Summary: The message is a study of the nature of the Lord's Supper as encouragement to worship. We who worship the Saviour are encouraged to see that He has made reservations for two--the Bridegroom and the Bride.

“I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” [1]

Think back to your first day of school. Or think about your first hockey game. Perhaps remembering what happened at those times is not possible because so much time has passed. However, you should have no difficult thinking about your wedding day, or thinking about the day you put your faith in the Risen Saviour. When you think about these events, what do you feel? Isn’t it amazing how vivid the past can be? Isn’t it amazing how feelings that have been long dormant can be aroused?

Because memories can be so powerful, it shouldn’t require much to convince you that shared memories are more powerful still. Whenever we begin to share memories with long-time friends or family members there is always a lot of laughter; or if the memories shared are sad, our cheeks are suddenly and unexpectedly damp. When I think back to the years of service among the churches, I may grin. But when Lynda talks about the first church fishing trip we organized we can’t stop laughing—guffawing, actually!

At other times, as I recall stalwarts of the Faith who have fallen in the battle against evil, my heart is immersed into deep pain. As my wife and I talk of those whom we loved and who died far too soon or who turned away from the Faith, it is impossible not to experience great sorrow. Memories are super-charged when they are shared.

The Lord’s Supper is a communal meal—it is always observed in community. Gathered with fellow believers, we unite to share a powerful memory. Though each of us will have a story of our own to tell, each of us who participate in this Communion Meal declare a powerful testimony that was first voiced by the Son of God when He testified, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” [LUKE 19:10]. The testimony Jesus gave is echoed by the Apostle to the Gentiles who wrote in a letter to a young pastor, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” [1 TIMOTHY 1:15b].

ALONE WITH THE SAVIOUR — It is obvious that we eat the Communion Meal as individuals. This truth is tacitly acknowledged in Paul’s statement that points readers to Christ’s sacrifice as memorialised in the Communion Meal. As the Apostle is instructing the Corinthians, and consequently instructing us who worship the Saviour in this day, he hearkens back to the institution of the Meal. Paul wrote, “I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” [1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26].

We do not feed one another, but we sit as individuals at the Lord’s Table, just as we sit as individuals at our own dining tables. Though you individually eat the bread and drink the cup, the Meal is nevertheless always eaten in the company of other believers. It is a communal meal. More importantly, in the Meal we meet the Risen Son of God. No, I’m not speaking of unbiblical concepts such as transubstantiation or consubstantiation; We do not ingest Christ’s Body or drink the Saviour’s blood. However, Christ is present, and we meet Him as we worship through participating in the Meal. So, let me ask a personal question. When you participate in the Lord’s Supper, do you meet the Saviour?

I’ve been married for over fifty years. I admit that I’m not the most thoughtful husband; to my shame, I admit that I’ve missed too many opportunities to encourage my wife to ever think that I can present myself as an expert on marriage. One thing I have done right, however, is to remember our anniversary. It helps that we don’t celebrate our anniversary during elk or moose season, I suppose; and fishing is quite challenging at that time of the year. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to remember our anniversary. It is almost always a special date for us, and we usually try to go out for a nice meal at some favourite restaurant. On a few occasions, I have prepared a special meal at home, but we have more commonly gone out for a nice meal at some favourite dining spot.

How would it look if I made a reservation for myself to eat out at a great restaurant, and neglected to take my wife? Do you suppose that would be a great experience for me? Or for my lovely bride? I suspect that I would need some rather aggressive intervention in the form of serious marriage counselling. When we say we are commemorating an event dependent upon another, we don’t celebrate by excluding that other from the celebration! We are careful to ensure that the other person is included. If we say we are celebrating the salvation provided by the Risen Saviour, we aren’t actually celebrating if He isn’t present! If we merely go through a ritual without permitting the Master who we say we are honouring to be part of what we are doing, we deceive ourselves! Either Jesus is intimately involved in our worship, or we are lying!

An anniversary dinner without my spouse sharing the date is ludicrous. I can assure that that after sharing many anniversary dates with my lady, the special time together has not lost any lustre. I enjoy being with her, recalling why I married her and why I determined I wanted spend my life with her. Sharing this special date, remembering again year-after-year why I married her does not lessen the significance of this time; rather, my commitment to my wife grows deeper with each passing year. The date feels special because it is special—it is made special because of shared love.

