As a preview to my new Book of Revelation commentary, I am posting chapter 19 here for your perusal.
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!”
The word used in the original Greek texts for “after these things” is meta tauta. After the judgment of the economic system, of chapter 18, and the finishing of the fifth and sixth bowl judgments, those who have been watching these events from heaven shout together, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!”
The people on earth who have been experiencing these judgments are not singing praise to God; they are cursing Him and seeking to hide from the judgments that have come upon them. We would think that once a person realizes they are in the midst of the Great Tribulation, they would change their minds about Jesus and call out to Him for mercy and salvation. They do not. Judgment rarely causes a person to turn from their sins to God. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance: Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. ~Romans 2:4
Those in heaven who see these final judgments take place, in chapter 18, sing the first recorded occurrence of the word Alleluia in the New Testament. The people who are singing this song of praise to the Lord are you and I, the people who love Jesus and have been with Him in heaven while these terrible judgments have been taking place on earth.
The Holy Spirit has saved this first singing of Alleluia for His Bride, the church, to sing it together to the Lord when we are united in heaven. For the present time, Jesus’ Bride has not been revealed to the world; they don’t know who we really are: See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. ~1 John 3:1-3
Most people who are not saved have no idea that Jesus is presently gathering a Bride for Himself, out of the world.
When Jesus died for the sins of the world, those who believed in Him and received His offer of forgiveness for their sins became His Bride. Paul described this in Ephesians 5:25-32: So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
One of the reasons that marriage is only between a man and a woman is due to this unique state of unity as one, that exists between Christ and His Bride—the church. Jesus is the Groom who loves His wife, the church, and gives Himself for her. Only in the union of a man and a woman can this mystery of Christ and His church be properly illustrated and fulfilled. It is in the union of a man and a woman in marriage that the preeminent union of Christ and His church is understood by the world.
From this point onward, in chapter 19, the voices we hear are from the saved who are in heaven. Remember that John is seeing these things as they will happen in the future, so it is our voices singing to Jesus that John hears.
“For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants NOTICE: shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”
We sing to the Lord that all of His judgements are true and righteous, because we have been watching what Jesus has done and are satisfied that all His Judgments are fair and right.
The 24 elders we see in Revelation 4:4 represent the fullness of the Old and New Testament believers who are now present together in heaven. The 12 leaders of the 12 tribes representing the Old Testament; the 12 apostles representing the New Testament believers. I believe these 24 elders represent the redeemed church in heaven, before the Tribulation begins, in Revelation chapter 6.
We see the church in heaven first, in chapter 4, prior to the Tribulation period. The four living creatures also represent the four views of Jesus’ Gospel, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
When we study the four coverings of the Tabernacle that existed in the desert journey, we learn that they were representing the future ministry and work of Jesus on earth. See chapter 4 of this book for details.
These four creatures near the throne of God that John saw were also seen by Ezekiel as he was given a glimpse of heaven: As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. ~Ezekiel 1:10
We first saw these four creatures in Revelation Chapter 4: Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. ~Revelation 4:6-7
It is incredible that both John and Ezekiel saw the same four creatures in heaven. These men never met each other, as they lived at least 600 years apart in history. Despite this, they both write the same description, indicating that God was the common source for both of their revelations. When we arrive in heaven, one of the first things we are likely to see is the throne of God, with these four creatures standing near the throne.
Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”
The voices that cry out, “Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns,” sounded like many waters and the sound of thunder. This is Jesus’ church. There are so many voices shouting in unison, that the sound reminded John of thunder or a great waterfall. Next to the throne there are four creatures, and next to these creatures we see Jesus’ church gathered near Him.
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Before Jesus returns to earth with His Bride, the Church, a wedding will commence with a great dinner in heaven. John describes this event as the marriage of the Lamb. Today we are betrothed to Jesus as His Bride. Once we are all in heaven together, we will be formally united to Him in this ceremony, forever.
John says that we have made ourselves ready for this event by being arrayed (dressed) in white linen—garments that only the redeemed can wear. The righteous acts that are attributed to us is our faith that each believer placed in Christ for their salvation and the way we lived our lives on earth after our salvation. How we live now matters. It is extremely important to Jesus that after we become His, we live lives of purity—as He lived His when He was still on earth. Our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit, where He lives. Paul wrote that if anyone defiles the temple of our body where Christ lives, God will destroy us: Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. ~1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The idea that a Christian is under grace and not under the law any longer regarding continuing sin is not taught anywhere in the Bible. Some people use the grace of God to excuse their immorality, but the Lord does not excuse us when we continue to commit sexual sin with our bodies. The idea that the grace of God covers us when we continue in sexual sin is impeached by 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Paul also addresses this issue in Romans 6:15: Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!
We will not be sinless after we become Christians, but we should sin less. Before we knew Christ, we sinned as we please; after Christ, we choose not to sin and only fall into sin occasionally. Those who chose to stay in a continual lifestyle of sin are disqualified from eternal life: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. ~1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Many of us once lived our lives with these sins, but now that we know Christ we have stopped these former behaviors. We realize that Jesus has suffered and died because of our sins and He has cleansed us from our former lives. For this reason, we don’t go back to our former sins; we live lives of purity because we appreciate what Jesus has done for us.
