We’re still talking about the end of the world, but I can see on your faces you need a little break from all the carnage here on earth, so we’re jumping up to heaven to see what will be going on at the same time as the tribulation on earth. The church will not go thru the tribulation…we will be part of an evacuation!
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.
“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!”
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 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? Many 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 have told you about…I’ve known only 2 ugly women in my lifetime…and she was both of them!]
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. The son watched his dad stare for a few minutes, and finally asked him why. The dad said, I’ve seen 4 ugly women go thru those doors, lights and bells go off, then hotties get off...quick, go find your mother!
We need to prepare for this marriage, and go thru 4 beauty treatments before the big day!
*Justification: inner beauty [at salvation]
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.
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. Who has already been mentioned?
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:
Lu 7:28 -
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.
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!
The food will be fabulous.
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.
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 cults look at prophecy they look at all the things that may happen, but not necessarily the focus. [v. 10b—Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.]
Let’s look for the person of prophecy, not the particulars!
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!
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