Sermon Transcript: The Day of the Lord 3/28/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 42 min read - Lord Jesus, we give you all the glory honor and praise. It's all yours. You're the only one who is worthy to receive it and you're the only one who can handle it. And Lord, our desire today is to do that very thing. Lord, as we sing praises to you, as we pray to you and Lord as we're about ready to hear your living and active word, have your way with us. Lord, we believe that you have a word for each and every one of us every time we open your book and we pray today as we open your word that you will speak directly to us. Lord, be helpful to me and be helpful to our church as we desire to give you all the glory. And now for all people gathered who wanna hear the word of the Lord, believe what He says and by faith put into practice what He shows you, will you agree with me this morning by very loudly saying the word, amen. - [Congregation] Amen! Amen. Have you ever heard people say the words, "Oh, that'll be the day." Usually, when it comes to something in the future we sometimes hear those words, "Oh, that'll be the day." Oftentimes it involves somebody ambition in sports or ambition in politics or desire to get married or desire to have a family or desire to have children and we look at that person and we said to them, "Oh yeah, that'll be the day." Or we have an expectation for something better to come and we say, "Oh, that will be the day." We have a tendency to say that because we as human beings have a very difficult time with the future. We don't know what the future holds yet oftentimes we think that we do. And so when somebody has a picture of the future that looks different than what God has put on our heart, we say," Oh, that'll be the day." When it comes to the word of God, I find that many people oftentimes talk about God like that. When we hear about the Lord returning for his saints, when we hear about God one day pouring out his wrath on all mankind because of the rebellion wickedness, we say these words, "Oh that'll be the day," as if when's that going to happen. Well, God wants us to know in his word that there is a timeframe where He is coming back as we talked about last week, where He is going to resurrect and rapture his saints, and then He is gonna begin pouring out judgment on planet Earth. And there is a timeframe and a time period of when that's going to happen and that's what we're gonna begin to look at today, it's called "The Day of the Lord." Now, "The Day of the Lord" is a period of time, it's been prophesied by many Old Testament prophets but it's prophesied by Jesus Christ himself and it's going to happen, just in the same way that God destroyed the world with a flood once upon a time, He is going to purify the world with fire before He creates a new heaven and a new Earth. That day is coming and yet many who don't believe will say, "Oh that'll be the day." One day, they'll know that that is the day. And we're gonna take a look at Revelation 8, as we begin that, I wanna let you know, as we get into Revelation eight and nine, there are some of the most sobering passages of the entire book of Revelation and some of the most sobering passages in the entire Bible itself. If visiting with us, I wanna tell you before you get started, "Hey, you are loved." God loves you. He loves you so much. He sent his son Jesus to die for you who Rose from the dead, who offers a life to you, visit that again. But you need to know that, because as we get into these passages, they're gonna be so sobering and so difficult to read and so difficult to hear that you'll ask this question, how could a loving God treat the Earth like this? A better question to ask is, why has a Holy God waited so long to do it? So as you open your Bible up to Revelation eight, let's read through this chapter and then we'll take a look at five trues that Revelation eight points out about the Lord. It says this, "When the lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to Him, so that He might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne, and the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censor and filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the Earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea that had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter. The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it and the night in the same way. Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'" Now, as you hear this sobering passage from the Lord what you're gonna begin to see is, how the Day of the Lord is going to begin to be poured out on planet Earth. We're gonna take a look at five trues that you need to know about The Day of the Lord. And before get a start of us bring everybody up to speed of what we've been talking about. This book of Revelation, revelation means apocalypse or unveiling. It's a book about Jesus Christ and the unveiling of who He is in the very last days. In chapter one, we get a picture of the mighty King Jesus, who He is. In chapters two and three, we see that He walks among His churches and He loves his church and He protects his church and He provides for his church and He cares for his church. Then in chapters four and five, we saw what heavenly worship looked like as we were invited to see the throne and all that was taking place there with the father sitting on the throne and the son taking a scroll from the father and the Holy spirit in front of the throne. And then in chapter six, we began to see what happened when the son who was the only one worthy to open the seals on the scroll began to open them. One, two, three, four, five, and six and then we saw a pause. And in chapter seven, before the seventh seal was opened what we saw was the angels were being asked to hold back any damage done to the Earth until two things happen. One was the ceiling of 144,000 Jews. They were sealed. They were protected by God. They showed ownership and protection of God that they were gonna remain on the Earth and then what we saw in Revelation 7:9 was a great multitude coming up into heaven that no one could count and we said that was the resurrection of all the church and the rapture of the church in the presence of Jesus that all of us who know the Lord at this point in time have gone to heaven before the Day of the Lord. And what we saw in the scriptures were that, there were several things that were going to happen before the Day of the Lord would happen. Before this great and terrible Day of the Lord, we