Zach Zehnder takes us into week four of our series The Unveiling.
Well, good morning church. It's so good to be with you today as we continue to unpack our journey through revelation. When I was 16 years old, my friends and I, around this time of year, we were really bored on a Friday night, and so what did we decide to do? We went to the grocery store, and this was before the price of eggs was so inflated. We bought several dozen eggs yeah, you maybe know where this is going and we decided to egg somebody's house that night, and the particular victim was a coach of one of the friends that we were together with. And so you know, we did what you do when you egg a house. We drove up to the house, turned the headlights off and we were in our dark hoodies, probably a hundred feet or so away from the house, and we the four of us descend upon this house and we just start launching these eggs right at the house, and the first one like makes incredible contact on the glass sliding door in the back and right away from the very first time the first egg hit, we saw the coach just spring to life and chase at us with everything that he had. Now, because you know, we were athletes, we ended up beating him to the car, and so we didn't actually get fully chased down. And so, while he didn't get us, there was something that happened that showed us this isn't going to end well, and the thing that happened was the coach yelled out my friend's name, which means we were caught and it's going to come back to us, and we were going to be in trouble. And sure enough, in trouble we were. The cops were called, our parents were brought into this and it was not great. And one thing my mom continually reminds me of, even still today, is you know, zach, nancy and I Nancy has been is her prayer partner for decades. She always says, nancy and I, we always pray that if our boys did anything evil, that they would get caught. I hated that prayer. If anybody ever is like, does prayer work? It does, trust me, it works. I don't know if it was actually a prayer that worked or just that we were really stupid boys. Because what I didn't tell you in the story is I think the reason the coach was so ready for us is because, well, the two previous weekends we'd done the same thing to his house you all acting like you got halos on, like you've never done anything wrong. My goodness, you can just feel the judgment in this room. I go over to Northwest Omaha. There are sinners over there. We deserve to get punished, right, like everybody. Nobody feels bad. So the next day we had to rent power washers and actually to go clean it off Actually, I don't think the previous two eggings had been cleaned either and it was really hard to get like all of that egg yolk off, like I'm not even yoking. It was really hard but we deserved it. Right, that's what happens. Like nobody feels bad for me. We were stupid. I wish that were the final egging story in my history. It wasn't. There were a couple of other times that we did this sort of thing and, by the way, mom and Nancy, you never knew and it's statute of limitations. That was 24 years ago. We're good, you know now, but no consequences. I will tell you this, though like to put you at ease like ever since my family and I moved back to Omaha, like I've not egged a single home since I've been back in the last two years. Aren't you proud of me? I'm your pastor, I'm above reproach. Yeah, yeah, thank you. I appreciate that you feel bad. You do the crime. You do the time, and when we think about punishment, like we're fine with that because that makes sense that we would be punished. But when we start talking about punishment that God doles out, when we start talking about the wrath of God, like it gets really weird and we're not sure what to think about it. We love the love of God. We're not sure what to think about the wrath of God. And well, you can't do a book series on revelation and avoid the wrath of God. And so welcome to what I like to call the wrath of God. Sunday here at King of Kings. Aren't you glad you came today we're going to talk about God's wrath in this place today and this morning we're going to dive into a very large section of revelation, but we are primarily going to be focusing on the wrath of God and my hope with this message is that you would be able to better understand God's wrath, that you would be able to talk about God's wrath and this may sound strange that you would even find comfort in God's wrath, that you would better understand God's wrath, be able to talk about God's wrath and maybe strange find comfort in God's wrath. So we're in this series on revelation. We introduced it a few weeks ago and we, to catch you up, we told you this was a revelation that Jesus was giving to John, that he was then writing to the scattered and persecuted first century Christians of that day. It was a vision of Jesus and he was revealing some things about the end, and that's really great. In fact, a lot of times we said this every week. The word apocalypse is from the Greek word apokaloupso, which doesn't mean doomsday or end times or the final battle. It actually, in Greek, means to reveal or unveil that which is hidden, and so this is actually a revealing again of a vision, many visions that Jesus had, that he gave to John, that he wrote to the first century church in that day, and it's also written in an apocalyptic style of literature. In apocalyptic style of literature, that's a different type of reading than you would do with just a natural, fact-driven sort of series. Apocalyptic literature has colors and images and numbers and characters that are symbolic, and so they do mean something. So it's like what do they mean? We have to figure out what they