Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
I preached the following sermon at Grace Point Church on Sunday, November 28, 2021.
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they cried out,
“Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:1-10)
A funeral and a wedding
I have been asked before whether I would rather preach a wedding or a funeral, and my answer may surprise you. I would rather preach a funeral. If you were to ask which one I would rather attend, my answer would be different, but I would rather preach a funeral. If for no other reason, I am much more likely to have a captive audience at a funeral. At a wedding, everyone’s focused on the bride and the joy of the happy couple. At a funeral, though, people are more likely to listen to what the preacher has to say.
Oddly enough, here in Revelation 19, we have a combination of the two. It’s a time of celebration. The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready, yet a large part of the celebration is because the great prostitute, Babylon, is now dead (Rev 19:7, 2). We see smoke rising up from her remains, which causes the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures to shout, “Amen. Hallelujah!” (Rev 19:3, 4).
As strange as it may seem at first glance, this is both a funeral and a wedding, but there’s not the slightest hint of sorrow or grief. This is a scene of pure joy because anyone with any reason to mourn is no longer in the picture. This particular scene marks a transition between the harlot of Babylon and the bride of Christ. It moves us from the destruction of carnality and evil to the celebration of the righteous saints in heaven (Rev 19:8).
If I were to imagine Revelation 18 and 19 as a movie, chapter 18 would be like coming to the dramatic climax when the tension is at its greatest. The earth is made bright with the glory of an angel just before the city of Babylon with all of her wickedness is plagued with death and mourning and famine and burned up with fire (Rev 18:1, 8). Those who gained wealth from her are standing far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud (Rev 18:15). They stand helpless as they watch the smoke rise from their once-great city (Rev 18:18). They cry out, “In a single hour she has been laid waste” (Rev 18:19).
As we watch the scene unfold, there’s a tremendous amount of noise. People are screaming. City walls are collapsing. But then, a mighty angel takes up the city and throws it into the sea, and as it sinks, all goes quiet (Rev 18:21). There’s not a sound to be heard. All we see on the screen are some faint ripples on the surface of the water.
A moment later, however, we begin to hear a faint, muffled roar in the distance. The camera slowly pans upward and moves through the clouds until we reach heaven. Suddenly, we see a great multitude of people, singing and shouting:
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” (Revelation 19:1, 2)
“Hallelujah!” they cry, “Hallelujah!” (Rev 19:3, 6).
That’s the scene unfolding in this part of Revelation, and we need to watch the scene play out before we attempt to examine the various pieces of it. It’s been said that Revelation is a picture book, not a puzzle book. We need to absorb the drama of it. We need to see the story. The details can be studied and better understood, of course, but the story itself comes first. That’s the nature of this type of biblical literature. It’s more like a movie than a textbook.
With that in mind, let’s work our way through the passage here in Revelation 19.
A great multitude in heaven
After this—after the fall of Babylon—John heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven (Rev 19:1). According to Revelation 7, this is a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages (Rev 7:9). People from all walks of life are represented here. Though that thought perplexed the Lord’s first disciples, God’s redemptive power reached far beyond the borders of Israel. The gospel found a home in every nation, tribe, people group, and language.
I’ve known people to be confounded by Revelation’s description of a great multitude in heaven (Rev 19:1). They think, How can there be a great multitude in heaven when the Bible otherwise suggests God’s redeemed people are relatively few in numbers? For example, Jesus said:
“For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)
“Which is it?” we may ask. “Are God’s people few or a great multitude?” Well, the correct answer is both. One of my favorite lines from the 19th-Century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, says:
Brethren, be willing to see both sides of the shield of truth. Rise above the babyhood which cannot believe two doctrines until it sees the connecting link. Have you not two eyes, man? Must you needs put one of them out in order to see clearly?
In this case, we’re not presented with some impossible mystery, yet Spurgeon’s point is fitting nonetheless. If the Bible teaches God’s people in heaven are a multitude, we should believe it. If the Bible also teaches God’s people in heaven are relatively few, we should believe that as well. Even so, I think we can solve the apparent paradox here easy enough.