saw that there were gonna be signs that there was gonna be a apostasy, a falling away of false professors in the church. We saw that the antichrist would be revealed. We saw there would be cosmic disturbances. All of these things would be signs that would happen before the Lord would return. Jesus in his Olivet discourse said the same thing after the tribulation of these days, then you would see the son of man appear in the sky. So there's all of these things that must happen. So we concluded last week, talking about the fact that Matthew 24 and 25 highlights what is going to happen in the end. And there will be a generation of the church that will enter the great tribulation. Could that be our generation? Possibly. If not ours could it be the next? Possibly. If not the next could it be the one after? Possibly. We don't know but what Jesus is preparing his church for, is that while you don't know the day or the hour there will be signs that will accompany His coming and when you see them, you may not know the exact day and hour that Jesus is coming back but you know He's coming back really soon. Which means this, when you hear people predict what day Jesus is coming back, if you're not seeing all the signs that are prophesied, here's what you can be sure of, 100% of the time they're 100% wrong. Anybody can make a prediction about when Jesus is coming back. Jesus is like, "I'm not caring about predictions because even the sun does not know the day or the hour only the father in heaven, but I'm telling you what's going to accompany my coming so that you always live ready for my eager expectation of my return and it shouldn't make a difference whether I come back in your lifetime or not, what shouldn't make a difference is that you're living for me completely." So what we have at the end of chapter seven is the raptured and resurrected church in the presence of God, waving palm branches, singing praise to his name, glorifying Him, people from every tribe, tongue and nation. Can you picture what that's going to be like? I don't know what that's going to be like. Everybody praising God in every tongue? I mean, I don't know what it's gonna be like. I know what it was like at the Tower of Babel, where everybody spoke the same language and God said, "Enough of this 'cause you're doing it for evil," so He scattered them all. But when He brings everybody back together, will it be that every language is there? And while people are praising God in German and in Swahili and in English, will all be able to understand what people are saying to God? I mean, it's the most incredible, beautiful picture of worship that we've ever seen or experienced. And we get the picture of this lamb, the shepherd who's wiping tears away, who says there's no more pain, there's no more challenges for you. I'm your good shepherd and I'll be with you forever and ever. Amen. Isn't that awesome? And at this point in time, heaven's loud. I mean, it is a loud place. It's been loud the whole time. It's been loud with the four living creatures. It's been loud with the 24 elders. It's been loud in worship. It's been loud with angels. It's been loud with worship. I mean, the book of Revelation is loud. If you don't like it loud, just get ready. It's gonna be loud right? Now, see what happens here. Right after the church is raptured, right after the church is resurrected, we get into chapter eight and notice what it says. "When the lamb broke the seventh seal there was silence heaven for about a half an hour." Now, remember, what we're gonna see is, there were seven seals, six were open when the seventh seal is open, now the scroll is completely able to unfold and everything that was inside the scroll is able to happen. And what you're gonna see are seven trumpets. You're gonna see the wrath of God being poured out with these blasting trumpets that are gonna happen on planet Earth. When the seventh trumpet is blown, then you're going to see the bowl judgments come. They're consecutive. They're in order. They're not repetitive. They're different. And what you're gonna see in these judgments with these seven trumpets are unlike anything you've ever seen. So when it begins... When we talk about The Day of the Lord, the first thing you need to understand is it begins with the opening of the seventh seal, when the lamb broke the seal. This is when the of the Lord comes. Now, just to talk a little bit about The Day of the Lord, there's so many passages that I could reference from the Old Testament. I just picked a few so that we would have a launching pad for what we want to talk about. And the first is this, you can write these verses down and look them up later, Obadiah, smallest book in the entire Bible, Obadiah 1:15 says this, "For the Day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head." In the book of Isaiah 2, book of Isaiah 2:10-11 says this, "Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord and from the splendor of His majesty." Remember what we read about when the sixth seal was open, how everybody was hiding among the rocks saying, "Come fall on us." Isiah was predicting that back in Isaiah 2, says, "The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day." Isaiah 13, starting in verse six, "Wail, for the Day of the Lord is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore, all hands will fall limp, and every man's heart will melt. They will be terrified, pains and anguish will take hold of them; they will writhe like a woman in labor, they will look at one another in astonishment, their faces aflame. Behold, the Day of the Lord is coming, cruel with fury and burning anger to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light: The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity. I will also put an end to the arrogance in the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore, I will make the heavens tremble and the earth will be shaken from its place and the fury of the Lord of hosts in the day of His burning anger." I mean, we hear these verses. They're not like, "Oh, that's so beautiful, very poetic." They terrify us. They're challenging verses. In Joel 2:1-11, I'll just read verse 11, it says this, "The Lord utters His voice before His army; surely His camp is very great, for strong is he who carries out His word. The Day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome." There is a day coming when God will pour out His wrath on all mankind for people who did not repent and turn to Him. Why? Because God's holiness cannot tolerate the sin of man. God's holiness