Summary: We have been invited to the wedding that will end all weddings. Are we ready to be a guest? Are we ready to be the bride?
“Are you ready for the wedding?” As you think of all the people involved with a typical wedding consider the different ways that they might answer that question. The bride would have one answer and the groom another. Friends of the bride and groom would answer differently depending on their part in the upcoming wedding. Everyone from the parents of the bride and groom to the pastor conducting the service would answer that question in a slightly different way. Even the guests invited to a particular wedding might answer the question, “Are you ready for the wedding?” in a variety of ways.
If you asked a bride-to-be shortly before her wedding if she was ready she might give you a whole list of things that still needed to be done. The groom on the other hand might say, “I’ve been ready for the wedding since the day she said ‘yes’ to my proposal.” If you asked a pastor, “Are you ready for the wedding of so and so to so and so,” he might say, “Well we have a few details to work out in the next couple of weeks and then we will be ready to go.” Some of those who have been invited to the wedding might say, “Yes, we are ready. We have cleared our schedule so we can attend. We purchased a gift and we have made our travel plans.” Obviously, the things that people do to get ready for a wedding vary depending on what part they have in the wedding.
In the Word of God for our sermon this evening John invites us to take what we know about getting ready for a wedding and connect it to the wedding that will end all weddings. These verses from Revelation chapter 19 help us look at our preparation for the wedding of Christ to his Church and the eternal celebration that will follow. As we spend time in this Word of God I want each of you to answer this question:
ARE YOU READY FOR THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB?
I. Are you ready to be His guest?
II. Are you ready to be His bride?
If you ask a Bible class which book of the Bible they would most like to study you can bet that a high number of people will say, “Let’s study Revelation.” Why do you suppose that is often the case? Revelation is hard to understand, it uses many symbols, metaphors, and numbers. There are many other books of the Bible that are easier to read and study. So why are so many Christians drawn to Revelation? I think one reason is the fact that in it believers finally find their faith fulfilled. In Revelation we see the goal of our faith and we see Christ’s final victory over evil. The message of Revelation is “Jesus wins!” And so it also reminds us that in the end we will win. That’s exciting stuff! It is meant to lift our spirits and restore our hope in what is yet unseen.
As you begin to answer the question, “Are you ready for the wedding of the Lamb?” I want you to first think about being ready to be a guest. What do guests at the Lamb’s wedding have to do to get ready? On one hand we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to buy the Lamb a gift. (After all what would you get the groom who literally has everything?!?!) And we don’t have to offer to help with the preparation process for the wedding supper. The groom will take care of every detail. He won’t need our advice or encouragement. We only need to have our hearts set on celebrating his wedding. That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The invitation to the wedding supper of the Lamb comes to us without cost. There are no expectations of us. All we have to do is be ready to enjoy the celebration prepared by the bridegroom.
But we can lose the invitation through unbelief. We can let the cares and concerns of life cause us to miss out on the wedding celebration at the end of time. How might that happen? Perhaps we become so discouraged over the things going on in our lives that we take our eyes off the goal of our faith. Serving the LORD seems like a losing battle. In time we grow cold to the whole idea of attending the Lamb’s wedding celebration. The hardships of life, the effects of sin that attack our body and mind, and the assaults of Satan start to steal our excitement over the wedding supper of the Lamb. In time it begins to seem so far off. Or it begins to look like so much foolishness. Could that really happen to us? The Scriptures provide us with examples of believers who let their love for a better life with Jesus slip away. That is why we go back to verses like these from Revelation again and again. If your mouth isn’t watering to eat at the Lamb’s high feast and if your heart isn’t longing for the appearing of Jesus then let this Gospel lift you up. When I ask you, “Are you ready for the wedding?” may the Holy Spirit prompt you to answer. “Yes, come Lord Jesus, I am ready to be your guest.”