At this very minute, there is something like 7.8 billion people living on the planet. According to one study I read, Protestant Christians make up almost 600 million of the global population. Assuming all 600 million are genuine Christians—and we’re not even considering everyone who has lived in the past or will live in the future—600 million people is a lot of people. Six-hundred million certainly constitutes a great multitude (Rev 19:1). Yet, 600 million is not even eight percent of the entire population. In other words, believers can be a relative minority in this world but simultaneously a multitude in heaven.
Regardless, there is a great multitude in heaven, and when John sees them following the collapse of Babylon, they are shouting, “Hallelujah!” (Rev 19:1).
I love that word. It’s one of the most universal words in the world. It’s a word so remarkable that our English Bibles don’t even bother to translate it. They transliterate it, which means they just bring it over from the original Hebrew. And what does it mean? Hallel means praise. Yah is short for Yahweh, the proper name of God. Hallelujah, then, means “Praise Yahweh,” or “Praise the Lord” (Rev 19:1).
Interestingly enough, as universal and remarkable as this word is, Revelation 19 is the only place in the New Testament you will find it, and here it is used four times. It is used only twenty-four times in the Old Testament, and every appearance is in the Psalms. In fact, the last psalm ends with hallelujah. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (Ps 150:6).
So, what we have here in Revelation 19 is yet another hallel psalm, a song of praise for the Lord. It’s Psalm 151, if you will. But there’s something that may strike us as unusual about this particular song of praise. It praises God, of course, but it praises God specifically for his judgment of the great prostitute, Babylon (Rev 19:2). “Hallelujah! For he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality. Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever” (Rev 19:1-3).
We may not sing about God’s final judgment too often, but it is a perfectly legitimate reason to praise God. To be clear, we don’t praise him because we relish the prospect of the destruction of sinners. Even God has said, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Eze 33:11). He would rather the wicked turn from his way and live, but if the sinner refuses, justice will be accomplished and the punishment will be appropriate. Sinners will be judge along with Babylon, to whom they gave their allegiance.
While we are more likely to praise God for his mercy and grace, as we should, it is no less appropriate to praise him for his justice.
Listen again to this song:
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” (Revelation 19:1-3)
Notice all of the reasons the saints in heaven give for praising God. We’ve already discussed the first, which is that justice will prevail.
Salvation belongs to our God
Second, there is salvation (Rev 19:1). Salvation cannot be accomplished apart from the destruction of wickedness.
Think of the flood in Noah’s day. Peter says, “Eight persons were brought safely through water” (1Pe 3:20). Some translations are even clearer. They say Noah and his family were saved through or by the floodwaters. In other words, they were not saved from the water by the ark. Instead, they were saved by the water. From what were they saved? The book of Genesis says, “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Ge 6:5).
The flood saved Noah and his family from the rampant evil that prevailed in the world during that time. God saved them by eliminating the evil. He physically and forcibly removed the evil from the earth.
That is a sample of what he will do again at the end of time. He will take every last bit of wickedness and destroy it once and for all. Hallelujah! Praise God!
The older I get, the more I find myself meditating on a passage in Romans 8. The apostle Paul writes:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:18-23)
I don’t know about you, but I can certainly relate to the kind of groaning Paul describes in that passage. Even on the best days of my life, I still get tired. I stub my toe. I get a headache. I catch a cold. The baby’s crying. I lose my keys. I’m late to work. When my family and I finally have an opportunity to get away from it all and take a vacation, I get sunburned while lying on the beach. And on and on it goes.
Making matters worse, I quietly observe the world around me. I read the reports of my brothers and sisters in Christ suffering in other places. I read the headlines coming out of my own nation. Rioters are looting and burning down cities in the name of so-called justice. Meanwhile, the people we’ve entrusted to lead our country and our communities turn a blind eye. In some cases, they applaud and encourage the lawlessness.
Men are pretending to be women. Women are pretending to be men. And where are the psychiatric professionals whose vocation it is to help people with mental and emotional disorders? They’re busy wagging their fingers at anyone who dares affirm biological reality.
