Thursday, December 24, 2015


The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.  (Revelation 15:8)
Have you ever needed to make a bank deposit, but when you pulled up to the bank you found they had just closed?  Maybe you needed to mail some important papers and the post office had just shut its doors.  It is a sinking feeling to be running low on gas, finally spot a service station, only to see a sign posted in the door, “CLOSED.”  I recall a few times of locking the door to the place where I worked, and as I was gathering up my stuff to go home, have someone knocking on the door, only to have to tell them, “I’m sorry, but we’re closed.”  Something much worse will happen someday—heaven will close; the pearly gates will lock.  In Revelation, there are several occurrences where John mentions doors that are open.  In chapter 15, heaven’s door closes!
There are a series of sevens in Revelation.  It is the number of completion.  Seven seals are opened on the scroll, and under each seal a judgment is unleashed.  When the seventh seal is peeled away, there are seven trumpets that sound a particular doom.  The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals the outpouring of seven bowls of wrath—the final plagues (v.1), said to complete the wrath of God.  The term used for wrath is the strongest Greek word that John might have used to describe this judgment.  It is the horror that awaits those left behind after the rapture of the church who enter the seven-year tribulation.
In contrast to what these who rejected Christ experience, we find that those who received Him are safely home (v.2).  It is amazing grace to know that some will be saved out of great tribulation—who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.7:14).  They were slain by the Beast, but were not overcome.  Death brought release from a sinful world and entrance into heaven.  They will sing the songs of the redeemed in glory (v.3-4).
Then the entrance to the holy of holies in the temple in heaven opens so seven angels may exit bearing seven plagues (v.5-7).  There is a finality about their appearance—these powerful, celestial warriors march out in a column, their assignment clear, inexorably bringing the conclusion of cosmic cataclysm.  Smoke fills the temple—the manifest glory of God.  We are reminded of how Mount Sinai was covered with smoke when God appeared to give Moses the ten commandments.  Recall also how Isaiah saw the King of Glory sitting on His throne in the temple and Scripture says the place was filled with smoke.
With the exit of these angels, the door closes.  It says that, “none can enter,” as these final plagues are outpoured.  Heaven is closed.  Those who would be saved have been.  The souls that would come to Christ have been gathered in and only judgment remains.  Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.”  Noah warned people of the flood and begged them to get on the ark.  When the door closed, it was too late for those outside.  Someday the final opportunity comes to every soul.  This could be yours.  Have you given your life to Christ?  Don’t wait until too late!

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