Today we celebrate Christmas which marks the beginning of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, as prophecy was fulfilled by the birth of Baby Jesus. A Savior was sent from above to save the world from sin and eternal punishment. He was sent to live a perfect life and to shed His blood on the cross to redeem mankind from our sins. We received a gift from Heaven when Jesus was born. And we receive a gift of eternal life when we confess we are sinners, submit to His rule and reign in our lives, and walk with Him. And then we pray, “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done in earth as it is in heaven….” Matthew 6:9-10
From Genesis to Revelation, God was looking for a people to call His own that would be true to Him and to the rule and reign of His Son.
The last book of the Bible marks the end of time as we know it on earth. Jesus comes back to rule and reign forever, and to redeem the earth— changing it to what it was meant to be from the time of the Garden of Eden. He will take back what was lost in the Garden and gather a people who truly want to follow and worship Jesus as Lord.
I find it interesting, the different titles given to this last book:
- In my Thomas Nelson KJV study Bible it is titled, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
- In several of my Holman KJV Bibles it is titled, “The Revelation Of Saint John The Divine.”
- In my Jeremiah ESV Study Bible it is titled, “Revelation.”
I’ve been reading a book entitled, 35 Simple Studies on the major themes in REVELATION, by M.R. Dehaan, M.D. It was first published by Zondervan in 1946. It contains 35 radio sermons that were preached around the world from August 1945 to April 1946. World War II is generally to be accepted as ending in August 1945.
There is a common theme throughout the book that the world is full of evil and we should all be preparing and looking for the return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church. Then the seven year Tribulation begins. Many of the things written in this book that these preachers saw as evil, is exactly what we are seeing today.
You can actually still buy this book on Amazon if you are interested.
Reading through this book, I finally came to the study of Revelation chapter 19 and the “marriage of the Lamb.”
The sermon on this section tells us that while the Tribulation is occurring on earth, we who were raptured in Revelation chapter 4 will be— being prepared for the wedding. There is a section in the book entitled:
“The Bride Not Ready”
“The sad fact is that when Christ comes for His Church, many will not be ready to enter the kingdom with Him, for they will not be prepared to meet Him and to reign with Him immediately. There must be, therefore, a period of preparation at the judgment seat of Christ where the bride will be given an opportunity to prepare herself, be cleansed of her filth, and the believers will receive rewards according to the record of their works. There are many carnal Christians who live worldly and indifferent lives who will have to pass through the fires of that judgment seat before they are ready to return with the Lord to reign upon the earth.” (see p. 233)
The book then references these scriptures:
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is . If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-16
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” II Corinthians 5:10
This sermon continues on p. 235 with:
“Salvation depends upon grace and grace alone. By it God imputes to you His righteousness. There is another righteousness, however, which is practical, not positional. The first determines your salvation; the second determines your rewards. God makes you ready to be saved, but you must make yourself ready to reign. You can either prepare here or wait until you must do it there. I assure you it will be more pleasant, satisfactory and profitable to do it now.”
As we are prepared for the wedding, we will be adorned by our good works that remain after the testing at the judgment seat of Christ. “Everything which was in the interest of self and of the flesh will have been burned, and only that which was done for the love of Christ will remain. That which remains of the precious stones will be worn as the garment for the wedding. Oh, Christian, there needs to be a burning out in our lives, and if it is not done here, it must be done there.” (p.236-237)
This section ends with these words:
“I fear that when Jesus comes there will be many regrets on the part of those who refuse the cleansing of His Word now. The Bible speaks of those who will be ashamed at His appearing and others who will not receive a full reward. God help us to examine ourselves and make ourselves ready now! (p.239)
WHEW! Man, was I convicted by these words when I first read them, and convicted even more as I quoted them here. At this point in my life, I will definitely be ashamed to stand before Jesus. I keep saying every day, LORD, just come back and get us, but as I read these words, I know I’m not ready!
I struggle with anger, and not being loving to others. Especially, when they are not loving to me. I struggle with not fulfilling God’s call on my life, if there is even one hint of someone coming against me to stop me. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much darkness lurking beneath the surface in my life that needs to be cleaned up.
So on this Christmas day—
I accept the wonderful gift of Jesus’ birth.
I am grateful that He came to be my Savior.
I also accept the warning from this book, written long ago by faithful men, (that came into my hands from my Dad’s bookshelf),
as a gift, to teach me to clean up my life before it is too late,
and I have an avalanche of regret as I stand before Jesus.
I pray that there is something in this blog that is helpful to you on this Christmas morning. I highly recommend this book to help prepare yourself for your future wedding.