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Exploring Revelation
2633
“Revelation 7:1-3”
by Art Sadlier   
July 13th, 2008

Revelation 7 is the mercy chapter of the book where we see the redeemed of the tribulation period.

The tribulation period in chapter six where we see the first six seals judgments poured out upon the earth. We would expect that seventh seal judgment would now poured out but it is not poured out until the eighth chapter. Chapter seven is a pause in the story-line of the book, a parenthesis, an interlude in the chronology of the tribulation period.

The question that comes to us is, what are the reasons for this pause?

REASON # 1 - THE SUSPENSION OF JUDGMENT TO GIVE OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT

Chapter 6 concludes with the statement in verse 17, "For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?", the answer is "no one". So terrible is the wrath of God that all men everywhere are desperate to escape it. "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:" Rev. 6:15-16. The whole earth trembles at the awesome wrath of God.

As we come to this pause in chapter 7, we are reminded of the prayer of Habakuk in Hab. 3:2, "O lord....in wrath remember mercy". Chapter 7 is the mercy chapter of Revelation. That in the midst of God's fierce anger against sin we might be reminded of God's mercy. The winds of God's judgment have been blowing! But now there is a lull in the storm. God stops the storm to show mercy to those who will accept it.

In wrath God remembered mercy on the Passover night in Egypt.

In wrath God remembered mercy in Noah's day.

At Calvary, in the midst of God's wrath against man's sin, He remembered mercy.

Chapter 7 is the mercy chapter of the book of Revelation. In verse 1, we read, "and after these things", after what things? After the awful judgments God had poured out on an unbelieving world. John continues, "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth", What are the angels doing? They are holding back, "the four winds", they are holding back the winds of God's judgments, they are halting the process of judgment until God has accomplished some definite purposes.

Now in verse 2, John sees another great wonder, a still mighter angel appears on the eastern horrizon and shouts a message to the other four angels. Notice the commision of the four angels, "The four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea".

Then notice in verse 3, the message to the four angels, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads". The tribulation days are days of hurting but God graciously suspends the hurting to give to men and nations an opportunity to reasses what has happened, an opportunity to repent of sin and rebellion that brought on the judgments.

We know that no repentance is forthcoming. In chapter 9, verse 21 it says "Neither repented they", there comes a time when if men refuse to repent, their hearts become hardened and repentence is no longer possible. Scripture says several times, "today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts". My unsaved friend, today is the day of salvation, do not harden your heart and refuse Christ. God may harden your heart if you do, and your eternal destiny will be sealed.

The reason hell is forever is because repentance becomes impossible, scripture says "where the tree falleth, there shall it be".

Next week we will look at the second reason God pauses in His judgments.

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