Adrian Rogers - The Marriage of the Lamb
Would you find your place in Revelation chapter 19? And we're talking today about the marriage of the Lamb. The Great Tribulation that we've been studying about has come to a close and the church comes to the most climatic time in all of its history. Look if you will in chapter 19 verse 7. Here's a command, a promise, an anticipation, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready". Now the wife, that's the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. God chose a marriage to illustrate that glorious moment when we become one with our Lord. The Bible calls it the marriage of the Lamb. You know weddings are such an exciting time. John Doe on his wedding day was a most excited creature. He handed his wife the wedding fee and tried to kiss the preacher. The preacher got so excited, he said, "It is kisstomery for the groom to cuss the bride". It is so easy to get excited at a wedding. Weddings are thrilling. They are so exciting.
I remember the time when I got married to precious Joyce. But, weddings are meant to be joyful. They're meant to be beautiful. And indeed, the marriage of the Lamb is going to be such an event when we meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the rapture and we're caught up to meet Him in the air. And we don't know when that moment is going to be. It is a time known only to God the Father. And now the Bible teaches that in the marriage of the Lamb it is the Father who sets the wedding date. And He's not whispered that to anybody. And as a matter of fact, you might put in your margin even before we get into this chapter today, Matthew chapter 25, when Jesus told a parable. And He said the parable is the parable of the marriage of the Lamb or at least that's what the parable is about. And then He gave this admonition.
Put it down, Matthew chapter 25 verses 12 and 13, "And He answered and said, 'Verily I say unto you, I know ye not,'" talking about those who are not saved, '"watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.'" Nobody knows when Jesus is going to come. And anybody who tries to set a date and tell you that Jesus is going to come at thus and such a time; he doesn't know what he is talking about. He is bordering on the line of heresy. At any moment, Jesus may come. We're not waiting on any prophecies to be fulfilled ere Jesus comes. At any moment we could hear the shout, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him". Amen?
Now, Jesus is coming again. And the first event for the church we're caught up to meet the Lord is the judgment seat of Christ and then the marriage of the Lamb. I want to say several things about the marriage of the Lamb as we anticipate this wonderful time. First of all, the music will be magnificent, the music will be magnificent. We read about that music in the first six verses.
Let's look and see, Revelation 19 verses 1 through 6, "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, 'Hallelujah; salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments; for He hath judged the great whore,'" that's the false church, folks, "'which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.' And again they said, 'Hallelujah.' And her smoke rose up forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat upon the throne, saying, 'Amen, Hallelujah.' And a voice came out of the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.' And I heard as it were the voice a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'"
Now, what do you think the wedding music's going to be? It's the hallelujah chorus. It's the hallelujah chorus. This chapter is the basis of Handel's great music, "The Hallelujah Chorus," that is known around the world. It is used four times here in these six verses. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! It's in four mighty stanzas, this hallelujah chorus that John the Apostle wrote here by divine revelation. What does the word hallelujah mean? Halle means praise. Jah means Jehovah. Praise the Lord. Every time you say, "Hallelujah," you're saying, "Praise the Lord".
And, by the way, this is the only time the word hallelujah, or the only times here in this chapter, is used in the entire New Testament. Did you know that? It's used over and over again in the Old Testament. But the only time it's used in the New Testament is right here in Revelation chapter 19, Hallelujah, stanza one; hallelujah, stanza two; hallelujah, stanza three; hallelujah, stanza four. It is the wedding music. And again in this same chapter we find the word Amen. Now that's used all through the Bible. You can find it in verse 4, "Hallelujah, Amen". Amen means what? Let it be. It is true, praise the Lord, let it be! Now, did you know something about hallelujah and Amen? They're the same in every language. You don't have to translate those words.
Anywhere you go, any church, and I've preached in many places overseas, the word hallelujah is the same everywhere. The name, the word Amen is the same everywhere. And that gives me a comfort. You know when I go somewhere and I hear people preaching or singing, I don't understand a word until they say, "Hallelujah"! And I say, "Yes, Amen". Amen. Hallelujah. Amen. Two men were on a ship and there was a lot of worldliness aboard that ship. And both of these men were believers and they just wanted to get away from the crowd and get out on the deck and meditate a little bit. So each man took his Bible and was walking on the deck; one from one country, another from another country but both of them loving the Lord Jesus with all of their heart. And they saw each other on the deck on that ship, walking, musing, thinking, meditating. Both of them had a Bible. They looked at one another.