can not tolerate the sin of man. The question people ask, "How could a loving God send anybody to hell? How could a loving God punish us? We didn't do anything wrong." Here's the question, how in the world could a Holy God wait as long as he's been waiting to punish sinners who are in rebellion towards him? Make no mistake about it, when you sin, you're not just sending against other people, you're not just sending against yourself, you're sending against the Lord, God almighty, against you and you alone have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight? We have to realize that God is perfect. There's no other being in the universe like Him. And that when we sin, there's an eternal consequence because we've sinned against an eternal God who created us in his image to be image bearers of him. Sin has a consequence and God will meet out judgment on planet Earth. The New Testament writers said the exact same thing in the book of 2 Peter. Peter writes this way, 2 Peter 3:3, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.'" In other words, there will be people and there are people right now who would say, "Yay you Christians have been talking about the Lord coming back for a long time. He's not coming back. All of you say that. You're all right crazy. There is no, God, he's not coming. We'll never see him." Oh, but the Bible says, oh yes, He will, and every knee will bow and every tongue confess in heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father. He's coming back and at the end of revelation, He says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Well, how soon is that? We don't know exactly because we haven't seen the signs that are portraying his coming. So it's not today, but we know it's soon but here's what we do know and this is why we started in the book of Genesis. If the word of God is accurate and an errant, which I believe it is, then there were 2000 years from the creation of the universe to Abraham, there were another 2000 years to Jesus Christ. So that was 4,000 years and there's been 2000 years from Jesus till now. When Jesus says, "I'm coming soon," when Jesus says, "I'll be back," when Jesus says that the end times began when He died and rose and ascended to heaven, friends, we're in the end times and it's soon. Trust me, it's soon. Don't know the day don't know the hour don't know the year don't need to, but we need to prepare because He his coming back. And just like in the days of Noah, they were all like, "You gotta be kidding me, building a boat, building arc what's rain. We don't even..." When Jesus returns there won't be time to repent. Today is The Day of the Lord. And The Day of the Lord is that period of time where God's wrath is going to be poured out in full measure. Now, make no mistake about it. His passive wrath has already begun. We live in a day and age where you see his wrath in the world. You say, well, where do I see it? If you turn with me in your Bibles to Romans chapter one, Romans chapter one, starting in verse 18, we see God's passive wrath being revealed our world right now. Notice what it says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." God has two witnesses in the world, creation and conscience. You look at the world, you see everything in the world, you recognize in your own soul. This couldn't have just happened. There has to be an intelligent designer behind this. I mean, there has to be someone who created all this. It doesn't just happenstance kinda be here. Creation is a testimony, the heavens declare the glory of God. What's the second witness? Your conscience. Why do you think about right and wrong? Like why is it wrong to just walk up to, and put a gun in somebody's face and just shoot him at point blank range and murder them. Why would everybody in the world say that's wrong? Where do you get your morals? Where do they come from? 'Cause there's a God in the heavens that has created a moral law and has written them on our hearts so that deep down, even if we've never been told about Jesus, we understand there's a moral compass somewhere, right? And God says, everybody has that. So they're all without excuse. Verse 21, "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools," and here is why they became fools, "they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." This what they did. And here's what we do in our culture. We exchanged the image of the glory of our God to worship what we want in our own image. When a group of people begin to worship someone other than the God of the universe, here's what He does in verse 24. "Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." That's our culture. That's where we live right now. You exchanged the glory of God for what you wanna worship and what happens. There's the sexual revolution, will please ourselves immorally any way we want. Then God gives us over to another step, it's the homosexual revolution. We'll exchange natural relationship to please them any way we want. And then there's a third stage where God gives people over to a depraved mind. When you get to the third stage of a depraved mind that's when you start calling good evil and evil good. Are we there yet? I mean, we're there. Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to them who call evil good, and good evil." We're living in that culture. I mean, just think about this. I could spend the next hour on this, but I won't. People who now call evil good and good evil. It's now considered evil if you're part of the evil guys, if you wanna try to protect the lives of those of the unborn. But you're a good guy if you tried to kill babies in utero in the name of woman's health. You're an evil guy to say that God only created two genders for his glory. But you're a good guy if you say there are innumerable genders and you can claim to be whatever you want. You're an evil guy if you claim that the church is essential and it's lawful and necessary to meet without restrictions and that the word of God commands it. But you're a good guy if you claim that the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and health officials and government representatives will be the standard for what's right and wrong in the church. We can stand up here and talk about Dr. Seuss, and we can talk about the music awards and we could talk about any other thing that you wanna talk about. We live in a corrupt culture with corrupt people that have corrupt minds who have exchanged the truth of the glory of God to live and worship themselves and their own world. That's the