It is because we live in this manner since we first trusted in Jesus—that we are given these garments of white, that signify Jesus has cleansed us from all sins and we are fully ready to be united with Him now at the Wedding of the Lamb.
All of our righteousness comes from Jesus, but we have a choice about how we will live afterwards. That choice demonstrates whether or not we really were saved. Part of the righteousness we have in heaven is based upon the righteous things we did after we were saved and how we lived on earth before Jesus came for us. It is inconsistent to claim that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, but then live in sins as the rest of the world does: Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did. ~1 John 2:6
How We Live After Salvation Is The Basis For Rewards
We are not saved by our good works; but after our salvation has happened, our good works demonstrate that we are saved. These good works we do while on earth, before Jesus comes for us, are what He will base our future rewards in heaven upon. The degree of authority we will have to rule with Jesus, after He establishes His kingdom on earth, is based on our faithfulness to Him now. How we live matters, and it will be the basis for how we will live in eternity.
Everything you do for Jesus after you commit your life to Him, He will reward you—even giving a cup of water in His Name. ~Mark 9:41
There are five possible crowns or rewards that Jesus will give to the believer personally, once we are in heaven. Paul described this judgment for our works as taking place at the Bema seat or Judgment seat of Christ: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ~2 Corinthians 5:10
The Five Crowns Described In The New Testament:
- The Crown of Life (James 1:12), given to those who endure trials
- The Crown of Joy (1 Thessalonians 2:19), the Soul Winner’s Crown
- The Incorruptible Crown (1 Corinthians 9:25), given to everyone who remains faithful
- The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), given to those who look for the day of Jesus’ return at the Rapture
- The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4), for the faithful Pastor or Teacher of God’s word
These crowns will be given to believers who dedicated their lives to serve Jesus after they first believed in Him. When Jesus returns to earth, as described by Revelation Chapter 19, everyone who was taken from the earth at the Rapture will be returning to earth with Him. While we are in heaven, Jesus will judge the works we did for Him while we were living on earth. Depending upon our motivation for doing these works, whether they were done to bring glory to Jesus and make Him known, or for our own glory and to make ourselves known, Jesus will examine our true motives. This is called the fire that will test our works.
The Bema Seat is the place of Judgment for our works that were done while we lived in our bodies on earth. This is not a judgment for our sins. All of the sins of every person who has trusted in Jesus for their salvation were removed from their record at the moment they committed their life to Him. Our sins were already judged at the cross when Jesus died. This is why the church does not need to go through the terrible trials of the Great Tribulation. Those who have had their sins removed by Jesus do not need to be further purified, tested, or experience judgment. We are all fully ready for heaven the moment we believe in Jesus and commit our lives to Him.
In ancient Greece, the bema seat was the location where the judges watched the races and determined who deserved the reward. Only the first who finished their race was given a laurel wreath as their reward. This is what Paul meant when he said: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. ~2 Timothy 4:7-8
Jesus is personally watching each of our races that we are finishing here on earth. He will reward us if our purpose is to bring Him glory and make Him known to the world. The runners in ancient Greece received a perishable wreath; we receive a crown that can never perish, rust, or be taken from us. Our level of authority to reign with Jesus in His kingdom will be determined by the number of crowns we receive from Him in heaven, before we return to earth: And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. ~1 Corinthians 9:25
As we receive our crown(s) from Jesus, we will join together and sing a special song to the Lord: And they cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power.” ~Revelation 4:10-11
Those who are given crowns by Jesus will recognize that the only reason we have these rewards is because Jesus died and rose again. It is the Lord who does His work through us, not we ourselves who accomplish anything. We will understand this as we take off our crowns and cast them before His feet. We will think to ourselves, “I don’t deserve this, Jesus; only You are worthy of glory, honor, and power—not me.”
This single event will probably be one of the most important things that will happen to you, once you get to Heaven. It might not seem very important today with all of the things you have to do, but it will be extremely important then. Once you are there with the Lord, how you lived your life on earth will be a primary thought because it will determine an eternal reward. The moment when all believers take the crowns from their heads that Jesus has given us, and we cast them before His feet, will be one of great joy.
If you didn’t take the earning of rewards seriously, and you have no crowns to cast before Jesus, you will be filled with regret. We can see from the words of Jesus, and those that Paul wrote, that earning rewards is something the Lord really desires that we experience. He genuinely wants to call our name before His throne and give these crowns to us. Understanding how important this is to Jesus, it should be very important to us.
Remember that every person you share Jesus with, who later gives their life to Him, you will also participate in the rewards Jesus gives. Those who tell others about Jesus plant a seed. Others come along after and also witness about Christ; they are watering the seed you planted. Sometimes you come and witness after someone else has planted a seed of faith in the heart of a person. Finally another believer comes and witnesses again to this person, and they are able to lead them to Jesus, and they are saved.
