AGCC Sun. a.m. 5/20/2001
#14 (Book of Revelation Series)
TEXT: Rev. 19:1-21
INTRO:There is coming a day when Christians will have a reason to celebrate far greater than any event in history! Simply put, Jesus is coming again! John has spent considerable space in the book of Revelation telling us about the horrendous events of the tribulation on earth, but here he turns the focus to the greatest celebration of all time for Christians, the second coming of Jesus Christ and the final victory over sin and Satan.
If you think you have been in a great celebration before, you "ain't seen nothing yet!" All the things you do throughout your lifetime to prepare for Christ's coming won't be in vain … they will pay off one day, big time!
ILLUS:For a little reward men make a long journey; for eternal life many will scarce lift a foot once from the ground. -- Thomas a Kempis in The Imitation of Christ. Christianity Today, Vol. 39, no. 12.
Don't be afraid to prepare for the day of the Lord's coming … sometime in the future you will be glad you did!
PROP. SENT: The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is coming again, it will be a day of great celebration for believers of all ages, and a day of terror for those who have rejected Christ in this life, so accept Christ and join in the celebration!
I. FEAST OF THE BRIDE 19:1-10
A. Message Clear! 19:1-5
1. Evil's day will come to an end, and the power of Satan will be destroyed!
a. It isn't always easy to deal with the way evil works, especially when it seems to triumph at times, but those days are coming to an end.
b. This is not just a "pie in the sky" theology, it is a real hope, an actual day when Christ will end the influence of evil over mankind.
2. This life isn't all there is, we are born for eternity … the only question is where we will spend it.
a. Those who have received Christ will receive all the rewards that Christ has promised, including eternal life with Christ.
b. For those who reject the Savior they are on their own … a terrible place to be in eternity.
c. Some have thought that this will be the worst part about Hell, we will be left to ourselves in darkness forever, separated from God.
3. So many will be shocked at death to discover that they are still alive … do you really want to gamble away that moment by rejecting Christ today?
ILLUS:Surely God would not have created such a being as man ... to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality. -- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) - Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entry 6104.
4. It would have been a strange thing indeed if God had made us to exist only for a short spot of time, he made Adam to be an eternal living being, though sin distorted what he was, Christ's death made possible our restoration with God so our eternal life can still be what He intended it to be.
a. You have the opportunity to be on the front seats of the greatest celebration of all time … no wonder the roar of the crowd in heaven was "Hallelujah!"
b. This word "hallelujah" is said 4 times in the chapter, and it is the only passage in the entire New Testament where it is used!
5. The message is clear as John writes here … Christians have a great day of celebration coming … be ready for it!
B. Marriage Celebration 19:6-10
1. So often the New Testament writers equated the Church with the image of a bride, with Christ as the bridegroom.
a. What a great image, marriage is the result of great love between a bridegroom and bride … it is one of the greatest days between lovers.
b. What a great image for the Church … Christ's undying love for His Church will bring Him back to get us … for now we enjoy engagement, but the wedding day is coming when we will be united to Christ forever.
2. Jesus has changed this planet already … so much of what the world is today has been deeply influenced by Jesus Christ … even for those who do not believe in Him their world today would not exist if it hadn't been for Christ!
ILLUS:Some years ago, the distinguished publishing house of Grosset & Dunlap brought together a panel of 28 educators and historians and asked them to select the hundred most significant events of history, then list those events in order of importance. After months of labor, the panel reported that they considered the most significant event of history to be the discovery of America. In second place was the invention of movable type by Gutenberg. Eleven different events tied for third place, and five events tied for fourth place. The events tying for fourth were the writing of the Constitution of our country, the development of ether, the development of the x-ray, the discovery of the airplane, and the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus tied for fourth. -- Bruce Thielemann, "Christus Imperator," Preaching Today, Tape 55.
a. So why ignore the greatest moment in history … when Christ comes for His Church and the greatest marriage and celebration of all time takes place.
b. Don't be on the outside looking in, you can be a participant by accepting Christ as your Lord.
3. What a contrast the picture of the Church is here to the "prostitute" church John talked about in 17:1,4 …
a. The false Church was called a "prostitute" dressed in scarlet and purple, decked with jewels in 17:1,4
b. The Church here is simply said to be dressed in fine white linen, bright and clean … the picture of purity and waiting for her bride, Jesus Christ.
