There are many moments in life that are bittersweet. Any parent will tell you that watching your children experience each and every stage of life is filled with the bittersweet taste of letting go. Like saying goodbye as your child goes off to college. You only hope that the years you have spent teaching them to love God and others will pay off. There is an empty feeling and longing even as you celebrate the excitement of the moment watching them drive off. You are both proud and sad, excited for them and missing them already. It is a bittersweet moment.
In chapters 8-11 in Revelation, there are numerous bitter-sweet moments. Bitter, because God watches His creation grow up. Falling into sin and its consequences. Bitter, because God our Father knows the end of sin and evil in the world. Bitter, because God does not want you to fall under his judgment. It is not always comfortable for us to think about what God intends to do against all that is evil. It is much easier to converse about a loving God who is good … and He is definitely good. Yet, we forget that a good and perfect God must be holy and just. Evil cannot remain where holiness reigns. The truth is, God has been holding back his wrath and continues to hold it back because He wants all people to see, hear and respond to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise … but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” God’s desire is that no one would face his judgment.
But the picture is also Sweet. Because the battle against all that is evil will finally be over. Sweet, because we all know it is coming, not a moment too soon. ALL evil in the world will be wiped out. Evil that has plagued humanities existence from the Fall. It is what we long for. Sweet, because this is the part where good wins and evil loses, where God reigns and the final victory is won.
But it is bittersweet for God. He created a whole rescue story, including sending his only son to die, so that everyone could escape the final judgment. Hell was not created for man, but for Satan and his demons. It must grieve God’s heart deeply to judge human beings because they would rather align themselves with evil than to trust in his salvation.
So, what does God do? He tells us the end of the story. He shows us what will happen if we side with evil. That is right - He tells us what is going to happen if we choose Satan, self or any other way over Jesus.
As parents we do the same, don’t we? Out of our own lives, we share experiences, give advice and wise counsel. We do our best to help our children envision a good choice versus a bad one. But then, you can choose your sin but you cannot choose your consequences. God is good and just; He sees the end we cannot see. He does not want anyone to perish and wants all to come to faith in Christ. Not just to avoid hell, but to experience a life of abundance and satisfaction in him. A life after this life in heaven where Revelation 21:4 tells us, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying or pain, because all the old ways are gone.” Until then, we cry in agreement with the Saints that were slain in Revelation 6:10, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
This week: Knowing that judgment will come to all that is evil and all those who have been blinded by Satan, not placing their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation …
- Are you ready for the judgment?
- Write down the name(s) of friends, neighbors, loved ones who you fear would not be ready if God’s judgment were to come now. Pray that each one would come to know Jesus as their Savior.
- Tell someone you love what is going to happen in the end. Tell someone you know and love that has yet to respond to Jesus how God has changed your life and how He can change theirs.