The Last Battle

Series: Behold, A Throne

Sermon by David Strain on Nov 6, 2016

Revelation 19:11-20:15

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If you would please take a copy of the holy Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to the last book of the Bible, to the prophecy of John, the book of Revelation. We’re going to read from verse 11 of chapter 19 through the end of chapter 20. Lots of somewhat intricate and important material here. A famous passage in the book of Revelation about which many of us have preconceived and frankly often-wrongheaded ideas, if you’ll allow me to be so bold. And we hope to try and work through and correct some of that as we examine the Scriptures together. Before we do that, would you go ahead and bow your heads with me as we pray? Let’s pray together!

Lord Jesus, the book of Revelation, is the revelation of Jesus Christ. So we pray now that You would, by the work of the Holy Spirit, give us clear views of You in Your majesty and sovereignty and glory and grace, in Your rule and victory as King and Lord of all, for the great comfort of our hearts in a dark day. For we ask it in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revelation chapter 19 at the eleventh verse. This is the Word of Almighty God:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

 

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.

 

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

 

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Amen, and we praise God for this reading from His holy, inerrant Word.

They spent thousands of dollars getting there, just in time for the winter migration, and countless hours waiting for a sighting. At last, the whale watchers off the coast of Sydney, Australia finally got a glimpse, just a glimpse mind you, of one of the massive creatures. And soon every eye on the boat was glued to the starboard side, scanning the gray winter waters for another sign of the massive humpback whale that had briefly broken the surface just a few moments before. Which is why they completely missed it when the same whale, significantly larger and heavier than the boat the tourists were in, breached in a massive leap entirely out of the water about two feet away from the boat on the port side. The boat behind them got a great view of the whole event but the folks in the lead boat missed it altogether. They just heard the thunderclap as the whale hit the water. They were all looking in the wrong direction.

We come tonight to a part of the book of Revelation which, unless we are careful, may leave us looking out of the starboard side of the boat when all the action takes place on the port side. To put it bluntly, I believe Christians are entirely too obsessed with the meaning of the 1,000 years spoken of in chapter 20:1-6 and following. We want to know, “Is it a literal 1,000 years?” We want to know, “Does it take place before or after the return of Jesus?” and many other questions besides. And all the while, our attention is fixed on the starboard side of the boat, we miss the big idea we’re meant to see over here on the port side.

Let’s look at chapter 19 verse 11 just for a moment to make sure we focus in clearly and are looking in the right direction as we begin to deal with this material. Chapter 19 verse 11. “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he judges and makes war.” Here’s the real focus of this part of the book, as with every other part of the book of Revelation. It is not the church, per say, nor is it the world and its wickedness, nor is it even the devil in his malice. It’s not even the meaning of the 1,000 years. The focus of our text, like the book of Revelation as a whole, is on the person and the work of Jesus Christ who is called Faithful and True. This, after all, Revelation chapter 1 verse 1 you remember, “This is the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And so as we come to this important section of the book, let’s work to resist the temptation to get distracted by points of controversy and instead let’s strive to keep our eyes trained on the Lord Jesus whom our souls so badly need.

What we have in the material before us is two perspectives on the same event; as if two reporters were dispatched to the front lines and now we’re seeing their reports in the newsroom, complementary and yet distinct accounts of the same events. Chapter 19:11-21 looks at the triumph of Christ, the warrior King. The triumph of Christ, the warrior King. And then chapter 20:1-15, the triumph of the Church, Christ’s warrior kingdom. The triumph of Christ, the warrior King, and then the triumph of the Church, Christ’s warrior kingdom.

  1. The Triumph of Christ, The Warrior King

Let’s look at 19:11-21 first of all – the triumph of Christ, the warrior King. The first six verses, notice, verses 11 through 16, are entirely occupied with an extraordinary description of Jesus. Do you see that in the text? John doesn’t rush into a treatment of what Jesus is doing in our dark days. He doesn’t focus too quickly on the unfolding plan of God playing out across history. No, he lingers first on the one sitting on the great white war horse, Jesus Christ, the triumphant warrior King. He dwells on each component of the vision as though to savor every detail. For John, far more important than understanding what Christ is doing is knowing Christ Himself, knowing Christ Himself. Everything else flows from this. True comfort and consolation for a suffering Church to whom John was writing are rooted in this. There’s nothing more important for us to do, especially in all the concern that we feel in the run-up to this general election, nothing more important for us to do, no discipline more helpful for us to cultivate in these dark days than this. We need to linger long with John on the person of Jesus Christ, on the person of Jesus Christ.

