Reposted from Rev. Stout:
(20 verses, 2:47 to read)
What I am about to READ
- The Lamb’s Name, the Father’s Name, the Eternal Gospel, and the Time for Harvest
MARK & LEARN & MEDITATE.
- vs. 1-5: The first major section of this reading begins in heaven. The saints there are marked with the Father’s name on their foreheads. This is contradiction to the name written on others in this reading (vs. 9). By nature, we have the mark of Satan, but the Lamb has redeemed us and made us His own and called us to follow Him. He has placed His Name and the name of the Father on our forehead through His Word and through Baptism! The gift that this Name brings is proclaimed in how the saints are viewed in God’s eyes. The picture of the saints as blameless reminds us of Ephesians 5 where the Church is proclaimed as blameless in Christ’s eyes. We in the Church on earth get small pictures and small sounds of the glorious sights and sounds of heaven when we are declared blameless and undefiled for the sake of the Lamb and give Him all glory and honor. The Church hears it, but the world cannot understand it. Church is heaven on earth!
- vs. 6-13: The second major section of this reading will center around the message of the three angels. The first angel has an eternal gospel. That is fantastic! It is a light that never goes out. It is strength that never grows weary. It has no end and had no beginning. The good news of the Lamb of God is eternal. The Gospel in this particular reading is that judgment has come! The judgment for the Christian is “righteous in Christ,” and the final declaration of this judgment means no more persecution, no more struggle with sin, no more death of loved ones (and in fact, there is a full realization of this blessing: (“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” vs. 13). The Christian receives God’s cup of kindness and peace which overfloweth rather than the cup of wrath that those who are marked by the beast receive. The call for the Christian as they wait on this judgment is this: (vs. 12) “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
- vs. 14-20: The final section of this reading focuses on the judgment as the time for harvest. This is one of the most graphic parts of the judgment of unbelievers. As grapes are pressed down in the wine press, so God’s wrath is received by those who do not take refuge in Christ. The comfort the Christian can take in this section is twofold: 1.) As grapes are not harvested until they are ready, so God, in His patience, has decided to wait at least one more minute (the time it took you to read that part of sentence) because the earth is not fully ripe. You don’t know the ripeness of the earth’s harvest. He does and He loves the world and you. 2.) We have peace in knowing who holds in His hands the sickle and are called to have patience as we wait for Him to declare that the time is now – the earth is fully ripe. The One who holds in His hand the sickle also has nail marks in those same hands. This declares that He is God and man and has redeemed you with His blood.
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Pastor Christopher Stout