THE LAST DAYS
Anita Clark – Pastor Carbondale, KS
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" Rev. 19:7-8.
Let us examine these verses to understand what is being spoken of in this passage. First, Chapter 19 is a scene in heaven when all of the Church is home with the Lord. There are different groups seen here present with the Lord. This scene takes place just at the end of the tribulation of seven years. There are many believers seen in heaven, but they are in different groups. It seems that all the groups are praising God together in verses 1&2.
Then in verse 4, we see a group known as the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. They are seen in many places in the book of Revelation, especially in chapter 4. Some suppose them to be angelic beings, but Revelation 5:8-10 lets us know who they are and what blessed position they have with the Lord in heaven. Verse 9 assures us that they are "redeemed by Thy (referring to Christ) blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation." Verse 10 tells us they have been "made unto our God kings and priests and ... shall reign on [over] the earth." Later in this chapter 19:7-9, we see them as the Bride of Christ.
Apostle Paul wrote of them in II Corinthians 11:1-3, calling this group a "chaste virgin." Paul feared that the Corinthians, whom he had ministered to, would not honor the Lord by being faithful to the espousal to be the Bride of Christ. As we look at Revelation 19, we realize that all believers are not the Bride, as there are other believers drawing attention to the Bride, as in verses 7-8.
In verse 6, we read " And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude." In Revelation 7, we see the same group of believers. In verse 9 of chapter 7 it says they are such a great number that no man can number them. They stand before the throne wearing white robes and waving palm leaves. They cry, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." In verse 14, we find out they have come out of great tribulation. Jesus Christ while here on earth said that we should be ready for His appearance, "Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." There are many admonitions in the Apostle Paul’s writings to be awake and watching for the Lord to come. The word "ready" in the original Greek means, "be adjusted or prepared." We note that the bride as stated in Revelation 19:10, "hath made herself ready." These are not self efforts or religious woks that make one ready to be the Bride, but yielded actions and attitudes that have changed the Bride into the image of the Son of God.
Note also in Revelation 7, that these believers of this great multitude have gone through a tough time on earth during the first part of the seven years of tribulation. V. 16, "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." They have had to go into the tribulation because they were not ready to meet Jesus when He came as a thief in the night. Read I Thess. 4:13-18 & 5:1-9. Many believers who are lukewarm will be left here and go into part of the tribulation, and then be taken to heaven. God’s promise to the overcomers of the Church Age is, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of tribulation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" Rev. 3:10.
In the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ there will be many different positions of honor. Some will be servants there (Rev. 7:15). Others will be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb. (19:9) Believers who have yielded their live to Christ and been faithful will be rewarded with great rewards, and reign with Christ as His Bride. These truths are seen through-out the New Testament. Jesus spoke of rewards in a parable about the man who gave his servants various amounts of talents to test them and see what they would do to make gain. (Matt: 25:15-28). Apostle Paul spoke of rewards, and Revelation speaks of rewards in various degrees. These are precious truths of the Bible.
How do we gain the best rewards with Jesus Christ for our future place in heaven? Certainly not through self-works motivated by desiring to get gain or glory in some way, but by humbleness and yieldedness to the will of God in our lives, - By seeking Him with a true heart, and loving His soon appearing. The truth is that as the Scripture states there is a prize to win in the next life to those who walk wholeheartedly with God in this present life. (See I Cor. 9:24-27 & Phil. 3:7-14.) In no place in Scripture is gaining salvation set forth as by our works, or attaining to it. Salvation and our place in heaven is guaranteed by our believing in the redemption, which Jesus provided on the cross for all persons who believe. But the best place awarded according to our faithfulness to the Lord, is given to those who let the Lord work His Word in their lives and walk in the victory He gives in our trials.
Jesus is coming soon! We’ve heard that statement for many years, but now we are seeing many more signs of globalism, a term used to express all people and nations joining together. So much talk about one monetary system, and attaining peace for all the world. Remember the Scripture speaks of the Antichrist coming and making a peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), which guarantees their safety. The stage is set for this event to come about at any time. The more we hear leaders speak of peace and bringing the world together, the more we should be looking up - for "our redemption draws nigh." This year (2017) Israel celebrates 70 years as a nation, and this is the official year of Jubilee in which Israel was to have special celebrations by setting captives free (such as bond slaves), and returning land to its original owner. Will this be the time Jesus will come? "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" Mt. 24:48.