Saturday, March 11, 2017, 7:50 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Give Me Courage, Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 19:1-9 (NASB).
Hallelujah! (vv. 1-4)
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”
I don’t know about you, but I am conflicted every time I read this. Why? Because this judgment on the Great Harlot means the death of ungodly people, and the end of their hope. As long as people are alive on this earth, and they are not robots, but they have human souls, there is hope that they could be saved, I believe. That is why scripture teaches that God is not slow in his promises, but he is patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But, once they are dead and gone and buried, all hope for them is gone. And, the thought of that breaks my heart.
Yet, I also know the pain and suffering these wicked people have inflicted and continue to inflict on the people of this world, and so my heart goes out to the hurting, and I pray for God to rescue them from evil men (and women). I especially pray for the children to be rescued. All the evil that is in the world just tears my heart apart as I think about all the lives which are being destroyed by hatred, bitterness, abuse, addiction, perversion, and by predators, liars, deceivers, and adulterers, etc. I hurt for the hurting, but I know judgment means much bloodshed, and I find it hard to rejoice in that.
There are so many people who know the right way, but they continue to live the wrong way. God sends out his warnings, and he confronts them with their sins, and he calls for repentance time and time again, and yet they refuse him every time. No matter the consequence, it doesn’t seem to faze them, as though they think they are invincible, and as though they truly believe God will never do what he says he will do. And, this breaks my heart for I know what awaits them if they do not repent, and I know none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
Yet, the thought of being delivered from this evil world and from wicked and evil human beings is cause for rejoicing! Just thinking of all these children being handed private internet access, which they can take into their bedrooms where they can teach other children how to get on pornographic sites just kills me inside. I want to strangle (not literally) their parents. I want to knock (not literally) some sense into them, i.e. I wish there was a way I could communicate to these young parents that they are handing their young children a death sentence, for many will never recover from what they view on those smart phones and tablets (I Pads). Only by the grace of God can they be delivered from these ungodly influences and be set free.
So, I rejoice in knowing that one day Satan’s power and influence in this world will be no more. I can rejoice in the punishment of evil and the setting free all those who have been victimized by such evil. The thought of no sin, no pain and no sorrow is awesome! The idea of people no longer harming one another is so welcome! The concept of children being safe from those who would take advantage of them is much cause for rejoicing! So, yes, I rejoice that one day we will be safe from harm and no longer have to endure hatred, persecution, and abuse. I am happy knowing that one day, when Jesus returns, we who believe in Him can be forever relieved of these flesh bodies and this world of sin, and we can live at peace forever with HIM.
Fear Him (vv. 5-6)
And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
One of the reasons there is so much evil in the world is that the people of this earth have largely forgotten that they are to fear God, not in a frightening way, but in showing him much awe, honor, respect, regard, value, praise, adoration and worship. Even within the church the fear of God is rarely taught or lived anymore, it would appear. Instead, they often present God as a doting grandfather in the sky there to grant their every requests. They also present him as soft on sin, and as one who just looks down on them and smiles, even if they are sitting there engrossing themselves in pornography or other sexual entertainment. They teach that when God looks at us all he sees is Jesus, and he never sees our sin, but that is just not biblical.
Another thing they do is they teach a half-truth (diluted) false grace gospel which appeals to human flesh, and which gives its adherents carte blanche (free rein) to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. They tell their listeners that all they have to do is repeat some words in a prayer and they are saved and heaven is guaranteed them no matter what happens from this point forward. They teach salvation as though all it is is a get-out-of-jail-free card and a promise of eternal rewards and bliss in heaven with nothing required at all in between. In fact, they teach that God requires nothing of them at all – no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to God/Jesus and the cross of Christ. What a mockery that is of what Jesus did for us in dying on the cross for our sins so that we might be free!
Freedom is not freedom to continue in sin. NO! The Bible says that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness, we are liars. It says if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. It teaches us that being a follower of Christ means we forsake our old lives of living for sin, and that we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God (born again), and we put on our new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; 1 Jn. 1:6; Lu. 9:23-25).
If we are the Lord’s bond-servants, then he is our Lord (owner-master) and we are his willing and obedient slaves. We don’t have ownership rights over our own lives anymore, for we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus, shed on a cross for our sins, so that we could be set free from bondage to sin and walk in victory over sin. Jesus reigns supreme over our lives, i.e. he is the one in control, not us, and he is the one calling all the shots. So, it is not our choice what we do every day, but it is his. He is the one now directing our path, or he should be. We should now be walking (in lifestyle) in the fear (respect, honor and worship) of our Lord. And, our worship of him, which is acceptable to God, is that we give him our lives on the altar sacrificially, holy and pleasing to him, and no longer conformed to the ways of this world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds.
She is Ready (vv. 7-9)
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”
The book of Revelation is written to the church (See: Rev. 1). In chapters 2-3 there are seven letters written to seven churches, which most people, I believe, accept as speaking to the church of all ages, i.e. the number seven meaning completeness, though some people feel the Church in Laodicea speaks primarily to the church in these final days before the return of Christ. No matter your point of view, the Bible says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). So, we can learn something from each one of these letters.
In these letters Jesus commended the churches for what they were doing right, with the exception of one (Laodicea), and in five of the letters he confronted them with what they were doing wrong. He warned of divine judgment, called for repentance, but promised hope and heavenly rewards for the repentant and the overcomers (who overcome sin). Then, following these seven letters we have the proclamation of the judgments of God.
And, we see that there were Christians (the saints of God) present during the time of tribulation and the rule of this beast. And, they are being persecuted. Then, here we read that the Bride has made herself ready for her husband. I believe that the saints of God will be present and will be persecuted during this time, at least for part of it, and that through this tribulation, trials and persecutions God will make her holy, purifying her, and pruning her so that she will be even more fruitful for his eternal kingdom.
For those bond-servants of the Lord who have labored hard in presenting the truth of the gospel and in strongly encouraging the church to repent of her sins, and to be restored to fellowship with God, when the Bride has made herself ready, and she is now prepared to meet her groom, this will be our reward. We may not see much fruit now for our labors, but they are coming.
Give Me Courage, Lord
An Original Work / November 13, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
Do not let your hearts grow weary,
For your work will be rewarded.
Be strong; let your hearts take courage.
Do not fear, but wait on Jesus.
Be strong and very courageous,
For your God will go before you.
Do not fear. He will not leave you.
Wait for Him. He’ll not forsake you.
Be careful to do what He says.
Do not turn away from your Lord.
Take courage! You’ll be His witness,
For God will guide and protect you.
So we are always encouraged.
We walk by faith and not vision.
We make it our aim to please Him,
So in Christ, we glorify Him.