passive wrath of God. You're witnessing it among us in all of our culture. But what we're gonna read about in Revelation chapter eight is not the passive wrath of God. This is the active wrath of God. And when Jesus Christ opens that seventh seal that's when The Day of the Lord will begin. That's when the wrath of God will happen. And notice what else we learned from Revelation 8:1. These loud, loud crowd, all these loud angels, all these loud living beings everybody from every tribe, tongue and nation, we're all together celebrating Jesus. Can you imagine the reunion and the reception of what it's going to be? And all of a sudden, when the lamb broke the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about a half an hour. It wasn't just like it was a little bit noisy and got quiet. I mean, we're talking like full on decibels. I mean, can't even hear each other speak and all of a sudden dead silent. Hash! Like what happened? See the sobering reality that God's about ready to pour out his judgment on planet Earth and on all the people there is so sobering that it just gets really quiet in heaven. 'Cause this is about to happen now. Nobody's talking. And now it's about 30 minutes. Now, we understand in heaven, God stands outside of time and space, there's no time. John is on Earth, he's watching this vision. He says, it's about 30 minutes. It's about a half an hour. You ever sat in silence for a half an hour? It's a long time. If I stood up here and just stood here today and was like this. That's like seven seconds, y'all, I mean... In 30 minutes. Three years ago, I had vocal cord surgery. I couldn't talk cough, whisper or do anything for 21 days, worse punishment, I think I've ever had in my whole life, right? 30 minutes of silence because there's this sobering reality that God is really serious about sin and he's about to do what He says that He was going to do. And so there's this silence in heaven. There's several scriptures that will highlight this but I wanna have you turn to one. It's in Zephaniah chapter one, four books from the end of your Old Testament, goes Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, Malachi. Zephaniah 1:7, you see this prophesied. It says this, "Be silent before the Lord!" Be silent before the Lord, why? "For the Day of the Lord is near," that means The Day of the Lord is at hand, that means The Day of the Lord is about ready to begin. Be silent because God is about ready to begin His wrath, "for the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests." Passage is dripping with sarcasm. It's as if God's saying, "I'm gathering all of those who have rebelled against me, they're my guests for my wrath that I'm about ready to pour out on them because they did not believe in the provision of my son that I gave to them." Now, here's what you need to be aware before we get into this, okay? Remember? The wrath of God is not poured out upon believers in Jesus Christ. We know this because at this point in time, we're already in heaven and we also know this from the scriptures that its promise that the wrath of God will not be poured out on us. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 He tells us why this wrath is not intended for us. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says that, "We're to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." And 1 Thessalonians 5:9, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Why would God not pour out wrath on Christians? Here's why, because for those of us who believe we recognize that God, the father poured out all of his wrath on his son on a cross on Good Friday and that every thing that was intended to punish you for your sin was placed on his son and all of your sin was completely paid for. And when you trust Jesus Christ, the wrath is removed from you, it was placed on his son, it's completely satisfactory and God has no desire to pour out his wrath on you. Ain't that good news. So you say, well, who's this wrath intended for? John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world so much that He gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life." Verse 17 says, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." We love that. Naturally abandoned, I'm preaching the gospel. I'm preaching to lost sinners who need to deliver and a savior. We're gonna see hundreds come to Christ next week, I promise by faith. By faith I'm promising, right? But why do we need to do that? Because verse 18 tells us, ""He who believes in Him," that is those of us who're Christians, "is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son." Verse 36, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Nonbelievers already have God's wrath over to them. The reason they need to hear the gospel is so they can take the wrath that's over them and place it on the son and exchange their sin for Christ's righteousness. We're not Christians because we're good people. We're Christians because God awakened our hearts by faith and showed us that through Christ and Christ alone God's wrath could be removed from us and placed on his son, and Jesus Christ willingly took all the wrath of the father and drank the cup of suffering to the full so you'd never have to experience an ounce of God's wrath. Isn't that good news? So the wrath of God is not for you but it begins with the seven seal and there's silence in heaven because of the sobering action that is about to take place and notice what happens. Verse two, "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them." Apparently, there's a group of angels that stand before God to do his bidding. Apparently, there's a heavenly council of angels. And they were handed seven trumpets. Now, why are trumpets such a big deal? Trumpets are used in the Old and New Testament to do many different things. They're sometimes used in religious films, sometimes used in worship. If you wanna study more about trumpets this week I encourage you to go to Numbers Chapter 10, Numbers 10:1-10, you'll see some of the ways that God uses trumpets for the nation of Israel. They were used to gather or assemble the entire nation or if one trumpet, instead of two was blown it was to gather the leaders. You use it when they're assembling for war, they use it because it's a reminder that God is your God. That's why the trumpets were blown. All sorts of different reasons. That's why it's no surprise that a trumpet is blown when God raptures his saints. It's showing an assembly of his people, a gathering of his people, a come up here, let's be together. That's