If you just had a few moments to call out a warning to people you love, what would you say and how would you say it? What would you be willing to risk? If you knew that the warning would be scoffed at and ignored, would you still give it? I ask you to consider these questions and more in a series called, “The Three.”
In the last letter of the Bible, there’s a lot of symbolism; a story being told with vivid imagery. In that letter we find an urgent message in Revelation 14:6-11.
This is a message for those who dwell on the earth. Remember that’s a technical term the author John uses to speak about those who are hostile to God and the people who love God; they are angry and violent, deceived, enslaved and self-destructing. It’s a beautiful message because it reveals a God so loving that he goes to extreme lengths to rescue them and, if we’re honest, we can acknowledge that at one time or another, all of us resemble those who dwell on the earth.
I’ve asked you to consider the first angel’s message:
Fear God: In other words, God’s love and grace leads us to respect him; have reverence for him as Creator, King, and Redeemer, and that in turn leads to a healing relationship with him that has been described as intimately as a marriage.
Give him Glory: the way of God, his commandments, the principles of his kingdom all based on love must be our life – 24×7.
And why, should a person fear God and give him glory? Because the hour of his judgment has come.
There are a lot of facets to judgment in the Bible. I just want to share with you that the loud cry that judgment has come is a two sided alarm bell. Let’s say you’re a little fast and loose with your driving – roll through stop signs, don’t watch your speed, and so on. You know you could get caught one day, you may have to face the judge some day but you’re busy and no one’s getting hurt.
What happens when the day comes when those colourful lights appear in your rearview mirror? Suddenly you are awake; you instantly become aware of all the stupid behaviour you’ve ever done. The hour of judgment has come!
The larger context is that all the things other than God that we put upon all our hopes, dreams, and desires are self-destructing. The next angel tells us that Babylon is fallen! For those who dwell on the earth, the loud cry that the judgment has come is a wake up call, like a siren blast, saying: The time has run out, it’s time to fear God and give him glory; take his hand so he can rescue you from the destruction that’s coming.
Knowing this, can you see how loving this loud cry is? It’s really Good News. We don’t know when time will run out. We can see a sign here or there but the Bible makes it clear that the end will come suddenly; it will be surprising to most people. When the time comes the world will be turned upside down and inside out. God’s intention is that no one will be caught in the destruction.
I needed that wake up call. Do you need a wake up call today?