Click here to read my notes
- Why does suffering exist today?
o Human free will
o God’s judgment
- How could a good God allow suffering?
The seals (Revelation 6)
- Seals of judgment
- Only Christ is worthy to open the seven seals (Rev. 5:5)
- The six judgments:
o The first: a victor is unleashed against the world
o The second: peace is taken from the earth and nation slaughters nation
o The third: there is hostility within trade and economics
o The fourth: people of the earth would lose life to war, famine, plague and by wild animals
o The fifth: great persecution martyrdom toward God’s people is realized
o The sixth: great day of wrath (every disaster combined and people run and hide).
Reality about suffering
- Christ, who is the righteous judge, is judging the world
- Humanity is paying the price for sin
- Human suffering does not exist because God is not good, it exists because people are not good
- It is only God’s goodness that allows us to hope for an existence beyond suffering.
The great promise
- God’s people are not immediately removed from suffering, but are promised a great existence with God.
- Revelation 7:9-17
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!
All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Then he told me:
These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.
They washed their robes and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary.
The One seated on the throne will shelter them:
They will no longer hunger;
they will no longer thirst;
the sun will no longer strike them,
nor will any heat.
For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne
will shepherd them;
He will guide them to springs of living waters,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes
- There is a great multitude that came out of the earthly sufferings described in Revelation 6 (the seals of judgment).
o There were so many that no one could count them.
o They stood before God’s throne and before the Lamb (Jesus).
o They were robed in white, meaning that God had dressed them in purity and righteousness. These robes were washed in the blood of the Lamb. It was Christ’s atoning sacrifice that made them pure and righteous.
o They held palm branches as though to herald in the King of Kings
o They serve God day and night in His sanctuary.
o God is their shelter
o They will no longer be hungry
o They will no longer be thirsty
o They will no longer suffer physically or emotionally
Why does suffering exist?
- People rebelled against a good God.
- Is there any way to escape suffering in this life?
- We are promised eternal life, and can persevere through the suffering!
- Does the existence of suffering disprove the existence of a good God?
o Why would it?
o It seems that the existence of suffering is actually evidence of God’s great mercy toward people. We actually have a chance because of Christ.
 Revelation 7:9-17 (HCSB)