Lesson Ten • Tribulation
Devotion 1: The Human Heart
Pastor Chuck Lindsey
“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’” Revelation 6:15-17
The hardness of a human heart is astonishing! This thing that is supposed to be soft and tender, is often as hard as solid rock. A tender heart is synonymous in Scripture with humility, teachability, love, and submission to God. Whereas, the hard heart is always a picture of rebellion and hatred towards God, His ways, His Word, and His people.
The extreme hardness of the human heart is on display in the worst event the world will ever see. The Great Tribulation, a name which means that it is like no other time of trouble the world has ever experienced, will be a time of unimaginable difficulty and suffering. Yet, in that difficulty, suffering, and trouble, man will harden his heart and refuse to relent and turn to the True and Living God.
This is vividly and tragically on display in the words of Revelation 6:15 (NKJV), “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.” Something happens and mankind seeks to hide. So what happened? Well, verse 14 tells us (get this) that the veil of the sky or heaven has been pulled back so that the people of the Earth can see the face of the Lord who is against them! (Read that again!) Verse 14 (NKJV) says, “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Immediately following this, man tries to hide from the face of God! They collectively say (verse 16 NKJV) “to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’” This is beyond belief! Rather than turning to the Creator in repentance and worship, they turn to created things (mountains and rocks) to kill them! They can see the face of the Lord and His throne, and yet, they harden their hearts towards Him and choose to die rather than bow the knee in worship. No stone has ever been so hard!
Now, lest you and I misunderstand what God is doing in all of this, chapter 14 tells us that while all of this (judgment and suffering) is going on an “angel [is] flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6-7 NKJV). Amazingly, God is still trying to save people! He sends an angel to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth telling them to turn to God and repent. Some will, but most will not.
The Great Tribulation proves both the love of God and that sinful man will not relent under any circumstances and deserves the judgment of God against him.