realize that the earth is entering a time of unprecedented suffering and difficulty on a global scale. Read Matt 24:21.
a. What three things are we told about the rider on the white horse? A dictatorship.
b. What three things are we told about the rider on the red horse? War and violence.
c. What two things are we told about the rider on the black horse? Famine and poverty.
d. What three things are we told about the rider on the pale horse? Death that results from the ride of the other horsemen.
5. As the fifth seal is opened our attention is drawn to those who have been martyred for Jesus. They cry for God to be just and ask how long until He does something about what has been done to them. Look at verse 11. Will God do something and when? Have you ever had to wait a long time to see the results of God’s hand at work in your life?
6. Look at verses 12-16. What kind of events are taking place at the opening of the sixth seal. What is the response of man regardless of socioeconomic status to these things? Do terrible events bring people to repentance? Read Romans 2:4.
7. Verse 17 sums up this chapter. The wrath of God has begun to be poured out on a Christ-rejecting world. This is the time known as the Great Tribulation. However, despite the terrifying and catastrophic judgments that God is pouring out, we will see opportunity in the midst of this time for sinners to respond to God and receive forgiveness of sin.