Summary: The worship that occurs around the marriage supper of the Lamb demonstrates the kind of worship that pleases God.
Most of us here this morning have been involved in numerous weddings throughout our lives – most of us have experienced our own weddings, some have seen our children get married, some of us have performed or been part of wedding ceremonies, and probably all of us have attended a number of wedding ceremonies. And in most cases, even when it comes to our own weddings, over time the details of the ceremony itself tend to fade from our memories. But what does endure – or at least should - is the marriage relationship itself.
In a sense, the same is true with the marriage that is pictured in Revelation 19. And unfortunately, like many of the passages that we have seen throughout the Book of Revelation, it is so easy to get caught up in arguing over all the details, that we miss the enduring relationship that is pictured by the marriage and the marriage feast here in this chapter. But when we begin to argue over the place of the marriage supper – is it in heaven or on earth? – or the timing of the supper – does it begin at the rapture, or at the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus or at some other time? – or the length of the supper – is it only a few days or does it last for 1,000 years or even for eternity? – or the identification of the invited guests – is this the church, or is it only Old Testament saints, or “tribulation saints”? – we miss the main point of the passage.
Take out your Bibles and turn to Revelation 19 and follow along as I read the first 10 verses of the chapter. And I’m going to suggest to you that as I read through this passage, that the main point of this passage is summed up in two words in verse 10. As I get to that verse, I invite you to see if you can identify those two words.
1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 Once more they cried out,
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
6 Then 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.
7 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;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9 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.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Let’s see if you can pick out the main theme of this passage. Can anyone tell me the two words from verse 10 that summarize the theme of this passage?
[Wait for answers]
That’s right – Worship God. The first part of chapter 19 is primarily about worship. And therefore it is entirely fitting that there is a wedding ceremony included right in the middle of this passage, because that is essentially what a Biblical wedding ceremony is – it is a worship service.
Over the years I’ve read many definitions of worship, but by far the most accurate and complete one I’ve found is the one developed by Louie Giglio in his book the Air I Breathe. So I’m going to use that definition this morning as an outline for examining this passage and seeing what we can learn about worship and, more importantly, how we can become the kind of worshippers that God seeks.
Here is Giglio’s definition of worship: