Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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THEY PRAYED TO ROCKS
Text: Rev 6:12-17

Rev 6:12-17 KJV
12    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13    And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14    And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15    And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16    And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17    For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV)

Rev 6:12-17  NASB
12    And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth {made} of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
13    and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
14    And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15    And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
16    and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
17    for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" (NAS)

INTRODUCTION
Today there are people in the so called New Age Movement who will pray to rocks. They believe crystal rocks can give a presence or an aura to help guide you in making decisions.

We think it is strange to pray to rocks but I want to point out to you in the last days some people will pray to rocks. Our text says "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: "
 
 

1. They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Phenomena of the Last Day. v 12-14 (Sixth Seal) 


12    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13    And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14    And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

A.    The Phenomena . . On Earth. v 12 a & 14 b
        ". . . indicating that it is the great day of God's wrath. Following the persecution of His saints, He will show His displeasure on the earth for this persecution. . . . Earthquakes in Northern Peru in 1970 took almost 67,000 lives. (LAH p 107)

The reference is not a local earthquake like those so common in Asia Minor. (ATR p 345)

MATT 24:7  "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

ILLUSTRATION
During the first few moments there was remarkably little alarm.  Earth tremors were common enough in Mexico City, the previous weekend most capitalinos had endured a moderate earthquake without bothering to leave their beds. But the upheaval that week was different: downtown buildings began to vibrate wildly, their walls and girders groaning from the stress. Metal lampposts swayed and bent like rubber in their sockets in the shuddering streets. Telephone and electrical wires snapped, windows shattered and huge chunks of concrete smashed murderously onto the pavement below. Underground gas lines ruptured in large areas of the city, some erupting in geyser-like flames.

Like thousands of other residents, Teresa Mendoza raced from her home in a panic. "It was absolutely dark from the dust and the smoke," she later recalled. "Everybody was crying -- men, women and children. They were saying it's the end of the world." Newsweek, Sept. 30, 85

B.    The Phenomena . . In Heaven. v 12 b - 14 a
        12 b  ". . . and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
        14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together;. . . "

    In the first century most people appear to have thought of heaven as a solid vault....Heaven is thought of as rolled up like a scroll (cf Is. xxxiv. 4, and for later literature, Syb. Or. iii. 82), and taken out of the way.(TYN p 110)

ILLUSTRATION
Today, astronomers can look to the skies and name or identify the stars they see. Annie Jump Cannon was the person who set up this system. She identified more stars in her lifetime (350,000) than any other person.

APPLICATION

Psa. 147: 4-5 4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
 
 

2. They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Panic of the Last Day. v 15 (Sixth Seal)


15    And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Thayer's Dictionary Numbers Used.

A.    Panic . . from Kings. 935 basileus- a leader of the people, a prince

B.    Panic . . from Great Men. 3175 megistanes- the grandees, magnates, nobles, chief men b) used of the associates of a king

C.    Panic . . from Rich Men. 4145 plousios- 1) wealthy, abounding in material resources

D.    Panic . . from Chief Captains. 5506 chiliarchos-
        1) . . . the commander of 1,000 soldiers

E.    Panic . . from Mighty Men. 2478 ischuros-
        1)     strong either in body or in mind

F.    Panic . . from Bond men 1401 doulos-doulos-
        1)    a slave, a bondman, a man of servile condition

G.    Panic . . from Freemen. 1658 eleutheros-
        1)    freeborn a) in a civil sense, one who is not a slave

ILLUSTRATION
A father said that his little girl, who was much afraid of the dark, slept at night in a crib beside his bed. Often he had been wakened during the night by a little voice saying, "Papa, it's dark! It's dark, papa! Take Nellie's hand." And when, in answer, he had taken hold of the lifted hand, she sank quietly to sleep, all her fears being taken away.

The remembrance of the pleading voice had often helped him to remember, in the midst of troubles and distress, that he, too, had a Father to whom he could lift his hand and say, "Father, it is dark! Take my hand."

Application

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else. Oswald Chambers
 
 

3. They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Predicament of the Last Day. v 16-17 (Sixth Seal) 


16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV)

A.    The . . Desire Caused by the Predicament. v 16

        1.    The . .Desire to be Hidden from God. v 16 a
                 "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,. . . "

{From the face of him that} (apo prosopou tou, etc.). "What sinners dread most is not death, but the revealed Presence of God" (Swete). Cf.Ge 3:8. {And from the wrath of the Lamb} (kai apo tes orges tou arniou). (ATR p 346 -347)

The swift agony of being crushed to death was preferable to being left face to face with an angry God. (SUM p 143)

Fall on us. . . Second aorist (first aorist ending) imperative. . . , tense of urgency, do it now. (ATR p 346)

        2.    The . .Desire to be Hidden from the Lamb. v 16 b
               . . . and from the wrath of the Lamb:

"The wrath of the Lamb" is an expressive phrase, found only here. 'Who ever heard of a lamb being angry? What a terrible thought--the gentlest of all God's creatures angry!...This book has a good deal to say about wrath. "Orge" is used here and in vi. 17, xi. 18, siv. 10, svi 19, xix. 15, and "thumos" is found ten times.... (TYN p 111)

And hide us ( kai krupsate hemas). Same tense of urgency again from (verb in verse 15). Both imperatives come in inverted order from Hos 10:8 with (cover) in place of (hide), quoted by Jesus on the way to the Cross (Lu 23:30). . . ". (ATR p 346)

B.    The . . Dilemma Caused by the Predicament. v 17
        17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV)

        1.    Dilemma caused by . . The Inevitability.
                v 17 a    For the great day of his wrath is come; . . . "

Note the plural "their"(KJV his) the wrath both of God and of the Lamb. (HOB p 93)

        2.    Dilemma caused by Invincibility.  v 17 b
                    v 17 b ". . . and who shall be able to stand? "

In describing the period of judgment as a day of wrath, reference is not to a twenty-four-hour day but to a time period longer or shorter. . . . The day of wrath is at the beginning of the day of the Lord, that extended period when God is going to deal directly in governing the entire world. . . . (WAL p 137-138)

The book of Revelation discredits those who hold that God is so loving and kind that He will never judge people who have not received His Son. (WAL p 138)

ILLUSTRATION
Fear can begin to affect our behavior and our actions. Eventually it will have a negative effect on our health. It can lessen the quality and shorten the longevity of our lives. The story has been told of Death walking toward a city. A man stopped Death and asked, "What are you going to do ?" "I'm going to kill 10,000 people." Death replied.

"That's horrible."

"That's the way it is," Death said. "That's what I do." So the day passed. That evening the man met Death coming back, and he said, "You said you were only going to kill 10,000 people, but I heard that 70,000 were killed."

Death said, "But I only killed 10,000. Worry and fear killed the others." Gary J. Oliver, Real Men Have Feelings Too, (Moody, 1993), p. 82.

        1.    They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Phenomena of the Last Day.
 

        2.    They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Panic of the Last Day.
 

        3.    They Prayed to Rocks Because of the . . Predicament of the Last Day.
 
 

Conclusion: 


A preacher was speaking at Hyde Park in England. Hecklers kept saying "but what about shamrocks". The preacher stopped and said "on Christ the solid rock I stand all other rocks are sham rocks".

They needed to cry out to the "Rock of Ages" but they tried to hide from God.
 


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