Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Anticipating the Wedding (Rev. 19:6-10)

This vision is connected to the previous one through the contributions of the heavenly choir who celebrated the events described in each. The connection is made by contrasting the prostitute Babylon with the true Bride. Both are described as cities in the Book of Revelation and the activities of each are summarised – the activities of the city of man is described as immorality and those of the Bride as righteous deeds.

The contrast is also shown in the outcome of the lives of the citizens of each city. Those who belong to Babylon are destroyed with her whereas those who belong to the heavenly city are going to a celebration. This celebration is endless. It is common in the Bible to describe the fullness of salvation through the illustration of a wedding feast. In those descriptions, details may differ because they are highlighting different features of the occasion.

There is also a possibility that readers are given another reminder of heaven before further descriptions are given of awful events that will take place in God’s judgement on his opponents. This has been a common feature of the Book of Revelation. John was given a description of glory before then being given descriptions of judgement.

We can see from the account that God gets the glory for the arrival of the wedding day. It has happened because he is the One with universal power. Down the centuries, there has been many attempts to resist his aims, but all those attempts were futile. No matter what the opponents did to his kingdom and his people, his cause has survived and will triumph in the end.

There is an important lesson for us here as we live in our situation which we often assume is more difficult than what was faced by previous generations. Of course, it all depends on where God’s people live. Life has been fairly comfortable for the church in our culture and we have assumed that was the norm. The reality is that the church survives because of who God is. And his plans will be achieved.

Who are those praising God in this vision? It could be angels, it could be the saints, it could be both. In favour of identifying them as angels is the fact that those praising are referring to the church as a distinct body which could be regarded as separate from the heavenly choir. Yet it could also be the expression of praise by the saints because at last the church is complete. One thing is certain – this is a greater Hallelujah chorus than Handel ever imagined.

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