4. This will be one marriage you won't want to miss!!
a. John says there will be a great marriage supper, and He says, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!"
b. This will be the wedding celebration of all time … don't be left out, the invitation was given to John in John 3:16 … "whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
c. You have already received the invitation … have your responded yet so that you will be there?
II. FEAST OF THE BIRDS 19:11-21
A. Messiah's Conquest 19:11-18
1. From the wedding scene John now shifts to what follows the wedding … the moment of destroying Satan's schemes on earth.
2. John sees heaven open, and Christ sitting on a white horse with an army of saints behind Him ready for conquest.
a. Christ is wearing "many crowns" … He alone is "King of Kings, Lord of Lords."
b. The crown of thorns has been replaced now by many crowns, there is no power greater than Christ's!
ILLUS:Constantine thought he had the original crown of thorns. He gave it to the Venetians as collateral for a loan! Later Louis IX of France bought it. He built Paris's lovely cathedral of Saint Chapelle to house the crown of thorns and other relics. Think of it! The crown of thorns as collateral for a loan! But then the cross was more than collateral for our debt of sin. It paid the debt in full. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
3. Jesus at His second coming will be wearing many crowns, the only ruler over all.
4. There will be another feast to attend besides the marriage supper of the lamb … but it will be a horrible feast!
a. Christ will call for the birds of the air to come and feast on the bodies of the wicked which He will destroy by the word of His mouth!
b. Finally the wicked will receive their just rewards.
c. This is after all, the fulfillment of what sinners were warned about in the Bible … Paul did say in Romans that the "wages of sin is death."
5. Yes you can get away with sin for now … but there is a judgment day coming when all sin will be punished.
a. Why be a part of this horrible feast when you can be at the marriage supper of the lamb instead?
b. There is such a contrast between the two feasts mentioned here by John, and the amazing thing is we have the option to choose which one we will be at, which invitation will you accept?
6. Christ comes with a robe dipped in blood … but not the blood of others, it is His own blood which He shed for us, so our robes can be clean and spotless.
a. Only those will clean robes were allowed at marriage suppers … guests were often given white robes when they arrived.
b. Christ clothes us with His own righteousness, His blood washes us clean.
7. Without this robe of righteousness there is no entrance to the marriage supper of the lamb … the only feast will be for the birds, and it will be the wicked that are destroyed.
a. You can guarantee your entrance to the marriage supper of the lamb by accepting Christ's invitation to be cleansed by His blood.
b. This was the purpose for Christ's death on Calvary.
B. Mayhem Convicted 19:19-21
1. Christ now deals with the arrogant antichrist and false prophet that deceived the world and led so many down paths of wickedness, the two of them are captured by Christ and thrown into the "fiery lake of burning sulfur."
a. They will be sent there alone for 1,000 years … their end is what they deserve!
b. The rest of the wicked will die and remain in their graves until the end of the millennial reign of Christ, then they will be raised and judged and sent to outer darkness forever.
2. Sin causes arrogance and pride … rejecting the very God who can save.
a. It is a tragic thing to see how hard the sinful heart can be … to ignore God's salvation is foolish.
ILLUS:I don't want anybody to die for me. I've had a few drinks and a few girl friends. If that's going to put me in hell, then so be it. -- Ted Turner in a 1993 issue of USA today, quoted by Bill Hybels, "Christianity's Toughest Competitor: Moralism," Preaching Today, Tape No. 115.
b. Without Christ in your life you will not see God.
3. How foolish to trade a few years of independence and sinful pleasures and miss heaven, it would indeed be a foolish trade.
a. Christ brings us life, joyful and full life … it is not a life of "no fun," it is full of great joy … joy that will become an even greater joy at His coming.
b. We need not fear Satan and sin if we have Christ in our hearts … He will conquer all wickedness and reward all those who live for Him.
4. The end of evildoers is coming … and the kingdom of God will be manifest in all its fullness.
a. All those who live for Christ now will rule with Christ then.
b. Everyone likes to be on the winning team, how about you … have you joined the conqueror of all times?
c. Jesus Christ can lock in your seat at the marriage supper of the lamb, receive His invitation today!
5. Christ is coming again … are you ready if it happens today, tomorrow … or soon?
CONCLUSION: The Church is often called the "bride of Christ," and one day we will celebrate the marriage of the bride with the lamb of God. This day will be a great celebration for all believers! For the wicked however, it will be a time of defeat and eternal loss. Today we have a choice, to be the bride of Christ or the rejected, are you ready for the 2nd coming of Christ? Will you be celebrating His coming?