Get Ready for the Wedding
We need a diversion from all the bad news in this world. And in the end of Revelation God takes a break from all the carnage here on earth, and we jump up to heaven to see what is going on during the tribulation on earth. Praise God the church will not go thru the tribulation…we will be part of the evacuation!
What are Adam and Eve doing in heaven? Getting ready for the wedding! God performed theirs in the beginning. There’s no record whether Eve told Adam she wouldn’t marry him if he were the only man on earth.
She won’t be the bride this time. The church is the bride of Christ. But she and Adam will put on their very best…much better than fig leaves! They are getting ready for the wedding.
OT believers will be in attendance. NT believers make up the bride. Many of them are already there…getting ready for the wedding!
But no one makes more preparations than the bride. Hey, I’m talking to you! Get ready for the wedding!
Everyone loves a wedding, and this one is far better than anything England could dream of! It’s like a fairy tale, but this dream really comes true. It’s the marriage of the Lamb, and it’s followed by quite a supper!
We are the bride of Christ! We will be made one w/ Christ perfectly / permanently…be glorified! It all happens at this marriage of the Lamb. It’s a wedding in the sky! A million mile high club that nothing of earth can compare with.
The Music will be magnificent.
First we see the wedding music in v. 6.
v. 7 God chose this method of illustrating our relationship / consummation w/ Him. An exciting / happy / joyful occasion.
It really is a most thrilling event, and there’s a lot of nerves. Some pass out! No one wants to make a mistake.
“John at his wedding was a most excited creature.
He gave his bride the marriage fee and tried to kiss the preacher!”
Even us pastors can get caught up in the excitement, as one preacher said, “It is now kisstomary to cuss the bride!”
28 years ago Kimberly and I counted down from 150 days ‘til our wedding / a psalm a day…and it’s exciting / anticipation breeds enthusiasm!
This marriage analogy is nothing new in scripture.
Mt. 22—marriage feast.
22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
II Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
This reveals some certain truths about our relationship w/ Christ…what makes a good marriage on earth will unveil truths about our spiritual relationship w/ Jesus!
4 things any real marriage on earth should have:
[joke: pastor counseled alcoholic who told him he drank because of what a bad wife he had. Pastor assured him it was no excuse to drink, and that she couldn’t be that bad. The man offered to let him meet her. They went to the man’s house and he started talking privately w/ her while the husband waited in the kitchen. After only 5 min. the pastor walked into the kitchen and said, “Pour me one!”]
Marriage is supposed to be a taste of heaven here on earth! You should be a better person because you’re married to them! And Jesus brings joy to our lives, but the question is, is His kingdom better because YOU are a part of the bride? Are you walking in joy? Some believers look like they got baptized in pickle juice!
4. This also should tell us about the permanence of both! How long is eternity? [Marriage is an eternal bond / marriage is for life]
The Bride will be beautiful.
I’ve done a number of weddings, but I’ve never done one where the bride was not beautiful [except the smoking one…I’ve known only 2 ugly women in my lifetime…and she was both of them! She could make a freight train take a dirt road!]
But even SHE was at her very best that day!
We, the church, are the bride of Christ.
Eph. 5:25… Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Joke—couple and their son went to town for first time in their lives, had never seen skyscrapers and traffic, and the wife went to the restroom while the man and son were in the lobby of their hotel. They had never seen an elevator before, and now the man sat mesmerized by one, though he didn’t know what it did. The son watched his dad stare for a few minutes, and finally asked him why. The dad said, son, I’ve seen 4 plain women go thru those doors into that little room, lights and bells go off, then young hotties come out...quick, go find your mother!
We need to get ready for the wedding, and go thru 4 beauty treatments before the big day!
*Justification: inner beauty [at salvation]
Ill.—a woman asked a silversmith was asked why he kept his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. He explained that if was left in the flames even a moment too long it would be damaged. Then she asked how he knows when all the dross is removed, and the silver is fully refined. His reply, “When I can see my image in it.”
