Drink the wine of God’s fury

We prefer to talk about God being, in His very essence, love. We prefer mercy and grace. We prefer forgiveness.

But chapter 14 in the book of Revelation gives us the other side of the coin. It gives us a true understanding of what we are referring to when we talk about love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. When you think about mercy, grace, and forgiveness, you must weigh it against the reality of the punishment that you deserve for what you have done.

In this case, God is a holy God. Perfect. Without blemish.

And yet, we are a sinful people. Rebellious. Willing to leave God and His plans and commands behind in a moment.

Because of our sin and disobedience, we deserve punishment. But even the word “punishment” doesn’t really capture what would come from God. That word, at least in my mind, brings about images of a momentary and temporary pain, disappointment, or lack.

That isn’t really what we are talking about. Because God is holy, his glory is infinite and eternal. And if God is robbed of His glory, what He truly deserves, then those that have robbed Him of it will receive His wrath.

And that brings us to verses 9 through 11 in Revelation 14:

“If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

Revelation 14:9-11

The angel is saying that if worship and glory goes to another, in this case another that stands in direct opposition to Christ, the one who truly deserves the worship, the glory, and the honor, they will receive the wine of God’s fury. That wine has been poured into the cup of God’s wrath, and that wrath will be poured out upon those who have worshipped the beast. Jesus and the angels will be there to see the wrath that is poured out upon those who worship the one who stands in oppostion to Christ as witnesses to the wrath that God will put upon them.

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