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32. WEDDING BELLS IN HEAVEN
Before reading the Passage
If you could know that Jesus would appear before another morn' should give its light
Would your heart be filled with joy or fear, if you could know that He would come tonight?
The things you do, the words you would say, perchance the letter you had thought to write,
how many plans would you have to change today,
if you were sure that Christ would come tonight?
How many acts would then remain undone, how many wrongs would have to be made right,
if you should meet Him err another sun and knew He would come tonight?
How many things would you find time for then, not crowded out or else forgotten quiet,
the kindly deed, the hour of prayer again would ought be different, should He come tonight.
Someday that dawns will make all time as past, then may we keep our lamps all trimmed and bright,
Oh, may we live each day as though it were the last, and ready be if Christ should come tonight.
It is one thing to say we believe in the Second Coming of Christ; it is another thing to really believe He might come tonight!
Read the Passage
When we come to Revelation 19 the tone of the book changes.
• In Revelation 17-18 there is the destruction of Babylon – the world's false religion and the world's economic system.
• Revelation 19 provides a bridge between the Tribulation and the millennium.
• It is like going from darkness to light; from sobbing to singing.
• The first ten verses of Chapter 19 describe two events that take place in heaven at the end of the Tribulation: a celebration and a ceremony – both involving the Bride of Christ, the Church.
I. The Celebration in Heaven
The first time the word “Alleluia” is found in the Bible is in connection with David and the Ark of the Covenant. David forms a choir to the “Alleluia” of God.
• The multitude in heaven says “Alleluia” in praise to the Lord for what has been revealed about Him throughout the Great Tribulation.
• The word “Hallelujah” means “praise ye the Lord” and is found often in the Old Testament, but only 4 times in the New Testament – all here in Revelation 19.
A. The Hallelujah for the Salvation of God 19:1
• God is praised in heaven because He has provided redemption for man.
• God has personally saved every person who makes it from earth to heaven, and He is worthy to be praised for that reason.
• “Salvation and glory and honor and power belongs to the Lord our God.”
B. The Hallelujah for the Severity of God 19:2-3
• Why would anyone rejoice and praise God for His severity and judgment? Because of who His judgments are against – Babylon with her world-controlling religious and economic system.
• Looking down from heaven the saints see that the anti-God systems have been destroyed and eliminated from the earth and vengeance is “true and righteous.”
C. The Hallelujah of the Sovereignty of God 19:4
• The key word is “Amen.” It is a word of sealing and affirmation.
• When the 24 elders and the four cherubim say, “Amen! Alleluia!” they are giving consent and affirmation to an act of judgment that they know to be righteous and true.
• “Amen” and “Hallelujah” are not English words; rather they are transliterations of Hebrew words which are pronounced the same in every language. Believers from around the world who do not speak each others language can establish instant communication and fellowship when they share an “Amen” and Hallelujah” together.
• A missionary and another Christian were together on a luxury liner. While the rest of the passengers were involved in the night life, they were both on deck with their Bibles. They couldn't speak each others language, but they shook hands. Then the native said the word “Hallelujah” and the missionary responded with an “Amen” and with two words they had fellowship one with another.
D. The Hallelujah for the Supremacy of God 19:5-6
These last words of praise offered to God is like the music that we listen to in the hour before the wedding ceremony takes place – music which speaks of the greatness of the ceremony we are about to witness.
II. The Ceremony for the Church 19:7-9
The relationship between Christ and His Church is pictured in a number of ways:
• He is the Shepherd; we are the sheep. John 10
• He is the Vine; we are the branches. John 15
• He is the Head; we are the body. Ephesians and I Corinthians
• He is the Bridegroom; we are the Bride.
The weddings of that day were far different than ours today.
• In our weddings the Bride is the one that gets all the attention. All goes according to her wishes: the time of the wedding, the colors for the wedding, the music in the wedding. Really, the groom is just kinda a prop until it comes time to say, “I do.” The rest of the time he just stands there, looking at the Bride like everyone else.
• But in the Oriental weddings, the Bridegroom was the most important part of the wedding.
• There were three parts to the Jewish wedding of that day:
(1) The Betrothal
This involved the payment of a dowry and resulted in a legal marriage. Often it was
accomplished solely by the parents without the bride and groom having met one another.
The bridegroom would then prepare a house and furnishings before he could take his bride .
(2) The Presentation
The groom would go to the home of the bride and claim his bride with his friends and take
her back to his house.
(3) The Ceremony
The bridal procession, exchanging of the vows and the wedding feast which would last
Following that outline, we can see the parallels in our relationship with our Lord.
1. The Betrothal
He paid the price for us with His blood and at conversion we are spiritually married to Him. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit which is a spiritual engagement ring. It is His promise which guarantees my future inheritance.
2. The Presentation
John 14:1-3 – He has gone away to prepare a home for us and He will come back to receive us unto Himself.
3. The Ceremony
While the wedding ceremony itself appears to take place in heaven, the marriage supper seems to be held on earth. The fact that it takes place on earth is a prelude to the 1,000 years the Bridegroom and Bride will spend reigning over the earth during the Millennium.
Who will be at this wedding and at the Marriage Supper?
1. The Lamb
There are over 200 titles for the Lord Jesus. Why did He choose to identify Himself as the Lamb? I think I know. It is because we fell in love with the Lamb. We honor Him as King, Creator and servant and all the other titles which describe Him. But we are saved by the Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
2. The Bride, the Church.
- All the redeemed from Pentecost until the Rapture.
- John 3 talks about the friends or guest of the Bridegroom. That is the Old Testament Saints
and the Tribulation Saints and believers alive in earthly bodies in the kingdom – they will be
the honored members of the wedding party.
The events of the Judgment Seat of Christ must occur before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:9...talks about our righteousness, not the righteousness imputed to us by Christ. Our righteous deeds make up the garment we will wear.
Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Your “ticket” is a living faith in the risen Lord, who died on the cross to purchase redemption.