Sunday School Notes 3-29-2015

Scripture: Revelation 19:6-10 (HCSB)

Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying:

Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty,

has begun to reign!

Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,

because the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and His wife has prepared herself.

She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.

For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

The book of Revelation

  • What is the context of Revelation?
    • Revelation is a letter from John, who at this point was exiled, to the churches, specifically those mentioned in chapters 2-3 (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea)
    • Christianity was persecuted under the Roman Emperor, Domitian.
    • The book of Revelation is a letter from John encouraging God’s people by telling them of a future hope that was revealed by God.
    • Revelation is not a book about the end, but about the beginning and continuing of God’s eternal kingdom.

Fall of Babylon (Rev. 18)

  • Babylon is a term used to refer to the kingdoms of the world.
    • God will save His people from the Kingdoms of the world (18:4).
    • Without God’s people, the Kingdoms of the world will destroy themselves because they have no guiding light (18:20-24)
      • This means we have a great responsibility to influence the direction of the world while we are in it.
      • It also means that our identity is not in the world. We are citizens first and foremost of God’s Kingdom.

What is the marriage supper of the lamb?

  • The lamb is Christ. He was given as the sacrificial lamb for the sin of the whole world.
  • The marriage supper will be a celebration of Christ by those whom Christ has saved (the bride of Christ; those who died to the world and married Christ).
  • God’s people are currently being prepared for this celebration by their righteous works (v. 7-8)
    • Even in the midst of worldly persecution, we are to do good.
    • We do not repay anyone evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9)
    • As long as it depends on us, we live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18)
    • While we are here, God’s desire is to bless the world through us (Genesis 22:18)
      • Since this is true, we should always be sharing Christ because it is by Christ that people are truly blessed.

We can be comforted knowing that there is a celebration, and a life in God’s perfection coming. How do we live now while looking forward to our life in perfect communion with God?

  • Make Christ the focal point of our lives now (v. 6-8)
    • The focal point of the marriage supper will be the Lamb.
    • The world changes, Christ does not.
    • The world will forsake us, Christ will not.
    • The world wants us to lower our standards, Christ wants us to be pure.
  • We do good in Christ’s name.
    • Though violence may be called for in a just war, we are always to act in love rather than with hate. This is one thing that separates Christianity (and Judaism) from religions that are based in violence (e.g. Islam).
    • The judgment of the world belongs to God, not men.

Questions for further discussion

  • How do we treat groups of people who persecute us, or act in violence toward the rest of the world?
    • As individuals, we love them and we do good toward them, always sharing Christ with them because there is real hope in Christ.
    • Even if they threaten us with death, we love them.
    • How do we act toward those who make fun of us or who bully others?
  • Is violence ever acceptable?
    • Yes, but I think it is only acceptable on three occasions.
      • Defense of self, family or property (Ex. 22:1-31)
      • Law enforcement officers who are justly keeping the peace. This includes the death penalty (Ex. 21:12, Rom. 13:1-7)
      • War justly made by one nation against another (Deut. 20:1-4, Ecc. 3:8)
    • As long as it depends on us, we should live at peace!

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