Revelation‬ ‭9:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
Observation-What does it say?
We have been reading about and studying John’s visions through the 7 trumpet judgments. In this chapter, we are at the 5th and 6th trumpet judgments. The last 3 trumpets refer to the 3 woes, so this chapter starts the first 2 of those 3 woes. Woe means great sorrow or distress (New Oxford American dictionary). In the 5th trumpet judgment, a star from Heaven fell (star is symbolically referring to an Angel) and was given the key to the bottomless pit. The abyss opened, and released smoke and locustlike creatures. During the 6th trumpet judgment, a voice from the altar released 4 Angels bound at the Euphrates and 1/3 of mankind was killed by 200 million horses and riders with lion’s heads, and fire, smoke and sulphur coming out of their mouths and tails like snakes. (Vss. 16-19) (Source: notes from Pastor Parker’s HL Revelation class).  Even through all of this destruction, mankind still hardened their hearts and would not repent to the Lord.
Understanding-What does it mean?
People choose their fate. We reap what we sow. If we choose the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. If we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
It’s easy to want to feel sorry for people who are at the hands of a holy, angry and just God, BUT, those people have chosen their fate. If 5 months of torture and wishing to die even though you can’t (Revelation 9:6) and witnessing a 3rd of mankind eliminated (Revelation 9:15) does not cause men/women to repent and turn to the Lord, I don’t know what will. Jesus gives us free will to choose because He loves us. He doesn’t force people to love Him or live in eternity with Him. It just boggles my mind how people still refuse to repent after seeing all of that destruction. I don’t want to go into the debate of predestination vs. free will, but what I do know is that the people who harden their hearts toward the Lord are bound for destruction. They’ve continued to choose to live in the flesh instead of in the Spirit.
Life Application
Do not give up in praying for unbelievers and sharing our faith even though it seems like people’s hearts have hardened towards God.
I’m speaking to myself as well when I say we cannot give up despite the hardened hearts. It’s frustrating when people we pray for and share the Gospel with mock us, turn us away and refuse to accept the Good News. It’s very discouraging. But we cannot give up. Among the hardened hearts are softened hearts that are ready to hear and receive Him today.
Dear Jesus, please help us to focus more on the wins instead of the fails of evangelism. We pray for all the hearts that are ready to receive Your message of love, grace and eternity today and we pray that we would not give up in praying for and reaching out in faith the world you came and shed Your blood on the cross for. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
-Michelle Gaddi