Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."
The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.
The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.
The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve."
And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river
Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
Wrath of God? How backward. How yesterday. How embarrassing.
We would much rather think about the more enduring themes of the Christian faith: a God who is merciful and gracious, abounding in steadfast love; a Christ in whom all the promises of God’s love are fulfilled, and a Holy Spirit who is the true Comforter of humanity.
There may have been times in the past when people, fearful and guilt-ridden, felt that they had to join the
The Wrath of God? We find it out of style and embarrassing.
But then we turn to the news reports online or on television – and we look at Revelation, chapter 16.
My old preaching professor, Tom Long, said this about these chapters of Revelation, “It is an account of the wrath of God in all of its sea-boiling, thunder-rolling, earthquake-rattling fury. Here we see the very kitchens of heaven serving up brimming bowlfuls of God’s wrath to be poured by angels upon the face of the earth. And what we read is not just a description of the wrath of God; it is a hand-clapping, hallelujah-shouting celebration of its coming.”