As we work our way through this period of time known in Revelation as the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 2:22, 7:14), it is very easy to get caught up with the incredible displays of demonic powers (Revelation 9) and catastrophes of nature (Revelation 6:12-14), and miss one significant fact. During all of this time of wrath, God is also extending tremendous mercy and grace to mankind (Habakkuk 3:2).
How important it is for us to see the love and mercy of God being extended to fallen man. From the time that Adam fell in the garden to the present moment, it is as if God is calling out to us and asking the question, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). In His beautiful design, God has chosen to use mortals like us to proclaim this message of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and salvation through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16-21).
We have already seen in The Revelation that God dispatches 144,000 male Jews as ambassadors of His Son, Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:1-8). Here in chapter 11 we are introduced to 2 witnesses, who are given by God tremendous power to authenticate their divine calling (Revelation 11:5,6). What we can easily overlook is the fact that they are clothed in sackcloth (Revelation 11:3), which is a symbol of mourning (Genesis 37:34; Isaiah 22:12). In other words, their ministry is not all “bells and whistles” so to speak, but a message of repentance and a plea to turn to Christ for mercy and forgiveness. Granted, the vast majority of people on earth will reject this appeal of God to repent (as we saw earlier in Revelation 9:20,21), but the record of Scripture is clear. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). Because God is holy and just and must punish sin and unrepentant sinners, He is often accused of being harsh and unfair (Ezekiel 18:25-29), but nothing could be further from the truth. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for sinners (Romans 5: 6-10).
Reader, have you trusted in the kindness, love, mercy and grace of Christ for the debt of your sin? (See Titus 3:4-7.) To fail to do so carries eternal consequences (John 3:36). Trust Christ today; receive His grace (John 1:16), and praise God for His grace and mercy!