The Ultimate Wedding (Revelation 19 & 21)
The Ultimate Wedding Message Introduction
Today, we conclude our message series “Living in Light of the End.” God has privileged us to live in the last days 2000 years closer to the return of Christ than the time of the apostles. Before us lie exciting and dangerous times, as the battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness intensifies. I trust that this message series and the one immediately preceding it has better prepared us for the challenges that we will face in the future.
This morning, my message is entitled “The Ultimate Wedding.” We are going to look beyond the current spiritual warfare, beyond the sacrifices and martyrs of the last days, even beyond God’s cataclysmic judgments still to come. We are going to look at the end of the story and it’s a good ending, provided you are on the winning side of history.
To help us understand the end of the story, let me briefly tell you the story of the Bible in maybe a new way for you. The story of the Bible is at its heart, a love story. A love story between God and man. You see, God wanted someone to love, so in the beginning, He created people in His image. God created human beings so that He could love them and they could freely love Him back.
But an enemy came into the paradise that God had created for man. This enemy seduced the first people away from their first love and the relationship between God and man was broken. Mankind became trapped in a prison of sin from which there was no escape.
If the story has a villain, than we know a hero must come and that hero was Jesus. Jesus came to this earth to rescue His true love, the people He had created. The villain, Satan, killed Jesus, yet Jesus rose from the dead and defeated Satan. Jesus made a way for every person He loved to be rescued from the prison of sin by believing in and loving Him back.
Although, the villain has been mortally wounded, the battle rages on until the end of the last days when Jesus returns for His true love. The story of the Bible has a happy ending. Jesus and His bride get married and live happily ever after. Who is the bride of Jesus? It is the church, which consists of believers, those who love Jesus.
Ephesians 5:25b-27 (NIV) Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
So, Christ loved the church so much, that He gave His life for her, so that, He might one day marry His radiant bride in the ultimate wedding. Have you prepared yourself for the ultimate wedding? Are you ready? Only those who are ready when Jesus returns will be part of that incredible wedding.
Today, we’re going to look at a couple of passages in Revelation, the last book in the Bible, to better understand and prepare for the ultimate wedding. At the end of time, when Christ returns …
Jesus wins the battle for His bride
Revelation 19:6 (NIV) Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
This passage immediately follows God’s judgment on evil Babylon. These verses precede Jesus returning as conquering King and throwing all His enemies into the lake of burning sulphur. In verse 6, we see a great multitude in a victory celebration. Shouting Hallelujah, for the Lord God Almighty reigns victorious. Heaven is not a quiet place, it reverberates with the praises of God’s people, no need for ear plugs there.
If the battle for His bride has been won and she has been rescued from the evil enemies, then it is time for …
The bride makes herself ready
Revelation 19:7-8 (NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
The culmination of history, the reason the mankind was created in the first place, is for the ultimate wedding. The wedding of the Lamb, who is Jesus and His bride. Here we see that the bride of Christ has made herself ready. She has been cleansed of her sin and clothed in fine linen, which is the righteous acts of the saints.
In the Bible, saints are not a special class of people, but simply believers. The Bible teaches that every believer who loves Jesus is a saint. The bride must make herself ready for the ultimate wedding.
The wedding supper is prepared
Revelation 19:9 (NIV) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Heaven will host an incredible wedding supper of the Lamb. Who will be invited? Only those who are believers, who are dressed in the white robes of righteousness.
Jesus told us in His ministry that many will try to get in to this wedding supper. But those without an invitation, those without the proper clothes will be cast out. Rather than being in a banquet celebration of the ultimate wedding, those who have not believed in this life and so received an invitation, will be cast out into outer darkness and eternal fire.
Those who take part in the wedding supper of the Lamb will be blessed beyond measure.
If you’re a believer here this morning, you’re part of the bride of Christ. How can you make yourself ready? This passage speaks of the bride being dressed in fine linen, which are righteous acts.
What are these righteous acts? Righteous acts are simply the things that you do or say in obedience to Jesus’ command. God has a plan for every day of your life, He has a mission for you to accomplish. When you listen to His instructions and carry them out, you are clothing yourself with righteous acts.
Make sure you’re getting ready for the ultimate wedding and following Jesus each and every day. Besides winning the battle for His bride, what else is Jesus doing?
