Seven Last Judgments (Revelation 15:1) - In this chapter we are introduced to the final judgments of the Tribulation. Chapters 15 and 16 record the consummation of events leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as seen in Revelation 19. Rev. 15:1 introduces us to seven angels. Each one has the power to unleash a judgment upon mankind. These judgments are the most intense and devastating of all the judgments that precede them. The seal judgments showed man’s wrath against himself. The trumpet judgments showed Satan’s fury against mankind. The vial or bowl judgments reveal the wrath of God against rebels and enemies. God has been slow to anger, but at this point His long-suffering ends and His judgments fall on mankind.
John says in verse one, “for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” That is to say, in these judgments, the wrath of God is brought to a conclusion: It is finished. At this point, it is God’s wrath on those who have continued rejecting Christ that is to be finished. This is a sobering thought for anyone who continues to reject God’s offer of salvation. There will come a time when God’s patience and long-suffering will be exhausted and there will be no more opportunity to receive Christ as Savior; this happens to some in life, to others after death. The future for such persons is the lake of fire. See Rev. 20:11-15.
A Scene in Heaven (Revelation 15:2-8) - After the seven last judgments are introduced in verse one, there is an interlude in verses two through eight. This interlude is the last of its kind, for it seems to be an interlude of invitation, before God strikes in judgment. The scene is set in heaven. The martyred believers of the Tribulation are in the presence of God, singing a song of victory. In Rev. 15:3, they declare God to be Almighty, just and true, and they declare God as the King of the nations or ages. Read Philippians 2:9-11, “Every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.”
In Rev. 15:5, God reveals “the ark of the covenant” once more. This reminded the Israelites of God’s faithfulness, love, and mercy (O.T.). God, once again (and probably for the last time), is declaring that He is Love and that He will honor His promise; if man comes to Him, he will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16) - The message in the sky.
God’s Impending Judgment - Does God pour out His wrath on mankind without warning? A careful study of God’s dealings with men will show that before He sends judgment, there are great pauses to allow men time to repent. An example of this is found in Genesis 6:6, when “the Lord was sorry He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” In Gen. 6:3, we read, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be 120 years.” This is how long it took Noah to build the ark. This is the length of time God waited for men to repent before He sent His judgment (seven days of grace). After 120 years of waiting for men to repent, the flood came and destroyed them all (the graciousness of God).
Peter tells us that the scoffers laugh at the thought of coming judgment. All things continue as they are. Then, he says that this world will not be destroyed by a flood, but will be kept in store, reserved unto fire in the Day of Judgment. In general, people do not believe that judgment is coming. Take the antediluvians as an example; but the flood came. Peter says, “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
Perhaps you do not believe this. Perhaps you will not believe it. Heed the warning of Proverbs 29:1, “He that being often reproved hardeneth his heart, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” The Bible depicts God as waiting patiently for man to come to Him. Think of the prodigal son. Note verses like, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” and “He is not willing that any should perish,” to name a few. How long has He waited for you? Alas, the day is coming when judgment will be withheld no longer. He who is your Savior now will become your judge.
God’s Plan of Salvation - When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son to redeem them who are under the curse of sin. Jesus Christ came and bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Salvation cannot be bought or worked for; it can only be had through the precious blood of Christ. “Without His shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” God has provided salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Before He pours out His wrath against sin, He gives you the opportunity to repent. He will not always wait.
When will God exercise His wrath?
- When His love is sneered at. See Gal. 6:7-8, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked […]”
- When His gentle, merciful reproof is rejected. See Prov. 29:1.
- When His long suffering is ignored. The rich farmer of Luke 12.
James reminds us, that our life is but a vapor. “Therefore boast not of tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Behold now is the accepted time – the day of salvation.