Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Revelation 8, Part 2

A triphammer is a device that uses a motor to power a hammer that strikes in successive strokes. Here's one in action: the point is that the hammer keeps hitting the piling until it's driven into the ground.
THAT is Revelation 8-9.  Piledriver strokes that just keep coming and coming. These strokes hit people where they really live, in the water and food supplies, in the beauty of the earth, in all that men and women consider "their world."

See what I mean (quoting from NASB 1995):

And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
7 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood,
9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.
11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

Now to put things into perspective, throughout this time persecution of Christians has been increasing, to the point where (back in revelation 6), there are many people martyred. If you'll recall, there's a Divine response to that as well (Rev. 6:12-17).  In Revelation 7, at the end, we read about a huge number of people, whom nobody can count, who came out of great tribulation and they are in heaven. 
How do you suppose they got there? They were "persecuted to death." This is a time of intense and terrible trouble.  Only thing is, it has a boomerang effect, and everyone who participated in these persecutions now feels the beginnings of God's anger. This is not the full force of His vengeance.  It's just the start. More is coming. Much more.

Persecution is not insignificant to God, although many think so.  He remembers every single murder, every single torment, every single evil thing done to believers.  If you don't think what's happening to you means anything to Him, Look again at Revelation 8. He never forgets.  He always repays.

On the other hand:
If you are not a Christian, or, more importantly, if you've been complicit in the persecution of Christians, repent! God will forgive even this, and will give you a home in heaven with the very people you used to hate. See the beginning of Acts 9.