what trumpets were used for. It's not surprising that in the book of Joshua, when they were gonna take out Jericho that in Joshua 6:4, one of their strategies was this, "Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark and then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets." So seven priests blowing seven trumpets block complete destruction to that city. What do we see in the book of Revelation starting at chapter eight? There are gonna be seven trumpets that are blown by seven angels and when the trumpet judgments are done, the kingdom of this world and of his Christ will be Jesus and He will reign forever and ever. Amen. It's complete judgment on the world. That's what we see with these trumpets. So back to Revelation chapter eight, they're given these trumpets and notice this verses four and five, "And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them." So before the angels get ready to sound their trumpet, I want you to pay attention to one thing, God is still hearing the prayers of the saints. As incenses rising, as the prayers of God's people are going up, you need to understand a few things about prayer. Number one is this, our prayers are pleasing to God. When we pray, there's an aroma that goes to God well, He loves it when we pray to Him. It's pleasing to the Lord. Number two, our prayers are heard by God. Does God really hear me when I pray? Yes, 100% of the time. God loves his children and loves when his children pray. And this is what we're gonna say to prayers answered by God. Prayers answered by God. And when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, and she has taught us disciples to pray. Part of the prayer that He taught them to pray was our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, and then what do we pray? What did the saints pray for generations and generations? Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done, where? On the earth as it is in heaven God is getting ready to answer that prayer to the full. I mean, as we pray that prayer, what we're praying is, God let us live in such a way that my life reflects the values of heaven while I'm on this Earth. But what we're really praying is, Lord one day come and bring justice to the Earth and let your heavenly reign beyond this planet. Do what only you can do. And God's about ready to answer that prayer. Jesus is about ready to take over as the King of Kings, as the Lord of Lords, as the rightful one. Now, these are not vindictive prayers that the saints are praying. It's not as if the saints arrive in heaven or you and I get in heaven and we're saying, "God, go kill 'em. We can't stand those people down." Not vindictive prayers. The prayers are about his victory and his authority and his worthiness to rule on the planet. It's prayers for his holiness and how wonderful He is. It's prayer saying, "God, establish your Holy rule on the planet and do whatever it takes to make sure that you are seen as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords." That's what we're praying. That's what the saints wanna see. We wanna see that God must punish sin. We wanna see that God shows the world that the substitutionary atonement of Christ was foundational and that his wrath was completely satisfied at the cross. What we're praying for God to do what He wants to do. And as these prayers are going up, he takes the sensor or this, more like this frying pan type of pot or something. It's filled with prayers and incidence of the people, he fills it up and He fills it up and notice what He fills it up with. He filled it with the fire of the alter and He threw it to the Earth. And so before these trumpets are even played, there's thunder and there sounds, and there's flashes of lightning and an earthquake. I mean, you see that God is serious about the judgment that's about ready to happen. Now you think about this for a while. When you know judgment is eminent, when you know judgment is coming, sometimes what's worse than the actual punishment that's coming is the waiting for it to happen. Some of you may have your own stories, wait until your father gets home. Something along those lines, right? I mean, the Earth has just seen Jesus who can stand, they're crying out rocks come fall on us. Then the sun goes dark. The moon turns to blood and in the appearance of the sky is Jesus and all the dead in Christ are resurrected and then we who are alive, give our resurrected bodies and we're all caught up with him. And the whole world is moaning and they're not crying because, "Oh I should've repented," they're moaning because they know judgment is eminent and then there's 30 minutes while they're sitting there on the earth waiting for God's heavy hand of judgment to come. That's the picture that we get here. And during that time, God's just receiving the prayers and praises of his saints that are gathered on his throne saying, "God, show yourself worthy. God, show yourself holy God, God, vindicate yourself. You are so worthy of all of these." Begins with the opening of the seven seal, show silence in heaven for about 30 minutes and then the Day of the Lord answers the prayers of his people, and answers the prayers of his people. God is gonna answer the prayers of his people. When we pray in accordance with the word of God, he answers our prayers. One of the prayers he's gonna answer is letting his kingdom come, letting his will be done on the earth as it is in heaven. God's gonna answer that prayer. Then we get into the trumpet judgments and these trumpet judgments are really hard to read. Many people, even good Biblical scholars want to spiritualize these because they are so harsh that we wanna say, "How could?" I mean, I can't even fathom and so beyond my understanding and how do we even figure out how this is all gonna work? I don't know every answer to what I'm about ready to read. I just know it's severe. I like taking the Bible literally, if I can and right here I see no reason to take these things figuratively because I see God's holiness on display in such a way that he's saying, "I was always worthy of your praise. I was always worthy of your honor. I was always worthy of your glory. There's 144,000 Jews that have been sealed that won't be touched by any of this, but I want you to know that for those who didn't trust me, judgment is now eminent." And here's what we see on the Day of the Lord, that God punishes without mercy, He punishes without mercy. We live in a day and age where God's mercy is at the forefront. It's his mercy that leads us to Christ. If