All of the people who helped in witnessing, planting seeds of faith, and the one leading a person to Jesus are co-workers. Each will receive the same reward—the Crown of Joy, the Soul Winner’s Crown: Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. ~1 Corinthians 3:8
It is possible for some people to receive all five crowns from the Lord. Understanding this, we should all endeavor to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, while we are still here on earth. I hope to see you there with many crowns on your head.
When we get to verse 12 of Revelation 19, we will see Jesus, ready to ride out of heaven, with many crowns on His head. These are the crowns He gave us that we cast before His feet: His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. ~Revelation 19:12
We move now to the next event in heaven, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Those who make it to heaven will understand that the only reason they are there is because of the righteousness of Jesus, not our own righteousness. We are called His Bride because of what He has done and His grace and mercy that have justified us. All of our righteousness comes from Jesus; our current and future state as perfect and holy are only because He died and took away our sins.
The clothing that is given to us at that moment comes from Christ. It is clean, white, and also consists individually from the righteous things we did while still on earth. From verse 8 (above), we see that there are distinguishing marks in what we wear that are determined by how we lived on earth (the righteous acts of the saints). Just as some receive crowns, or multiple crowns, some also have differences in their clothing that indicate the way in which they lived while mortals on earth.
If anyone thinks that sin is not that big of an issue for Jesus because His grace has saved us, this verse clarifies the matter. It does matter to Jesus that we sin less while on earth, and even the clothes we wear in heaven will show the degree of our separation from sin while we lived on earth. Our garments are made up of the good we have done in our bodies after we received the Lord—our righteous acts.
Bible scholar, Dr. Lehman Strauss, stated that “Each one of us will be wearing the wedding garment of our own making, based upon our works done after our salvation.”
The primary work we must do while on earth is to simply believe in the one whom God sent, Jesus, the Messiah: Then they said to Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” ~John 6:28-29
There is a dual teaching we find in the scriptures: righteousness by faith, which gives us our salvation in Jesus; second, righteousness by our works after we are saved, by believing in Jesus. Revelation 19:7-8 reflect both of these principles. The time to live for Jesus and lead a holy life is now. The arrival of Jesus is near, and we only have one life to give fully for Him.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
There is a consistent principle in the Bible that describes those who believe in Jesus and remain with Him for all of their life—as chosen and called. In John Chapter 17, Jesus is praying to the Father and thanking Him for all those who have been given to Him. He says that these persons were always known to the Father, even before He created the universe. This means that people who are really saved do not ever leave Jesus. They were known by God from eternity past, chosen for eternal life, and given to Jesus as a gift from the Father, because He knew ahead of time that these persons would never abandon Jesus.
People who assert that they once believed in Jesus but now do not, because they cannot find an intellectual basis to do so, never were saved in the first place. Jesus described these persons in His Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. There are many people who think they are saved, but who are not. The real test of our confession that we believe in Jesus is time. Those who stay with Jesus for their entire life and endure to the end are the chosen, who are saved for eternity. Those who give up and no longer believe in Jesus never were saved. We see this in Jesus’ prayer to the Father, in John 17, that they were always His. In order to be eternally saved, God must have known this before He created us.
Jesus, praying to the Father, said: “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.” ~John 17:6-10
Jesus said that many are called (the whole world), but only a few are chosen (those who remain). ~Matthew 22:14
Everyone is called to be saved, but only a few will choose Christ and remain with Him for all their life and actually be saved. It was the desire of God that He might be able to save the whole world. This is why Jesus died for the whole world. Even those whom God knew in advance would never believe in Jesus—He still died for these persons. This is incredible when we consider that the degree of Jesus’ suffering on the cross was directly proportional to the number of sins He was dying for. Jesus could have suffered less if He had only died for the people who would believe in Him. Instead, He chose to die for everyone so that every person would know that they were loved by God, even though they would not come and be saved: He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. ~1 John 2:2
Paul wrote that the people who are saved were chosen by God before He created the world: He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. ~Ephesians 1:4 God made His choice who would be saved based upon His advanced knowledge in knowing the persons who would hear about Jesus, receive the salvation He offered, and remain with Him until their last day. These persons would live their entire lives trusting in Jesus and never leave Him. Only those who stay with Jesus for their entire life were truly saved to begin with.
Everyone who believes in Jesus has doubts. Some do fall away for a time, but the true believer always comes back to Jesus and remains with Him for the rest of their life.
Peter wrote that God makes plans based upon His foreknowledge of all events. We humans can only experience time as linear, one event after another. God lives outside of time, space, and matter. He can see every event that takes place all at once. He made His choice to save only those whom He knows will exercise their own choice and choose Jesus, then stay with Him until the last day of their life: We are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. ~1 Peter 1:2
One of the unique attributes of God is His ability to know everything. There is nothing that God must learn, nothing surprises Him. Because He is God, He knew even before the world was made who would choose Jesus and believe in Him. Therefore, the Lord can say that we are chosen and elected by Him even before the foundation of the world.
This does not mean that God chose certain people for eternal life and chose others for eternal punishment. This is what Calvinism asserts: God ordained certain people for eternal life and ordained certain other people for eternal punishment. They have nothing to say about it. Arminianism is the opposite. It says that people have the sole decision in whether or not they are saved and the Lord has no part in that choice.