When they saw the Word of God in the hand of the other, they knew that they were comrades in Christ. But they were of different languages; they didn't know how to communicate until one brother said, "Hallelujah". The other brother said, "Amen". And they embraced and they knew that in the Lord Jesus Christ they were brethren. That's what it's all about folks. That's the wedding of the Lamb. That is the music of the Lamb. And it comes in four stanzas. Let's look in stanza one. It's the hallelujah for the redemption of the saints. Look in Revelation 19 verse 1, "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, 'Hallelujah; salvation and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God.'" Why are they saying hallelujah? Because that which was begun at Calvary is now come to full consummation.
As Philippians 1:6 says, "He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ". Now this is the day of Jesus Christ. And by the way, in stanza one we understand there're many people, a great multitude. Friend, there're going to be millions and billions in Heaven. And don't you be in hell when this hallelujah chorus is being sung. Now that's stanza one, the hallelujah for the redemption of the saints. Stanza two is the hallelujah for the retribution of the sinner. Look in Revelation 19 verses 2 and 3, "For true and righteous are His judgments; for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, 'Hallelujah.' And the smoke, and her smoke rose up for ever and ever".
Now they, they praised the Lord God that He has made things right, that His justice has prevailed. I want to tell you something friend. If you look for judgment in this world, you're not going to find it. If you look for justice in the courtrooms of America or any other tribunal on earth, you're not really going to find it. But I am telling you in a more serious realm, if you are looking for justice in this world, you're not going to find it. But one of these days we will say, "Hallelujah". Hallelujah, there is a God who'll make it all right. And so they sing, "Hallelujah" for the redemption of the saints. They sing, "Hallelujah" for the retribution of God over Satan, over Christ over antichirst, of the Holy Spirit over the false prophet. Then the stanza three. We come to stanza three. And that speaks of the relationship of the saved.
Look in Revelation 19 verses 4 and 5, "And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, 'Amen, Hallelujah.' And the voice came out of the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.'" What is our relationship to Him? He is our God. You know, the Bible says in Psalm 23 verse 1, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". It doesn't say He is a good shepherd or a great shepherd, He is. But it says He is my shepherd. I am His and He is mine and what a song we can sing. Our God, He is my God, and I am His servant. I am His and He is mine. Why shouldn't I shout hallelujah? And then we come to the fourth stanza. The fourth stanza, the fourth hallelujah, is the reign of the Savior. Look in Revelation 19 verse 6, "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude".
Now you think about that; a great multitude. What is the voice of a great multitude? What's the nearest thing we can think about as the voice of a great multitude? Well, we could think about this worship service. But that's not enough. Let's, let's take one of these great football stadiums packed maybe with 80, 90,000 people. It's one of the big games, is one of the big stadiums. And let's say that there's a close play and let's say that the winning touchdown is made there in the last seconds. Have you ever heard a stadium like that cheer? That's the voice of a great multitude. There's a roar. And now listen to it, Revelation 19:6. Not only a great multitude but also, "As the voice of many waters".
Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? How many of you've ever been to Niagara Falls? You stand there and you listen to those waters. They just come and come and come. The first time I saw it I said, "I wonder if they turn it off at night". It just keeps on coming and coming and coming. And there is a crescendo of noise as that tumultuous sound of this great rushing water comes. And then go on and look at Revelation 19 verse 6 again and, "Mighty thunderings". The lightning and the thunder just rolling up and down the heavens. Now all right, now put all that together. Put that football stadium, put Niagara and put that thunderstorm all together. That's what it's going to sound like. Friend, that's going to be some kind of sound. Isn't it? That is going to be some kind of sound. Why? Because Jesus is reigning.
Listen to verse 6 again, "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'" Jesus, who's despised and rejected, looked down upon, spit upon, is King of kings and Lord of lords. And every knee shall bow and the shouts of His praise is going to be through all of Heaven. It's going to be wonderful. So, first thing, the music will be magnificent. It's the hallelujah chorus. That's what the music is going to be at the wedding of the Lamb. It's going to be something folks. Number two; the bride will be beautiful, the bride will be beautiful. Revelation 19 verses 7 and 8, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor unto Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness," or literally the righteous acts, "of saints".
