How Blessed We Are!

3rd Sunday of End Times:  Saints Triumphant Sunday

How Blessed We Are!

1. To be invited to the feast
2. To be dressed for the feast
3. To attend the feast

Text:  Revelation 19:1-9

Seventy-two days.  Seventy-two days and it was over.  On August 20, 2011 celebrity fashionista Kim Kardashian and NBA basketball player Kris Humphries were joined together in marriage.  The wedding was said to have cost around $20 million.  With endorsements and exclusive photo and video rights given, it is reported that the couple profited around $10 million.  If this is something that you hadn’t heard about, and if you don’t know who Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are, well, then your life is probably better off anyways!  After all, the marriage only lasted 72 days!

Not unusual for celebrity marriages, though.  In fact, 72 days is rather long when it comes to celebrity marriages.  And sadly, it’s not uncommon for the rest of America, either.  In a country where you can have a drive-through wedding in Las Vegas and where more marriages end in divorce then in success—we’ve become used to these kinds of shenanigans in the headlines.

If only we didn’t have marriage problems!  If only marriages were perfect!  If only our spouse were perfect!  If only the joy of the wedding day remained and lasted forever!

Well, guess what!  The fairytale wedding of our dreams and a perfect marriage is ours to enjoy forever!  Whether you are young or old, married or single, male or female—you have a perfect spouse and a perfect marriage to enjoy forever.  How Blessed We Are!

I.

For a celebrity wedding like that of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries—or even the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton—the invitation list is a big deal.  You couldn’t get near Westminster Abbey unless you were personal friends of English royalty and passed supreme security.  Only the biggest A-List celebrities and athletes were invited to Kris and Kim’s wedding in August.  No loser or bum would ever be invited.  You had to be special or have done something special to even be considered.

What if the marriage feast of the Lamb were the same?  What if being invited to heaven was dependent on who we were and what we did?  I don’t think I’m very famous or special.  Maybe I had a couple live radio spots on Beach FM from the carnival yesterday, but that’s not even close to real fame.  And I’m pretty sure if this face were on People magazine, most would cancel their subscriptions.  I’m not famous.  I’m not popular.  I haven’t accomplished a whole lot.  I’m not the best at what I do.  I’m not rich.  So that wouldn’t get me an invite to heaven.

But at least I’m better than most people.  I haven’t murdered anyone.  I’m not an international drug cartel.  I go to church.  That should count for something, right?

Maybe in American minds.  But not in God’s book.  Last week Vicar made it very clear about exactly what it would be like for us to stand before Jesus our Judge on the Last Day.  How frightening it would be for all of our sins to be exposed before all other people and laid bare before an Almighty God!  How terrifying it would be to have judgment based on what we have done in our lives!  How fruitless and pointless it would be to have our place at the table of the marriage feast of the Lamb depend on who I am and what I have done!  I am a sinner covered in guilt and wrongs!

But oh, How Blessed We Are!  Jesus has invited to his marriage feast those whom we would never expect!  Imagine if Prince William and Kate or Kim and Kris walked down the streets and handed out invitations to the homeless in the alleyways, the drunks in the bars, the prostitutes on the corners, or the convicts in prison.  That would never happen!

Yet Jesus has done just that.  He has invited the prostitute, the drunk, the liar, the cheat, the potty mouth, the adulterer, the luster, the addict, the hot-headed, the big-mouthed, the gossip, the doubter, the weak, and the meek to his wedding supper.  Jesus has invited you and me to attend his marriage feast for all eternity.  We aren’t deserving of an invitation.  We haven’t done anything to deserve an invitation.  Yet he still graciously invites us—sinners—to his marriage feast.

As John saw this grand vision of heaven in Revelation 19, the angel told him in verse 9, Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”  Indeed, How Blessed We Are to even be invited to the feast!

II.

When you are an A-List celebrity and having an A-List wedding, you must look your best.  The most rich and powerful people in the world are attending, so you must look worthy of their attendance.  Kim Kardashian wore three different dresses on her wedding day, all custom designed by Vera Wang.  She wore a $2.5 million headpiece, a $2 million engagement ring, $5 million diamond earrings, and she had $150,000 worth of hair and makeup work done.

As I prepare for the most important wedding event of my life—the marriage feast of the Lamb in heaven—I’m embarrassed by my attire for the occasion.  There are spots and stains and blemishes all over.  I’m dirtied with disrespect.  I’m smothered with selfishness.  I’m covered with coveting.  I am a filthy and foul mess of a sinner.

But I join those seen in the vision of heaven today who shouted, “Hallelujah!” and “Praise our God!”  For my heavenly bridegroom, Jesus Christ, is dressed much finer.  He is robed in righteousness and perfection.  He dons the deeds of a holy life that has no stains or blemishes.

And that pure and holy life he laid down to pay for my impure and unholy life.  No amount of Era, or Tide or ALL could wash me as clean as the innocent blood of the Lamb of God that washed all my sins away.  Though we are unworthy to be invited to the marriage feast, though we are unworthy to stand before our bridegroom at the marriage feast, Jesus has dressed us for the occasion.

John saw a vision of just this.  Verse seven says, For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.  (Fine linen stands for the declaration of righteousness of the saints).”  Our God has forgiven our sins and declared us to be righteous.  He has dressed us in the life and death of the Lamb of God.  Fine linens and beautiful clothing have been given us to wear for all eternity.  How Blessed We Are to be dressed for the feast!

III.

It’s estimated that perhaps over a billion people tuned in to watch the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Millions of Americans tuned in to watch the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.  When we watch weddings like this or see the pictures all over the internet and magazines, sometimes we really wish we could be there.  If only we could enjoy such extravagance!  If only we could be in the presence of such greatness!  If only we could have such a wedding or have such a life!

Oh, but we can!  And we will!  John saw a vision of those in heaven, a great multitude that no one can count.  It was made up of people from every tribe, language, people, and nation.  They were God’s servants, who fear him, both small and great, as verse five says.

That’s us!  We serve the Lord!  We fear him and put our trust in him!  We are not only invited and dressed for the wedding supper of eternal life in heaven, but we also will attend.  We won’t just read about in the Bible or see pictures of it in Revelation.  We will actually be there!  Jesus rose to life to prove it.  He said that because he lives we also will live.  He said that he was going to heaven to prepare a place for us.  He said that he would come back to take us to be there with him.

We do not deserve to be at the great marriage feast of the Lamb.  We don’t even deserve to be invited.  But Jesus has graciously invited us.  He has mercifully forgiven us and dressed us in his righteousness.  And so we will attend his marriage feast.  We will be there.  We will join the countless throng of saints and angels to cry out, “Amen, Hallelujah!” and “Praise our God.”  We will see our God face to face.  We will bask in his glory.  We will revel in his righteousness.  And we will joyfully serve him day and night for all eternity.  How Blessed We Are to attend the feast!

Conclusion

Today is such a joyous day.  The bright white linens are on display.  We peak at the glories of heaven in Scripture.  We sing beautiful psalms, hymns, and songs that conjure up images of eternal life.  And we remember.  We remember those who are now triumphant and there at the feast—prophets, apostles, martyrs, pastors, teachers, friends, grandparents, parents, children.  They now are dining at the great marriage feast.  Today we remember them.

But today we remember that the feast isn’t only for them.  Our heavenly bridegroom, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ—he has invited us.  He has dressed us for the occasion.  And we will attend.  Oh How Blessed We Are!

 AMEN

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About Pastor Phil Huebner

Pastor. Missionary. Principal. Husband. Father. Serving in love as each. http://www.ctkpalmcoast.com

Posted on November 13, 2011, in Church, Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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