The doctrine of “once saved always saved” originated from these ideas that remove human responsibility and place the entire choice solely upon God. The truth is found in the balance between these two: The Lord is in control of everything in the Universe, and we also have a responsibility to make the right choice for Jesus. When we do choose Jesus, He chooses us for eternal life.
If you don’t believe in Jesus for your entire life, you were not chosen for eternal life. If you do believe in Jesus for all of your life, you were chosen for eternal life. If you don’t believe, but later change your mind and believe in Jesus, you were chosen for eternal life. If you once believed in Jesus, but then no longer believe, you never were chosen for eternal life.
If you say, “I don’t like it that I was not chosen for eternal life,” then change your mind and believe in Jesus for the rest of your life, and you are chosen for eternal life.
The Bible teaches that God makes His choices based upon His advanced knowledge that we would exercise our free will and choose Jesus. Both God’s sovereignty and our choices are working together to save us. I believe that once you are saved, you are always saved—if you continue to believe in Jesus for the rest of your life.
Here in Revelation Chapter 19, all those who have been Raptured and taken back to heaven are about to sit down to a dinner with Jesus in an event called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” ~Revelation 19:9
The marriage supper of the Lamb is a great banquet, where every person who has looked forward, or has looked back, to the coming of Jesus is united together as one family in heaven. People in the Old Testament were looking ahead to the arrival of the Messiah who would bring salvation. Their faith in His future arrival saved them. People today look back to the time when Jesus did arrive and brought us salvation. Our faith in what Jesus has already done saves us. Whether looking ahead, or looking back, everyone is saved in the same way—by the arrival of Jesus who died for us and rose from the dead.
After the Rapture takes place, and we go with Jesus back to heaven, the seven-year Tribulation will begin on earth. In heaven we will be reunited with all of our loved ones who have already gone to heaven. We will all sit down together in an enormous banquet, where Jesus will come and serve us. Jesus said: And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that He will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. ~Luke 12:36-37
The first thing we do together after the Lord takes us out of the earth is to sit down to dinner together. In Matthew Chapter 22, verses 2-14, Jesus tells the story of a king who arranged a marriage for his son:
The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
These servants were the prophets of the Old Testament. The people who were invited are the Jewish nation.
Again, he sent out other servants, saying, “Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’”
The other servants included John the Baptist and the disciples of Jesus.
But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
The leaders of Israel did not listen to Jesus, John the Baptist, or His disciples. They did not understand the words of the prophets, who predicted Jesus’ arrival at the precise time Daniel had specified. The Pharisees and Chief Priests crucified Jesus, the Son of God, and scattered His disciples.
But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
In 70 A.D. Titus came to Jerusalem in fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy, that not one stone of the Temple would be left upon another. Because the leaders of Israel rejected Him as the Messiah, He said that their house would be left to them desolate. Jesus prescribed the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple within one 40-year generation. Just 38 years after Jesus was crucified, Titus destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Temple and left not one stone upon another at the Temple.
The Marriage Feast of the Lamb described here in Revelation Chapter 19 is the wedding of the King’s Son, which Jesus described in Matthew Chapter 22:2-14.
Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.” So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
As a result of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah, those who were invited (the Jews) were not worthy, so God extended an invitation to the whole world. Even the worst of the worst are welcome to come and receive Jesus and obtain eternal life. Paul described this event in Romans Chapter 9: What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over (Jesus) the great rock in their path. ~Romans 9:30-32
As with every wedding, the guests are expected to dress appropriately if they will attend. In the case of the King’s Son at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, those who will be a part of this event must wear garments that come from the King’s Son, not garments of their own making. In other words, we cannot get into heaven and attend this Marriage Feast by wearing our own righteousness. We can only enter heaven and be a part of God’s Kingdom, if we wear the garments of righteousness that come by Jesus’ death for our sins.
In the Parable of the King’s Son, a guest was seen wearing his own garments of righteousness. He had not clothed himself in the righteousness of Christ. When this man is asked why he tried to come into the wedding in this way, he was speechless: But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. ~Matthew 22:2-14
This man thought that he could enter heaven by his own goodness and good works; he could not. When standing in the presence of God, he likely thought that he would argue with God about this issue. Instead, he finds that once he is before God, he recognizes that his goodness is completely inadequate. He is speechless to offer an argument or excuse before God.
This will be the same fate of those who think that God will allow them admittance into heaven because they are a good person. This parable Jesus taught reveals that there are no truly good people who can be admitted to heaven. Only by placing our complete trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection are we made acceptable to God. All those who trust in Jesus for their salvation are given the proper garments to attend the Marriage Feast of the King’s Son. We can enter heaven and sit down to eat this feast only because of what Jesus has done for us.
In Revelation Chapter 20, we see the Great White Throne and all those who thought their righteousness was sufficient to enter heaven. They are also speechless and unable to offer any excuse for why they would not turn from their sins and trust in Jesus for their salvation. All of these persons are found inadequate for heaven. They are all cast into the Lake of Fire and are lost forever.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. ~Revelation 20:11-13
These people at the Great White Throne did not believe in the plan of salvation that God has given the world. They are judged in the manner they demanded—to be acceptable to God based upon their own works, not the works of Jesus. We all have two choices: Either we can let Jesus pay for our sins, or we will pay for them ourselves.
