A Tale of Two Feasts

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A Tale of Two Feasts
Text: Revelation 19:1-20
Occasion: Communion
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Liberal Wesleyan
Topic: choices, grace
Author: George Lyons


Direction

Christ reigns. We choose to acknowledge him or not, and our choices carry consequences.

How to Get There

The first part of this outline is not needed for the message itself, but could be needed to set the mood and get people thinking about Revelation as the story of Christ's victory instead of the story of hell and damnation.

  • This book is called “Revelation” singular. There was one vision 1:3, and that vision was centered around Christ and his bride, the Church.
  • And this Church was being persecuted when Revelation was written.
    • Probably it was the emperor Domitian, who wanted to be called “my lord and god.”
    • But Revelation says that Christ is the king 1:5, he is in charge not the stars of astrology or the emperor.
  • John was alone and abandoned on the island of Patmos, separated from his churches, and apparently from his leader and founder.
    • Then John turned and saw Christ, as God himself 1:18. He wasn’t abandoned.
    • God was still in charge, in the midst of persecution and pain, Christ was with them. The persecution and pain was temporary.
  • Instead of worshipping the emperor, only God is worthy of worship, only in the lamb is there power and redemption.

This is where the message proper begins.

  • God is breaking into this world, right now. Salvation is happening right now, His kingdom is being built right now.
  • But with salvation, there is also judgment.
  • Satan was defeated with Christ’s death and resurrection, but the insurgencies continue.
    • He was beaten by sacrifice, Christ’s.
    • And we are victorious through sacrifice too 7:14. Martyr in Greek literally means “witness”, someone who testifies about what they know, no matter what.
  • This passage presents the reward of the faithful witnesses, participants in Christ’s new world. It is a wedding feast for us as both guest and bride. And each time we celebrate communion we are taking part of a foreshadow of this great wedding feast.
  • But this passage presents two feasts, one happy and one grisly and horrible.
  • On one feast, there is a celebration of Christ’s victory and sacrifice. At the other there is rebellion.
  • Revelation tells us that Christ has won, end of story.
    • We can acknowledge that victory of not.
    • We can celebrate the wedding to come, or we can ignore it and pay the price.
  • But one way or another we have to choose, and Revelation makes clear that our choices have consequences.
  • We invite you to choice the wedding feast with Christ, and join in today whether for the first time or the thousandth celebrating our victorious lord.

This message was originally written by Dr. George Lyons, and was converted to this format by Brian M.

Things to Watch For

  • Revelation is not a book meant to terrify, but to encourage the early believers. The book has been taken over by phonies and crazies, but that does not mean we should let them control it.
  • This message requires a great deal of backstory work in order to help people understand the interpretation of Revelation that it comes from. Otherwise, people will probably just assume the recent pop-Christian interpretations without thinking about them.

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