Look how John describes Him! Back in chapter 1 verse 5, Jesus was called “the faithful and true witness,” and here He’s called again, “faithful and true.” That is to say, because He is faithful and true, He is a perfectly just Judge - reliable, trustworthy, sound. His eyes, verse 12, “are like flames of fire.” Again, this is just how John saw Jesus back in chapter 1 verse 14, “eyes like flames of fire.” Jesus sees. His gaze penetrates. Nothing is hidden from His view and He looks with perfect, blazing purity upon all who come before Him to be judged. That’s the point! And He wears many diadems, notice. Back in chapter 12 verse 3 and again in chapter 13 verse 1, both the great dragon, the picture of Satan himself and the beast, the anti-Christian powers of the world, they wear many crowns, don’t they? But they are counterfeit kings and their kingdoms are set up in rivalry and rebellion. But Jesus, John is saying, is the true and only King of kings, and all the crowns of all the lands belong to Him as their rightful Lord.

You may even remember how back in chapter 4 at verse 10 the twenty-four elders fall before the throne of God and they cast their crowns before the Lord, worshiping God saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, to receive honor and glory and power!” It was an image, powerful image, of believers surrendering themselves to the lordship of God. Well here now are those crowns on the head of King Jesus. He wears your crown on His head. He is King, do you see, not only of all the nations; He’s King even in the private realms of your life.

A Name That No One Knows

And more than that, John says He has a name that no one knows but Himself. That is to say, although He has shown us so much of Himself in the Scriptures, although we know Him truly and may by God’s grace grow to know Him more and more profoundly, nevertheless we will never know Him exhaustively. In fact, I think it will be the greatest joy of every citizen of the new creation to spend eternity together, discovering more and still more of the wonder of the great name of our Savior, the mystery of His glorious person, the beauty of His two natures. There are depths of mystery in Jesus only He can fathom. He has a name only He knows and it will be our great joy to explore the facets of His majesty and dignity and glory and beauty and worth down all the long ages of eternity that wait for us.

A Bloody Robe

Then look at verse 13. It says that he is “clothed with a robe dipped in blood.” I like what Darrell Johnson, one of the commentators, says at this point. Listen to Johnson, “There is blood on His robe before He comes to the final battle. His robe is stained before He comes to the final battle. The question is, ‘Whose blood is it?’ From the whole of the book of Revelation,” says Johnson, “and from the whole of the New Testament, there is only one answer. The blood on His robe is His own. His robe, both a priest’s robe and a king’s robe, is stained with His own blood. The great truth we must never lose sight of is that Jesus Christ conquers and reigns not because He will win a battle yet to be fought, but because He has already triumphed by the blood of the cross. He has shed His own blood and He is already triumphant.”

He Will Rule!

And He is called, John says, “the Word of God.” That was how John identified Him if you will remember, in the prolog to his gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” That’s Jesus Christ. That’s who comes riding onto the battlefield of human history – the Word, the one who reveals God, who is God, who makes all things. No wonder the armies of heaven follow Him! Who can stand against Him? “And from His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” The sword of His mouth, the Word of the Gospel, conquers the world. Do you believe that? The Word, the sword of His mouth, the Word of the Gospel conquers the world. And the rod of iron with which He shall rule the nations is a reference to Psalm 2 at verse 9, where the Lord God establishes His Son on Zion, His holy hill, to triumph over the rebellious nations. Come Wednesday morning, here’s a line to repeat to ourselves for the comfort of our souls. “No matter who sits in the Oval Office, from Christ’s mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations and He, He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will rule! He will rule!” Quiet your soul with these words. He will rule!

And as ruler of all, John says, “he will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.” Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, the agent of the execution of the terrible fury of the wrath of God. Upon His thigh is written, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Maybe we all need to have Revelation 9:11-16 bookmarked, ready for our quiet times Wednesday morning. What do you think? Fill your gaze, fill your gaze with the only true King. Remember the one who conquers by means of the cross, whose robes are stained with His own blood and who rides forth, who is riding forth even now to judge the world in equity.