Jesus said that the way to Heaven is not the most popular way the world imagines, but by a very narrow way—only through Jesus’ death and Resurrection: Enter by the narrow gate (the Cross); for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction (religion, philosophy, good works), and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14
Who Will Attend The Marriage Feast?
We have learned that the whole world, every person, is invited by God to enter heaven and attend the Wedding Feast of His Son. All that is required is to humble yourself, turn from your sins, and trust in Jesus completely for your salvation. God is offering eternal life as a free gift to anyone who will accept it.
Unfortunately, humbling ourselves has proven to be the most difficult barrier for a majority of people. We love our sins and want to maintain control of our life. Admitting we are a sinner and in need of salvation is often an insurmountable obstacle that many cannot climb.
At the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, there will be believers from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people. God does not see skin color, wealth, education, or social status. He sees only our hearts and whether we are willing to set aside our pride, turn from our sins, and come to Him for salvation. These people who are allowed into the Marriage Feast have all done this. There will be people from the beginning of the world, and every generation from all over the world, at this Feast. Jesus said: And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 8:11
Jesus told us how we can be ready to enter this Marriage Feast: Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37 The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. ~Luke 12:35-38
Verse 36: Jesus tells us to be like men who are waiting for their master, always ready for him to come, in constant expectation. Verse 37: Those who are watching for His return—Jesus, the master, will come and have them sit down and eat, and He will serve them.
As if Jesus has not already done enough for the world, we discover that when He rescues us from the Great Tribulation and takes us all to heaven, He will come and serve us during the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Understanding that Jesus is fulfilling the role of a Jewish husband, who comes to serve his wife at their wedding, we see Jesus as our Bridegroom, putting on the apron of a servant and coming to serve dinner to His Bride.
Can you imagine a dinner for ten billion people? How many have been saved since the time of Adam, who will be seated to attend this incredible Feast? There will be a number impossible to count—all who love Jesus and will sit in awe at seeing His incredible love.
And I (John) fell at his feet (the Angel) to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
This seemingly minor prophecy is one of the most important in the Bible. Here John reveals that the entire purpose of all prophecies found in the Bible is to reveal Jesus. The testimony of Jesus, the written Gospels and letters of the New Testament, are the spirit of all Bible Prophecy. Every Old Testament scripture that describes and predicts the coming of the Messiah was written specifically for Jesus.
The testimony of the men who penned the New Testament is that all that the Prophets wrote concerning the coming Messiah was fulfilled by Jesus in the pages of the New Testament. In 2013 I published The Prophecies of the Messiah that contains the 400 Hebrew Prophecies of the Old Testament, which were fulfilled in the New Testament. I continue to be surprised every month how much interest there is in these prophecies. Like myself, people all over the world have discovered that the key to understanding the entire Bible is a good working knowledge of the Messianic Prophecies.
John wrote here in Revelation Chapter 19 that every prophecy in the Old Testament is pointing to Jesus. Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. ~John 5:39
As we finish chapter 19 of Revelation, we will see this principle of fulfilled prophecy demonstrated in the events John is revealing to us. John begins with a vivid description of Jesus as He will look when He returns to earth with His church at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
When chapter 6 of Revelation began, we saw a man who is riding a white horse. He has a bow in his hand, but no arrow. This is a description of the antichrist—who closely resembles Jesus here in chapter 19 of Revelation, returning to earth on a white horse. Jesus is called “Faithful and True”; the antichrist is an imitation of Christ, coming to lie and destroy.
The antichrist is called the beast. He comes deceptively with a bow, but no arrow, because he will conquer by peace, not war. After only three and one-half years, he will enter the Holy Place in the Temple, and the false prophet will command the world to worship the beast. The false peace that the beast brings is a deception to hide his true agenda: to be worshipped as God by the whole world. This peace is indicated by the opening of the first Seal of Revelation 6:1-2. When the second Seal is opened, at 6:3, the beast takes peace from the earth by war—his true goal.
The start of the seven-year Tribulation begins with the seven-year peace treaty, that Daniel Chapter 9 describes: Then he (the beast) shall confirm a covenant (of peace, Rev. 6:1-2) with many for one week (7 years); but in the middle of the week (3 1/2 years) he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations (Enter the Holy Place) shall be one who makes desolate. ~Daniel 9:27
Paul describes this event at the midpoint of the seven-year Tribulation, in 2 Thessalonians 2: Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (Day of the Lord, the Tribulation) will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. ~2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
The beast orchestrates the agreement between many nations, with Israel, for peace, that Daniel 24:7 describes. The third Temple will be built on the Temple Mount, next to the Dome of the Rock. After three and one-half years the beast enters the Holy of Holies and sits as God in the Temple, as Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians (above).
