The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their fornication or their thefts. (NRSV 9:20-21)
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (KJV 9:20-21)
God is willing to fire a warning shot. He threw out some plagues and then left it open for everyone else (who didn't die in the first round) to repent. Unfortunately, these sinners don't seem to be catching on.
The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for judging the dead, for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints and all who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth. (NRSV 11:18)
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (KJV 11:18)
It's Judgment Day—break out the champagne. God's going to reward those who love and worship him properly… but not so much for those that don't.
[The angel] said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." (NRSV 14:7)
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (KJV 14:7)
God's judgment is inherently a fearful time. Did you make the cut? Will you be moving on to the next round in Paradise?
Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, "Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name." (NRSV 14:9-11)
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. (KJV 14:9-11)
Okay, so things aren't going to work out so well for the people who worship the Beast. To be fair, God did try to warn them by sending Jesus and all. It's not like he enjoys doling out these punishments. Or does he?
Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk. (NRSV 17:1-2)
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (KJV 17:1-2)
The Whore of Babylon is going to fall and fall hard. She is judged uber harshly, because she lived uber sinfully. It's simple reaping and sowing, folks.
Her plagues will come in a single day—pestilence and mourning and famine—and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. (KJV 18:8)
Rome wasn't built in a day, but it sure will be destroyed in one. The Whore of Babylon is going to be struck down pretty quickly, while it takes God 1,000 years to finally vanquish the Dragon. Why does this mighty Empire fall so easily?
"Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has given judgment for you against her." (NRSV 18:20)
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. (KJV 18:20)
Basically, because Babylon (i.e., Rome) saw fit to judge Christians, they got judged in return. That'll teach them not to mess with God's peeps.
I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants." (NRSV 19:1-2)
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (KJV 19:1-2)
When God sits in judgment, he gets fans pretty quickly. Of course, according to Revelation, the smited totally deserve it. After all, they did kill the faithful.
I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. (NRSV 20:11-13)
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (KJV 20:11-13)
When John says you want to be in God's good books, he really means it. We're guessing God keeps pretty accurate records and isn't accepting any excuses when it comes judgment time.