Jesus prepares a home for His bride
Revelation 21:1-2 (NIV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Jesus is preparing a wonderful home for His bride, a place perfectly fitted for Him and His bride to live together in. Our present heaven and earth were not created to last forever. The Bible tells us that they are decaying and winding down. But that’s no problem for Jesus. He is preparing a new heaven and a new earth for His bride, that is for every believer who loves Jesus. And there are no other kind of believers, are they. Every true believer loves Jesus with all their hearts.
In this vision, the Holy City comes down out of heaven from God to land on the new earth. In the new creation, there will be no barriers between heaven and earth. The two will flow together and our resurrected bodies will be perfectly suited for this new home. Notice that the Holy City is “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” The Holy City represents the bride of Christ prepared for the ultimate wedding.
Every enemy will be removed
Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
In this life, on this earth, we face a lot of enemies. But in the home that Jesus is preparing for us, all enemies will be removed. Our lives will be walking and talking with God, paradise restored. God will remove all sadness, death, mourning and pain. All the things that afflict us will be no more. It will be heaven on earth. In other words …
Everything will be made new
Revelation 21:5 (NIV) He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
God will make everything new. Everything old, everything worn out, everything contaminated by sin will be removed. The Bible tells us that we cannot imagine the incredible things that God has prepared for us in the home He is building. It will be more than you’ve ever dreamed about. Jesus is preparing an awesome home for His bride.
A single father was raising his son by himself, as his wife had passed away when the boy was a baby. The father planned to take his boy, just a young boy on his first picnic the next day. The father and boy worked together preparing the lunch they would need for the picnic and packing the car.
They both went to bed, but the boy tossed and turned. He just couldn’t get to sleep, he was so excited. So, he woke his father up and said, “Daddy, I can’t sleep, I’m so excited about tomorrow.” So, the father just told his son to go back to bed and get the sleep he needed.
Just as the father was drifting back to sleep, his son woke him up again. The Dad asked “What’s the matter now?” His boy replied, “I just want to thank you for tomorrow.”
Your heavenly father has something incredible planned for your tomorrow, for your eternal tomorrow. Are you excited about it? Have you thanked Him for your tomorrow with Him in the new heavens and earth? Have you encouraged someone else about God’s plans for their eternity? God wants the story of our lives to have a happy ending.
Jesus and His bride live happily ever after
Revelation 21:9 (NIV) One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
This marriage, of Jesus and His bride is going to last forever and it’s going to be wonderful. Those true believers, those who overcome, will be part of Jesus’ bride. Those who are unbelievers, who did not take the opportunity given to them by God to believe in Jesus in their lifetime, will experience the second death, eternal death apart from God forever.
Jesus’ bride is believers of all time
Revelation 21:10 (NIV) And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
Again, the vision of John shows the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming from heaven to earth. This City will be inhabited by believers of all time. The Old Testament believers, such as Moses, David, Samuel, Elijah and Daniel will be part of the bride. The New Testament believers, such as Peter, James, John and Paul will be part of the bride of Christ. And those true believers who loved Jesus of all ages will be part of Jesus’ bride. Those in the Old Testament times looked forward to the coming Messiah and those of today, look backward to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for them.
This bride is described in the book of Revelation as being composed of a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language.
Jesus’ bride will be glorious
Revelation 21:11 (NIV) It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
This holy city, Jesus’ bride shone with the glory of God. For every sin, every blemish, every stain has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The book of Daniel says that believers will shine like stars in the universe forever. There will be no divorce, no problems in this marriage, it’s going to be a honeymoon that lasts for eternity. A true story with the best ending possible. Living forever with the love of your creator.
Every civilization in human history has believed that we will live forever somewhere. Australian aborigines thought of heaven as a distant island beyond the horizon. Mexicans and Peruvians believed you went to the sun or moon after death. Native Americans believed their spirits would hunt the spirits of buffalo. Each person has within them God-given sense of the eternal that they long for. They know that this world is not all there is.
Yet, only in God’s revelation through Jesus Christ do we discover the way to eternal life, by believing in God’s Son, Jesus, who alone forgives sin. Let’s ask God to help each one of us reach out to many around us. Those who know heaven exists, but don’t know the only way to live happily ever after.
You and I are participants in the greatest love story ever told. Jesus, our hero has conquered sin and death to win us back to Himself. Soon, Jesus will win the battle for His bride, the church.
Even now, Jesus is preparing a dream home for us, His bride, beyond our imaginations. Jesus is coming soon to bring us to Himself for the ultimate wedding. And we will live forever with Him, happily ever after.
Revelation 22:20 (NIV) Jesus says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Let’s get ready for that ultimate wedding and invite everyone we know.
Living in Light of the End Message Series
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