In Israel ram’s horn trumpets, called shofars, were blown to announce the beginning of each new month and the start of the various festivals and times of special significance. Their loud piercing noise was an attention grabber – if blown correctly (Neh 4:20; Ezek 33:4; Joel 2:1,15; Mt 6:2; 1 Cor 14:8)! A trumpet call will also signal the return of Christ (Mt 24:31; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thes 4:16). As it is unclear as to the actual sequence of events in the end times, the most important point is we must be ready for whenever the Lord returns and believers are raptured.
During the tribulation period of the end times seven trumpets sound heralding various judgements:
The first trumpet – hail and fire mixed with blood burned up one third of the world’s trees and all the grass is consumed (Rev 8:7).
The second trumpet – a blazing mountain turns a third of the sea to blood, a third of the ships sink, and a third of ocean life dies (Rev 8:8,9).
The third trumpet – a blazing star makes bitter a third of the fresh water supply and many people die (Rev 8:10,11).
The fourth trumpet – a third of the sun, a third of the moon and a third of the stars turn dark resulting in a third of the day being without light as is a third of the night (Rev 8:12).
Following these four judgments a special warning comes, “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels” (Rev 8:13).
The fifth trumpet – for five months a plaque of locusts which sting like scorpions attack the unsaved, who because of their agony wish to die but can't (Rev 9:1-11).
The sixth trumpet – four wicked angels lead a vast army that kill a third of humanity, yet the survivors refuse to repent of their sinful ways (Rev 9:12-21).
The seventh trumpet is blown – immediately there are loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15).
God who has always been in control (although permitting evil people and beings to exercise limited powers), now unleashes His full wrath on the evil world that refuses to turn to Him with these universal judgments impacting all those still alive and ultimately brings about the end of the world. Following this is the individual judgment of everyone; those who have turned to Jesus for salvation and have walked with Him will be ushered into heaven to experience evernal life, while those who have remained unrepentant will be doomed to the lake of fire that is termed eternal damnation (Mt 25:46; Jn 3:36; Rom 2:5-11; 2 Thes 1:8,9; Rev 20:13,15, 21:8, 22:12-15).