Revelation 8: Believe the Gospel
December 11, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
John 17:6-19, Revelation 8, Job 33:1-11, Amos 7-9
There is much about the interpretation of this chapter concerning which godly men disagree and which can cause division of viewpoints – but rather than take a side in the various debates, I wish to point out the main import of these words. Namely, that when the gospel is proclaimed (as it has been very largely in Revelation up until now, and especially in chapters 4 and 5) and yet is rejected, the effect of that rejection upon people is terrible. There is a silence in heaven for about half an hour – a pregnant silence, a silence of momentary peace, the lull that comes before the storm. And then the angels, acting as God’s emissaries and portrayers of his providence, sound trumpets that unleash very terrible effects upon the earth.
The message of these words is, therefore, over and over again, to turn to God, to take seriously his Word, to listen to his gospel, and proclaim that gospel to the ends of the earth and the end of time.
Matthew Henry summarizes with beautiful clarity the five main lessons to be learnt about believing the gospel:
(1.) Where the gospel comes to a people, and is but coldly received, and has not its proper effects upon their hearts and lives, it is usually followed with dreadful judgments. (2.) God gives warning to men of his judgments before he sends them; he sounds an alarm by the written word, by ministers, by men’s own consciences, and by the signs of the times; so that, if a people be surprised, it is their own fault. (3.) The anger of God against a people makes dreadful work among them; it embitters all their comforts, and makes even life itself bitter and burdensome. (4.) God does not in this world stir up all his wrath, but sets bounds to the most terrible judgments. (5.) Corruptions of doctrine and worship in the church are themselves great judgments, and the usual causes and tokens of other judgments coming on a people.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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