Week 6, Sunday: Kingdom, judgment, reward
The “mystery of God” finishes just before the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev. 10.7). Thus, we can assume, all those have been gathered to heaven who are to “die” for their faith in Christ (Rev. 6.11). Here we see a resuming of heavenly worship in response to what has been occurring on earth during this fourth facet of the book of Revelation. All this tumult and tribulation has not been without a purpose, or without a glorious result.
Read Revelation 11
Meditate on Revelation 11.15-19
1. The last witness has come home, and the trumpet sounds. According to verse 15, what does this trumpet herald? Meditate on Daniel 7.11-27. The process that culminates and is celebrated with the seventh trumpet appears to have been going on throughout the period of the first four facets of Revelation. How does this comport with and help us to understand passages such as Daniel 2.44, 45, Isaiah 9.6, 7, Matthew 6.10, 33, and Ephesians 4.8-10?
2. How would you describe the attitude of the worshippers in heaven regarding what they’ve been observing on earth? Is this instructive for us? Does it teach us something about how to pursue worshipping God toward this final day? Explain.
3. Verses 15-18 give us heaven’s view of what we see in Revelation 6.12-17. Compare and contrast the two responses to the end of time. How should this vision motivate believers to seek the promises made to those who “overcome” in the letters to the seven churches? What do they teach us about what it actually means to “overcome” (we’ll look at this question again in chapter 12)?
4. Meditate on the images of verse 19: The temple “opened”, the ark “seen”, and lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. What does all this suggest (think of how these appear in Revelation and all Scripture)? Can you see in this pastiche a combination of things meant to draw and attract us, and things meant to strike fear in us? Is this about worship? Or is it just about truly knowing the Lord? Explain.
5. A “reward” is mentioned in verse 18. Who can expect to receive this “reward”? Of what does this “reward” consist?
Meditate on 2 Peter 3.8-14. What does Peter commend, in line with what we’ve seen in Revelation 8-11, concerning our outlook toward the coming judgment of God? How should the knowledge of that judgment – now and to come – affect the way we live in the here and now?
The Glory of God
God is ultimately to be vindicated by the outcome of history. What does that mean? Should we want God to be vindicated? Should we want to be vindicated ourselves (Ps. 26.1)? In what way? Why? How does this vindicating of God and His witnesses conduce to God being glorified by “every knee” and “every tongue” on earth and under the earth (Phil. 2.5-11)?
Glory to Glory
Make a list of believers you expect to see today. Spend some time in prayer for them. Then, in some way, reach out to each one and encourage him or her to “overcome” whatever the world, the flesh, or the devil might throw at them, keeping their eyes on Jesus as they run their race for Him (Heb. 12.1, 2).
Today, share your memory verses for this week (Revelation 10.10, 11) with a Christian friend, and briefly explain what you have learned about these verses.
Vindicate me, O LORD,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the LORD;
I shall not slip.
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence;
So I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells.
T. M. Moore
The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.