The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time to judge the dead and to reward your servants the prophets, and the saints and those who fear your name, both the small and the great, and to destroy those who are destroying the earth. Rev 11:18.
This verse offers a summary of the final events of earth's history. There are five main parts to these events. The nations are angry, the wrath of God has come, and also the time to judge the dead, reward the righteous, and destroy those who are destroying the earth. This text predicts that, just before the end, the nations will be angry. And we may be entering into just such a time. The nations of the world seem more angry than ever today. It is harder and harder to find common ground among the conflicting political agendas. The New World Order that was proclaimed after the Gulf War of 1991 has turned into the New World Disorder.
God responds in kind to the anger of the nations. The "wrath of God" here is a nutshell summary of the seven last plagues of Revelation 16 (see Rev 14:10 and 15:1). The plagues soften up the forces of evil, preparing the way for the final victory of God. God's final word in this trumpet is judgment. In the judgment, the wrongs of this world will be made right. The oppressors will be defeated, and the victims will be rescued and vindicated. It will not be a time of pointless violence, it will be a time of setting things straight.
I remember a meeting of secular Bible scholars. Many in the group studied the Bible for a living, but no longer believe that it was the answer to the great problems of life. In their comments they assumed that the Bible's promises of judgment and resurrection were merely the cultural hopes of the ancients.
But that day the position was challenged from an unexpected direction. A hard-smoking, hard-drinking German scholar took objection to the proceedings. He protested that it was a waste of time to study the Bible merely as an academic exercise. "No matter how you paint it, the Bible is right about the injustices of this world. If this life is all we have to look forward to nothing will ever change. If there is no such thing as judgment or resurrection, there will never by any justice in this world. The Bible writers believed that there was a judgment to come and a resurrection and that is the only hope we have."
The resurrection and the judgment tell us that, someday, God will set everything right. While His justice may not be visible to many eyes just yet, we are nearer than ever to the time spoken of in this text.