I can’t buy a gallon of milk or a new shirt without walking into a store that is at least partially decorated with rainbows in blatant defiance of God and his promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. Why do they display the rainbow? Without the faintest hint of irony, they are celebrating the kind of gross, unnatural sin that deserves the horrors of a worldwide flood.
The media is constantly screaming, “Follow the science! Follow the science!” I’d love to. Would you please tell me what your science says about the beginning of human life? When does life begin? Oh, you claim science hasn’t figured that out yet. Why, then, do you continue to endorse the slaughter of millions of unborn children each year?
I could go on, but I suppose you understand my point. I long to be free from this world in its present condition. I long to be free from tyranny, corruption, profanity, violence, persecution, injustice, materialism, unthankfulness, godlessness, suffering, sorrow, and death. I groan inwardly, anxiously anticipating the day when God will bring a complete end to all of it (Ro 8:23). He will save us from it not for a season, but for all eternity.
Babylon will fall because God will judge the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality (Rev 19:2). And the saints will shout, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Rev 19:1). We will be free as we watch the smoke from the harlot go up forever and ever (Rev 19:3). We will never forget from what God has saved us.
Glory and power belong to our God
The third reason the great multitude in heaven praises God is for his glory and power (Rev 19:1). Since I feel the time slipping away quicker than I anticipated, I’ll be relatively brief on this point.
In the Hebrew mind, glory conveyed the idea that there is a weightiness to God (Rev 19:1). The matter of God and his person are no small things. Sadly, however, to those seduced by Babylon, God is a light matter that we can neglect or disregard without any consequences. His power is irrelevant if he has any power at all.
The truth is, of course, there is coming a day when every knee shall bow to God, and every tongue shall confess to him (Ro 14:11). The entire world will see his glory, recognize his undeniable weightiness, and behold his power. And when that day comes, the saints will shout with joy, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Rev 19:1). Amen.
Praise our God
You’ll notice, though, the saints aren’t the only ones shouting for joy. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” (Rev 19:4). Even the angelic beings in heaven shout praises to God, affirming his works as truth to be celebrated.
Then, from the throne itself comes a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great” (Rev 19:5). Every God-fearing believer, servants of the Most High, are called upon here to worship God. Turn away from Babylon and worship the one true God.
If you’re still troubled at the thought of celebrating the destruction of wickedness and, consequently, the wicked, turn your eyes to the God of our salvation (Rev 19:1). See his glory. See his power. Aren’t his judgments true and just? (Rev 19:2). Doesn’t the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality deserve the fate she received? Hasn’t God finally avenged on her the blood of his servants? She was an unrelenting temptress with a mission to draw the saints away from God. When she could not entice them to sin, she simply killed them. Praise be to God. Our Lord has saved us from her. Just look. The smoke from her goes up forever and ever (Rev 19:3).
The voice of a great multitude
As we come to verse 6, the Dolby surround sound becomes apparent. The noise level gets much higher as John hears what seems to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out (Rev 19:6). The camera also shifts its focus. The harlot of Babylon gets a little blurrier as the bride of Christ gets a little clearer.
In other words, we’ve come to a transition in the text. The song of praise continues, but this heavenly vision of the future shifts its focus from the destruction of Babylon to the wedding of Christ and his bride—that is, the church. We’re leaving the funeral behind to join the wedding.
The multitude in heaven cries out:
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.” (Revelation 19:6-8)
The Lord our God reigns
To be clear, there has never been a time when our God was not reigning as the Almighty Lord, but this is a moment when the entire world sees it (Rev 19:6). Today, the nations may rage and the rulers may take counsel together against the LORD, but when we reach this moment described in Revelation 19, even those nations and rulers, who once worked against God and people, will be stopped (Ps 2:1, 2). According to Psalm 2, he who sits in the heavens laughs at their vain attempts to plot against him (Ps 2:4).
Again, the church shouts, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev 19:6). Make no mistake. No one is higher or more powerful than our God.