you've come to Brave Church today and say, "I've never trusted Jesus, and this is scare me to death." Hey, good news for you, God loves you so much. He died for you. He Rose for you. He's willing to embrace you and take you in, and no matter how much you've sinned or no matter how many bad things you think you've done or no matter what you think people would think if they found you out, Jesus would tell you this, "I know him already. I know everything about you and I loved you so much, I came and laid down my life on a cross for you and rose from the dead. Come to me, exchange your sin for my righteous life. I'll take your deadness, I'll give you eternal life. Come to me." If you hear the Lord's voice, do not harden your heart. Come to Him. But this is a time period past that now Or God saying, "Okay, I've been patient. I bore with great patience and the reason I haven't come yet is I desired all people to know me." But now He's gonna punish without mercy, notice these trumpets. Verse seven, "The first sounded," that's the first trumpet, "and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the Earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." How about that? It's devastating. We won the plagues in Egypt, it was hail and fire, right? I think it was about the seventh plague or somewhere around there. This is hail and fire mixed with blood. Now, how does that work? I don't even know what that means. Blood can be used to describe literal blood. It can be used to describe the picture of a blood red scene. I don't know what it means. I know I don't want to be here and be part of it. I don't know if it's because the hail is coming down and it's burning all the vegetation and some of the hail is so big that it's crushing people and blood's going everywhere. I don't know. It's just not this pleasant picture that I wanna be a part of. It's God's wrath. He's pouring it out. He's saying, "This is just trumpet number one." And what you'll notice about God, especially in these trumpet judgements, you'll see a third, a third, a third. Now, I'm not a mathematician, so you can check my math on all this stuff I'm about ready to tell you in these sections, right? But a third is a lot, that's 33%, I'm right? 33 and a third percent, right? That's a lot of third of the trees, picture every tree in the United States gone. All the green grass gone, right? People being killed by hailstones, blood and fire. I mean, it's devastating the ecosystem. What would it do of all the trees were gone? What would it do to the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels? How would it make it difficult for us to breathe on... I mean, you're talking about a destruction of the ecosystem. Now, later in chapter 9:4, is we'll look at next week, we'll see that they were told not to hurt the grass. Now, notice this, He said, all the green grass was burned up. Now, maybe it's just the areas where there's been green grass. Maybe not green at the time that's left to live. I mean, I don't know. Maybe there's been time between this judgment and what takes place at the fifth trumpet that grass has grown back a little bit. I don't know. All I know is that this is super severe. And when you see a third, here's what I want you to know about God's judgment and who He is. He's not just half cocked, "I'm sick and tired of this. I'm just gonna wipe this thing." It's measured. God's wrath is measured. He knows exactly what he's gonna do, how he's gonna do it, where he's gonna do it, why he's going to do it. It's been growing and growing and growing but He has a plan even with His wrath. It's not like God's just lost his cool. God's measured, one third, one third. As if that's not enough, the second angel sounded. Now, how far apart are these trumpets? I don't know. I mean, is it one day after the other? Is it right on the same day? Is it within a period of weeks or months? We don't know, the Bible doesn't tell us but it's not getting any better. "The second angel sounded and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood." That's not good. I mean, what's this mountain burning with fire. Could it be a meteor? Could it'd be one of the super volcanoes that are on the earth and some in the ocean that exploded and there's this burning mountain that goes into the water, I don't know. Something like that. John's never seen anything like it before. We probably never seen anything like it before. I don't know what it is, but I don't want to be here when that burning mountain comes crashing into the water. I mean, this is gonna be difficult, why? Because notice what happens. These are on the seas. This is the salt water, right? This is a third of the sea became blood and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died and the third of the ships were destroyed. Can you picture what that would be like? I mean, lot of those ships are taking cargo, a lot of those ships are providing food, a third of them gone. So food distribution is gonna be a big problem at the time. A third of the sea dead. A third of sea filled with blood. I mean, this is not a good day on planet Earth. Then we have the third angle that sounded. "The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters because they were made bitter." Wormwood is a type of shrub that's used to manufacture poison. What was this star that fell from heaven? I mean, what's the burning star? Is it a comet off course? Is it a meteor? I mean, what is... I don't know. But all the saltwater's now been destroyed and now a third of the inland waters and rivers and all that's been destroyed and the waters have become bitter. So now we don't have enough drinking water for the planet. I mean, we're used to being able to go to the store or be somewhere and be able to get a bottle of water like this. Heck I'm a little parched right now. Take a sip, I mean, that's good, right? Imagine you can't do that. Now, you can go without food for a long period of time but eight years ago I did a 40-day fast. I was led by the Lord to do a 40-day fast. You can go without food for 40 days. You can't go with water for more than about three. If you can't drink water, you die. A third of the inland waters are now undrinkable, right? And then we get to this fourth trumpet. "The fourth trumpet sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them were darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way." Now, that's not good. I mean, a third of the sun being dark and a third of the moon being dark and third of the stars, they were struck. It wasn't just an eclipse. It