So I’ve been doing a lot of studying in Revelation lately, and I came upon this text…

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

Revelation 16:8


Now the context here are seven bowls of wrath that seven angels are pouring out onto the Roman Empire (who was persecuting God’s people). Each bowl contains a metaphorical “plague” that symbolizing the total punishment God is soon to level against Rome. This particular angel is the fourth one to unleash Divine retribution and his is a plague of fire. Back when God sent literal plagues to Egypt, He cursed the Egyptian sun, and darkened the sky above Pharaoh’s head. Here God doesn’t turn the sun off; he turns it up to eleven! This angel harnesses the power to “scorch” (burn) men.

But keep reading…

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Revelation 16:9

Who is getting burned here? It’s the kind of people who had hate in their hearts and blasphemy on their lips. It’s the kind of people who would not repent of their sins but would instead lash out at the one punishing them for it, blaspheming the name of God.

What is the “name” of God? It’s the “authority” He has to punish. That’s why John says God has power of the plagues. Rome will suffer but will not repent because they don’t respect the God who is punishing them for their crimes. They won’t give God glory so they’ll suffer needlessly.

Now let’s make application to the modern day atheist.

The atheist will say “If God is God why doesn’t He stop evil!” He says that thinking he’s created a real moral conundrum for believers in God. Spoiler alert: He hasn’t. There is a very simple answer to that question.

You’re evil! Stop yourself!”

Don’t blame the cop when you get a ticket for speeding! It’s your fault! If evil men would turn to God they would live. If they persist in their evil they will die. It’s their choice.

Why will you die (Ezekiel 18:30-32)?