This covenant of peace, which Daniel describes, that lasts for one week (seven years) is seen in Revelation Chapter 6, where the Tribulation begins: And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. ~Revelation 6:2-4
In the texts from Daniel 9, Revelation 6, and Matthew 24, we see how the entire Bible works together as one integrated message system. Daniel is written 2,700 years ago; Matthew and Revelation, 2,000 years before today—yet they all describe the same events that will likely take place during our lifetime.
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Here Jesus’ church and His mighty angels are described as the armies of heaven. We who love Jesus and have been with Him in heaven for the last seven years are returning with our Lord to earth as a conquering army. We are wearing the white garments of Jesus’ righteousness and riding on white horses. Zechariah said that our destination is the same point where Jesus departed earth when He ascended back to heaven after His death and resurrection—the Mount of Olives (See chapter 2 of this book, under the sub-heading, The Second Coming).
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
The sharp sword that comes from Jesus’ mouth is the word of God, which Paul describes in Hebrews 4:12. John also recites Psalms 2:9, where David describes the Messiah as ruling the nations with a rod of iron. Isaiah 63:3 describes the winepress that Jesus treads in fierceness and wrath, when He returns and travels north to the Valley of Megiddo to fight the Battle of Armageddon. The name that John assigns to Jesus as He rides out of heaven is King of kings and Lord of lords, which Paul also describes in 1 Timothy 6:15.
Again, in these few verses, we see how both the scriptures from the Old and New Testaments work together to tell the world one story: Jesus, the Messiah, who created the universe, came and died for His creation, rose from the dead, and will come again to rule over the earth.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
Beginning at verse 17, John writes that when Jesus returns with His church at the Mount of Olives, He will immediately travel north to the Valley of Megiddo, where the armies of the antichrist will be gathered to fight against Him. John sees a mighty angel standing in the sun, who calls out to all the scavenger birds to come and feast on the flesh of those whom Jesus will destroy with the words of His mouth. Jesus will simply speak, and every soldier will die on their feet.
Those who think they are great, and believe they can destroy Jesus with their armies and weapons, will die in a carnage unimaginable. Jesus came the first time as a Lamb who was humble, submitting His life to the Father as our servant—to die for the sins of the world.
When Jesus comes again, we will see Him as the Lion of Judah, the Captain of the Lord’s Armies, the slayer of great men and kings. John wrote in Revelation 14 that these men will be like grapes in the winepress: The grapes (men) were trampled in the winepress (Megiddo) outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 200 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle (5 feet). ~Revelation 14:20
This carnage is the Battle of Armageddon that we examined in chapter 16, part 1. The end of this battle will begin the kingdom that will never end, promised to David by God: When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. ~2 Samuel 7:12-13
The establishment of this kingdom by Jesus after the Battle of Armageddon will be the fulfillment of this promise God gave to David. Psalms 2 was written specifically for the Messiah when He comes to earth. David wrote that He will rule with a rod of iron. This will be a forced rulership of God over the earth, through Christ and His church.
As the twenty-one judgments of Revelation have been completed, not everyone who lived during that terrible time will have died. Some will survive without being conscripted into worship of the beast. Some will have survived, who did not turn to Jesus. These persons will be allowed to go into the kingdom of Christ on earth, depending on how they treated the Jews during the time of Great Tribulation. Jesus described this in Matthew 25:
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” ~Matthew 25:31-36
These verses of scripture have often been used to encourage people to help the poor and destitute, reminding them that Jesus will reward such people. This is true and good, but this was not the purpose for which Jesus said these words. In Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus describes the seven-year Tribulation and His return to earth to set up His kingdom.
Chapter 25 of Matthew is a continuation of this teaching, where Jesus explains what the criteria are for people who survive the Great Tribulation, to enter the one thousand-year reign of the Messiah on earth. When the Jews are being persecuted by the beast and they flee Jerusalem, there will be people and nations who will help the Jews, and some who will persecute them and make their trial even worse. Jesus said that after the antichrist goes into the Holy place of the Temple, and an image of him is erected there, this will be the abomination of desolation Jesus describes in Matthew 14 and Daniel predicted in 9:27
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” ~Matthew 24:15-16
Jesus tells the Jews alive on earth at that time, to flee Jerusalem when the abomination of desolation takes place. Revelation 12 describes this event and specifies that God will help the Jews who are fleeing, by opening a fissure in the earth and swallowing the armies of the beast. The Jews will need help at that time to survive. The likely place of their destination when they flee will be the rock city of Petra, in the present-day nation of Jordan. The people and nations who help the Jews escape the terror of the beast, Jesus will separate them into a group who will be permitted to go into the wonderful kingdom of righteousness that will exist on earth at that time.
Those who persecuted the Jews during the time of their terror from the beast will be cast into hell with the devil and his angels: Then He (Jesus) will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” ~Matthew 25:41-43
As we can imagine, many people who go into this one thousand-year kingdom of righteousness will not like the fact that Jesus is forcefully ruling and no sin or evil will be allowed. They will have rebellion in their hearts, and at the first opportunity they will turn on Jesus and seek to overthrow His righteous kingdom.
