“After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts. One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.”
We don’t like to talk about he wrath of God, because somehow we think it is unworthy. We have become used to the idea that everyone should get what they want and win everything, so that no ones feels bad. We can find ourselves thinking that everyone should be forgiven and that God is not fair about choosing some for salvation and other not being in the kingdom. We have become facile in our thinking and have forgotten the God that is revealed to us in the Scriptures. We adapt the things we think are too difficult to talk about and that involve us being frank and blunt about what God expects from humankind, and tone down the power of God and the wrath of God to make it acceptable to sinful, unbelieving hearts.
God has wrath and it will be poured out on human society in the last days like at no other time, more destructive and virulent than Sodom and Gomorrah. God will stop the filth of human sin in its tracks once the last Christian is gathered into the kingdom. There will be no second chances and no reprieve. The angels in this passage are preparing to pour out the wrath of God on the earth from seven perfect golden bowls full of God’s wrath. There is going to be terrible trouble and suffering as God finally and fully puts an end to the evil that has infiltrated the world through the evil hearts of humankind.
God’s mercy is everlasting toward those He calls to Himself. But there are those who will never come. Their hearts never soften to the Lord and they never see their need to repent. They are left out of the kingdom and will have the full force of the wrath of God meted out on their lives. It is a difficult topic, because it is so fearful and not in our control.
We must trust the Lord in all things. We must know that He will always do what is right. Why he chooses some and not others is a mystery.
“Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?”
This verse hold a clue. Gods choice is not like human choice which chooses the Big person and leaves the unheard of person out. God deliberately choses the oppressed and those who are side-lined and will one day vindicate them by showing what He has done. When we come to God, He requires humility and that is difficult if you are rich and proud. Even if you say you are just rich, you gave no physical need of God, and so it is hard to see that you need Him.
But the Bible is clear about our need. It is very pressing. Jesus warns us about neglecting God and our souls.
“The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.”
The choice for us is very simple. We choose eternal bliss with the Lord, with our sins all forgiven and gone and the holiness that goes with knowing God, or everlasting wrath away from God and all that is good. God is not a self-help councillor to help us with our troubles, but is the God who must be obeyed and we must repent of our ways and embrace His ways. It is foolish to not choose the Lord, or to argue with His ways that we don’t understand. One day we will, but until then we come to Him in faith and love and shelter under the wings of Christ for He shelters us from the certain day of wrath that is coming for all who do not believe.