In a very real sense, the joyous occasion my wife and I celebrate on this one special night is grounded in an act that was performed over fifty years ago. What took place long ago is the basis for what we do now. And each anniversary dinner looks forward to what lies ahead. The poet has captured that aspect of our love when he wrote,

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made;

Our times are in His hand

Who saith, ‘A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!’ [2]

The anniversary date we keep each year anticipates a beautiful future with the one I love. What we celebrate is a pale analogy of the Communion Meal in that this act of worship reaches far beyond the moment, anticipating what lies ahead.

The just concluded reverie concerning the love Lynda and I share, isn’t really so much about us as it is an opportunity to point each listener who is a follower of the Christ to consider what you do when you worship through sitting at the Lord’s Table. And make no mistake—you are enjoined to worship with this observance!

If you’ve followed the argument I’ve presented detailing participation in the Communion Meal as a worshipper of the Risen Saviour, you will have understood that participants sit as individuals; however, we always sit in the company of others who share fellowship with the Saviour. However, more important still is the fact that we who worship sit at the table with the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. Each follower of the Risen Saviour can testify, “Christ and I share the Meal because He redeemed me, and He has given me the freedom in which I now walk. It is the Saviour, the Risen Son of God, who has given me the life I now enjoy.” Thus, this Meal requires reservation for two. To be certain, I want to be present at the Table of the Lord; but I want to ensure that I have reserved room for Him to be present at the Table.

Among the egregious errors the Corinthian Christians were perpetuating was the concept that this was a personal observance. This thinking led the people to exclude others even as they professed to share the Meal. Preceding the text, the Apostle challenged the Corinthians, writing, “In the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not” [1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-22]. How Paul’s words must have stung those receiving his letter! They knew they were acting as though this was a private observance, though they may not have understood how they arrived at that view of the Meal. However, they were not doing anything that many of our brother Christians do not do among churches in this day.

That thought of a sacerdotal nature for the Meal is perpetuated when people imagine that they should be able to have private instances in which they partake of the Meal. In several former congregations, I discovered in a drawer in my office a small Communion set meant to be used for individuals taking the elements of the Communion. Those congregations had adopted an observance that was not unlike that which is practised by liturgical churches, practises in which the Lord’s Table is seen as a sacrament rather than an ordinance. The congregations had concluded, if only tacitly, that partaking of the Meal added grace to the participant; and hence, participating in the Meal would be comforting to those who were home-bound or who were hospitalised. However, Scripture presents an ordinance rather than a sacrament.

This raises the question, “What is the difference between an ordinance and a sacrament?” A sacrament is thought to be a symbol of inward grace. Hence, a sacrament is normally thought to confer grace upon those receiving the sacrament. An ordinance, on the other hand, is a tradition, an act that speaks of spiritual truth. The idea of a tradition is not that the tradition is the truth, but that the tradition portrays the truth. Therefore, our ordinances picture the reality of what is professed.

Preparing the Corinthian Christians in the purpose and conduct of the Lord’s Table, Paul writes, “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you” [1 CORINTHIANS 11:2]. The most commonly available Bible in the English language in years past was the Authorised Version, commonly known as the King James Version. It translated this particular verse as follows: “I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” Interestingly enough, the Douay-Rheims Bible, the Catholic answer to the King James Version, translates the verse using the same word, “ordinances.” When we study the English language of that ancient day, we discover that the word “ordinance” did not have the connotation that it has today. It was not a word primarily restricted to religious matters. The word spoke of traditions, common practises. Almost without exception, modern translations of this passage use the word “traditions” or an equivalent word. [3] In what is written, there is not a hint of sacerdotal or salvific purpose in observing the Lord’s Table. This is a tradition delivered to remind participants, and those who observe, that we are worshipping the Risen Saviour. Participating in this tradition, we are confessing that we are seated at the Table with the Lord of Life Who loved us and gave Himself for us.

IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE RIGHTEOUS — The Meal is called “Communion” for a reason. While the Meal is personal, it is not private. We never eat the Meal in isolation from those who share our life as an assembly of the righteous. The Meal is worship of the Risen Saviour, to be certain, but we must never forget that the Meal is a confession of our connectedness. We are confessing our fellowship with the Living Son of God. And because we are in fellowship with Him, we confess that we are in fellowship with those sharing in the Meal. Our confession is that we share our lives, that we are in fellowship with those sharing the Meal because we are all in fellowship with the Risen Son of God.

