In chapter 15 we have a prelude to the pouring out of the vials of the wrath of God. There is a definite parallel between the trumpet judgments and the vial judgments. In each case, the judgment is in the same area; but the vial judgments are more severe. It seems, too, that the vial judgments occur in quick succession, aimed especially at the Beast and his satanic kingdom. These judgments prepare the way for Armageddon and the return of Christ to the earth to claim His Kingdon.
In chapters 17 and 18 we are introduced to Babylon, which typifies the last great world system before the return of Christ. Chapter 17 emphasizes the religious aspect of this world system and then, in chapter 18, the commercial aspect is stressed. Chapter 19 presents the climax of the wrath of God and Jesus Christ coming to destroy the armies of the nations of the world. In verses 11-16 we have pictured the opening of heaven, allowing Christ and His armies to ride forth in victory. The description of Christ in these verses is different from any we have seen. He is no longer riding a humble donkey, but He is on a fiery white charger. His eyes are not filled with tears, as when He looked upon Jerusalem and wept; nor is He wearing a crown of thorns which He bore for the sins of men. Instead, He is coming to rule with a rod of iron, and He comes as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In chapter 19:17-21 we see Christ destroying the armies with the Word, the sword that comes from His mouth (Hebrews 4:12). Men who would not bow to the Word of God and receive the Gospel must now be slain by the same Word. The followers of the Beast are marked men. The mark of the Beast on their bodies seals them for certain judgment. Christ not only destroys the armies of the Beast, but He also captures the Beast and the False Prophet, and casts them alive into hell (chapter 19:20). He also casts Satan into the bottomless pit, as we will see in chapter 20:1-3.
This will be a time of great sorrow. In Hebrews 2:3 we read, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" There is no escape except through the person of Jesus Christ. His plea to a lost and dying world is that now is the time of salvation. Let Christ come into your life today. With Christ as Saviour and ruler of your life, you will have no fear of the coming judgment, but can look forward to the joy of spending eternity with our Lord in heaven.
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