This weekend was no doubt you a unique weekend with the arrival of Hurricane Nate in the gulf. While we didn’t gather corporately in person, we were at least able to gather together through technology. If you haven’t watched our online gathering, you can find it at http://vintagechurchnola.churchonline.org.
Nevertheless, we continued in the Apocalypse series, looking at Revelation 4–7. I want to remind you to check out all of our sermon resources, including an introduction to Revelation at vcnola.com/apocalypse. Also, don’t forget about our upcoming Equip Series: Unveiling the Apocalypse. I know I probably didn’t come close to answering all of your questions about things like the seals, 144,000, and other unique elements. That’s what the Equip Series is for! Join us for 4 Sunday nights (10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12) from 5–6:30 pm.
Our Greatest Question of God
Why? That’s the question you and I ask God. God, why do you allow evil, suffering, and pain? Theologians call this the “Problem of Evil” and it goes something like this: How can an all-powerful and all-loving God allow evil and suffering? This isn’t a new question. People for millennia have been asking this very question, and the book of Revelation addresses this very problem.
In Revelation 4-7, we two important elements related to the Problem of Evil: martyrdom and judgment. In Revelation 6:9–10, John says, “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” Later on in Revelation 7, we see all who have suffered because of their faith. No doubt, Christians then and Christians today suffer for their faith in Jesus.
Whether we’re suffering for our faith today, someone we love is dying, or we are seeing tragedy like what happened in Las Vegas recently, evil is all around us. This single truth is undeniable. But what is God’s answer?
Trusting in God’s Timing
The book of Revelation is God’s answer to the Problem of Evil. We see evil defeated through one, single person. His name is Jesus Christ! The entrance of sin into our world distorted everything. Jesus came to reverse this curse. His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension defeated sin, death, and hell once and for all. Paul proclaims that God “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [Jesus]” (Colossians 2:15). What an unbelievable truth!
So, if Jesus defeated sin, death, and hell, why do we still experience evil? Jesus’s death and resurrection was the beginning of his triumph; his future return will death evil once and for all. The book of Revelation reminds us that Jesus has already defeated evil, but when he returns evil will be finished forever. He will return to rule and reign as king and judge. All of humanity will be judged for their sin, and those outside of Christ who have committed evil acts will be punished eternally! God will set all things right.
Whether past, present, or future, the evil that you experience will not last forever. Jesus has defeated evil, and he will defeat it once and for all. Trust Jesus today.