Most people that profess Christianity and espouse the Bible believe that the primary attribute of God is love. In fact perhaps the single best known and quoted verse in the Bible is:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
The above verse was written by the Apostle John. This same John wrote the Gospel of John, three epistles bearing his name, and the final book of the Bible, i.e. The Revelation.
One might think that the final book of the Bible would sum up the love of God. It really does because it reveals that He will remove the curse on the earth; however, the primary focus of The Revelation is to reveal and describe the single most pronounced attribute of God, which is that above all things He is just. That means all things must be made right according to His eternal word.
Interestingly in The Revelation the word love/loved is found six times. The word wrath is found twelve times, the word judge/judgment is found fourteen times, and the word kill/killed is found sixteen times.
God’s wrath is required because He is just. Wrath is from the Greek word orge. This wrath includes anger with grief. God’s required wrath is divine judgment executed with grief. If man would take God at His word, as most claim that they do, then His wrath is seen to be inevitable. Throughout the Bible consequences for certain choices are outlined in detail.
The wrath of God was introduced in the Bible prior to the Book of Revelation.
“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds…” Romans 2:5
Consider that on September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorists. The loss of life on that terrible day approached 3,000 people. Shortly thereafter the Department of Homeland Security was established with the hopes of preventing any such future attacks.
On December 26, 2004 an earthquake registering 9.0 occurred off Indonesia’s Sumatra Island that triggered a tsunami that killed upwards of 300,000 people. Now the United Nations is pushing for a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean similar to that covering the Pacific Ocean.
In these two examples the people in America and Indonesia suffered catastrophic events and then set out to prevent their reoccurrence, or at least mitigate the effect of such occurrences. Throughout the Bible there are examples of divine retribution to nations, including Israel, due to disobeying God’s instructions. The simple fact is that if one believes the Bible that God is sovereign over all things, one must also believe that God has the sovereign right to establish the rules of conduct and see that they are followed. If man desires to “go it on his own,” then he must be willing to risk the consequences of his independent choices.
And so it is, America lost nearly 3,000 innocent lives on 9-11 and the Indonesia tsunami took nearly 300,000 lives. The Book of Revelation reveals that during the seven year tribulation period that is approaching there will be more than 3.0 billion lives lost. That means that for every single life lost during the 2004 tsunami, there will be 10,000 lives lost during the tribulation period.
“…behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death…and power was given…over a fourth of the earth to kill…”
Even with the present population of the earth at 6.0 billion, the above represents 1.5 billion people. Then consider:
“Release the four angels, who are bound at the great river Euphrates. So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” Revelation 9:14-15
Add another 2.0 billion so the total number of those killed thus far is 3.5 billion. We can’t overlook two other verses that tells about more death but doesn’t give a number.
“Then the third angel sounded: and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water… and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.” Revelation 8:10-11
Many would say that God is a God of love and mercy and He could simply overlook all of man’s errors and forget about the tribulation. The truth is that He can’t do that because He is just. All wrongs must be made right. Therefore, while God is a loving God and He is merciful, His predominant attribute, and in fact His very nature, is that He is just. So not all will taste of God’s mercy, but all will taste of His justice. But let it not be overlooked that according to the Bible, those who will not receive God’s mercy have chosen to reject it and “do it their way.”
This great truth is not pleasant to many and many would just as soon avoid hearing about it, however, Jesus addressed that very issue:
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book…if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…” Revelation 22:18-19
The very fact that the Revelation was written nearly two thousand years ago proves that man is too preoccupied with his own agenda to give more than lip service to the prophecies contained therein. In other words, the great tribulation is a done deal. We have chosen to ignore the warning signs.