The End of the Beast and False Prophet

And look at the effect of His riding forth, verses 17 to 21. You know there are two suppers in this chapter, chapter 19, to one of which every single person in history is invited. Either you attend the marriage supper of the Lamb – that was the subject of verses 6 to 10 we looked at last time; the marriage supper of the Lamb – or you attend the great supper of God here in verses 17 to 21. The first is a picture of heavenly celebration; the second is a gory image of utter defeat and everlasting condemnation. The birds of the air are invited to gorge themselves on the corpses of a defeated army. It’s a picture of utter, utter devastation. The army is identified for us in verse 9. It is “the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.” Now understand, this is not a picture of a single, final confrontation. This actually is the perpetual state of the Satanic powers of rebellion and sin. This is the world in which we live right now, taking up battle lines against the Lord and His anointed. The final battle for which they ready themselves. Do you see, the final battle for which they ready themselves is never actually fought? The text simply says when the battle lines are drawn, Jesus rides forth on His white horse, verses 11 to 16, “and the beast was captured and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image, these two were thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur and the rest were slain by the sword that comes from the mouth of him who is sitting on the horse.”

Jesus Wins!

What’s the message? You get the message, don’t you? Jesus wins! Jesus wins! There is no final battle. The world powers of sin and spiritual rebellion, the false religion that deceives and lies to the nations, all are dispatched to hell as the Word of Christ slays those who follow them. If the world will not embrace the promises of Gospel mercy that Christ’s word brings in life, then it must endure the promises of judicial wrath that same word brings at the last day. At the conclusion of history when Christ appears in glory, no matter how fierce and terrible the raging nations appear, Christ the warrior King need only speak and judgment falls.

The other day I was watching a short film about people who were unable to see certain colors and they had been fitted with special glasses that helped them see the whole spectrum. That’s what I think our passage does. It’s as if we’ve been living in a world of grays and this passage is designed to show us the full spectrum of color; it helps us see the world as it really is. It reminds us that while the nations may gather together against Christ, He cannot be defeated because He has already won. Do you believe that? His robe is blood-stained. The battle belongs to Him who triumphed at the cross. And so we see here first of all the triumph of Christ, the warrior King.

Now turn your attention with me to chapter 20, and let’s consider the triumph of the Church, Christ’s warrior kingdom. The passage unfolds in four scenes. The first is in verses 1 to 3. An angel who holds the keys to the bottomless pit and a great chain binds the great dragon, Satan himself, for 1,000 years throwing him into the bottomless pit that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while. Now here’s where we are in danger of looking out the wrong side of the boat. We get so fixated on the millennium and its meaning that we miss the big idea. We tend to let our fixed, dogmatic conclusions about the end times color our reading of the text and so we end up obscuring the truth that ought to stand out most clearly. So would you take another look at the passage with me and let’s do what we can to view it with fresh eyes.

The Enemy is Bound

Here is Satan bound. And I am persuaded that he is bound not at the end of history, as some believe. He is bound, rather, at the cross. There, at the cross, Colossians 2:15 says, “Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities,” a reference to Satanic power, “putting them to open shame, triumphing over them in the cross.” Satan fell from heaven like lightning during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, according to Luke 10:18. Jesus came “to bind the strong man,” Mark 3:27. He could say of the work that He was doing, “Now is the judgment of this world. Now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all people to myself,” John 12:31 and 32. That’s the same message John is seeing here in his vision. Satan is bound and cast down. His power to deceive the nations is curtailed for 1,000 years. Now remember, as one commentator likes to say, “Revelation is not interested in statistics but in symbols.” In all the other numbers that we’ve met thus far in the book having symbolic meaning and this number is no different. The 1,000 years represents the whole period between Christ’s first and final coming. It’s a symbol of the Church age viewed from the vantage point of the Church triumphant in heaven, reigning with Christ, participating in His victory. And now John is saying to us, “Because Jesus has been lifted up on the cross, He draws all people to Himself from every tribe and language and nation.”

