- Sermon Notes
Returning to Reign
Intro: The “Champions.”
It was amazing to me that as soon as this friend returned, the entire game was changed. With his return, we were able to see the victory! For one game
We have been studying the book of Revelation for the past few months. As we have studied, it is apparent that what is described throughout Revelation is comprehensive, and a great deal of the book describes the tribulation period. The tribulation period ends when Jesus returns to rule and reign on the earth, in person.
His return comes on the heels of the destruction of Babylon. Babylon was the name of both an evil city and an immoral empire, it was also a world center for idol worship. It was spoken of prophetically as a symbol, a place the Antichrist will use as headquarters. It is the commercial and political epicenter of the world, and is also a symbol of spiritual false religion or idolatry. In chapter 17, the religious Babylon is destroyed and in chapter 18, commercial Babylon (the great city) is destroyed.
The term Babylon, spoken of in many contexts, ultimately represents the characteristics of what opposes the Lord. The Lord also stands against Babylon. In Revelation 18:17, the earth wails at the destruction of Babylon, but in Revelation 19:1-4, heaven rejoices. There is rejoicing because the Lord has victory over Babylon. Babylon is destroyed, and the way is being made for Christ’s return. At the thought, we can rejoice as well, our King will return.
Read: Revelation 19:5-16
Heaven rejoices at the fall of Babylon, but the people on earth, will wail following its destruction. It is interesting to see the comparison in what is prized, in what is understood. This has to do with perspective.
Questions might flood the thoughts of some in seeing Babylon destroyed: what are you doing, Lord? Why does Babylon have to be destroyed? Why such difficulty? Why such pain? What we see in chapter 19 is that there is no questioning going on in heaven. It is not because questioning is not allowed, rather, because the picture becomes clearer when we get to heaven. That which at times seems one way on this earth, will be righteous and perfect from heaven.
This is true regarding our lives personally. We want the entire conclusion today, but the Lord is giving us perspective through faith, lessons to walk by faith and not by sight.
Babylon, what the Lord opposes is ended. This sets the stage for the return of our King to reign on the earth.
I. Praise the Lord
- In verses 1 to 5 there are 4 Hallelujahs, the word Hallelujah means to “praise the Lord.”
- Throughout Heaven a great multitude, including the 24 elders and four living creatures worship the Lord.
In verse 6, thunderous praise comes forth, “Hallelujah! For the Lord God, omnipotent reigneth.” This verse is what inspired Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
- This verse, an inspiration to us, and a depiction of the inspiration of those in heaven as they worship and praise the Lord.
- When we worship, we are joining in with the heavens. Hallelujah! They proclaim. Praising the Lord, as seen in Revelation, flows freely in heaven.
A. Prepare your heart
- After the fourth Hallelujah, the multitude in heaven continue, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
- The marriage of the Lamb, who is the Messiah (Jesus), is a picture used throughout scripture. In the Old Testament, Israel is presented as God’s
wife (Hosea 2:19-20, Is. 54:5), who is often unfaithful. In the New Testament, the church is presented as the fiancé of Jesus, waiting for
this day of marriage (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:25-32).
- The great multitude is filled with praise because the time has come for the Lamb of God to be joined unto His people, this joining, is a union
so close that it can only be compared to the marriage of a man and woman.
- The Church, the bride of Christ, awaits Christ’s return, which is the marriage of the Lamb.
- In verse 7, John wrote that the bride has made herself ready. What do we do to make ourselves ready for this wedding?
- There is always more to do…This however, is ultimately a work God does in us. John notes, to her (the church) it was granted to be
clothed in fine linen, clean and bright.
- The marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride of Christ has made herself ready by readying her heart and embracing what Christ has done.
Illus. – Many preparations went into our wedding. We wanted it to be just right, at the right place, the right time of year, the right food, the right temperature…
Illus. – There are many things to do, take it one day at a time.
I Peter 3:3-4, Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it bethe hidden person of the heart.
- Verse 8 – “it was given to her… to clothe herself in fine linen; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
- The fine linen being worn is what is given from the Lord. What He has clothed us in.
