“After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and just. For he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!’” (Revelation 19:1-2 NET).
As we mentioned in our previous article, John’s Revelation is not the easiest to understand. There are many explanations and interpretations, but there are also eternal truths in the word-pictures that John used to paint a picture for us.
In this picture, John saw the people of God celebrating. Why? Because God had come in judgment. Whatever our interpretation of the “great prostitute” we can see that when God comes in judgment, it is not biased. God’s “judgments are true and just.”
Isn’t this the type of God that we want to serve? Not one who is influenced by a person’s position or who they are, but one who is just. People long today for justice – but sadly they often don’t find it. With God, we know that his judgments are the correct ones. This should cause us, as God’s people, to rejoice.
“Then a second time the crowd shouted, ‘Hallelujah!’ The smoke rises from her forever and ever. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures threw themselves to the ground and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne, saying: ‘Amen! Hallelujah!’ Then a voice came from the throne, saying: ‘Praise our God all you his servants, and all you who fear him, both the small and the great!’” (Revelation 19:3-5).
Although judgment is coming, we don’t rejoice that there will be those who are lost. We, like God himself, want all to be saved, to have an eternity with Jesus forever. But sadly, we realize that not everyone will turn to God and obey his word. To be ready for judgment we must belong to God – we must be his people.
“Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen’ (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints)” (Revelation 19:6-8).
Throughout the writings of the apostle, the “bride” of the Lamb is God’s people, the ekklesia, the Christian community. Our obedience, our “righteous deeds” provide the bride with her bright, clean, white dress because we are God’s people. Notice that the bride was ready for her groom and the wedding celebration.
The question for us is simply this: are we ready? Are we one of God’s people? Are we providing the “righteous deeds” needed for the bride? Or do we live for ourselves and have only God’s judgment to expect?
You see, the choice is ours. Our lives on earth will one day end. Are we ready to face God’s judgment and eternity? If we are faithful to him we have nothing to fear, because God’s judgments are true and just!
Are we ready?
Readings for next week:
18 June – Revelation 16-17
19 June – Revelation 18
20 June – Revelation 19-20
21 June – Revelation 21
22 June – Revelation 22