Here Comes the Groom

Listen to Revelation Chapter 19 & 20
or read "Hallelujah!"
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!"

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's people.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
In chapters 19 and 20 we read about 4 events that will happen at the end of history. In a sermon delivered at Valley View Community Church back in 2005, titled Here Comes the Groom, Bruce Carter points out the importance of these four events and the incredible meaning of the Wedding.

These are future events we all need to understand if we're going to make the most out of our lives here on earth. This is the end of the story. The four events are the wedding supper of the Lamb, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ, and the Great White Throne Judgment.

You see in order to understand what God is doing in human history and in our own lives right now, we need to understand the end of the story as well as the beginning of the story. And the Bible helps us do both. The book of Genesis tells us what happened at the beginning of the story and the book of Revelation tells us what's going to happen at the end of the story and that helps to put into perspective everything that's going on in our lives right now.

...When the Bible talks about this great wedding supper of the Lamb, the Lamb is Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He's the bridegroom who is coming back for his bride. And the bride is the church. It's us! This royal wedding is between Jesus and his followers. ...

And why is the return of Christ pictured as a wedding? It's pictured as a wedding for the same reason that most weddings happen, because two people love each other. The groom loves the bride and the bride loves the groom. Jesus loves his church and gave his life for her and because of that we love Jesus. We love him because he first loved us. And a wedding is the perfect picture of love and intimacy between Christ and his church."

To be honest I find reading the Book of Revelation difficult. Fascinating but difficult. The imagery for me is intense and violent and hard to intellectually absorb and then process into something I can relate to. I have trouble relating to most of the events in this book and as a result I probably have little real understanding of what will happen. I do believe it is the Word of God and represents the end times, but I have trouble relating personally to most of the book. I will continue to try to understand the Book of Revelation.

As I said 'most' of these events are difficult for me, but there is one that wholly engages me. I can completely relate to and understand the Great Wedding. I suppose this should not surprise me. The love of Christ is the key to the end of the story. God's love for us can be summed up in Christ on the cross. His sacrifice. This love, His love, begins our relationship with God. It sustains our relationship. It unites us as followers of Jesus and creates a bride--the Church. The end of history as we know it is marked by a great Wedding between us, His Church, and Jesus the King.

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