The Supper to which we are invited isn’t like flipping through old photo albums by yourself, pondering fond memories from your youth. Remembering happens in community—first with Christ and then with brothers and sisters in Christ who share this Faith. Isn’t that what we read in an earlier chapter. Recall how the Apostle has written, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ” [1 CORINTHIANS 10:16]?

According to the translation I use, the cup we share is a “participation” in the blood of Christ. Drinking the juice together is a confession of our fellowship with Christ—it is koinonia. The bread we break is a “participation” in the blood of Christ. As we chew the bread in concert with other believers, it is our confession of fellowship with Christ—it is koinonia. This new covenant Meal we share is communal to its core. The Lord’s Table demands fellowship—genuine sharing of our lives with the Risen Saviour and with one another! Communion as an act of worship demands sharing our lives in the deepest sense of sharing as brothers and sisters; we are sharing our lives as members of One True Family. And we confess this shared life in the Communion Meal.

Don’t rush past the fact that we are sharing the life of Christ the Lord, and thus we are sharing our lives as members of the Family of God. That is the declaration proclaimed when Paul writes of those who have come to Christ in faith. Paul testifies, “[Christ Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” [EPHESIANS 2:17-22]. We are now brothers and sisters of united through our new birth into the Family of God.

The question must be asked, “Does my membership in the local congregation matter?” Perhaps one might rephrase the question to ask, “Isn’t it enough that I’m saved? Isn’t it sufficient that I’ve confessed Jesus Christ as Lord? Why should I be concerned about open identification with the local assembly?” And the answer comes back that my open identification with the assembly acknowledges that I am sharing my very life with these my brothers and sisters. I have made myself vulnerable, allowing myself to be held accountable for the exercise of the gifts which God entrusted to me and holding those who share this life accountable for their service to me to the glory of the Living God.

While one might be inclined to argue that it makes no difference whether an individual should participate in the Meal with people they don’t know because we are all truly children of the One True God, if it is conceded that it is of no consequence with whom one eats the Meal, then it logically follows that eating the Meal in the presence of those who are unknown to the one eating is no different from eating the Meal alone. The logic of such a position would lead to concluding that the ritual is more important than the worship and the shared experience. However, if we concede that our lives are to be shared and through participating together we are confessing our shared experiences, then it is important that the Meal be eaten in the presence of those with whom we are sharing our lives. Our shared experiences—the sorrows we have mutually carried, the joys that have buoyed our souls together, the prayers ascending from hearts knit by our shared love, all become especially important.

We don’t need conversation starters at the Lord’s Table. Our fellowship is a present experience. Our lives are not grounded solely in the past; we are living in a very present moment, sharing both our common experience of redemption in the Risen Saviour and sharing the day-to-day experience of building one another, of encouraging one another, of comforting one another. Hold onto this thought. It is far more important than we might imagine. For this present experience is grounded in the past sacrifice of Christ the Lord, and it compels us to look forward to the fulfilment of His promise that He is coming to receive us to Himself and that we shall ever be with Him.

Underscore that truth in your mind—as redeemed people, we are fully aware that it was because of the sacrifice of our Master that we stand. This is precisely what Paul meant when he wrote, “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” [ROMANS 5:10-11].

The sacrifice of Christ to which we look is the foundation on which we stand. The reason we are reconciled to God is because of Christ’s sacrifice, and also because of His life. The presence of the Risen, Living Saviour before the throne of God is the reason we are saved. Let me explain by pointing to the testimony of the unknown writer of the Letter to Hebrew Christians when he wrote, “[Christ Jesus our Lord] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” [HEBREWS 7:24-25].

The present grace given to us through Christ our Lord enables us to enjoy peace with God now; and that same grace which is showered on us causes us who are saved to rejoice in what is yet to be revealed at His return. Writing the Christians in Rome, the Apostle to the Gentiles testified, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” [ROMANS 5:1-5]. Hallelujah!

At the Lord’s Table, we are enjoying a present-tense experience, even as we speak of past and future realities—the sacrifice of our Lord, His resurrection from the dead, our own promised resurrection and His promise to come again to take us to the home which He has prepared for us. Thus it is that if we forget what He has already accomplished at the cross, then this worship is reduced to nothing more than a frustrating pursuit of a spiritual high. Dear people, we don’t need to perform some form of spiritual Terpsichore to attempt to realise the presence of the Risen Saviour—He is here! We do not need to attempt to manufacture some ersatz spiritual experience—the Risen Saviour meets us at His Table.