Moses on backside of desert / David running for his life from king Saul like an animal / Peter being sifted like wheat / Paul being beaten, stoned, imprisoned…anyone used greatly of God has been sanctified by God, partly thru suffering. Trouble is one of our beauty treatments, and our Lord supervises this one Himself!
3rd treatment: *glorification—a new body! [at rapture]
4th: Then there’s the actual *consummation at the judgment seat of Christ / our one on one interview w/ Jesus Christ, where we will be judged / rewarded, much will be burnt up by fire!
[on the positive side: all our faults and failures will also go up in smoke! The final beauty treatment is over, and we will be presented to the bridegroom w/out spot or blemish!]
analogy of marriage / array of the bride…
The Guests will be glad.
Who are these guests who are called? They are not the bride.
Those saved before church age? There is a distinction in Scripture between OT saints and those saved during the church age…OT saints are never called the bride of Christ.
John the Baptist called himself the friend of the bridegroom. [trying to convince the people he’s not the Christ]
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
John was part of the OT dispensation…a friend of groom, not the bride!
Makes Jesus’ words later make more sense:
For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
We usually assume that means humans are lower than angels. But only humans have had the high price of redemption paid for them. We are the crown jewel of His creation.
So what does it mean? Could it mean least in the church age? Perhaps! Greater in privilege…not greater in stature or character. We are greater in privilege to be a part of the bride of Christ!
Abraham will be at the supper, but won’t be part of the bride
Jacob / Isaac / Daniel / Isaiah / Moses, etc.
They will rejoice and have their own privilege, but they are different and probably seated accordingly at the marriage supper!
The bride will be beautiful, the guests will be glad…
The food will be fabulous. You think we know how to put on dinners now?
How privileged are we!…Especially to be able to sit w/ some like these…we will be in great company!
v. 10 John is so caught up in all he’s seeing, that he falls at the feet of this angel showing him these things, and begins worshipping. The angel has a tone of “We’re both gonna get in trouble!”
John commits the mother of all social blunders: giving worship to anyone other than God Almighty.
Would to God that when someone kneels and kisses the pope’s ring he would say, stand up and worship God only! Even Mary would say, get up! Worship is reserved for God alone!
At most weddings you sing, Here Comes the Bride…but not at this one!
v. 7 ‘give honor to him’
The Groom will be glorified.
In our weddings today, we make the groom enter the “side” door / dress in black / just stand there and look stupid! / no cameras flash and there’s no song for him / nobody stands up for him…he just walks out and everyone yawns and looks at their watch!
But when the bride enters it’s to her own special song about her / flashbulbs erupt / everyone stands.
IN heaven, it’s all about the groom…He’s the one worthy! No one will sing how great I am, but [thou art].
v. 10 When some look at prophecy they look at all the things that may happen, but not necessarily at the real focus. [v. 10b—Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.]
Let’s look for the person of prophecy, not the particulars!
Ill.—this week I shot several raccoons. I left their carcasses as a deterrent [pirates be warned!], but I also left them so we could watch the birds that would gather. Why am I telling you this?
Everyone here will attend a supper…hopefully this one of the Lamb, not the one in v. 17 [read] “The Supper of the Great God”
What is referred to in Mt. 24 / Lk. 17 about one being taken and the other left is not about the rapture, and not the supper you wanna be at…in other words, you wouldn’t want to be the one taken [actually either one, for it would mean you were present at Armageddon!]
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Blood running as deep as horses’ bridles for 200 miles! / will take 7 months to bury the dead / so angel invites birds of air to join in disposing of all the flesh!
v. 21 Scary, but not if saved!
What a wonderful wedding is the Marriage of the Lamb! Beautiful pictures will remain framed for all eternity…the pictures of marriage:
The love / communion / joy of this marriage are eternal in nature, and will never fade or crack! The white garments He’s made us worthy of won’t have to be vacuum sealed, and can be worn all the time as more than a memory, but a reality!
The analogy of marriage / the array of the bride… / also, the accompaniment at that supper table / the awe…at the announcement of the real guest of honor, the host, the groom! The Lamb slain from foundation of the world, our Father, our Savior, our friend, our bridegroom of the ages, Jesus Christ! Let’s get ready for the wedding!
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