Isaiah 61:10, I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
- It isn’t my righteousness that saves me. Isaiah continues on to say that my righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6). It isn’t my righteousness,
it is the robe of righteousness that the Lord places around me that is readying me for His return.
- This is the marriage supper of the Lamb. In Jewish culture, the marriage supper was the best banquet or party anyone knew, tremendous joy and celebration
took place. Blessed are those who are invited (vs. 9), this one you don’t want to miss.
- At Jesus return, everyone will see the church for what she truly is, the precious bride of Jesus.
- He has laid down His life, clothed us with salvation, wrapped in His righteousness. He has made a way, we are blessed. These sayings are true proclaims
the angel, they are sure.
B. Worship Him Alone
- At sight of this, John falls down at the feet of this angel, in worship.But the angel says, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your
brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy.”
- John is overwhelmed at this sight, while we don’t know exactly why he fell down in worship, we know he was a godly man and must have either felt that
the angel represented God, or he was beside himself in it all being revealed to him.
- The angel says to John, don’t worship me, I am just a fellow servant. This prophesy, this blessing, it should bear witness to Jesus, not man.
- Certainly, this is true for us as well.
Illus. Where our blessings come from.
Illus. Just a man who serves The Man!
Revelation 4:10-11, The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns down before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
- The angel tells John, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy. This means that the true spirit of prophesy, what is revealed if true, always shows itself in bearing witness to Jesus. The word “imitate” in the Greek is “mimic.”
II. He is Faithful and True
- John then sees Jesus on a white horse, and He is called faithful and true.
- Faithful and true, this title shows that Jesus is the keeper of promises, including His promises of judgement against sin.
- He returns in power and glory, faithful and true, returning to reign.
A. He will return as King
- What we see today is often difficult to understand and difficult to comprehend. We see what goes wrong and want the Lord to come now, make it all right,
take action, show them all!
- What is revealed in Revelation is that Jesus will come, as King He will come and He will fulfill His promises of life and judgement against sin.
- But the Lord is patient, and He waits for all who will come to Him to respond.
II Peter 3:8-11, But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
- In waiting, we trust that the Lord is righteous, faithful, and true. That He is in control.
- Here we see in Revelation, the revealing that Christ will return, and will return as King to rule and reign. What an encouragement to our hearts, and
our faith, He is Lord.
- What this means for today, is to trust Him, He is faithful, His promises are sure.
Matthew 4:3, The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
- Jesus was in the wilderness and there were rocks all over the ground. Jesus has been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, and He was hungry.
- When Jesus was baptized in chapter 3, the Lord proclaimed, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
- Now in Matthew chapter 4, Satan comes into the picture and challenges what God had spoken… “If you’re really the Son of God, why are you hungry?
Why is this happening? Prove that you are true, prove that He is real. Make these stones into bread.
- We can be challenged as well. If you are a child of God, where is God’s provision? Why can’t you make ends meet? Why are you lacking all the time?
- The enemy seeks to whisper in our ears, “Do something in your own power, make it happen now.” Are you truly a child of God?
- The Lord would say, be patience. I am working. I am preparing. I am faithful and true, know that I am King and will return as such.
Illus. There is a story told about the man who prayed, “Lord, is it true that to you a million years is like a second?”
- Know that the Lord is faithful and true, trust in His timing. He will return as King.
- As we look forward to what is still to come, we have a greater understanding of what will be.
B. Make Him your champion today
- Here Jesus, as He returns, has the name “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” written on His robe and thigh. His eyes are like a flame of fire and on His head, are many crowns.
- He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus, sits atop the white horse, victorious.
- The last time the earth saw Jesus, He wore a crown of thorns, but not when He returns. The fact that there are many crowns means that Jesus is the ultimate in royal authority and power.
- This statement “King of Kings” is visibly seen in His many crowns.
Illus. Championship boxing matches.
- These crowns cannot be taken away, He is the true and only King of Kings and Lord of all. When He arrives, everything changes.
- He alone will get the title of Champion. Are you willing to give Him that title in your life today? Allowing Him to reign in your heart and life?