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Chinese12/16/2006English
經文:啟示錄第九章
鑰節:「其餘未曾被這些災所殺的人,仍舊不悔改自己手所做的……。」(9:20上)
提要

        到目前為止,你可以看到要去分析和整理啟示性作品是有多困難。約翰常試著描述一些根本無法描述的異象。多年來,大家一直嘗試要找到約翰的真正意義,但所有這些觀點,都應對別人的努力保留多一點可能性,尤其那些十分拘泥於自己解釋,自稱為解經家的人更當留意。

        幸好,啟示錄時常會令人振奮地出現一段資料,暗示了某個異象的用意。看20,21節這兩個句子可以佐證。第五位天使吹號之後,有一個星落下來打開了無底坑,,使得很多煙雲冒出來,產生了蝗蟲之災(1~11節)。第六位天使吹號,則釋放了二億的陸軍要消滅三分之一的人,這些災變的重點是什麼?

        很明顯的,重點在於要人悔改。20,21節告訴我們:人「自己手所做的」,足夠令上帝將忿怒倒在地上。所謂他們「所做的」是指拜偶像、謀殺、邪教和淫亂。從災難的範圍可知上帝恨惡罪的程度。若非因著基督的恩典工作,人在很久以前早被消滅了。這也是為什麼我們當趁還有時間快向上帝悔改。

禱告

        主啊!我們願悔改離棄我們的罪,求您吸引我們更親密地與您同行,感謝您的赦免。奉主耶穌基督的名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Revelation 9
Key Verse:"The rest of mankind that were not kitted by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands..."(Revelation 9:20a)
Overview

        By now you've seen how difficult it is to try to analyze and systematize the content of apocalyptic writing. John is describing a vision, and in so doing is attempting to describe the indescribable. Scores of well-meaning attempts have been made over the years to tell us what John "really meant", but all such efforts should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Especially if the would-be interpreter is dogmatic about his interpretation!

        This is why it's refreshing from time to time in Revelation to come across material that hints at the purpose of the vision. Look at verses 20 and 21. These two sentences follow a description of two of the three remaining trumpet-disasters. The fifth trumpet precedes a fallen star unlocking "the shaft of the Abyss", out of which a dense cloud of smoke produces a plague of tormenting locusts (vv.1-11). The sixth trumpet releases a supernatural army of 200 million who destroy a third of mankind. What's the point of these cataclysmic horrors?

        Apparently repentance is the point. Verses 20 and 21 tell us that the "work of [mankind's] hands" are sufficient to bring heaven's wrath upon the earth. That "work" is idolatry, murder, occultism, and sexual immorality. The scope of the disasters shows how enraged God is at sin. Were it not for the gracious work of Christ, mankind would have been destroyed long ago. That's why we should repent of all sin now — while there is yet time.

Prayer

        Lord, we repent and turn away from sin in our lives and ask You to draw us this day into a closer walk with You. Thank You for Your forgiveness.


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