Summary: Why should I look desire Christ's Advent, Christ's return? Why should I urgently desire to be with Christ? Because it will be better.
Revelation 7:9-17 IT WILL BE BETTER
9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" 13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes-- who are they, and where did they come from?" 14 I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
I was reading a book by Martin Luther, and he was making me feel guilty. It was a book filled with prayers written by him. I was reading prayers about Judgment Day. And I started reading those prayers and I started to feel guilty. Maybe you would feel guilty too. Listen to just a few excerpts from this book – prayers about Judgment Day…
“Graciously Hurry the coming of that day…” “…” “Grant that this day come soon…" Lord Jesus Christ, hurry! Lord Jesus, do not delay in bringing the blessed day …”
Basically, Martin Luther was saying in these prayers that this world is a mess, his life was difficult - and he wanted Jesus to return right now. “Lord, please make Judgment Day happen today! Bring it on, God, bring it on!” And so I felt guilty. You see, I don’t know if I’ve ever prayed that passionately for Judgment Day to come right now. Have you? Why didn’t you get up this morning, and before you came to church today you prayed, “God, please bring an end to this world right now. Hurry up.” Why didn’t you pray that?
I wonder if part of the reason is because we don’t really think life after Judgment Day will be much better. We’re used to the life we have right now, and we really would rather that it doesn’t change. Maybe, the real prayer in our heads that we don’t want to admit is “God, I know you say that Judgment Day is coming. But make it come later. Not right now, God, not right now. I’m used to this imperfect life I have – the imperfect house I live in, the imperfect place where I work, the imperfect family and friends that I have. I’m used to all of this, so not right now, God, not right now.
Martin Luther in his prayer book prays “Hurry, God!" Jesus says four times in the Book of Revelation, “I am coming soon!” And the Apostle John responds, “Come Lord Jesus!” In other words, bring it on.
What if your life would be better if Judgment Day happened today? What if your health, your relationships, the way you feel – everything about your existence, would become better? What if, most importantly, your relationship with God would be better, if Jesus returned right now? Today on this Christ the King Sunday we are going to see what life will be like when we are standing in the presence of Jesus Christ, our king. How much better will it be? It is my hope and prayer that after we study this portion of Scripture, we will desire more strongly the return of Jesus Christ.
In the book of Revelation, God is giving the Apostle John different visions to encourage him. Here in chapter 7, God gives John a glimpse of heaven, to encourage him. This picture of heaven also encourages us. Let’s take a look… 9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.