In Revelation chapter six, the Lamb takes the scroll sealed with seven seals and begins to open the seals.
The scroll is creation and the Judgment of God.
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse ride across the earth at the opening of the first four seals.
The horsemen bring deception, chaos, greed, and Death.
Why would Jesus open those seals?
Doesn’t He love us?
For the past one hundred fifty years, preachers in the west have preached that Revelation six isn’t about us good people but about the bad people that were left behind at the “pre-tribulation rapture.”
They remind us that the Lamb is also a Lion.
They say that the four horsemen are the Judgment of God, but if we raise our hands and come forward, Jesus will save us from God’s Judgment.
Are deception, chaos, greed, and death God’s Judgment?
Or are Truth, Logos, Love, and Life, the Judgment of God?
At the fifth seal, martyrs cry, “How long until you judge,” which would imply some very stupid martyrs or the fact that deception, chaos, greed, and death are not the Judgment of God.
Jesus did not save us from the Judgment of God—that’s a lie from Hell.
Jesus is the Judgment of God that saves us from our own judgment—what the Bible calls sin, which forms a prison called Hell.
“God subjected creation to futility in Hope… God consigned all people to disobedience that he may have mercy on all,” wrote Paul. You learn to trust your Father’s Judgment when your own judgment has failed. You learn to trust and love the Savior when you know that you need saving. “The Light shines in the darkness.” And “Jesus is the Light.”
Anyone in John’s day would know that if a judge on a judgment seat opened a scroll, the breaking of the seals would not be “the judgment,” but a necessary step in the revelation of the judgment.
At the opening of the sixth of seven seals, one might get a glimpse of the Judgment, but not understand the Judgment.
At the opening of the sixth seal—at the sixth hour, on the sixth day of the week, on the sixth day of creation—the sky grows black, the moon rises blood red, and everyone runs, calling to the rocks and hills to hide them from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, to hide them from the Lamb. They run from the slaughtered Lamb . . . not the Lion.
We will all see the Judgment of God, and be convicted by the Judgment of God–we each slaughtered the Lamb.
We will run in terror and try to hide in Hell unless we’ve come to know what He means.
At the seventh seal, seven trumpets blow through all space and time.
This entire time, that the Lamb has been opening the seals, all of Heaven has been singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.”
He is not a Lamb that bites like a lion. He is the Lion that is always the slaughtered Lamb. He is Love.
Once you hear the soundtrack, it changes the meaning of every event in the Story.
Trumpets in the Tribulation mean that it’s time for the Revelation of Glory—the Judgment of Love.
Don’t run from the Judgment; run into the Judgment—full of hope.
You were born into this world of tribulation to see the Judgment of God, fall in love with the Judgment of God, and become the very body of the Judgment of God.
Jesus is the Judgment of God. He means, “I create you. I save you. I redeem you. I Am Love.”
*Discussion questions for this sermon are available here: 1.28.2018 Discussion Questions