The bride hath made herself ready. I'll tell you one thing folks. I've done a lot of weddings and these girls go through extraordinary things to get ready for that wedding. They really do. And it pays. I have never seen a bride that wasn't beautiful. Now, I've seen some that just did make it. The bride hath made herself beautiful. What is, who is the bride? We're the bride, the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. You see we've already seen there's going to be a judgment upon that false church, that harlot, and now we are being presented to the Lord Jesus Christ. Right now we're only betrothed to the Lord Jesus Christ. We're not yet married to Him. The marriage has not yet been consummated. The best is yet to come. Second Corinthians 11 and verse 2. The apostle Paul said, "For I am jealous over you," to the church, "with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste," that is a pure, "virgin to Christ".
The true church, the true church is the dearest object in all the universe to our Lord and Savior. How do I know that? Well, we know that from human experience. I can tell you beyond the shadow of any doubt the dearest thing on this earth to me, other than my relationship with God, is my darling Joyce. She is my bride and I love her with all of my heart. Friend, that's only a faint representation of the love that Jesus Christ has for you. I hope you can understand that. When I asked Joyce to marry me, we got engaged. I was a college student working my way through college and doing many things. I left the football scholarship that I had and was called to a little church.
Boy, that was a get rich quick experience. It paid me twenty-five dollars a week. I had to drive three hundred miles to get that and no car expense. I worked at different things but I bought Joyce a little diamond. It wasn't a big one. She loves it but it was just a little diamond. Duvall Jewelry, we didn't buy it and charge it. Kept it there and I came in and gave a dollar or two every week, or whatever it was, until I paid for it and then they turned it over to me. You know they call that the lay-a-way plan. I called it the lay-awake plan. Got that little diamond and gave it to Joyce. At that moment, she was my betrothed. I was reading in our newspaper, of a couple in Lexington, Kentucky, been married for 83 years. Think about that, married for 83 years. Folks, when we get married to the Lord Jesus, it is going to be for all eternity. And this Scripture, Revelation 19:7, says that the Lamb's wife hath made herself ready.
Now you know how she's going to make herself ready? How're you going to be ready? Well, actually there's a three-fold thing. First of all you get saved. Now, if you're not saved, you're not a part of the bride. You get saved and we call that redemption. At redemption the first part of your beauty treatment is you receive the inner nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. You become a partaker of the divine nature. Then, not only redemption but rapture. When the rapture comes, we are going to be changed in a moment. We're going to be made like the Lord Jesus Christ. And so all of these sinful proclivities of this old sinful flesh that we bear along is going to be left behind. Thank God for that. And then the third thing that'll make us ready is reward. We have been to the judgment seat of Christ and we're going to receive according to the deeds that we have done.
So the Bible says in Revelation 19 verse 8 that the white linen is the righteous acts of the saints. This is a three-fold beauty treatment. I heard of a man who tried to deduct his wife's beauty treatments on his income tax report. They challenged him on it and said, "You can't do that". He said, "Why not, it was a total loss". Friend, I want to tell you redemption, rapture, and reward is what God is going to use to make the bride beautiful. Now the music will be magnificent. The bride will be beautiful. Thirdly, the guests will be glad. Look now in Revelation 19 verse 9, "And he saith unto me, 'Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he saith unto me, 'These are the true sayings of God.'" Now there're going to be guests there other than the bride.
Now the bride is there but then an invitation comes out to others to say come to the wedding. Well, who are these guests? Well, these are the redeemed of all of the ages who were saved before or after the church age. The church is the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament saints will be there but the Old Testament saints are not the bride in the true sense of the word. They are the guests. John the Baptist called himself what? A friend of the bridegroom. He's a friend; he's not the bride. He's a friend of the bridegroom. And Jesus said, "Of those born of woman, not a greater than John the Baptist". However, he that is least in the kingdom, the church is greater than John. There is a sense in which we are specially privileged. And the guests are going to be glad. What a marriage it's going to be. What a celebration it's going to be. At Cana of Galilee when Jesus performed His first miracle, it was at a wedding. And He turned sparkling water into pure wine.
You say, "Do you really believe that"? Of course I believe it. All the fruit of the vine was once water absorbed out of the earth. Jesus just cut the process a little short that's all. I mean, if you'd never seen a seed suck a grape out of the ground you'd think it was a miracle today, wouldn't you. Well, that's what God does. God is a mighty God. At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus turned water into wine and the master of ceremony said, "I've never tasted anything like this before". Well, if you think that's something friend, you wait to the marriage of the Lamb when He is both the bridegroom and the host and He's going to set the table. And He's going to have the whole menu. What a celebration that will be. And friend, the guests are going to be glad.
