Today’s reading is Revelation 16
Of course, there are some differences, but don’t these bowls of wrath sound familiar? Painful sores, darkness, water turned to blood, hail. Obviously, the Holy Spirit is again calling to mind the plagues of God on Egypt. Further, He is calling to mind Pharaoh’s own hardness of heart that refused to repent and give glory to God. However, notice right in the middle of this the interjection, “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” Does that sound familiar to you? It should. It is a mixture of what Jesus said to the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:2-3 and to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:18. Smack in the middle of all this judgment coming on the Bride’s enemies, there is a reminder that these messages are for us, the Bride, the church, as well. This is not simply an issue of insiders and outsiders. This is not just an issue of having gone through some entrance requirements, having our name on the role, paying our weekly dues, and now it doesn’t matter how we live. We who make up the Bride are to stand against the enemy as much as God is to judge the enemy. How often do Christians end up turning their back on the Lord because of hardship instead of repenting and giving glory to God. Remember, no matter what, God is the Savior. He is the Lord. He is the deliverer. Even when it looks like He is going to lose, even when we can’t understand why He is behaving as He is, He deserves glory. Whether you are in the church or without, let God’s disciplines accomplish their goal. Do not curse God and die, rather surrender to God and give Him the glory. I promise you, in the end, you’ll be glad you did.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, here we are again. In the previous chapters, it seemed like the monsters were going to win. It seemed like those who joined the side of the monsters were going to be rewarded. Not so. Judgment is coming. Even though John was talking about something the church in his day was going to face, the principle is still true for us. Our Hero has enemies. They are cornered and are, therefore, fighting in fear tooth and toenail. They will stop at nothing to try to get out of the judgment that is coming for them. But they will not escape. No matter how bad it looks for Jesus’s army and how good it looks for the enemy army, remember Jesus always wins. His judgment is coming. His enemies will be judged, cut off, and destroyed. Stay on Jesus’s side. He always wins!