mean something, but they're not meant to be taken literally, and so that's the challenge in Revelation is to understand enough of the symbols but to not lose the main point and also to anchor it in a text that absolutely does mean something in the first century. So we've borrowed the words from Matt Chandler every week to remind you that Revelation it cannot mean to us what it did not mean for them. It means something to them, it means something to us, but it can't mean something to us that it doesn't mean for them. And thus sometimes, sadly, what happens with the book of Revelation is people maybe don't fully understand what it is or the style of literature, and so they'll look at certain verses, or maybe they'll listen to certain talking heads, and then they'll also look at other verses from like Daniel and Ezekiel, some sections that were also apocalyptic, and they'll try to like beautiful mind things together and listen to talking heads about this particular political power and this particular battle, and through it all they'll try to, in the end, predict when Jesus is coming back, which, by the way, every time they predicted. When Jesus is coming back. What have they been Wrong? Which shows you. It's a horrendous, egregious misuse of a text that did not mean you can find out when Jesus is coming back. It cannot mean to us what it did not mean for them. For them it was a book that instilled courage, that even in dark times gave comfort, that showed them no matter what happens in this life, all ends well. We maybe have different suffering that we're going through, but that's still a message that we need today Take courage, be comforted, have hope and know that it all ends well. Last week we looked at chapters four and five, which I argued were really the hinge of the book. If you want to understand all of Revelation, this was the picture of Jesus ascending into heaven, but on that side of the clouds, and he's worshiped and he has a scroll that he takes from the one seated on the throne and he's now opening that scroll in chapters six through 22. We're going to see some of the contents on that scroll. So today what we're doing is we're looking at chapters six through 16. That's right. I'm preaching 11 chapters today to you, so I hope you blocked your calendar for the day. We're going to be here a while. No, we're going to take you through that in about 26 minutes is my hope. Because we're going to do 11 chapters, because primarily, what you have happening in these chapters it's three different pictures, three different visions that are not linear, they're not chronological, and though they're three different pictures or visions, they're very similar in what they're doing. They're three visions showing you how God pours out wrath on his enemies, how he eventually brings final justice. The period of time covered in each of these three pictures that each have seven scenes is from the ascension of Jesus, acts one on the earthly side, revelation four and five. What we looked at last week, so that time period of the ascension already happened to the second coming of Christ, of course, which we are still waiting for, and so this is actually really great. Today is the start of Advent, which is a word that means waiting or preparation. We are in an Advent as we wait for the second coming of Christ, and so in this Advent, the goal is not to predict exactly when Jesus is coming back, but to look at he is coming back and what's our response in the middle as we wait, as we advent. So, chapters six and seven they contain seven angels that have seven scenes that open up seven seals. Seven, seven, seven. Chapters eight through eleven are those same seven angels that are sounding seven trumpets, again with seven scenes, and then, in chapters 15 and 16, those same seven angels are going to pour out seven bowls of plagues. Three visions, three pictures with seven scenes, each Seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls. I thought about titling the message seals, trumpets and bowls. Oh my, in the Bible, seven represents the number for completeness, three represents the number for perfection, and so, in some ways, taking the three visions of seven scenes as a whole, you could say it's one perfectly complete vision. And so, for our purposes today I want to take a look at the last of the three visions, the three pictures, because, again, I really believe that if you can understand just this one, you can understand the other two and really a large chunk of the middle chapters of Revelation. Alistair Begg once said the main thing is the plain thing and the plain thing is the main thing. So, yeah, we could dive into each one and we could do a sermon series on each one of these pictures, but our goal in this six week series is for you to be able to approach the book of Revelation with a better understanding and actually find comfort in it, because you kind of know the overarching story of how it works out, and that, by the way, will give you the rest of life to dive into every single thing in Revelation, which is so many. So what is the main thing? That is the plain thing in these 11 chapters, these three pictures of seven scenes, each God again is bringing justice to his world, to the world, and pouring out wrath on his enemies. So I want to jump into Revelation 15 and 16. We're going to spend about 10 minutes really anchoring into Revelation, going through pictures and symbols, and so I would ask you if you could lean in for the next 10 minutes and kind of stay with me as much as possible. What we're going to do after that is I'm going to give you four observations about the wrath of God. But in order to get to those observations we got to do a little groundwork and