There used to be an old evangelist named Paul Rader who said, "We're living so close to the second coming of Jesus Christ," he said, "I can hear the tinkling of the silverware as the angels are setting the table for the marriage supper of the Lamb". Oh friend, all of this is perhaps just a heartbeat away, just a trumpet sound away. Now here's the fourth and final thing; the groom will be glorified, the groom will be glorified. The music magnificent. The bride beautiful. The guests glad. But, oh friend, this wedding doesn't center really around the bride but around the groom. Look in Revelation chapter 19 and verse 10, "And I fell at his feet to worship him". It's not taking about Jesus now. It's talking about an angel who's announcing all of this. The one who's sent out to welcome the guests. And John sees this angel. And friend, if an angel were to walk in here today, if you weren't careful, you would want to fall on your face in front of him also.
So glorious and so majestic. And John said, "I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, 'See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God, worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'" Now John at this time makes a breach of etiquette. He's at a wedding, and this angel comes in who's a messenger, and John sees him in all of his majesty and all of his glory and all of his radiance. And John falls at his feet to worship him. And the angel says, "Hey buddy, get up or we'll both be in trouble. I'll be in trouble for letting you do it. You'll be in trouble for doing it. There is only one who is to be worshipped". And who is that folks? Tell me. God. That's what the Scripture says doesn't it. Worship God. Now listen to me and be very careful and don't miss what I'm about to say. Over and over again in the Bible you're going to find out where they worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now who is to be worshipped? God. Now, if Jesus is worshipped in the Bible, with approval, an approbation, and Jesus allows it, who is Jesus? God. When the Jehovah's Witness comes to your door and begins whatever they talk about, you say, "Well, just a moment. Let me ask you a question. Do you worship Jesus"? "Oh, we reverence Jesus". "I didn't ask you that". "Do you worship Jesus"? "Oh, we believe in Jesus". "I did not ask you that". "Do you worship Jesus"? And they're on the horns of a dilemma because over and over again in the Bible Jesus is worshipped. But the Bible tells us clearly and plainly there's one God and no one else is to be worshipped other than Yaha, Jehovah God. And if Jesus is not God, Jesus is guilty of aiding and abetting idolatry. This angel knew that. This angel said, "Get up, worship God and Him only". I say it was a social blunder.
One time I was invited to a breakfast at the White House when Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States. And there were people from all walks of life who were there. And Joyce had my admonished me on my manners. She told me, "Now at breakfast you have to use good manners, Adrian". She gave me a lecture before I went. And so, I was trying to be on my best behavior, but I met a farmer as we were walking across the lawn going up to the White House. And I didn't know him but he looked to me, just had kind of a Baptist look about him. And so I went over and introduced myself to this man. And he was a great guy. A big rotund, brawny guy and we sat side by side at this round table in the White House. And these butlers came out and they had a silver tray and on that silver tray was a mountain of scrambled eggs and some link sausages.
And, Joyce had told me you know just exactly how to behave but they brought that platter to that farmer first. Friend, he put that ladle in there and made a mountain of scrambled eggs on his plate about like that. And then he reached in with those fingers and began to take those sausages out. I said, "Well, I'm home free. I don't have to worry about anything. I don't have to worry about social blunders". John here made here an incredible social blunder as he bows down to worship this angel. Let me tell you something. Do you know what the spirit of prophecy is? Jesus Christ. You get your notebook and you get all concerned about the meaning of the third toe on the left foot of some beast in this book; you have missed the whole thing friend. If you read the book of the Revelation and you don't come to know and love and see Jesus more, you've missed it all. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. And the spirit of prophecy is Jesus! Let me tell you about a false cult.
We talked about those folks. They'll come to your door and they'll tell you to believe some thing. A true Christian will tell you to receive someone. And His name is Jesus. And at the marriage supper of the Lamb He's going to be glorified. The groom is going to be glorified. Now, I love the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know why I love Him? I've not seen Him. But I love Him. Because the dear, Holy Spirit has made him real to me. Do you remember in the Old Testament, back over there in the book of Genesis chapter 24, where Abraham wanted a bride for Isaac? Isaac is a type, a picture of Jesus. Abraham is a type, a picture of God the Father. And Abraham wanted a bride for his son Isaac. So he sent someone named Eliezer, his chief servant to go get a bride for Isaac. It's a picture of the Holy Spirit winning souls, bringing people into the church, the bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you remember that story?
