Christians Persecuted
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Christians Persecuted (Revelation 14.9-11)

"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: '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)✞

Holy Angels

Lake of FireThe names of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah remind us of the most terrible judgment that ever fell on this earth. Genesis 19.28 tells us "He ["Abraham"] looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace." John in Revelation echoes the words of Isaiah 34.8-10 describing the day of the Lord's vengeance, "For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause. Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulfur; her land will become blazing pitch! It will not be quenched night or day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again." The wicked will be destroyed in the presence of "the holy angels and of the Lamb." Part of the blessedness of heaven was to see the suffering of sinners in hell. When Chrysostom, (349-407 AD), was encouraging Olympias in Constantinople to steadfastness, he told her that in due time she would see the divine torture of her persecutors, just as Lazarus saw Dives tormented in flames. This line of thought which is essentially vengeance may be condemned as sub-human, but we have no real right to speak until we have gone through the same sufferings as the early Revelation Christians. The heathen had looked down from the crowded seats of the arena on Christians being killed, persecuted, savaged by wild animals and tortured in the most terrible way but the early Christians were sustained by the thought that some day the divine justice of heaven would rectify the balance of earth's injustices.✞

"Christians Persecuted"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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