Sin will not be overlooked

Revelation 16

Jerry A Collins




*      How severe are the bowl judgments?

*      What does the lack of repentance say to us?

*      What is the significance of the word ‘great’?


The average church-going person, listening to the average preaching of many ministries, believes that God is all sweetness and light and would not discipline or punish anyone. The book of Revelation tells a completely different story. Don’t teach or proclaim a God without judgment. God is not tolerant. Sin must be judged. The reason Christ died on the cross was to satisfy the justice of God. But that does not mean God overlooks sin today. Sin is never overlooked by God. And it is always judged. There is no such thing as free sin. One way we see this is in the use of the word ‘great’ in this chapter. We have a great voice vs 1, fierce (great) heat 9, great river 12, great day of God 14, great earthquake 18, fierce (great) wrath 19, great hail 21, extremely severe (great) plagues 21. So the judgments pouring out from these bowls are greater, more severe, more fierce, more intense than anything that has happened in the preceding judgments. God is on the move. Here we have seven vials of judgment. The last in the series of judgments that began with seven seals, the last ushering in 7 trumpets the last blaring these 7 vials. There is a striking resemblance between these judgments and the plagues of Egypt—another series of judgments against unbelief.


A loud voice 1 God commands the vials to pour out judgment of His wrath upon the earth. 7 angels are told to go and pour these 7 bowls out. God uses angels and often they are used to unleash God’s judgments in the Bible. If you do not believe in God’s judgment you will not be able to forgive others for the wounds you receive because of their sin against God. There are usually consequences others will experience as a result of another’s sinning. Forgiveness is possible then when we understand that God will judge that sin and make things right. Otherwise we will take matters into our own hands and seek revenge instead of justice. God reserves for Himself the right to judge and commands us to forgive.

The 1st bowl 2 This first vial produces ugly and painful sores. This judgment is against those who took the mark of the beast. If you do take the mark, God will come after you. If you do not take the mark, the antichrist will come after you. Here is constant pain without relief on a worldwide scale. We are absorbed with ways to cure disease today but then there will be none.

The 2nd bowl 3 The second vial is against the sea. Nearly 71% of earths surface is water. The maximum depth of any sea is 38,000 feet and the average depth is 12,500 ft. It all becomes blood—probably similar to the Egyptian plague. In redemption God uses blood to save. In judgment, God uses blood to kill. Another worldwide event and the sea becomes a graveyard with the stench of dead sea-life all over the ocean surface.

The 3rd bowl 4 In this judgment those who shed blood must drink blood. We have seen the first three vials before in history. From the fourth bowl on are all new acts of God in judgment. Now all of the drinking water is gone.


Angel of waters 5 An angel in charge of he waters, both of the seas and the rivers proclaim that God is just to bring His judgment. The point of the pronouncement is to attribute righteousness to the eternal God for judging in kind.

They deserve it 6 Specifically, God poured out His wrath on earth-dwellers because they poured out the blood of His saints and prophets 11:18; 18:24. He makes the punishment fit the crime. For instance, Pharoah tried to drown Jewish boy babies—God drowned his own army in the Red sea. Haman planned to hang Mordecai and exterminate Jews—Haman himself was hanged on those gallows and his family exterminated. Saul refused to obey God and slay Amalekites—Saul was slain by an Amalekite. The angel affirmed that those guilty of slaying these deserve what they get.

Martyrs affirm this 7 This justice is echoed by a word from the altar 6:9-10; 15:3-4. These tribulation martyrs finally see their blood avenged by God. God always judges consistent with His character which is described here as being almighty, true and righteous. God will be vindicated. The Bible’s testimony is that God is not arbitrary or capricious in His judgment and whenever He makes choices concerning good or evil those choices are always the correct ones. Whenever God’s judgment comes it is always deserved. 3. GOD’S JUDGMENT REVEALS  HARDNESS OF HUMAN HEARTS

Three times in these verses we are told that they blasphemed the name of God 9, 11, 21.

The 4th bowl 8-9 God heats things up with the increased intensity of the sun. They believe God is responsible for it and instead of admitting that by repenting, they blaspheme Him for doing it. There are 2 different perspectives of the work of God—those in heaven who say it is righteous vs 5 and those on earth who blaspheme because of it.

The 5th bowl 10-11 Recognition here that the kingdom of the earth is Satan’s domain—throne of the beast. Here is the opposite of the sun—darkness. Somehow this inflicts excruciating pain—both the darkness the sores. No repentance or glory given to God. This shows willful hardness of human heart. Pain does not naturally bring people to repentance. Pains natural result is anger not brokenness. Sun (adversity) hardens clay and melts butter—so you can tell one’s heart by their reaction to adversity!

The 6th bowl 12-16 The river Euphrates is dried up. The reason for this is so Satan would be lured with his army (200 million strong) to the war in Armageddon. God earlier dried up the Red Sea for Israel to cross Ex 14. In preparation for this war demons—deceiving spirits sent out from unholy trinity to gather & deploy forces vs 16 in Israel in  Megiddo valley presumably to annihilate the Jews. Signs performed will deceive rulers to come with their armies 13-14. Jesus Himself announces vs 15 His second coming and warns to be ready or the alternative is embarrassment. His return in rapture now & 2nd coming then is always reminder for believers in whatever age to be prepared so there is no shame when he does 1 Jo 2:28.

The 7th bowl 17-21 This judgment poured upon the air with loud voice “It is done” in judgment instead of ‘it is finished’ on Calvary. Man would rather have that. Storms & great earthquake so great splits Babylon into 3 parts—islands disappear. Huge 100 pound hail falls upon the earth. The response—men blasphemed God because this plague was so very severe!

(1) Truth and justice are not defined by man but by God. Truth is way things actually are. But it’s the way things are from God’s perspective. Same for justice. Justice is leveling the scales but its Gods definition of righteousness that balances the scales. It is never the same as human opinion of these scales.

(2) Pain does not naturally bring people to repent. Natural response is like animals—with anger. Only the heart convicted by the HS responds with repentance.

(3) World will always conclude that sin should not be judged. It’s scales are tolerance. That evil should be overlooked is the worlds idea. Most of the world was going to overlook evil of Saddam for money or power. Most of the world overlooked evil of Hitler for a long time and milosavich in our generation. The world will not believe that sin has to be dealt with. Just negotiated and tolerated. God says no!