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The Power of an Unrepentant Heart The Power of an Unrepentant Heart

The Power of an Unrepentant Heart

After terror attacks on September 11, church attendance spiked. “People thought this type of crisis of national significance would lead people to be more religious, and it did,” Mark Chaves, a professor of sociology at Duke University, observed. “But it was very short-lived. There was a blip in church attendance and then it went back to normal.” A single event doesn’t usually affect a society’s religious practice, and today’s passage is evidence that multiple events may not make a difference, either.

The temple in our passage today most likely refers to a reconstructed temple. The act of measuring the temple is clearly symbolic and seems to indicate something about the nature of God’s unfolding plan. Clearly events are following a divinely set timetable.

Scholars are divided about the identity of the two witnesses. The most reasonable approach is to take the text at face value. These two unnamed prophets bear witness in Jerusalem, perform miracles, and are killed by the beast who comes up from the abyss. Their martyrdom sparks a celebration; people gloat over their deaths and send one another presents. The subsequent resurrection of these two prophets after three-and-a-half days will be accompanied by a great earthquake that will destroy a tenth of the city and kill seven thousand people. Those who survive will “give glory to the God of heaven” (v. 13).

The stage is set for the final act of this redemptive drama. It begins with the sounding of the seventh trumpet, announcing the arrival of the Messiah’s kingdom (v. 18). In an antiphonal response, the temple in heaven opens to display the Ark of the Covenant, along with flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm.

Pray with Us

Natoshia Portis in Catering will be grateful for your prayers today. Ask for God’s favor and help for Natoshia and her student helpers in their gracious and appreciated service in the hospitality ministry on Moody’s Chicago campus.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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