God Always Warns Before Judgment
By Grant Phillips
When I was growing up, I always received warnings from my parents about various issues. I’m sure you did too. “Don’t touch that, you’ll cut yourself. Don’t touch that, you’ll burn yourself. Be very careful using these tools. They’re not toys. Don’t play in the road.” I’ll never forget my mother warning us to not leave our drink unattended, because someone could put something in it. I didn’t understand until years later what she was referring to.
Children don’t usually appreciate the many warnings they receive from their parents, until they have children of their own. Why do we receive warnings from those who are wiser? Could it be because they love us and don’t wish to see us suffer? Could it be that they know what is ahead if we ignore their warnings? Well, God loves us and He knows what is ahead.
God warned Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16). He warned the people of Noah’s day that a world-wide flood was coming, and 120 years later the flood came. All were drowned except eight, Noah and his family. God warned Nineveh through Noah of judgment if they did not repent. God warned Judah for 345 years to repent or face judgment, and also Israel, for 210 years. Neither listened and both were carried off into slavery.
There is another judgment coming upon the whole world that will be even worse than the flood of Noah’s day. Jesus said of this judgment, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)
The book of Revelation, which details the coming seven years Tribulation, was written in 95 A.D. It has been warning us since that time that Jesus is coming back, and everything in this book will be fulfilled.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
The purpose of the Tribulation is for God to bring the Jewish nation back to Himself through repentance and to know their Messiah, and also to judge the world. Many will come to Christ during that time, but will be martyred for doing so.
Twenty-one judgments will come upon the world; seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, and seven bowl judgments.
At this point, I would like to show a very, very brief preview of what these judgments will be, as shown in the book of Revelation.
Seven Seal Judgments
First Seal (white horse): Antichrist appears. (6:1-2)
Second Seal (red horse): World will be at war. (6:3-4)
Third Seal (black horse): World-wide famine. (6:5-6)
Fourth Seal (pale horse): ¼ of mankind will die. (6:7-8)
Fifth Seal: Martyrs are in Heaven. (6:9-11)
Sixth Seal: World devasted and in ruin. (6:12-17)
Seventh Seal: Seven trumpets will be introduced. (8:1-2)
Seven Trumpet Judgments
First Trumpet: 1/3 of earth’s vegetation destroyed by hail, fire and blood. (8:7)
Second Trumpet: 1/3 of the oceans polluted by a fireball from heaven. (8:8-9)
Third Trumpet: 1/3 of fresh water polluted. (8:10-11)
Fourth Trumpet: 1/3 of sun, moon, stars darkened (8:12)
Fifth Trumpet: Agonizing torment by demons (9:1-12)
Sixth Trumpet: 1/3 of mankind slaughtered by demons (9:13-21)
Seventh Trumpet: Announcement of Christ’s Kingdom reign (11:15-19)
Seven Bowl Judgments
First Bowl: Sores upon followers of Antichrist (16:2)
Second Bowl: Seas turned to blood; all marine life dies (16:3)
Third Bowl: All fresh water turned to blood (16:4-7)
Fourth Bowl: Scorching heat from sun (16:8-9)
Fifth Bowl: Darkness and pain upon Antichrist’s kingdom (16:10-11)
Sixth Bowl: Euphrates River dried up; Armageddon (16:12-16)
Seventh Bowl: Earthquakes and hail (16:17-21)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Scripture references and read each of the judgments. I have only provided a skeleton of an explanation for each one. Over one-half of the world’s population will die, and the suffering during that time will be off the charts! You do not want to be here when the Tribulation begins.
Some may say, “I’ll just turn to Christ and get saved.” Actually, if you are in the Tribulation, there is a good chance you will not turn to Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12), and even if you do, you will probably suffer martyrdom.
“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
Our world right now is turned on its head and begging for the judgment of God. Most folks are saying that nothing has happened in two thousand years, so there is no God. The Lord says through Peter:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”
They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.
And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:3-9 NLT)
Folks, we are right on the brink of Christ’s return. Yes, He has been warning us for a long time. It seems to those who do not know Him that it will never happen, but remember this; every last prophecy of His first coming was fulfilled to the letter. There is no reason to think it will be otherwise for His return.
There is nothing more important than the eternal destination of our souls. Think about this: Do you have regrets in your life? I’m sure you do. Everyone probably has something in their life where they wish they had made a better decision. Now is the time to get it right about where you will spend eternity.
I’m sure the people in Noah’s day thought there would never be a world-wide flood, since it had never rained at that time, but the flood came.
Jesus said there has never been anything like the Tribulation and never will be again, but it is coming (Matthew 24:21-22). The world is ripe for judgment and any day now that judgment will come.
Remember those regrets in your life? Well, once the Church is removed, you will be in the Tribulation, and there is no turning back. Then you will be forced to serve the Antichrist or be a martyr for Jesus Christ. If you choose the Antichrist, and you very well may, you will suffer hell on earth and then hell in the lake of fire for eternity.
Jesus, the true Christ, loves you very much. Now is the time to face Him as your Savior and Lord, rather than your Judge later on.