When doing my matric, I chose Biblical Studies as part of the six subject choice. Literally it was a survey of the complete Bible, Book by Book. It was here that I found that the Book of Revelation is like a Shakespearian Play. Shakespeare always used five acts with a variety of number of scenes. Revelation has seven acts and each having a number of scenes … but there is repetition. Each time an act is repeated, more information is provided.
So we come to chapter 19, a chapter of contrasts. The second half of the chapter provides us with a majestic view of our Victorious Warrior King, who is called Faithful and True. Because of what He is called, He judges and wages war with justice (v11). His eyes are like blazing fire, penetrating, examining, searching, seeing … (v12 and ch 1v14). He is the crowned King (v14 and v16). His salvific victory is displayed by His blood stained robe (v13). And look at His Name … “the Word of God” (13), a title familiar to the apostle John (John 1:1 and 14).
What follows from verse 14 to 21 is an expanded explanation of the Battle of Armageddon … but this is not a protracted battle with one side winning at times and then the other side winning for a while. This battle is soon over for the Word of God literally declares it so (v15a) … for that is how the final battle against evil is. In verse 20 (end) and 21 we see the horrific punishment that comes upon satan and his associates as the Word of God dispenses the ‘fury of the wrath of God Almighty (v15c) … and we need to mention yet again His displayed name … ‘King of kings and Lord and lords” (v16). Now we return to consider the first portion of the chapter. Here we find the rejoicing and happiness of the great host of heaven (great multitude – v1). I’ll suggest this is the final number of saved souls in Glory … and we cannot escape the heart beat and love and worship of the True Church of God … the Church in Glory:
Rev 19:1 “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 And again they shouted:
“Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!”
5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
What an interactive celebration of praise from the saints and the choir master of Glory. But did you notice why? The Bride … the Glorified Church (all the saints) has made herself ready to meet the Groom … the Majestic King and Lord of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ! O my brother, my sister … allow yourself to be caught up in this absolute thrilling experience ahead of time for it is worthwhile to know the climax of your faith. Do you see how worth it is to follow Jesus faithfully all the way to Glory? Now follows the fourth Beatitude in Revelation:
Rev 19:9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Some translations have the word “call” or “called” in place of the word “invited”. Coming from the original, it does not really matter because all three words carry the same intention.
1) There is a general call. At the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Church on Earth is mandated to get the Gospel message out to all nations.
Mat 28:19 “go and make disciples of all nations”
Lu 24:47 “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”
Ac 1:8 “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus wants every souls to hear the gospel call in every epoch (time zone) in all human history. The Jews were to evangelize the Gentiles. They failed largely. We as Christians must not fail. All must hear and all must be called.
2) There is a specific call. Where the general call is to every soul, the specific call targets the elect of God. The elect of God are scattered throughout all nations in every time zone throughout history. This is the reason for the general call to all nations. How will those chosen before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4) hear the gospel and respond to the gospel if they never heard the gospel? No preacher or evangelist … or even Christian sharing the gospel knows this one or than one is part of those predestined before the creation of the world to believe and be saved.
3) There is an effectual call. To repeat, the general call goes out to all the world. The specific call targets the chosen. Both these operations, although executed in the power of the Holy Spirit are delivered by God’s servants (saved human beings) … but … the effectual call is executed solely by the Holy Spirit. As the Gospel Agent declares the Gospel to “all nations” (General Call), the Holy Spirit takes that call and targets the chosen (Specific Call) and uses what is preached or taught or shared to make sense to the chosen soul. Here the Spirit enables believing faith for the recipient to effectually hear, respond in belief, confession and repentance … becoming a true Child of God … a member of God’s forever family … part of the Bride of Christ! That is the effectual call. If you are a believer today you may be so enthused and encouraged … it’s a real “Praise the Lord” moment. If you are not a believer today … seek the Lord whilst He may be found! Do it today.
We worship and adore You our King and Lord for your salvation. Help us to enjoy what You have done for us and who we are in the Lord Jesus as we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.