This will happen at the end of the one thousand years, as described by the battle of Gog and Magog. To reveal this rebellion, and test the hearts of people, Jesus will let satan out of the abussos, where he has been held since His return and for the duration of the one thousand-year kingdom. He will quickly gather together all those who had secretly rebelled in their hearts against Jesus. They will join with satan in one final battle, that will sort them out from those who will submit willingly to Jesus’ rule.
There are three battles described during this time:
- Ezekiel 38 and 39 happens just after the Rapture.
- The Battle of Armageddon takes place just after Jesus returns to earth.
- Gog and Magog begins after the one thousand-year reign of Jesus.
Many people have confused these battles. In chapter 16, part 1, I showed you the differences between these three battles.
Armageddon, the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, Gog and Magog, are different:
- In Ezekiel 38, Russia invades from the north.
- At Armageddon, the nations come from every direction.1
- In Ezekiel 38, Russia invades to take Israel’s wealth.
- At Armageddon, the invasion is to destroy Jesus and His saints.2
- In Ezekiel 38, Gog leads the Russian invasion.
- At Armageddon, the antichrist leads the Battle.3
- At Gog and Magog, the battle does not take place until the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth.4
At the conclusion of the seven-year Tribulation, the one thousand-year reign of Jesus, and The Great White Throne Judgment—the Lord will destroy the universe and create a new heaven and earth: For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. ~Isaiah 65:17
Peter described this event in his second letter: The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up…the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. ~2 Peter 3:10-13
When we arrive at chapter 21 of Revelation, we will see this event take place: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. ~Revelation 21:1
How the Lord will destroy the heavens and the earth is a very interesting subject. Everything in the universe is made up of atoms. Every atom has a neutron at the center that has a neutral charge (black). Every atom also has a positive charged protons that has a positive charge (red). Circulating around these neutrons and protons are negatively charged electrons (blue).
Electrons are in constant motion around the nucleus of protons and neutrons.
This illustration of the atom is actually distorted. In reality, the distance between the nucleus and protons, and the electrons that are circling them, is tremendous. To give you an idea how large this space is: Take a basketball, that would represent the proton at the center of the atom. The electron that is revolving around it—the distance between the two would be 3,000 miles.
If we reduced all of the atoms that are in our body to just the solid material, by eliminating the empty space between the parts of each atom, we would need a microscope to see ourselves. We are mostly empty space—which is what most wives have been saying about their husbands for years!
The electrons of the atom are positively charged, which means they are constantly repelling each other. This is like the positive sides of a magnet that wants to repel when they are placed near each other; it takes force to hold them together.
Every atom in the universe is repelling against itself, trying to explode and move their positive charges away from each other. What causes a nuclear explosion is when an outside force (Uranium-235) comes in contact with the internal atoms of plutonium. This causes the positive charges of the atoms to be released and creates a nuclear explosion.
It is interesting that the same power necessary to hold the atoms together is also required to release a nuclear explosion. What is it that is holding these positive charges together? According to the Bible, it is the power of Jesus Christ: Jesus being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and holding all things together by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. ~Hebrews 1:3
When Jesus determines to destroy the present universe, all He must do is command the power within every atom to be released, and the universe will melt in a great and fervent heat.
Recap of Chapter 19
Since the time Jesus has come to the outer atmosphere of earth and removed those who love Him, the following has taken place in heaven:
- Those who lived their lives on earth, loving and trusting in Jesus, came before Him to be judged for their good works done while alive on earth.
- Crowns are given to people who served Jesus so that He received glory.
- The redeemed sit down together at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
- We are united to Jesus as His bride, and receive all the things He has planned for us.
- Jesus returns to earth with His Bride, the church, and destroys the waiting armies of the beast.
- Jesus sets up His one thousand-year kingdom on earth.*
- Jesus releases satan from the abussos, the rebellious join Him, a battle ensues; these are cast with satan, the beast, and all demons into the abussos once again.*
- Jesus destroys the heavens and earth and recreates them anew.*
* Items 6-9, above, are yet to take place in our verse by verse study of Revelation. We will investigate the facts of these events in the remaining chapters, 20-22.
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
Although we previously covered the Battle of Armageddon in chapter 16, part 1, the rest of Revelation 19 remains to be studied. For this reason, we will look at a few additional scriptures that also described the Battle of Armageddon, and apply these to our study in chapter 19:
Joel gives us a vivid description of the location where the Battle of Armageddon will take place. This is incredible because Joel is writing this text nearly 2,700 years before these things happen: I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. ~Joel 3:2
Joel adds information to our knowledge by telling us that the Valley of Megiddo is also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, a valley north of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, also called the Valley of Jezreel.
The name Valley of Jehoshaphat comes from the book of 1 Kings, in which King Jehoshaphat fought a battle at Ramoth Gilead, in 1 Kings 22:4, near the entrance to the Valley of Jezreel on the east side. This east entrance of the valley will be the location from where the Kings of the East will enter the valley on their way to The Battle of Armageddon.
The prophets Zechariah and Isaiah both describe this battle of Armageddon in their texts:
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. ~Zechariah 14:2-3
And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. ~Zechariah 14:12
When we consider that Zechariah is writing at least 2,600 years before this event will take place, yet perfectly describes a battle at Megiddo and the Lord fighting to defeat His enemies and protect Israel, this is truly amazing.