was something that supernaturally happened and think about what would happen. I mean, we're not just talking about darkness that's caused, maybe it's like a winter in Alaska or something like that, where there's hardly any sunlight at all for any part of the day. But think about what it would be like if it was pretty much dark all the time and we don't know how long this is gonna last. The Bible doesn't tell us but what would happen here? What would affect temperature, wouldn't it? I mean, no son or a third of the son being... It's gonna affect the temperature. It's gonna cause darkness. When the temperature and darkness happen and you live in a world that's completely dark, it's gonna cause psychological and physiological challenges. I mean, this is not a good time. These are only four of the trumpets and the trumpets haven't even been intended for human beings at all. They've been intended for the ecosystem, for all the vegetation, and it's still having significant impact on planet Earth. And God is punishing without mercy, why? Because He sent his only begotten son into the world in which He created and the world that He loved rejected Him. That's why. Because God's seriously about his holiness and he's serious about his character and he's going to punish without mercy. I mean, as I've been reading through this and then through chapter nine here in the last week, it's so sobering to me. I mean, part of me today when I was preparing this week, I thought about what it was like when I was a kid to go to the dentist. I hated going to the dentist. As a little kid, I hated it because the last thing that they would do before you went, is they would give you this fluoride treatments and styrofoam trays. You remember that? And then they would always ask me, "Do you wanna just do the top or the bottom one at a time or do you wanna do them both together?" And I would always be like, "Do both together. I wanna get this junk out of my mouth." You have that little tube in there, sucking everything out and you sit like this, I wanna get done with it. So this week I was thinking, we'll just do both eight and nine. We'll just get done with this. I wanna move on to the good stuff. This is hard to hear. But the more I saw this the more I thought, it's important that we understand what's coming because we live in a world where people say, "There's no way God would hurt us. There's no way God cares. God doesn't care about sin. We can do whatever we want. We can be whoever we want. There's there's no accountability for who I am. I mean, I'm sure I'll get away with it. I'm sure my good outweighs my bad... I know that when I die, I'll go to heaven just because God's good and he's loving." Listen, if you don't repent of your sins and trust Jesus not only will you not go to heaven but you will be punished for all eternity in hell. And that's real. But God loved you so much He made provision so that you didn't have to, and so that what we're reading about today, there's nobody in the world that would ever have to explain this, many will, but you don't have to. So, I don't wanna be there for that. Of course you don't, then repent and trust Jesus Give your life to Christ 'cause if you continue to live for yourself and all your man-made idols you will face his wrath someday and when you do, you will not be able to stand. I mean, you see, this ecosystem, I mean, a third of all the vegetation, a third of the saltwater, a third of the freshwater, a third of the celestial bodies. I mean, this is a bad, bad, bad period of time on planet Earth. And it's everything that the prophets prophesied and it's everything that Jesus talked about. And here's the final one. You need to understand this about the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord should not come as a surprise. It should not come as a surprise. If you open the Bible and read it, you will know that Jesus is coming back. You will know that Jesus is gonna pour out his wrath on mankind. It's not a surprise. I mean, even during this time, while He's punishing without mercy, He's so gracious. He's gonna send an Eagle. Notice this, verse 13, " Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'" You say, "What's that going to be like?" I don't know. Just glad I'm not gonna be here. Some eagle flying in mid-heaven that the whole world can see and hear in their own language. What's that going to be like? And He's not offering forgiveness of sins. What's He offering? You think this is bad? God hasn't even gotten started yet. Wait until the last three trumpets are blown. Woe, woe, woe to you. Remember Isaiah chapter six, when Isaiah was standing before the throne of God and he saw his own sin in light of the glory of God and what did he cry out? "Woe to me I'm ruined!" I mean, it is devastating. What's this eagle crying out? Not just woe to you. When things are repetitive in the Bible, they mean something, it's not just woe to you. It's not just, woe, woe to you. Woe, woe, woe! Pay attention here. I mean Jesus, in Matthew 23, I think seven times told the Pharisees, "Woe to you, woe to you." You're religious people that travel the whole world over to win a single convert and when you do, you make them twice as much of a son of hell as you are, woe to you! You clean the outside of the dish but inside you're full of wicked man's bones, woe you! Woe to you, woe to you. What was you saying? You're not coming to me and when you don't come to me, there's judgment that will be paid on your behalf. You will get what you deserve for your actions. It's coming. What's this eagle sayings, find them in heaven saying, woe to you. And what we've seen so far is the ecosystem, the vegetation, the planets, the sun, the moon moon's stars, all that's been impacted. But when you start seeing the fifth, sixth and seventh angels, those are the three woes. The fifth trumpet, the sixth trumpet and the seventh trumpet that's a woe. I mean, you think this is bad? This is like, child's play compared to trumpet five, six and seven, because those are intended for human beings. Those are demonic activity that's gonna take place on planet earth that you'll see next week that you'll say... I mean, when you watch sci-fi movies, I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but when you watch sci-fi movies, you'll say, that doesn't hold account to what we're about in Revelation chapter nine, I mean, it's crazy what's going to be unleashed from the pit of hell during these days. It's unbelievable, but it should not come as a surprise. God in his word has made clear