I can’t help but think of all of the ways the world attempts to create utopias on earth. People are constantly striving to build perfect societies, but they always fail. More times than not, their efforts end with government oppression and moral chaos. Go back and read Romans 1, for example.
Babylon thinks she has all the answers. She thinks she can give mankind hope, but there’s something fundamental missing in her designs for a perfect world. Namely, she denies God. A perfect kingdom cannot exist without God. A perfect kingdom cannot exist without man’s subjection to God as Lord. Furthermore, a perfect kingdom cannot exist if sin still exists.
All of that is, however, behind us at this point in the timeline. There are no more nations to rage or take counsel together against the LORD (Ps 2:1, 2). No one is attempting to build a perfect world on faulty premises because, as Paul says to the Corinthians, “When the perfect comes, the partial, or imperfect, will pass away” (1Co 13:10). Here in Revelation 19, the perfect has come, and the saints shout, “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory” (Rev 19:7).
The day of God
The saints have waited so long for this moment. They have suffered so much. They have longed for this day. They have finally reached the consummation of everything God has been doing from the beginning.
God began promising this day shortly after our fall into sin. He continued to prophesy it generation after generation. Eventually, we saw the long-anticipated Messiah come to this earth. We watched his ministry. We heard his teachings. Then, we witnessed his death and resurrection. Some of the first disciples stared into the sky as Jesus ascended into heaven. Then, the wait continued.
Even as early as the first century, some believers grew nervous. Where is Christ? Is he still coming? Have we missed his return? “Do not overlook this one fact,” Peter wrote, “that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness” (2Pe 3:8, 9). He goes on to write:
The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God. (2 Peter 3:10-12)
I pray we haven’t lost sight of this day—the day of God (2Pe 3:12).
I will confess there are times when I feel overwhelmed by the world around me. I’m burdened by the sin and godlessness of popular culture. I’m worried about my children’s future in a nation that may very well be experiencing the judgment of God as we speak. I wonder how bad he’ll allow things to get, and these thoughts leave me feeling anxious, afraid, and sometimes angry. I want to march in the streets and take back this country. I want to see some semblance of righteousness again. I want to, well, make an effort at creating a utopia here on earth.
But then, I look to Christ, and he reminds me that I won’t be here that long. He reminds me that my children won’t be here that long. He reminds me that I have good reason to feel a level of dissatisfaction in a fallen world that has rejected him. He reminds me that he did not die in my place so that I could be satisfied in a fallen world.
Christ has redeemed us for something more. Remember what Paul says.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. (Romans 8:22-24)
We don’t hope for humanity to finally get its act together and engineer a utopia on earth. No, we hope for the coming Christ, who says, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev 21:5). Only Christ can accomplish that perfect world most of us long for in the pit of our stomachs.
And this is eternal life
Please understand, though, the focus of the latter part of this passage is not on the perfect world to come. That much is implied by the celebration in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, but the real focus here is on Christ himself and specifically, the church’s ultimate union with him.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory—why?—for the marriage of the Lamb has come (Rev 19:7).
The Bible uses a lot of different analogies and images to convey the concept of salvation to us, but there’s something about this imagery of a wedding that conveys a deeper level of intimacy than the others. To be the Bride of the Lamb implies profound intimacy (Rev 19:7). Can two people be any closer to one another than a husband and his wife?
Let me take you back to John 17 for just a moment. In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples the very night of his arrest. He’ll be crucified the next day. In this prayer, he defines for us the essence of eternal life, and it may surprise us to learn he doesn’t mention mansions in heaven or streets of gold. He doesn’t talk about this perfect, sinless, painless existence to come. Instead, he says:
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:1-3)
According to Christ himself, the crowning joy of eternal life is to know him and his Father. Keep in mind, he’s not talking about knowing them with mere head knowledge. This is more than a mental assent. This is more than knowing the facts about God and Jesus. Even the demons believe, and their theology is probably more accurate than our theology in many cases (Jas 2:19).