What an encouragement these verses ought to be. The devil would like nothing so much as to keep you fearful and cowering as you view the posturing of egotistical politicians or you hear the perversity of our culture’s sexual revolutionaries. But the truth is, Satan is not free! He is chained and bound and imprisoned. He cannot stop or hinder or thwart the advancement of the cause of Jesus Christ in the world. John wants us to see Satan’s chains and take heart. Take heart! The great enemy is bound.

  1. The Triumph of the Church, Christ’s Warrior Kingdom

And then look at the next scene. Now John wants us to see the truth about ourselves as Christians to drive that encouragement home still deeper. First, at the end of verse 4, he speaks about those who suffer for the sake of Christ as having come to life. This, he says, “is the first resurrection.” Now notice carefully what he says to his original readers about that. Do you see what he says? “Blessed and holy is the one who shares,” notice the present tense, “the one who shares right now in the first resurrection; over such the second death, hell itself has no power.” This is a blessing John wants his first hearers and he wants us to enjoy right away as we hear the message of the book. The first resurrection – it’s not a reference to some kind of physical resurrection of believers at the beginning of an earthly, political, millennial kingdom. Just as the 1,000 years are symbolic of the whole church age, so the first resurrection is spiritual in nature. It is the new birth. It is regeneration. Jesus talks about it in precisely these terms in John chapter 5 verses 24 and 25. “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who has sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but is passed from death to life. Truly, truly I say to you an hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” Those who trust in Jesus Christ, who hear the word of His Gospel and believe in Him and do not bend the knee to the beast, they really live! What blessedness we have received; the blessedness of resurrection life even here and now together.

Our Reign With Christ

And more than that, John wants us to see that living, we reign with Christ. Do you see that in the text? Those who came to life in verses 4 and again in verse 6, reigned with Christ for 1,000 years. Now granted, it doesn’t always feel like it for the suffering Church on earth, does it? But when believers finish their pilgrimage they don’t go into oblivion or into some kind of soul-sleep. They go to be with the Lord who reigns upon His throne. They’re swept up into participation in the victory of Christ. Yes, on earth we have suffered and labored and wearied ourselves often wondering if our labor in the Lord has been in vain after all. We’ve sowed in tears. We’ve shed our blood. We’ve given our lives. But then one day, John is saying, one day death will be swallowed up in victory and though we have sowed in tears here, when we go to be with the Lord we will begin at last to reap in joy, taking our seats on thrones of our own beside Jesus the great King. And then we’ll get to see from the heavens’ vantage points what we could only see glimpses of at best here on earth.

As missionaries penetrate yet another unreached people group with the Good News and churches, Gospel churches are planted in dark cities and neglected communities, and lost sinners are plucked from Satan’s snarling maul and brought into the kingdom of God through the patient, faithful, prayerful witness of the suffering Church, we get to watch as the world does all that it can to hinder the Gospel’s advance. And again and again, we will see it confounded and overcome as modest Christians go about their lives with gentleness and joy, testifying to the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.

A Suffering Church

Now, remember to whom John is writing – to a suffering Church under the boot heel of the brutal Roman dictatorship of the Caesars. The politics of the world made life miserable for the followers of Jesus in John’s day. The Church was bleeding and dying and John himself, remember, was in jail for the sake of the Gospel. Our political troubles and our cultural pressures are light and insignificant compared to the difficulties they endured. And to them, John says first, Satan is bound. Don’t forget that Satan is bound. He cannot deceive the nations. Don’t believe his lies. He cannot deceive the nations. The Gospel will triumph. Go on, preach on, be bold and see what Christ will do! Then he says you are alive. “Blessed are those who share in the first resurrection.” And then thirdly he says, “You will reign with Jesus till the end of the age.” Yes, the world makes you slave and martyrs but you are really kings. Every act of service, every word of witness, all of it extends the reign of King Jesus and one day you’re going to see that clearly when you take your seat with Him in the glory that awaits you. And so, dear struggling believer in Jesus, “do not grow weary in well-doing, for you shall reap a harvest in due time if you do not give up.” Do not grow weary in well-doing, for you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.