It is an unpleasant admission, but we must acknowledge that none of us consistently come to the Lord’s Table in a faithful manner. We have failed miserably! There have been times that we simply went through the motions of worshipping, performing by rote the acts of the worship. There have been times that we desperately sought to generate a feeling, and left the Table with a sense of disappointment.

Here is rich encouragement for the people of God—though we have come to the table unfaithful at times in the past, perhaps even coming with the wrong motives today, Jesus our Lord is always faithful as He comes to meet us at His Table. It is to be expected that we renew our vows and refresh our love as we come to the Lord’s Table, but He never renews his vows because he always keeps his promises. As Caleb Batchelor has stated, “Christ gets to the table first because he loved us first, and he applies to us the benefits of redemption.” [4] In support of his assertion, Batchelor references Jesus words recorded in 1 JOHN 4:19: “We love because He first loved us.”

Allow me to emphasise a truth that is too often ignored among worshippers: At the Lord’s Supper, what God does is the most important aspect of our worship! What we do is of scant moment when viewed in light of what God does. We don’t start the conversation at the Lord’s Table, Jesus starts the conversation when He says, “Take, eat” [see MATTHEW 26:26]. And together we eat of the broken bread that bespeaks the broken body of our Saviour. Because we are sinful people, we deserve the cup of God’s wrath. However, at the Lord’s Table, Jesus invites us, saying, “Drink of it, all of you.” And again, together we drink the cup of the Lord recalling His blood shed for our benefit.

What is this but evidence that the Saviour, who is at the head of the Table staring at us with unadulterated love calling us to remember Him. He calls us, and when we hear Him we respond, confess that He is the Son of God who loves us. And as the Apostle has testified, so we agree, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” [GALATIANS 2:20].

By looking back to the sacrifice of our Saviour, we enjoy fellowship with our Lord in this moment. And because we are enjoying fellowship in this moment, we anticipate fellowship with our Saviour at His return and into eternity. There awaits a day, may it be soon, when Christ shall return and take His people to Himself. Then, one last time we shall be seated at His Table to partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Amen.

I’ve cited Caleb Batchelor extensively during the message today. I’ve done so in great measure because he has provided a thoughtful summation of our worship at the Lord’s Table. In short, his analysis is beneficial. And I will cite him yet again because he provides an interesting insight that I had never seen before. He pointed to an event during Israel’s wilderness wanderings. [5] When the LORD had instituted the Covenant with Israel, He hosted a feast for the leaders of the community who were invited to dine in the presence of the Living God. The account is found in EXODUS 24:9-11. “Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.”

Now, imagine seeing your name on that guest list? I’m quite certain that you would cancel all your plans if the LORD issued you such an invitation. You’d tell the Netanyahu family that you’ll ride camels with them another week. There’d be no plans for a weekend fishing trip with the Perez boys. In fact, you would do whatever it takes to be at this meal. After all, God will be there. And He wants you to be His guest!

Batchelor speculates along these lines before bringing each of us up short when he writes, “I wonder how often we forget this: God is at the Lord’s Supper. Our name is on the guest list, and the host has prepared for us a lavish spread. At the Lord’s Supper, the spirit of Christ invites the bride of Christ to join him at the table, and he offers the bread to eat and the cup to drink.” [6] Indeed, how often have we forgotten that God is present at the Lord’s Table? How often do we allow ourselves to mindlessly act out a ritual without ever giving thought to the fact that the Son of God is present at His Table?

WORSHIPPING THE SAVIOUR WHO REDEEMS ME — You have heard me speak on multiple occasions of the love of our Saviour; and even as we prepare to observe the Lord’s Table this day, I’ve spoken at length about the worship we will shortly present. As worshippers eat the bread and drink the cup, they are looking back to remember the sacrifice of the Saviour. As we eat the broken bread and drink the juice in the cup, we actively recall that it is Christ the Lord who loved us and that He gave Himself in a sacrifice for us. His death is foundational to our worship at His Table.

Each Christian eating the bread and drinking the cup will confess, if only tacitly, that the Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us. This will be an incredibly personal confession for each participant at the Lord’s Table. Confessing His sacrifice, we participate in a Memorial Meal, remembering the love of the Saviour revealed through His sacrifice at Calvary. We recite the words John wrote and I would hope we hold them dear, but they are so incredibly powerful. Consider again how we are told, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” [JOHN 3:16].

