Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 14

Godís final acts of judgement against sin

Revelation 14:17-18

Many people try to separate Godís work as our judge from his acts to save his people. As a judge, they describe him as strict and angry. In his acts to save his people, he shows love and kindness. For many people, it seems impossible to accept both of these.

The Bible teaches that God is the judge of all people. It also teaches that he saves people. These facts are not separate from each other; there is a close link between them. Both of them show Godís perfect goodness. Because God is good, he is the judge of sin (evil deeds). Because God is good, he can forgive and save people.

Christís death on the cross shows both of these. The purpose of his death was to save people from their sins. However, Christís death was also an act of judgement against sin. Christ himself was not guilty of sin. He suffered the punishment for other peopleís sins so that God could forgive them (Romans 5:6-7; Hebrews 7:26-27).

We shall now study Godís final acts of judgement against sin in this world. Of course, they are very severe. Only the most severe judgements can end the power of evil forces in this world. In such passages, we often read about Godís anger against sin and against everything that is evil. However, God has not forgotten his love and kindness. He acts as a judge in order to save his people from the evil forces that now control the world.

Perhaps that is why these judgements begin in a very holy place: the altar in heaven. In heaven, the altar is the place where angels (Godís special servants) offer to God his peopleís prayers. On earth, the altar was the place where God dealt with his peopleís sins by means of sacrifices (the gift of animals). In Revelation 14:18, the angel who controls the holy fire on the altar has authority to allow the last judgements to begin.

Next part: The fruit harvest as a word-picture of judgement (Revelation 14:19-20)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.