to us, He's made clear to us the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's made crystal clear to us. You can reject his word or you can believe his word. You can make fun of his word or you can trust his word, but I'm gonna tell you, you're gonna give accountability for what your actions are. You're gonna give accountability for what you say you believe. And we have time and space right now to repent and turn to Jesus. I'm telling you as your pastor, my heart would be for every one of you to wake up. For some of you that are here today playing games, you try to act like a Christian when you come to church, you try to talk like a Christian when you're around your Christian friends, you try to act fake in front of your pastor but deep down in your heart you know you've never repented and trusted Christ Trust Christ today. And for some of you that have just been hard-hearted and hardened and you're mad at the world and you're mad at everybody else, here's who you don't need to be mad at. You don't need to be mad at Jesus because he's the one who created you and loves you and has purpose for your life. And no matter what you've done or no matter what's been done to you, He forgives you, He washes you clean. He makes you as white as snow. That's the beauty of his blood though though your sins were like scarlet, He'll purify you. The beauty of being a Christian is that when we're all raptured and resurrected together, that we read about in revelation 7:9, there's nobody there that's gonna brag about how awesome they were on the Earth. There's nobody. I mean, you name the sin that you think is unforgivable and somebody with that sin will be standing in the kingdom of God in heaven saying, "I was that but Christ washed me." Ain't that good? Heaven is not for good people, it's for forgiving people. And hell's not for bad people, it's for unrepentant people. God doesn't hate you, God loves you. God wants to be in relationship with you. I'm sharing this with you so that we as believers know that the Day of the Lord is real. That God really will punish sin and show his holiness and put that on full display. I'm telling you this believer so that you know praise the Lord will never be here for this. And we should it be in heaven, praying to God for him to show himself glorious. But I'm also sharing this with you who are here, who have never placed your faith and trust in Jesus to tell you, if you haven't, you'll be on the Earth when this is happening and you won't wanna be there. You say "Well, maybe I'll repent then," if you get to the end of chapter nine, which we'll take a look at next week but in chapter 9:20, after all these things are going on the rest of mankind who are 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 so forth. So what happens to those who are on planet Earth that are still alive during this time? What are they doing? They're not repenting. They're getting even more mad at God. This whole idea that when the raft gets poured out maybe I'll trust Christ then, maybe I'll watch a video that was left behind. You won't. You'll be angry at God for punishing you. It's kind of like a rebellious child. Nobody enjoys discipline all the time but if you can endure the discipline and say, "I deserve that," you can get through that. But there's some times when discipline is coming your way, you're like, "Who are you to discipline me?" Make it even worse. That's the hardheartedness of everybody on planet Earth at that time. God's pouring out his judgment, instead of them turning to Christ, what are they doing? I want nothing to do with you and I'm angry 'cause you're making my life difficult. And you're making life bad and you've always been a bad God and that's who you are, which is why God's pouring out his justice on planet Earth. Friends, I know this is sobering. I think is a pastor if I had a chance to skip over passages in the Bible, Revelation eight and nine would be two we'd skip. Hey, we're not gonna be here anyway, no need to talk about it, but I'm gonna tell you this, some of you right now would be, and you don't wanna be. And some of you need to realize that you need to give your life to Christ wholeheartedly and be ready for his return. Just because you go to church, doesn't make you a Christian, just because you go to Brave Church that opens the Bible doesn't make you a Christian. Just 'cause you go to a church that values prayer and worship and evangelism, doesn't make you a Christian. A Christian is one who has repented of their sin turn from their sins. I got it, I don't want my sin, I want your life. I don't want my deadness, I want your life. Come to me. Blessed is the one who reads the prophecy of this book. What does Jesus say at the end? Yes, I am coming soon. Friends, He's coming soon. Are you eagerly expecting his return? Are you ready for his return? If not, why not make it today, the day you're ready for the Lord. Amen? Amen. Would you stand with me Lord, there are so many passages in your word that are sobering, this is certainly one of them. Lord, this passage describes your holiness put on full display, your justice, put on full display, your righteousness, put on full display. And Lord, it's hard to hear this because Lord every single one of us in this room has friends and family members who don't know you, who if they don't turn, we'll be here for that so Lord, we pray for them. Lord, we pray for them by naming our own heart right now. Lord, we pray for the thousands in our city, the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands in our city that don't know you and pray that He bring them to Bandimere Speedway next weekend so they can hear the gospel. And Lord, we trust you. You're a good God. You're a loving God. You're a kind God, you're a Holy God and we give you praise. If you're here today say, I've never trusted Christ, what do I do? Here's what you do. You admit the fact that you're a sinner, say, Jesus I know I'm a sinner, no doubt about it. I know my sin separates me from you, but I believe you died on the cross for my sin, rose from the dead. And right now, Lord, I wanna turn from my sin, I wanna repent of my sin, I want to change my way and I wanna confess you as my Lord and savior. Come into my life, Lord Jesus. Lord, we believe when we pray and seek you and by faith trust you that you do a work in our heart that only you can do. Do that work here today. We give you all the praise for what you're doing. We glorify your name, the name of Jesus. Amen and amen. Can we give God praise this morning for who He is?