Revelation 19:11, 13, 19-21 – The Judgment of Sin

Revelation 19:11, 13, 19-21
11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

-This section of scripture gives us a glimpse into the coming day when Jesus Christ will return to judge sin on the Earth.  This should be a lesson to all of us on the futility of not being on the Lord’s side.  Look at the gathering of forces in v19 and how anticlimactic the ending is.  There is no glorious battle to be fought against the Lord, people and devils alike are simply ended.  The beast and false prophet are dropped off into hell, and the rest are slain very unceremoniously and their flesh given to the birds.  There is no pride or glory to be found in rejecting God; those who do will ultimately find only dishonor and worst of all, damnation.

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Mark 3:22-27 – The Stronger Man

Mark 3:22-27
22
And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

-Here Jesus is telling the critics that Satan is not so quick to give up the things that are his.  Satan is portrayed as the strong man who is carefully guarding his goods.  The only way for those goods to be taken from him would be for a Stronger Man to come along and take care of the strong man.  There is only one Man who is strong enough to do that and that’s the Lord Himself.  In order to save us, Jesus tasted death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9); He went into Satan’s house so that He could take the keys of Hell and of Death (Revelation 1:18) and make a way for every one of us to be free of Satan’s claim.

Hebrews 6:19-20 – Forerunner

Hebrews 6:19-20
19
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

-It is evident from Scripture that Jesus Christ is The Good Shepherd, who leads His followers through the pastures, and the waters, and the valleys. (Psalm 23, John 10)  Certainly that would be reason enough for peace; but God is not the God of “enough peace”, He is the God of “perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3)  So Jesus is given another title in Hebrews 6, “Forerunner“.  A forerunner carries with it the idea of a scout or one who runs ahead looking out for danger.  But Jesus is more than a lookout, He is an Overcomer. (John 16:33)  Not only do we have the assurance that Jesus will lead us day by day, but we have the assurance that Jesus is leading us through paths that He Himself has already run and gotten the victory.  Whatever pain you face, Jesus has already faced and beat it.  Whatever trial you face, Jesus has already faced and beat it.  And ultimately, when those of us who are saved enter into the Lord’s final rest, we will find that Jesus has already been there to “prepare a place for [us].” (John 14:3)

Romans 6:16-18 – One Master

Romans 6:16-18
16
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

-The God of the Bible is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16), nothing can change that and no one can argue it.  But how often do we regard Him as King and Lord in our own life?  Those of us who have been redeemed have been given freedom from sin and its trappings (Galatians 5:13), but we still have the choice to put ourselves under the bondage of sin.  In reality, the Lord may be our Master, but it practice, isn’t our master going to be whomever we are serving?  It’s illogical to call God our Master yet live a life that is contrary to His Word and yet that’s the choice that many of us make every day.  We credit God for who He is and all the while we harbor evil in our hearts, spite on our lips, and mischief in our hands.  But don’t be deceived, “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24)

John 16:33 -That Ye Might Have Peace

John 16:33
33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

-Two important truths flow out of this verse of scripture:  1) If you’re in the world, you’re going to have trouble and 2) You can still have cheer because of Jesus.  Notice that Jesus did not say “I have overcome the tribulation.”  Why is that important?  Regardless of how bad our tribulation may be, it is ultimately just a symptom; the sin and the curse that exists in the world is the cause.  Jesus made it clear that He is not come to simply take care of our symptoms (although He certainly does that as well), He is come to address the root of the problem.  No matter what you face in life, Jesus has already won that victory.  That means none of us live in defeat unless we’ve chosen to live in defeat.

Romans 8:35-39 – Nothing Shall Separate Us

Romans 8:35-39
35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Paul was persuaded that those of us who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ can never be separated from Him; with all that Paul experienced, I think it’s safe to trust his opinion.  Notice verse 39; nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.  It’s important that the verse doesn’t simply say that nothing can separate us from God, because certainly all of humanity is joined to the Lord; no one can separate themselves from Him.  But there are many who will one day face the wrath of God and the damnation of God.  Not so with those who are in Christ, every day for all of eternity we can look forward to nothing but the love of God.  To be in Christ is to never have to feel uncertainty or worry at the thought of dying or meeting God.  We know where we stand with God because we know who is standing for us “at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Hebrews 12:2)

Isaiah 28:16 – A Stone

Isaiah 28:16
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

– Throughout the ages, there have been many “saviors”, many objects of worship, many “foundations” on which people have built their hope.  But the Lord said that He has only ever laid one Stone.  Jesus Christ is the single Stone laid for the salvation of the entire world, both Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:16).  We live in a culture where most everyone wants to stand for something and there are as many causes as there are stars in the sky, but the Bible teaches that if you choose to stand on anything other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified, you are not standing on solid ground (Matthew 7:26).

John 14:2-3 – God Reveals Himself

John 14:2-3
2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

-Here Jesus proclaims that if the idea of the Father’s house having room for us all was not true, He would have told us.  This is very important because the Lord wants to bring us to the place where we can trust Him at His word.  Real faith can be bolstered by facts and explanations, but real faith shouldn’t rely on those things; God’s word can be believed simply because God can be believed.  This verse of scripture is also important because it refutes two popular philosophies in the world today, Agnosticism and Deism.  Agnosticism claims that if God does exist, it is impossible to know anything about Him and yet Jesus tells us plainly the truth about God the Father.  Deism claims that God is real, but that He is detached and uncaring in regards to His creation and yet, once again, the Lord Himself is personally declaring that He will tell us the truth about Himself.  The important takeaway from this is that God is real and He is knowable because He makes Himself knowable.  He makes Himself knowable because He cares for us so much.

Colossians 3:15 – Thankful for Peae

Colossians 3:15
15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

-There is a term in our culture that may not be commonly named, but still is commonly employed; a grudging peace.  It is the idea that you put aside differences and forge a peace even when you don’t really want to.  The Lord expects a much higher standard from us and as with all things in scripture, we are told not to just do something, but to do it gladly.  Consider today’s verse of scripture; we are told to let God’s peace rule in our lives but that’s not all, we are also told to be thankful.  It’s not enough to just “get along” with someone for we are called to be grateful for peace; and you can’t truly be thankful for something you don’t really want.

Joshua 14:7-13 – Standing on the Promises of God

Joshua 14:7-13
7
Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God.
9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God.
10 And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

-When Caleb was 40 years old, he followed the Lord without fail into the Promised Land and asked for his share of it.  Due to the fear of those around him, he was denied that request and made to wait and wander in the wilderness for another 45 years as he watched those around him die away.  It’s another one of those stories that may seem bad on the surface, but should be looked at a little deeper.  1) By waiting 45 years, Caleb was able to really prove the depth of his faith to the Lord.  2) The Lord sustained him during the extra time and by his own admission, he was just as strong at 85 as he was at 40; how many of us can or will be able to make such a claim?  3) Finally, the Lord made sure that his request was not forgotten and even though it was delayed, Caleb did receive everything that was promised to him.  Caleb came from the house of Jephunneh which means “he will be prepared” and that’s the lesson we should all take away from this; just as Caleb had prepared his heart to follow after God no matter what, so should we do the same.