some of it may be confusing, maybe hard, but just lean in a little bit for about 10 minutes and then we'll get to the practical stuff. So it starts, chapter 15, verse one, john speaking writing. Then I saw another sign, the third, the third vision, the third picture of seven scenes in heaven, great and amazing seven angels with seven plagues which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. So another vision that are great and amazing. In this particular one, god is giving the angels seven bowls of plagues that are the wrath to be played out, and this verse shows us that after this, it's over, it's done, it's finished. We're going to get to that in a little bit. Verse two and I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass this time they'll mingled with fire and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, representing, of course, satan and all that is evil. They were standing, the ones who were in the sea of glass, mingled with fire, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. What Last week, remember? Around the throne, there was a sea that looked like glass, that looked like crystal. It represents quiet and peace, everything at rest. But in this vision he sees that same sea, but now it's mingled and mixed with fire. So the time for quiet and peace and rest has not quite yet come, because there's still a battle that needs to take place. And so the glassy sea, the peace and quiet and rest, is now mixed with fire, signifying warfare and suffering for those on earth that are claiming to be on team Jesus. But look at what happens. Even in the midst of this suffering, what do God's people do. Verse three it says and they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, in the song of the Lamb, saying Great and amazing are your deeds, o Lord, god the Almighty, just and true are your ways, o King of the nations, who will not fear O Lord and glorify your name, for you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. They're singing the song of Moses, which is a clear point back to the book of Exodus and actually in Revelation it's really understand it. Well, you need an understanding of the Old Testament. There are 408 verses in Revelation and many scholars believe there are more than 400 illusions and references back to the Old Testament. So it almost averages one per verse and in some verses there's many. And in this one they're reminded of the song of Moses, which remember what happened. They were actually. The Israelites were escaping from Egypt and they were by a sea, not a glassy sea, a sea called the Red Sea, and as they were parting through the Red Sea that God parted the waters and allowed them to walk through into their next chapter of lives. When they looked back on the sea, they saw their enemies that came into the sea, but the enemies, the Egyptians that had enslaved them and oppressed them. When they look back, they saw the Egyptian army, the waters came over them and they were destroyed, showing to God's people that as you move forward in freedom, you walk with your past no longer haunting you. Some of you need to hear that message today, that when you hit your wagon to Team Jesus, you get to walk into the future with your past not coming with you. How cool is that? And so I think what this shows us is, even in the middle of suffering, even in the middle of persecution, even in the middle of difficult times, discomfort, uncomfortable times, even in the middle guess what church we got a song to sing. So even as there's warfare, even as the battle is still going on, we have a song to sing and we can worship in the middle. Verse 5 says after this I looked, john looked and he saw the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened. So Apostle John looks heavenward and he sees the sanctuary of the tent of witness which, again going back to the Exodus story, is in the dwelling place where God dwelt with his people, the tabernacle, and that room was called the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could go, and only he could go if he was cleansed and brought an innocent lamb to pay for the sins of the Israelite people and those that he was atoning for. And so this time, when John looks up, he doesn't see an earthly expression of this. But now, for the first time, he sees a heavenly expression of this, not built by human hands, but built by God as the architect, and not with an innocent lamb, but rather the slain but risen lamb of Jesus that is worthy of being in that room forever and always. How cool is that? And so what you need to know about this is John's looking into heaven and he's seeing what the holiest of holy places, but not from earth's perspective, from heavens, which is why the following verses can happen and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests, and one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. So, out of the holy of holiest places, god sends out his angels with a mission to destroy once and for all the one thing that stands no chance in the presence of God, and you know what that is. Anything and anyone unholy does not get to be in the holy presence of God. And it says the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power. And no one can enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. So after receiving these bowls, we see smoke, which many times in the Old Testament, even in the new, is a representation of God's majesty, god's power. It's signifying this is an important moment. And that's exactly what happens in in chapter 16 is God pouring out his final wrath? So let's bounce into a few verses, get a bit of it so we can understand it and see it in play. Verse chapter 16, verse one says then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels the loud voice from the temple, by the way, is God's voice Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God. And so the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. So the first bowl of wrath, what is it doing? It's inflicting life on earth, and it's coming for anyone and anything. That is unholy. But what you may not know about what's happening in the seven bowls is you've actually already seen this in the second vision of seven scenes in the trumpets. What's different, though, or what's unique about the bowls from the trumpets is, in each of the three visions, the suffering and the intensity like escalates. The severity of God's wrath is like more and more and more. For instance, in the trumpet, this particular plague inflicting life on earth only inflicted a third of that which was unholy in this particular, when it's now affecting everything and everyone. That's unholy. Maybe a way for you to picture this is like if you're a parent who is welcoming your child into the beauty of household chores and let's pick one that I've talked about before dishes Like you're welcoming them into it Like the first time. I would equate this with the seven seals, the first vision of seven. You might say with a firm and authoritative voice hey, you will do the dishes today. And if later in the day, maybe even at the evening time, you see those dishes are not done yet, you might escalate now into the seven trumpets version where, hey, if you don't do the dishes, you will not get allowance. Like the urgency is rising, it's picking up, there's an expiration date to you getting this done. And then the third one, the bowls, is like hey, buddy actually you don't get called buddy in this one hey, not only are you not getting your allowance, but you will never, ever get a dollar of mine again. And I'm taking everything of your bank account and it's now mine. So it's escalating. You didn't wanna do the bowls as dishes. You get a bowl of plague from me. I thought that was pretty good. Anyway, bowls maybe not. All right, I'll work on that. Maybe don't do that in the next service. Anyway, so it escalates, there's an intensity ramping up. Let me show you this, just to kind of see. I'll show you the second trumpet and the second scene from that one, revelation 8. And again, hang with me for a few more. The second angel sounded his trumpet and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. I told you this a third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died and a third of the ships destroyed. Now look at this plague, not in the trumpet form, but in the bowl form, it said. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea and it became like the blood of a corpse and every living thing died that was in the sea. So you can understand and see that there's an escalation in intensity in this third and final vision of seven scenes. And actually it's kind of interesting, the trumpets and bowls kind of mirror each other perfectly. I've got a little chart for you to actually see them coming onto the screen that shows you they're actually inflicting on the same things. But again, in the trumpet scenes we get a third of the earth, a third of the sea, a third of the rivers that are unholy, but in the final scene, the bowls, it's completely destroyed, it's completely done. And in fact we even get those words from God in Revelation 16, 17,. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying come on, say these two words together it is done, it's done, the wrath of God is finished, all right. So what does all this mean? Let me give you four observations about the wrath of God Again, to help you better understand it, so that you can talk about it and, strangely, maybe even find comfort in it. Number one the wrath of God is real. It's real meaning it's coming. It's real meaning that if you want to avoid the subject of God's wrath, you have to avoid the book of Revelation and, by the way, this is not like the final book of the Bible and God is doing a 180 and bringing an unexpected shock on humanity. Like wait, what I never saw that coming. No, the wrath of God has been written about and has been on display for the entire creation from the beginning and will be till it's all said and done. And there's actually already, in that day, first century, a good understanding of God's wrath. And we know this because the apostle Paul writes it to us in Romans, chapter one. He says it this way. He says for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who, by their unrighteousness, suppress the truth. He then says for what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them for his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature. They have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they, speaking of everybody, are without excuse. What is Paul saying? He's saying the wrath of God. It will be played out. It's been talked about and shown from the very beginning of creation. And if somebody experiences the wrath of God, they're doing that not because it's a hidden thing and not because it's like unexpected. They're doing that because they have continually rejected the God of the world from the beginning of creation. They are without excuse. In other words, nobody is under the wrath of God without choosing to be Make sense. It's real. It's real. It's coming and it's going to destroy anything and anyone that is unholy or unrighteous. These are men and women that are fully aware of God's offering and they're saying no, thank you to him. I'm gonna stay hitched to the other side. The wrath of God is real. It's not just real, it's just period. The wrath of God is just. And again, my opening story about how stupid I was and how I