Re:Verse reading–Revelation 21:1-8; 22:1-7,16-17 (day six)
“Behold, I am making all things new.”-God
Maybe that was his plan the whole time. Perhaps, that is the very essence of the Gospel-making things new. We often only think of salvation in terms of forgiveness, but it is much more than that. To make things right, required much more than forgiveness (which the cross provided), it also required restoration, to bring things back to their intended purpose. That is the true aim of the Gospel, to restore all of creation. Jesus, the incarnate Son, was the very first recreative act of God that would bring a tidal wave of recreation to all the universe, of which we are partakers.
Our recreation is complete in Revelation 21, when the dead are raised to newness of life, a life without sorrow, or pain, or death-just life everlasting in full fellowship with the Father, Son, and Spirit. Now that is real life! So here is the question, are you being made new?
Re: Verse reading–Revelation 19:11-21, 20:1-10 (day six)
Satan is bound, but we are free. By “we,” I mean the Church. The powers of hell will not/cannot prevail against it! Ironically we don’t always live free. Often we hesitate to talk about Jesus to others out of fear, or we fail to see how the Gospel changes all of our life at home and at work. We live as if we are bound, but we are to live free, and with authority to fish for men.
This morning, or afternoon, take the time to examine your own life. Do you live free? Or do you live as if you are bound? And remember Satan has no authority (any longer) to accuse or condemn; he has no power over you. You are a child of the King; now ask God for the grace to live like it!
Re: Verse reading–Revelation 17 – 18 (Day six)
“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.” Revelation 19:7-8
This weekend I am away hosting a Marriage Strong marriage retreat. It has been such a delight to share this weekend with such good people. It is also fitting in light of Revelation 17-19. What a contrast between the Bride of Christ, the Church, and the “mother of prostitutes” depicted so vividly in John’s vision. The great prostitute is the epicenter of immorality and idolatry; the world is captivated by her lusts, and she and all who follow her fall under the weight of their unrighteousness, receiving what they deserve, the very wrath of God.
But the Bride! Preserved by the Lion and the Lamb, she stands in brilliant righteousness. Not bearing a righteousness of her own but clothed by the blood of our Redeemer, she does not cower in fear, but stands in His love, mercy, and grace. We are loved! We are preserved! We are clothed in fine linen, bright, and pure!
Re: Verse reading–Revelation 15 and 16 (day six)
“…and they would not repent and give Him glory.” Revelation 16:9
John records this twice, once in verse nine and again in verse 11. We’ve read it before, but it is no less unnerving. How can anyone facing the reality of God along with his wrath remain unrepentant? It certainly reminds us of 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, “…they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently, God sends them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.” They are unable to repent because God rewarded their unbelief with further delusion.
It is a frightful thing, but that is not what I want us to contemplate today. On the Day of the Lord, the Day of Wrath, will we rejoice in the destruction of the wicked or lament? Should we rejoice? I do not think we will delight in the destruction of the wicked, but rather rejoice in the glory of God’s holiness as it stands against them. After all even God, “does not delight in the destruction of the wicked.” On that day the glorious holiness of God will take vengeance against the unrighteous over all the earth, and we will rejoice in the full display of His glory. Paul alludes to the reality in Romans 9:22, “what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction?”
On that day, we will not wonder if God is too harsh, or whether or not we should rejoice. No, we will glory in the justice and power of God!
Re:Verse passage: Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17; 13:1-4, 11-18 (day six)
This should sound very familiar. From the beginning there is a foreshadowing of redemption to come through the offspring of Eve, redemption from the condemnations of the serpent. Revelation 12 retells for us an old story and an old promise, but this time with a woman and a dragon. The first is an episode from the earliest days of human history, the second is redemptive history on display like a grand fresco. Why does God retell this story in this way?
The woman and the dragon in chapter 12 remind us of God’s promise to overcome the travesty in the Garden, to undo sin and rebellion, offering restoration through the woman’s offspring. It is a reminder that God, throughout all history, is making things new through Jesus; that the adversary can never overcome His bride, the Church.
That’s good news! Just the kind of reminder we need.
Re:Verse reading–Revelation 7 (day six)
There is an amazing contrast between the voices in chapter 5 and chapter 6. The outcries of the martyrs, and the praises of the saints, both are the center pieces of each chapter. The martyrs inquire of God, “when?” The saints declare His praises. Together they summarize the message of Revelation, both the longing for God to complete His work of Salvation and the certainty of it.
Not only are these voices a summary, but also they model for us how we are to live this side of eternity. We pray and we praise; asking Jesus to come quickly, while also praising Him for the certainty of our salvation.
Re:Verse reading–Revelation 6 (day six)
It can be hard to see the forest from the trees, but it is a necessary endeavor, especially in Revelation. There are so many curiosities in Revelation, it is easy to get stuck amongst the tree limbs trying to figure out every detail, of which we will never fully understand this side of eternity. For instance, do the riders in chapter six have names, are they real entities? Could be I suppose; maybe, maybe not. We can get so intrigued or caught in the trees that we lose sight of the fuller picture, the forest. In this case Jesus reveals to us that judgement is not only coming, but it is an important part of completing his saving work in all creation, so much so, the martyrs ache for it to come to pass.
Do you see it? The trees are important for sure, and worthwhile to study, but not at the expense of seeing the forest.
Re:Verse reading–Revelation 1 (day six)
Certainty is the last word some would associate with John’s Revelation. For most it is difficult to understand, with very little feeling certain about it, and yet that is exactly the tone that is set for us in chapter one. We can be uncertain all day about the exact play of the events described in Revelation, but its’ intent is the exact opposite. All of our hope, the church’s hope, rests in the certainty of Jesus the risen one, the Alpha and the Omega.
That is how Jesus wants us to feel when we read chapter one, indeed much more than that, that is how he wants us to feel as we live in this broken world waiting for His return. It is certain. Will the church suffer? Yes. Will Judgement come? Yes. And will he finally and completely make all things new? Yes, it is certain!