This week we continue the season of Advent by lighting the 4th candle, the candle of love. Our 2011 Advent theme is “How Long, O Lord?” and each week we’ll be looking at a passage of Scripture that focuses on the Second Coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Our text this week comes from Revelation 19:11-21:
- 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
- 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
- 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
- 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
- 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
- 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
- 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God,
- 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
- 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
- 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
- 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
This week we light the Candle of Love. You might say, “What does that text have to do with love? Isn’t that about judgment?” Well, this text depicting the return of Jesus is certainly one of judgment and wrath, but when looked at from the proper perspective, it’s most-loving as well because it warns us about the real and imminent danger ahead for those who do not belong to Jesus Christ when He returns. Warning someone of bad consequences is always most-loving.
Parents telling their children to stay away from the street because they might get run over by a car is most-loving. Government telling its citizens to not steal because it will result in a jail sentence is most-loving. Hairdryer manufacturers telling its customers on the safety tag to keep the hairdryer away from water because it will result in an electric shock is most-loving. Therefore, God telling humanity that they will suffer destruction if they do not belong to Jesus when He returns is most loving.
Friends, Jesus Christ came the first time full of lowliness and sacrifice. When He comes the second time, He will come full of almighty power and righteous judgment. For those of you who have not yet trusted Christ, may you heed Jesus’ loving warning of the danger that looms for you and know that Jesus has made a way for you to be saved from destruction by trusting Jesus today! And, for those who have already trusted Christ, may you thank God for the amazing love that He has shown you through Jesus Christ who has forevermore saved you from God’s wrath by grace through faith in Jesus.