After giving those on earth one last opportunity to repent (Rev 14:6-13) an announcement is made in heaven that the moment has arrived for the earth to experience unrestrained justice. In this passage we see justice being given to the antichrists armies who have massed to destroy Israel. Like a man crushing grapes in a winepress Jesus will crush this army. We have become so accustomed to focusing on Gods mercy and patience that its almost awkward to think of Him bringing justice on those who reject Him! But theres no escaping this fact. God is just, as certainly as He is merciful, and the day will come when those who refuse His mercy will be forced to endure His justice. If we recognize the reality Hes trying to show us in this portion of the Book of Revelation, that insight will strengthen us when we face persecution, change the way we react to others, free our hearts from the need to harbor anger, restore our dignity, and stir us to be thankful for His amazing mercy.
1. Review the text
- Rev 14:6-13 Gods mercy: angels warning the world to repent
- Rev 14:14-20 Gods justice: angels preparing for judgment
2. Definition : What is justice?
- giving people exactly what they deserve
3. What does the antichrist deserve?
- Rev 16:4-7 blood for blood
- Rev 18:4-8 pay them back double
4. The winepress
The vision John sees is drawn right out of the prophecies of Isaiah, Joel and Zechariah! As far back as the eighth century B.C., God revealed through His prophets that a day would come when He would gather the armies of hostile nations and destroy them in one remarkable event.
- (835 B.C.) Joel 3:1-17
- (740 B.C.) Isaiah 63:1-6
- (520 B.C.) Zechariah 12:1-3, 8-11; 14:1-3; 12, 13
5. How will God give the antichrists army justice?
- Rev 14:19,20
- Rev 19:17-21
- Rev 16:16-21 huge hailstones
6. What is God saying to His church?
Though He has allowed us to suffer in order to save souls, and in the final years persecution will become even more severe, this does not mean He has forgotten us or will withhold the justice we are due forever.
- His justice is certain: it is surely coming though believers have been waiting for thousands of years. (2Pe 3:3-13)
- His justice is complete; no one will escape His justice. He will return evil for evil and satisfy a persons choice to be away from His presence. It is a horrible sobering prospect. (2Th 1:3-10)
7. A perspective on justice
- many offenses are overlooked in order to give people time to mature and repent
- some offenses rise to a level of evil that God must oppose now
- believers are quickly disciplined because they are His children and are being conformed to the image of Christ (Heb 12:5-11)
- all deeds will be reviewed at the judgment seat of Christ (Jn 5:27; Ac 10:42; 17:31; 1Co 4:4, 5; 2Co 5:10)
- unbelievers will be judged by the record of their words and actions (2Co 5:10; Rev 20:12, 13)
- nominal believers will be exposed
Mt 7:21-23 bad fruit/depart
Jn 15:2, 6 no fruit/ ?
- believers works will be evaluated
treasure in heaven (Mt 6:19-21)
works tested by fire (1Co 3:13-15)
judgment seat of Christ (2Co 5:10) but welcomed into heaven based on our
name being written in the Book of Life (Rev 20:15)
8. Why does God want us to know He is just?
a) it strengthens us to stand in hard times (Rev 14:12)
b) it moves us to pray for those who offend us, hoping they will repent before they face His judgment (Ro 12:14, 19, 20)
c) it restores the dignity of those who have been dehumanized
- Rev 7:13-17
- Rev 20:4-6
- Is 54: 17 No weapon...
d) it creates hope that we wont have to live with evil forever. Theres a place waiting for those who (Mt 5:3-10):
- are poor in spirit
- are gentle
- hunger and thirst after righteousness
- are merciful
- are pure in heart
- are peacemakers
- have been persecuted for righteousness
d) it stirs believers to be thankful for His mercy and to live for Him
- 2Co 5:15 ...and He died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
- 1Th 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Ro 5:9 ...having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
1) How does realizing whats ahead for people without Christ help you pray for your enemies, overlook offenses and free you from the need to harbor anger?
2) Read Isaiah 54:17. The word vindication means God will defend you against false charges made against you and prove your innocence. Has this ever happened to you? Tell us about it if would like to.