As the saga that is the Great Tribulation continues to unfold we see an escalation. The first and second of the three woes foretold at the end of chapter 8 now come to pass. With the blast of the 5th Trumpet, the fallen star from heaven opens the Abyss and unleashes an army of demonic locusts. Then the 6th trumpet unleashes a 200 million man army wreaking havoc never seen in earth’s history. Will those hardened souls who remain finally turn to God, or will they harden themselves even further and continue their reckless course to destruction?
- We have now entered a section of Revelation where people can get lost because of the dense cluster of detailed visions… but that shouldn’t intimidate us. As we take our time and pay attention to the details, we will see that this section is no harder to understand than any other part of the book
- The 5th, 6th, and 7th Trumpet Judgment corresponds with the 3 woes foretold at the end of chapter 8
- Even during this horrific time on the earth, God is still protecting those who turn to him. The 5th Trumpet Judgment has no effect on those who have the seal of God on their foreheads
- We are getting near the very end of the Tribulation (chronologically speaking) The time is close to where all who will turn to Christ have turned to Christ. And there are those who will never turn to Christ no matter what
- When the time comes when nobody else will turn to Christ, the end will follow very closely thereafter
- It’s important not to harden your heart when you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Heb 3:7-8 NIV)
“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Rev 9:20-21 NASB)
In Revelation, chapter 9:21-21 we read the devastating indictment against those who, after seeing all that they had seen, still refused to repent. They had covered their ears and their eyes to prevent themselves from hearing and seeing what God was trying to convey to them – and now it was too late. They had finally slipped past the point of no return. At this point in the story we are at the end of the end of time and those that are left are incapable or responding to God’s love.
What a tragedy. Jesus died so this did not have to happen.
But what a powerful piece of instruction for us. Let us always be sensitive to the leading and voice of the Holy Spirit, and when we do blow it, let us always be quick to repent and run rapidly back to the One who loves us and will receive us with arms wide open.
Heavenly Father, give us all a tender heart that always hears your voice and responds to you quickly when we do.
In the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – We pray.
Individual or Discussion Questions
Below are discussion questions to answer individually or with a small group.
Feel free to share your answers in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
- What are your thoughts about the locusts described in Rev 9:1-12
- Many Bible teachers believe that the imagery described in this chapter and other parts of this book represent the way John, a 1st Century man would describe 21st Century warfare. Do you agree with this thought? Why or why not?
- Satan is the king over the locusts. Why do you think John calls him Abaddon/Apollyon? (Hint – what does the name Abaddon/Apollyon mean?)
- In Rev 9:20 -21 we read “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” Why is this both a devastating and significant statement?
- Bible scholars and teachers are split in their view concerning the identity of the strong angel John encounters in chapter 10. Some believe it is Jesus, others say he is a high-ranking and powerful angel, but is not Jesus. What do you say? What do you base your opinion on (use Scripture)
Handout and Slides
For Further Study
- Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
- The MacArthur Commentary
- Revelation Commentary Study Set by Chuck Missler