I was a part of that broken, fallen world—and so were you! We were lost and under condemnation because of our enmity toward God. And Jesus, the Son of God, demonstrated His love for us by taking our place. Our Saviour received in Himself the divine punishment we so richly deserved and which hung over us. He delivered us from the eternal condemnation that awaited us and the sentence of eternal death that stood against us. How could I do anything other than rejoice in the love of God Who rescued me and brought me into His family. Now, I am no longer an outcast and a condemned sinner, but I am a redeemed child of the Living God through Christ the Lord. Amen.

The Meal is also a confession of fellowship. Through participating in the Meal, we who believe are confessing that the Risen Saviour loves us; and the evidence that He loves us is seen in the fellowship we now enjoy. The church in which we share our lives exists because of the love of Christ. He gave us this fellowship that we might experience His love now. The Apostle Paul admonished the elders of the Ephesian congregation, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” [ACTS 20:28].

A congregation of the Lord, a fellowship of the redeemed, has been purchased by the blood of God Himself. Our church, as is true of any assembly, is a spiritual fellowship, to be certain; but that doesn’t mean that it is somehow inferior to the relationships we enjoy within our own families. The assembly of the righteous is a stronger relationship than even that physical relationship into which we are born, for this relationship was born out of the riven side of the Son of God!

Just as this Meal looks back recalling the love of Christ displayed when He willingly embraced the punishment we deserved by taking our place and receiving the punishment we deserved, and just as the Meal is a confession of the fellowship we now enjoy with the Risen Saviour and with one another, so the Meal is also an anticipation of the love of the Saviour that is yet to be revealed when He returns to receive His people and take them to their eternal home. Know that the Communion Meal anticipates the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as described by John in the Apocalypse.

If the Lord’s Supper is wonderful, then what will the Marriage Supper of the Lamb be like? The bride of Christ will take a seat, but she won’t sit by herself. Her husband has made reservations for two!

Recall what the Revelator has written in the Revelation. “I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,


For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure’—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

“And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God’” [REVELATION 19:6-9].

And who is invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? The Bride of Christ is the redeemed of all the ages, those from every tribe and language and people and nation. Even now God is calling out His elect saints from throughout the world, and they shall be gathered to His side even as the Father pours out His wrath on an unbelieving world. As Jesus prepared for His Passion, He comforted His disciples by revealing what lay in store for them. Our Lord promised, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” [JOHN 14:1-3].

Throughout this fallen world, believers in Asia, in South America, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Europe and even in North America, are persecuted. Saints suffering now see their suffering as “evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that [they] may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which [they] are also suffering.” They know that God will “grant relief to [all] who are afflicted … when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” They know that Christ will “come[] on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” [see 2 THESSALONIANS 1:5-10].

We witness the rage against Christ and against His holy saints, but we do not despair. We hold this hope: “Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words” [1 THESSALONIANS 4:14-18].

Then, before the throne of the Living God, we shall witness the Lamb receive the title deed to the universe He created. Together with all the redeemed of the ages, we shall cast our crowns before Him, and worship Him who lives forever and ever. We shall confess at that time,

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”


Then, as the Lamb appears, we shall again confess, singing a new song,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation,

and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

and they shall reign on the earth.”


But we don’t need to wait to worship! We can confess Him now, and sing His praise. We can glorify the Name of Christ our Lord now.

And then comes the glorious Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Gathered at His Table, Christ Himself will welcome His guests, the redeemed of all the ages, and we shall join in the celebration. Here comes the Bride of Christ. She has made herself ready, for God has granted her the ability to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure. What we cannot do now, make ourselves pure and holy, God has done for us through Christ our Lord. Then, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we shall witness the purity with which Christ has robed His Bride.

Will you be part of that glorious assembly? The Lord is calling out a people even at this time. He calls all, saying, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Accept His free gift today. Amen.

[*] The concept for this message was developed while reading an article by Caleb Batchelor, “Reservations for Two: Remembering the Lord’s Death at the Lord’s Table,” 9Marks, 08.07.2020,, accessed 14 August 2020

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Robert Browning, “Rabbi Ben Ezra,” 1864

[3] The vast majority of translations of 1 CORINTHIANS 11:2 use the term “traditions,” including: NRSV; NKJV; NIV; NEB; The Message; ISV; HCSB; God’s Word; English Revised Version; CSV; Amplified Bible; and ASV. Darby referred to “directions.” NIV 1984, New International Readers Version, NCV and Good News Bible all use “teachings.” A few other minor translations use the word “instructions.”

[4] Batchelor, op. cit.

[5] See Batchelor, op. cit.

[6] Ibid.