The Enemy Released

And then very quickly and briefly, let’s deal with the last two scenes together, verses 7 to 15. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan is released from his prison. He’ll come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth. They are called here Gog and Magog and now again, popular end-times theorists try to identify these two powers largely based on their reading of the latest world news. Are they Russia and China? Are they perhaps radical Islam? Is the United States mentioned in here? Who are they, Gog and Magog? The names actually come from the prophecy of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. They belong to the ancient enemies of God’s people. And that, I think, is actually John’s very simple point. This is not an esoteric warning about who the aggressors in the next global conflict will be. These are not encoded tips for future American foreign policy. That’s not the point. He’s simply telling us the ancient hatred of the world against the Church will one day flare up again in a final paroxysm of rage and malice under the manipulations of Satan. The Church will be besieged in a climactic moment of opposition and persecution. They will, verse 9, surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city.

Christ’ Victory

It’s actually the very same scene, isn’t it, that we’ve just seen in chapter 19 all over again. It’s the final battle. And again, remember, it’s a battle that’s never actually fought. The Church is besieged by a hateful world. Everything looks bleak and then Jesus simply wins. Verse 9 again, “Fire came down from heaven and consumed them and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Jesus wins merely by showing up. No shots are fired. Satan is overthrown and the world in all its malice is summoned to Judgment Day. There is no strategy of the devil nor any cunning of men that can avoid it.

The Books Opened

And look at verses 11 to 15. Here is history at its end. What a solemn picture as creation flees from Christ’s victorious presence in verse 11. And everyone who has ever lived assembles for the final assize. Verse 12, the great and the small are there. Verse 13, “the sea and death and Hades give up the dead.” That is to say, there’s no exception, no excuses, no free passes. Everyone is here and books are opened. The books, we might say, the book of deeds and the book of life. God has the complete record of our lives written down and He has the names of everyone who believes in Jesus indelibly recorded. Everyone is judged, notice in verse 12, “by what is written in the books according to what they had done.”

And I want you to see very clearly that while hell, the lake of fire, is the sentence passed over those whose deeds condemn them, those who escape the lake of fire do not escape because there are no misdeeds recorded in the books. They escape, rather, because their names are also written in the book of life. You see that in verse 15? Isn’t it clear? Verse 15, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” The only root of escape is to have your name in the book. It’s to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Is your name in the book? Is your name in the book? The only escape is to have your name in the book. The book of deeds condemns us all. “There is no one righteous, not even one.” “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” When that final day comes and the books are opened and we appear at Christ’s tribunal, none of us can point to anything written in the books of deeds and say, “Because of this, because of these words or works of mine, Jesus, You ought to accept and receive me into Your glory.” No, as those books are opened there will be much there to condemn us. Our only hope is that the other book, the book of life, has our name inscribed in it, written as it were in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ who has paid in full for all our misdeeds at the cross. Is your name in the book? If your name is written there, what confidence you can have when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Revelation chapters 19 and 20, they offer a pair of spectacles for us to wear that will help us see the real world clearly. This is not some fantastical make-believe that John sees. This is the real world. It’s not the FOX News, CNN world. It’s not the Facebook, Twitter world. It’s not the world of national propaganda or personal boasting. The real world where Christ is King and Satan is bound and the Gospel advances and the kingdom of God triumphs. Some of us, I rather suspect, need to put those spectacles back on tonight to stop our fear and our unbelief and to begin to view reality as it really is – the great theater for the exaltation of Christ who wins the victory. So here is the triumph of Christ, the warrior King, and the triumph of the Church, Christ’s warrior kingdom. Here’s the real world. No matter what happens on Tuesday, no matter what happens on Tuesday, may God give us the grace to see the real world clearly and to live in it faithfully under the reign of King Jesus until He comes.

Let’s pray together!

Lord our God, we bless You that Jesus Christ is Lord, not the man or woman who sits in the Oval Office nor any man or woman who sits in the pew here tonight. In our lives and over the lives of everyone, reigns the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We bless You that the truth is, Satan is bound and the Gospel will advance and Christ reigns gloriously. Help us to believe that and to live accordingly, not in fear nor in doubt nor reluctantly, but boldly with joy, confident that Christ shall prosecute His purposes and His name shall be held in honor and one day every knee, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. And so we pray with the Apostle John, “Even so, come Lord Jesus,” for we ask this in Your precious name. Amen.

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