Sermon Quotes: "The Last Battle"

“This passage offers a picture of Christ far different from, yet complementary to (and hinted at by) the portrait of His earthly life presented in the Gospels. He is represented as a divine warrior executing judgment and ruling sovereignly over all. He will crush His enemies in the winepress of the wrath of God. Not only this, His saints will assist Him in the execution of this judgment. How often do we consider the full biblical picture of Jesus? The mystery is of One who hung defenseless on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins and calling us to serve Him in weakness, yet who one day will ride forth to execute vengeance, with us alongside Him. A true understanding of Christ can only come as we consider all these elements of who He is. He has given everything, as must His followers, to reach those still outside His grasp, yet by virtue of His holiness must bring God’s righteous rule to creation by judging those who choose to bring destruction on the earth.” Greg Beale

“They receive the wedding garment as a gift, while at the same time they are clothed so that their active righteousness is visible to all.” Gordon Fee

“Jesus’ churches need to see clearly through the appearances, to discover that the world system that promises pleasure and prosperity now in exchange for our allegiance and integrity is more beast than beauty, intent on our destruction, not our fulfillment. Which is the dragon’s more dangerous weapon as he assaults the church in our time and place: Is it the beast, symbolic of the state’s power to intimidate through violent persecution and even martyrdom? Or the beauty, the harlot, portrait of the culture’s power to seduce through the intoxicating idolatry of prosperity and the alluring invitation to adulterous compromise? Through John’s vision of the harlot’s pseudo-glory and her devastating fall, the church should be forearmed against her wiles and stirred with longing for God’s ultimate justice and the consummation of his courtship with the true beauty, the bride of the Lamb.” Dennis Johnson

“Probably John means that Spirit-inspired prophecy centers on the majesty and greatness of Jesus.” Thomas Schreiner

“The portrayal of Christ’s coming is achieved through a series of symbolic pictures which highlight aspects of an event too great to comprehend in advance.” New Bible Commentary

“The mystery of his person…that finite minds will never fully grasp.” Robert Mounce

“Such a presentation of a divine Warrior, full of wrath and vengeance against those who disregard his authority is offensive to many today. How can such an image be made winsome to people attracted more by tolerant love than by strict justice? Scripture, however, paints a realistic picture of the moral structure of the universe. Despite preferences of naïve wishful thinkers, at the cosmic level there can be no true mercy, no genuine redemption apart from justice…Redemption for those who are God’s friends by grace entails vengeance on those who stubbornly persist as God’s enemies.” Dennis Johnson

“God’s goodness does not mean that he will indefinitely tolerate evil. Those who will not repent of their evil must in the end perish with it. For God to be truly and finally good to his whole creation he must remove whatever spoils and destroys its goodness-ideally by repentance, but if necessary by judgment.” Richard Bauckham

“The carnage of the battlefield described here is no doubt as much a symbol as the sword which slays the rebels. But if that is a mere symbol, what will be the reality? Michael Wilcock

“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

“John’s visions are for Christians who have experienced or will soon experience the atrocities of which human evil and injustice are capable. The vision of the righteous Judge who will not spare the wicked is precisely what they and we need to sustain their persistent and nonviolent response to their oppressors…When Christians are victimized by injustice and cannot fight back, they must not despair. The strong and righteous Judge is coming.” Dennis Johnson