Eliezer prayed and he went and he said, "How am I going to know who the right one is"? And by the way, Abraham had put into his hands all of his riches, Abraham, immensely wealthy. And he just loads Eliezer down with all of these jewels and rubies and diamonds and gold and silver. And Eliezer goes to seek a bride for Isaac. And you remember the story. I don't have time to get into all of it. But he finds Rebecca and God the Holy Spirit says that's the one. And so, Eliezer has a job. You talk about being a persuader, Eliezer is going to convince a girl to leave father, mother, houses, and land and go with him, a man she's never met before, to marry a man she's never seen.
Now folks, that's persuasion. She's going to leave people that she knows and loves. She's being persuaded by a man she'd never seen before to marry a man she's never known. But she decides that she will go because God is in the whole thing. And Rebecca now leaves and Rebecca is going with Eliezer to meet Isaac. And the Bible says that Eliezer would give trinkets and gifts to Rebecca. I can imagine that scene. They're going along there in that entourage making their way back to Canaan. And he looks over at Rebecca and he sees her chin begins to quiver a little bit and he sees the tears come up in her eyes a little bit. Maybe she's having second thoughts. Eliezer opens that box of jewels takes a necklace out, puts it around her neck, says, "This is from Isaac. You'll love Isaac. He's wonderful".
Then after a while it may happen again. And he reaches in and puts a ring on her finger and says, "Isaac wants you to have this. Isaac is so great and so wonderful. You'll love Isaac". Friend, you'll find the same thing to be true if you gave your heart to Jesus. Sometimes you'll wander, a little doubt will come. A little fear, you'll get a little nervous. Aren't you glad for the dear Holy Spirit who'll take a jewel from Jesus and give it to you and say, "You're going to love Jesus"? You do love him. The Bible says, "Whom having not seen, ye love". Do you know why I love Jesus? Because of God's Eliezer, because of the dear Holy Spirit of God. And when they got there the Bible says that Isaac was meditating out on the edge of a field and Rebecca saw him and she jumped off that camel and ran to him and she had no difficulty recognizing him! And when He comes I'll have no difficulty recognizing Him either. Praise God. Hallelujah.
"Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight and the clouds roll back as a scroll. The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul". Now folks, the wedding is not far off. Perhaps today, we'll hear that shout. "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him". And if you're not yet saved, He has already said, "I do" to you. Will you say, "I do" to Him? Will you receive Him and be betrothed to Him? And if you are saved, remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ until the wedding. It may not be long until we meet Him. It may be at morn when the day is awaking. When sunlight through darkness and shadows are breaking. That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory to receive from the world His own. It may be at midday. It may be at twilight. It may be perchance at the blackness of midnight will burst into glory in the light of His presence when Jesus receives His own.
Oh joy, oh delight, should we go without dying, no sickness, no sorrow, no dread, no crying. Caught up with Him through clouds into glory when Jesus receives His own. Lord Jesus, how long, how long ere we hear the glad song, Christ returneth. Hallelujah, hallelujah, Amen. Hallelujah, Amen. We're not talking about fantasy. Words and illustrations cannot explain or begin to describe what will happen when Jesus comes for His bride. I want to say it again. Don't you be in hell when all of this is going on. Don't you miss it. He loves you and He wants to save you.
Would you bow your heads in prayer? Every head bowed, every eye closed, no one stirring, no one looking around. Are you saved? I didn't ask if you're Baptist. I didn't ask if you're baptized. I didn't ask if you give your money. Are you saved? Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Is there love in your heart for the heavenly Bridegroom who loves you so much? Do you know that if you died today, or Jesus were to come today, you'd go straight to Heaven? May I lead you in a prayer, and help you today, right now, this moment to receive Jesus Christ. Would you pray this prayer?
Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. I confess that I need to be saved. Jesus, you died to save me. You shed your blood on the cross to pay my sin debt. I believe it and I receive it. I now trust you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me. Save me Lord Jesus. I trust you to do it today. I trust you. I trust you now as my Lord and Savior and I yield my life to you. Thank you for saving me. And I will make it public. I will not be ashamed of you because you died for me. In Your name I pray, Amen.