deserved punishment. I deserved to pay the price. And we typically celebrate things like wrath and justice and vengeance and we love when someone who's done something wrong actually has to pay for it. And if you don't believe me, I'll prove it to you. When you are just driving nicely on Dodge Street, why are you laughing already? You're just driving nicely following an obedient completely to the laws of the land. And then some punk starts tailing you. Probably got their music revved up and the subwoofer beaten and they tail you. And then they whip the car around you, they look at you, maybe they make some sort of I don't know symbol at you, and then they get right back in front of you and then, in your view, you just see this dude bobbing and weaving. And just why is this man making all of our lives dangerous? And then, right at the time, you think that sirens go off and you see the cop not only chase him down but pull him over. And what are you thinking when that cop has pulled that person over? Give him a warning? No, you give them the full extent of the law. You wrathful people. To be transparent, I had my first speeding ticket in Omaha since back last Sunday. I felt like God, that wasn't cool. It preached about the throne, the scroll and the lamb, a little fired up, and but he, as he gave me the ticket, he said hey, just so you know, I'm on a quota to try to get people who aren't wearing their seatbelt and you warriors today. So thank you for that. Here's your speeding ticket 40 and a 30. Dude. Either be gracious and merciful or don't. Anyway, give them the law. They deserve it. And not only that like every TV show or movie you watch, right, it has some sort of justice to it, some sort of bringing wrath, and you celebrate it. I remember back in the day, like movies like Rambo, it's like yeah and not. Maybe some of you are like it was Rambo, so I don't know John Wick or Jack Reacher or Terminalist or the Punisher, or maybe you're like a Liam Neeson taken fan. Right, they took my daughter and so I'll take anything in everybody to get her back, even if I got to do some unjust things along the way. I looked it up Liam's killed 64 people in those three movies. It's a lot of justice, but again, we celebrate it, we support it In some weird way. We kind of like it. But then when we think about God, it's like well, how can God be loving and full of wrath at the same time? I actually preached that sermon earlier this year how can God be loving and full of wrath? So if you want more on wrath by the way, we got more here for you. We got a lot of wrath here at King of Kings. How can he be loving and wrathful at the same time? But we can't be a people in one breath or in one feeling, be like revenge is a dish best served cold and then be like well, god, why are you punishing them? That just doesn't fit. And so I would ask the opposite question of how can God be loving if he's not full of wrath? There is an unhealthy aspect of like, liking and celebrating wrath, but I actually think there is a healthy aspect as well. And here's the healthy aspect as human beings, what do we love? We love seeing wrongs made right. It just feels right and that's okay. Theologian Stephen Charnoch said a love of holiness cannot be without a hatred of everything that is contrary to it. Love and justice cannot be separated and in the end, god is destroying and will destroy anything and anyone that is unholy and unworthy to be in his presence. And as those that cling to that day, we want nothing else for eternity, but to be a place where there are no wrongs that need to be made right because it's all done. Can you imagine an hour, a day, a week, a month, a lifetime, where there's no more wrongs to be made right? How amazing that's gonna be, and that won't happen unless God fully pours out his wrath, and that's the third point is the wrath of God will be completed. That's what we see in Revelation 16, 17. It is done and again, think about the day and time into which this was written the scattered and persecuted church who did have to fear for their very lives, not because they weren't following Jesus, but because they were following Jesus. To the initial hearers and also to us, the wrath of God. Here's what it does. It brings as much celebration for believers as it would fear for unbelievers. But a major reason that an 11 chapter section on the wrath of God can feel off-putting to those of us here in Omaha or that live in America is, honestly, because the average follower or believer in Jesus cannot relate to the intense personal suffering that goes along with claiming Jesus in our nation. And because we can't relate to that, we think, man, this is tough, this is hard. I'm not sure what to do with this and we just wanna avoid it because it makes us feel uncomfortable. But if you've got someone that's bound you up, that's killed your family and your friends, that's got a knife in their hand ready to slit your throat even think about our author of this story. He escaped death onto the deserted island of Patmos, which is where he's writing the book of Revelation. Can you imagine how encouraging this would be to see and to hear from God that I've got eyes on everything and I will take care of things? And if anyone is wrong to you, don't worry. You don't need to be your primary justice advocate because I'm going to make all wrong things right. It's just hard for us that live in a much different day of age, who drive our nice SUVs, to work, make a decent living, get to watch college football on Saturdays, argue about it on Sundays and go to sleep in our purple or tempopedic or sleep number beds to the exact number to be comfortable to fall asleep to. It's a different day. It still means something to