Isaiah gives us a similar description of Jesus as He returns from the Valley of Megiddo, after the battle of Armageddon is finished: I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. ~Isaiah 63:3-6
In the next chapter, Revelation 20, we will see, in verse 13, that Jesus is described as wearing clothes that have been dipped in blood.
We should not think of this battle at Megiddo as a battle between good and evil. There will be no prolonged battle, no fight to determine the winner. Jesus will simply speak, and all of the armies of the beast will be slaughtered in a moment. Every armament will be destroyed. The valley will be filled with the blood and carnage of what Jesus has done.
It is a mistake to think of Jesus only as a humble and submissive servant. This He was during His first arrival on earth when He was dying for the sins of the world. At His return after the end of the seven-year Tribulation, Jesus is coming as a mighty warrior with great power and wrath against His enemies. Suddenly the battle will be over, not by might, but by the simple words that come out of Jesus’ mouth:
- Jesus spoke, and a fig tree withered away (Mark 11:12-14).
- Jesus spoke, and howling winds, mighty waves, and a storm disappeared (Matthew 8:26).
- Jesus spoke, and all of the soldiers who came to arrest Him fell back on the ground (John 18:6).
- Jesus spoke, and a legion of demons instantly fled from the soul of a man (Mark 5:8-13).
Here at the greatest battle the world has ever known, Jesus obliterates His enemy just by speaking!
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone And the rest were killed with the sword (Jesus’ words) which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
After Armageddon is over, and the armies have been destroyed, Jesus binds satan and cast him into the abussos, at the center of the earth, during the one thousand years of His reign on earth. For the first time in man’s history there will be peace. Men will convert their swords into instruments for farming; their spears will be converted into instruments to prune trees. Missile silos will be converted into silos for grain: He (Jesus) shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. ~Isaiah 2:4
Habakkuk describes the knowledge of the Lord during that time, as covering the whole earth. Everyone will know Jesus, His great love and power, His absolute authority and sovereignty: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. ~Habakkuk 2:14
Why We Are Here
Have you ever wondered why you were not taken to heaven by Jesus the minute you accepted Him into your heart? Why have you and I had to go through all of the trials and heartaches and difficulties of this life? If we already belong to the Lord, why not just take us home? The answer is that Jesus did not save us only for ourselves. He didn’t come into our lives so that we would have an easy life.
Jesus saves people so that they will go and tell others about what He has done in their lives, and many more will be saved. We participate with the Lord in saving people. Jesus chose you to be the one to lead your family and friends to Him. He called you to follow Him so that you would live a holy life, separate from sin, fully committed to Him.
How we live our lives influences everyone who is in our life. My parents rejected my attempts at leading them to Jesus in the years after my acceptance of the Lord in 1975. I just lived my life for Jesus and stayed faithful to Him for the past 45 years. After 35 of those years, both my parents told me that they wanted what I had in my life—they wanted to know Jesus and be saved.
They died just two months apart, both saved and in heaven now. Jesus saved me for this purpose, and He has saved you for a similar purpose. How you love, and the faithfulness you show towards Jesus, can save your whole family.
Today, in your life, there are people who don’t know what you know yet—how wonderful Jesus is. There might be just one or two more people on this earth, whom Jesus has ordained for salvation before the foundation of the world, and you are the one He chose to lead them to Him. Would you really want to go to heaven before you reached these people, and leave them here lost forever? One of these people might be a member of your family or one of your closest friends.
This is one of the reasons you are here.
Why Do Christians Suffer?
Why are you suffering through this life if you already belong to Jesus? It is because a tried and tested believer brings more glory to Jesus than an untried or untested believer. Someone who has been through the burning fiery furnace and has come out of it, with not even the smell of smoke on them, brings much more glory to the Lord than someone who has not been through the flames at all.
Nothing brings more honor to Jesus than someone who has suffered and cried and been beaten down.
Peter honored Jesus more when he walked out onto the water, than he ever did by staying safely on the land. Even though he sank beneath the waves, Peter brought great glory to Jesus—because when Peter showed how weak he was, it was then that Jesus could reach out and lift him up.
If you want to add more crowns to Jesus’ head, remain here a little longer, take a little more time to tell someone what Jesus has done for you in your life. When we are all together on that glorious day, we will see that by our grief He has been glorified.
By our weakness and failures, Jesus showed His mighty power. Live for Jesus, endure this present time of suffering. It has an eternal purpose!
1 Revelation 19:17-19, Daniel 11:44
4 Revelation 20:7-8
Categories: Books, How Salvation Occurs, Messianic Prophecies, Not Watching For The Rapture, Revelation 12 Prophecy, Revelation 12 Signs, Robert Clifton Robinson, Ruling with Jesus, Salvation through Jesus, Signs in the heavens, The Battle of Armageddon, The beginning of judgement, The Book of Revelation Commentary, The Second Arrival of the Messiah, The Seven Year Tribulation, The Time and Season of Jesus Return, The Tribulation Period