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The Great Day of Wrath

by John Fulda

 

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of His wrath has come,

and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 9:21  and they did not repent

 

     We have records of God’s wrath, and every incident shows there is no repentance, with no survivors.  When God decides to eliminate that which his righteous cannot live with, He is no sadist as he gets its done within a matter of days and hours.

There is no repenting or surviving when God sends forth His wrath. Other characteristics of God’s wrath include: (1) Warning, (2) Protecting the faithful, (3) swift annihilation, (4) God initiated.

Check it out in Noah’s Flood, for instance.  God warned for 120 years.  He made sure the faithful were safe and sent his wrath in the form of water.  There was no repenting and none survived.

Check it out when Dathan lead a rebellion in the early months of the exodus in the wilderness and God wanted to annihilate the whole congregation – Moses interceded and God issued a warning: Num 16:26 “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.”   When the faithful were safe the ground opened and swallowed Dathan and all who followed him. It was swift annihilation.  There was no repentance and there were no survivors.

Check it out as God dealt with the cities of the plains.  Was there not a warning?  Did not God see to it that the faithful got out?  Was there any repentance? Were there survivors? Wasn’t it swift complete annihilation? (Genesis 19)

There may be other examples, but this is enough to give me some knowledge of God’s wrath, and to convince me that the faithful have nothing to be concerned about in any event involving God’s wrath.

Tribulation on the other hand involves, natural catastrophes, plagues, war, poverty, famine, and has no regard for God’s faithful who have endured and survived along with the rest of mankind throughout history.

When Katrina hit New Orleans she had no regard for the faithful, and the only warning was from the Meteorologists.  It was the same with 2012’s “Sandy.”  The Tsunamis and earthquakes, man made disasters, all have no concern for the faithful people of God.  There are survivors, and there has been recovery.  The faithful and those abhorring God all had to face it alike. And surely there was/is repentance and lives changed because of these disasters – not much, but some.

We speak of seven years of tribulation as we read of the 70th week of Daniel.  That will be a bad time especially for Israel, but note that there are survivors, repenting and saving which does not fit the characteristics that mark it as God’s wrath

Recently some have declared this period  recorded in Revelation 6 as God’s wrath citing the aorist tense  of verse 17 Making God’s wrath retroactive to include  the opening of the seals..  The aorist can be retroactive (constative) and seven or eight other things, it all depends on the context of its setting, for the verb itself does not influence the action in any way.

      “ ….the tendency of Greek scholars and students to make their field of knowledge more esoteric), than is actually the case. There is an innate human inclination to attempt to impress people with the hidden secrets which only the truly initiated can rightly understand or explain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the plethora (of arcane labels assigned to the aorist tense in its supposed classifications and significations

…………books have divided the aorist into various “kinds” or categories (e.g., constative or indefinite ingressive or inceptive culminative effective or resultative; gnomic; epistolar; dramatic; etc.). Charles R. Smith, Errant Aorists Interpreters. Grace Theological Journal 2.2 (Fall 1981) 205-26.

Indeed the aorist tense is used in Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Let the context dictate what the verb means and it is evident that the seals are tribulation brought on by acts of men.  But before they can destroy us all God stops it and seals off one group of his faithful and raptures the others before he executes his wrath quickly and completely. The Trumpets and Bowls are swift. Especially the Bowls that are poured out  with the rapid fire of a machine gun – all in  seventy-five days according to Daniel in 12:12.  This is the Lord’s Day –The Day of the  Lord. The day of his wrath.

There are many references in the Bible to an eschatological “Day of the Lord.”  It seems to be very special day. (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6; 13:9; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:8. Revelation 6:12ff.) All the references include the same characteristics that warn of its approach. They talk about cosmic disturbances, constellations going dark, the Sun and the moon going dark, it gets cloudy, dark and gloomy, stars fall and there are earthquakes.  It is a Day of wrath and it is referred to as the “Day of the Lord,” or “The Lord’s Day.” When that day comes it will be swift in its annihilation of all that is evil, there will be no repentance. And there will be no survivors, Revelation 9:20

That day nearly showed up two millennia ago.  There was a day that displayed characteristics described in the prophets.   It got dark at mid-day and it was gloomily cloudy and there were earth quakes, but it stopped there.  (Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land…  Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,) It just seems to me that God had one of those moments (like in Numbers 16) when he was so appalled at what was happening that he made a move to destroy all of mankind right there.  Seeing His son enduring the most gruesome, vile barbaric means of death at the hands of men was just about all that he could bear.  I think there is evidence that His wrath showed up to a point right there – that “Day of God’s wrath,” “That Lord’s Day,” “the great day of His wrath.” Then He heard “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”   Had the day of God’s Wrath come at that time it would have nullified all that Jesus had accomplished – there would have been nothing for him to die for.  We see how angry He (God) was and how close He came to consuming all creation but for the voice of Jesus.

This day is long overdue.  I think that day almost came, but for the one man who faced it alone so the faithful can get ready – having been warned for 2,000 years.

 

                                         John Fulda preaches at the Amite Church of Christ, Amite, LA.  

                                                   He is a retired High School Choral Director.

 




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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8