The demons, however, don’t enjoy a personal, intimate relationship with God. When Jesus uses the word know—“that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”—he’s talking about the kind of deep personal knowledge a husband has of his wife and vice versa (Jn 17:3). He’s talking about the kind of union a husband has with his wife that results in a child being conceived. The Old Testament uses this language quite often. For example, Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain (Ge 4:1). Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth (Ge 4:25).
I’ve always been perplexed by people who call themselves Christians but have no desire to read the Bible, hear sermons, or learn more about Christ.
“Do you want to go to heaven?”
“Of course, I do.”
“Do you understand that the greatest feature of heaven will be our marriage to Christ?”
“Why, then, do you have no interest in cultivating that relationship now? Did you not pursue your spouse before you were married? Did you not want to learn everything you could about him or her?”
How can we say we want to be joined to Christ in heaven if we show so little interest in growing closer to him now? Think of Mary’s desire to know more about our Bridegroom. It’s what led Jesus to say about her, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Lk 10:42). While her sister, Martha, was distracted with much serving, Mary was engaged in the one thing that is necessary for all of us (Lk 10:40). She sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching (Lk 10:30). She wanted to absorb every word out of his mouth.
Mary was in love. She was devoted. She wanted to know Christ. She adored everything about her Savior. She longed to be with him. She wanted to grow closer to him. She wanted to learn his likes and dislikes, what brings him joy and what displeases him.
My wife and I were 700 miles apart for most of our relationship prior to getting married. I can remember feeling very anxious at times. I just wanted to be with her. I wanted her near me when I woke up in the morning. I wanted her near me when I went to bed at night. I could hardly wait for that day when we would finally be joined in marriage and go home to be together from that day forward.
Think of what Paul tells Timothy at the end of his life. He says:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7, 8)
Do we long for the day when we can be perfectly joined to Christ in the most holy matrimony without any of the current hindrances—namely, sin? Do our daily habits and behaviors reflect that longing? I pray they do.
His Bride has made herself ready
The saints and angels in heaven say, “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure” (Rev 19:7, 8).
To be clear, the true Bride of Christ will make herself ready (Rev 19:7). Go back and read Matthew 25. We have every reason to believe the Bride will be ready for the Lord’s sudden appearing. If for other reason, it was granted her to be ready (Rev 19:8). In other words, by his sovereign grace and purpose, God clothes his church with fine linen, bright and pure. That fine linen, as defined in this text, is the righteous deeds of the saints.
I could easily preach an entire sermon on that statement alone. Suffice to say, we do not clothe ourselves. It is not our righteousness that joins us to Christ. It is God who grants or gives the fine linen, that is, the righteous deeds of the saints (Rev 19:8).
And the angel said to John—the fourth beatitude of Revelation—“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God” (Rev 19:9).
John is so overwhelmed by this entire scene that he falls at the feet of the angel and begins worshiping him. **“You must not do that!** the angel says, “I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. Worship God alone” (Rev 19:10). In other words, praise God for the promises expressed through this incredible passage of the Bible.
In closing, I’d like to make a simple point that has a couple of practical implications for us. I want to remind you that this day described in Revelation 19 hasn’t come yet. Babylon, with all of her temptations and sufferings, hasn’t fallen. The marriage of the Lamb hasn’t come (Rev 19:7).
I make this point because, first of all, we’re not yet celebrating the fall of Babylon. Instead, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ to those still deceived by Babylon (2Co 5:20). We are called to draw them out of Babylon’s sway if God wills. We are called to implore them on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
I also make this point for the same reason Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins. If you remember, five of the virgins in that parable were not ready when the Bridegroom came. They weren’t watching for him. They weren’t gladly anticipating his arrival, so they were left out in the cold when he entered the house. They stood outside pounding on the door, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us” (Mt 25:11). But he answered, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you” (Mt 25:12). Then, Jesus concludes the parable this way: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Mt 25:13).
“There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,” Paul says, “which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2Ti 4:8).
We may be Christians, but I pray every part of us is shaped and moved by a sincere longing to be not just betrothed to Christ, but finally married to him. I pray our affections for him run deep. I pray we want nothing more in this world than to be physically with him.
That day hasn’t come yet, but it will come soon enough. May we always live in excited anticipation of it.