Tag Archives: Lamb of God

The Greatest Truth in the Book of Revelation

There is one great truth in Revelation 17 that has the power to sustain us through life. It is found in verse 14.

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful. Revelation 17:14 (ESV)

The Lamb will conquer them. This is glorious truth. So many today are making war on our Lord, and sometimes they are making war on us in the process. But no matter. Though they make war on Him, He will conquer them. If not the greatest truth in Revelation, then it is one of the greatest. This is our hope when “darkness seems to hide His face.” This is our hope in tribulation. He will conquer.

And because we His followers are “in Him”, when He conquers…so will we.


For Christmas Day, December 25th: Revelation 18

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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Here Comes the Bride…All Dressed in White

Beautiful bride standing back in her wedding dresssI’m a big fan of weddings, for a number of different reasons, but one stands out: like everyone else, I love it when the bride comes down the aisle toward her adoring groom in a beautiful gown of white.

Along these lines, Revelation chapter 7 is the white robe chapter of the Bible. Other portions of Scripture mention a white robe also, but these are always angelic beings. Only one other chapter mentions white robes for believers, and that only one time – Revelation chapter 6. But chapter 7 pictures believers in white robes in three different verses, the first time in verse 9…

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  Revelation 7:9-10 (ESV)

What is the Significance of the White Robe?

It’s an incredible scene, isn’t it? An inestimable number of the faithful, all standing before the throne of God and all clothed in white robes. Glorious. But…what is the significance of this particular garment? Glad you wondered! One of the elders turns to the Apostle John and asks the same question…

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” Revelation 7:13 (ESV)

But the Apostle punts, turning the question back to the elder…

I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14 (ESV)

The great question is, “How do I receive a white robe?” And the answer is clear – I must wash my filthy robe in the blood of the Lamb. Only His blood can cleanse my garment all soiled by sin.

Does She Deserve to Wear White?

Now, when it comes to weddings, the white, of course, is symbolic for the bride’s purity as she meets her groom. And I know that the cynical among us will say that many brides today do not deserve to wear white…but I will not join that unhappy throng. For the truth is this: no one on that Great Day before the throne will “deserve” their robe of white either.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Robert Lowry (1876)

For Friday, December 11: Revelation 8

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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Purity, sin, Uncategorized


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The Ultimate Reason We Must Weep

There is much weeping going on in our nation and in the world lately. There is pain all around. John the beloved Apostle wept too, but he wept for a reason that others don’t often consider…

And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Revelation 5:2-4 (ESV)

Why did John weep? The answers seems clear from the passage: John wept because no one was worthy. No one. No one on heaven or earth was found worthy to open the scroll.

But what does this mean?

Let me ask you, do you think John wept because he wondered what was in the scroll, and since no one was worthy he thought he might never find out? Hmmm. I don’t think so. He isn’t weeping over an inability to satisfy curiosity. Time and space are different here in Revelation – the scroll isn’t just a prophecy – apparently, the scroll needs to be opened for the plan of redemption to actually take place. And John knows it. So John is weeping because there is no one to accomplish redemption and the consummation of history. No one is worthy.

This is the repeated message of the Scriptures since Genesis 3: no one is worthy.

As Paul said in Romans 3:

For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:9-12; 23 (ESV)

Today, however, many people believe they are worthy to accomplish their own redemption. I run into these people all the time. When I ask them their plan for standing before God on Judgment Day – they tell me they have lived a good life. In other words, they are quite certain that they are worthy.

Jesus said that many would stand before Him on that day declaring their worthiness:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

“I’m worthy, Lord.”

“No…you’re not.”

In fact, there is only One Who is worthy…

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5 (ESV)

So, you see, Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is worthy. He is the only One. And if we hope to be found worthy on that day, our only hope is to trust in Him…

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)

This is our reason, not to weep…but to rejoice.

For Wednesday, December 9: Revelation 6


Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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How To Know If Someone Is Truly A Christian

Membership interviews begin tonight at Edgewood, and it’s always enjoyable getting to know the new folks at our church. If everyone in the class decides to take the next step, staff and elders will be interviewing about 38 people this fall, and we’ll do it over two weeks time. Why do we do membership interviews? Really, we do them for only one reason – we want to make sure our members are Christians.

Now, that said, I suppose we could just ask…Are you a Christian? But if we asked it like that, everyone would simply say yes, and it would be an early night, so we have to ask it in a way that demonstrates something very important: whether they know and believe the gospel. To discern whether someone is a Christian, therefore, we ask them what they are hoping in.

You see, when it comes to getting into heaven, everyone in the world is hoping in one of two things:

They are hoping in their own works; or they are hoping in God’s grace,

They are hoping in their own righteousness; or they are hoping in the righteousness of Another.

Our job as membership interviewers is to find out from the interviewees what they are hoping (or you could say, trusting) in. And so, to this end, we often ask some version of the question, “What would you say to God if He asked you why He should let you into heaven?” (By the way, no one ever gets turned down as a member, but through the years, we have helped many people see their need to hope in the right thing.)

It surprises me, but it shouldn’t by now, to find out how often people answer that question with some version of, “Well, I hope I’ve been good enough…” or “I’ve tried to be a kind person and do what’s right.”

But Peter said our own works were a terrible place to put our hope. He said that when we would see Christ, there was only one thing we should hope in…

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)

The Poker phrase is apt: “All in”. And notice where Peter tells us to put ALL of our hope. He says, “Set your hope fully on the grace…”  The sad truth is that while some people hope a little bit in the grace of God, most don’t trust fully in God’s grace. They know they need at least a little grace, but deep down they hope they have done enough to please the God who “judges impartially according to each one’s deeds…” 1 Peter 1:17 (ESV)

But our hope must be totally in God’s glorious grace, which comes to us only because we…

…were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (ESV)

As Peter will say in chapter 3: Christ took our place and “died for our sins” (1 Peter 3:18). That made Him the sacrificial “lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) Those who hope in Him as their substitute, receive the undeserved gift of Christ’s righteousness. For as Paul said in 2 Corinthians…

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)

Now, interestingly, many people today would approach this matter of salvation as some sort of a compromise between the two, a little works, a little grace. But Paul said that…

…if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. Galatians 5:2-3 (ESV)

It’s either/or, you see…one or the other…we hope in our works, or we hope in grace. And by the way, if you hope in your works, you’d better have some serious righteousness to lay down on the table, as Jesus said…

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 (ESV)

And yet, according to another word from Jesus, you’d have to do really well to exceed the standards of the scribes and Pharisees…much better than most people could ever imagine…

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 (ESV)

And the result?

And then, one final thought – whoever is fully hoping in Christ alone and not trying to be perfect for acceptance by God will have something else change in their hearts: they will long for righteousness and hate sin. The Bible calls this repentance. People get this confused when they think that repentance is something you do. No. Repentance is not doing anything, but it always results in doing something (called the fruit of repentance).

So tonight, when the interviews begin, we are hoping to hear potential members say what Paul said to the churches in Galatia…

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21 (NIV)

 For Wednesday, November 11: 1 Peter 2



Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


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