After the brief pause in the opening of the seven seals, the Revelation continues as Jesus opens the final seal. Suddenly, there is silence in heaven for thirty minutes. The silence must have been deafening in contrast to the sound of continual worship. When the seventh seal is finally opened, the trumpet judgments are introduced. These judgments will be even more devastating than the seal judgments had been, but God’s people have been sealed and their eternity is secure. Nothing will change their eternal outcome.
One by one, the first four angels sound their trumpets and one-third of the world is destroyed. These judgments are awful, but they are still not complete. God continues to be patient with people, giving them a chance to repent.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. – 2 Peter 3:9
Before the remaining three trumpets are sounded, John sees an eagle flying high above the earth with an ominous warning about what is to come.
“Woe! Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to sound!” – Revelation 8:13 CSB
What happens next is essentially “all hell breaking loose”! Demons are released from the abyss to torment anyone that has not been sealed by God. Fallen angels are finally permitted by God to carry out their destruction on earth. But even still, God is setting limits on the destruction. He is still giving people the opportunity to repent. Yet for some reason, even in the face of eternal judgment, they do not! (Revelation 9:20-21). This demonstrates the sad and scary fact that no matter what may happen, hard-hearted people will not turn to God.
Finally, a huge angel with a grand message appears to announce that soon the seventh trumpet will sound and God’s hidden plan will at last be completed. It will all come to pass exactly as God had proclaimed through the prophets of old. God’s eternal plan; the final destruction of evil and the exaltation of Jesus Christ. This is really bad news for God’s enemies, but wonderful news for His children!
One day God will judge the earth and its inhabitants. After all, it makes sense that eventually, the Holy Creator will take care of evil once and for all. Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus alone for salvation need not fear. We just need to share the gospel with as many people as possible. But those who steadfastly choose to find their own means of salvation apart from God should be very afraid!
Which side of the final battle will you be on? You never know what tomorrow brings, so make your decision today. Don’t wait and see! Once you allow sin to take root in your life, it will grow like an overpowering weed until one day you won’t even be able to see your need for a Savior. If you allow your heart to be hardened today, you may never turn to Jesus and be saved.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did inthe rebellion.” – Hebrews 3:15 NIV
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. – Acts 3:19 NIV