us, but it can't mean something to us that it did not mean for them. Part of God's love is his wrath and his dedication to Bring anything unholy and evil to an end. That's a, primarily in my mind, loving God, not angry God, and so I trust. Part of this faith is I trust God in your justice more than mine. Theologian Miroslav Wolf, when he was looking at the spoils and the the, not the spoils, the Downside of war and all these dead bodies. After looking at all of that, he said God isn't wrathful in spite of being loved. God is wrathful because God is love and his wrath, we are shown, has an expiration date and that's my prayer that this date might be today for you. And that goes into my fourth and final point, that every offering of wrath is an opportunity for mercy. Did you know that every offering of wrath is an opportunity for mercy? Because how many times in life two people can look at the same thing and see something so different, right Even today, like all of us are like, I see the college football playoff, that team getting in there. No, that team's getting that. We see it differently. I think Nebraska should be in their dates. Their calendar is wide open, got a great defense. I'm kidding, you couldn't trust to someone that would say that in front. But every offering of wrath is an opportunity of for mercy and it will come to an end. It's real, it's just. But even in the book of Revelation, did you know that in these three scenes Three pictures rather, with seven scenes each there is a perfectly complete amount of opportunities for people to respond? 21, 21 offerings of God, god's wrath, that each one of them is an opportunity to receive his mercy. And you read about this in these 11 chapters over and over and over again. Verses like this that after one of the plagues, they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. He gives them 21 opportunities to respond, 21 opportunities to repent, but at the end of it, they choose not to. Again back to Paul's words Nobody's under the wrath of God without choosing to be. But to those that do repent, for those that want to be on the good side of God's wrath, those that say yes, we repent, we believe you get a gift called mercy. And that's exactly what mercy is. Mercy is the gift of not getting wrath. Right, we talk about grace and mercy. There they're a little different. Grace is getting a free gift you don't deserve. That's heaven. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Mercy is getting the gift of, not hell. So God's mercy brings us out of hell, his grace brings us into heaven. And the beautiful thing is that this invitation is open for anybody and everybody. And how do I know this? Because Jesus became the temporary object of God's wrath on the cross so that you and I can be eternal recipients of his mercy. And we've got a patient God, a loving God, a God who's slow, a God who's not angry, a guy who desires. The Bible says all people to be saved. He loves us so much that Christmas season is all about him becoming one of us. And as he became one of us, that would lead him to the cross, where, where he would take all of your sin and all of my sin, all of the wrath of God, and the Bible says it's all then nailed to the cross. In that moment he took that wrath upon himself. Temporarily, he remembers final words on the cross to tell us die, it is finished, it is finished. And then that slain risen lamb ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God right now and he will come back. But before he does, what's he gonna do? He's going to take the wrath that was placed on him and he's gonna dole it out to anything and anyone that is unholy or evil. But you will first be met with 21 opportunities to respond to God's grace. So how do you respond? How do you respond? I think it's fascinating that when the wrath is done, he says it is done, because it reminds me of the cross, it is finished. So I looked it up this morning and and because I was like, oh, I didn't even make that connection, I need to make that connection I was like I wonder if it's the same word. To tell us die is the cross. I looked up in Revelation 16. Guess what? It's not the same word. It's like oh man, I wish it was. But. But I learned a new Greek word and I kind of like it because it's Gagannon, gagannon, and I kind of like it because that's how it's Greek. But it kind of like get gone in, get gone, get gone. And I think that's what God is saying to anything and anyone that is unholy get gone, you're not in my presence. You don't get to be in the presence of God and get the moment we saw last week where we're all around the throne worshipping God. You don't get that in all of its beauty and splendor and perfection. You don't get that if you're unholy. But you don't have to be unholy because God became the temporary object of wrath so that if you say yes and receive it, the wrath of God is something to be celebrated because when it's finally fully doled out. It's perfect forever. Wow, I want to be on that side, and you can. You can, let's stand. Thank you, Jesus, for coming and taking that wrath upon yourself for a time. I thank you that it doesn't stay with you, though, and that you doled it out on all that is evil. I thank you that I don't need to be my primary justice advocate in this world, because you are, and that all things will be made right. But, lord, on my heart today is the fact that your wrath has an expiration date, and so would you now stir in the hearts of those that have never said yes to you that this would be the day? Thank you for mercy, for not hell. Thank you for grace, heaven. Thank you for Jesus, thank you for Christmas. We love you, lord, and it's your name. We pray and together, both campuses say Amen.