Who would put a catalog of weakness and frailty on a resume? This is exactly what Paul does as he is forced to defend himself against false teachers who were distorting the gospel and misleading the Corinthians. What can we learn from this surprising description of a servant of Christ? What can we learn about humility?
Our text this week narrates the Lord's final eschatalogical victory over Satan. The victory comes in two phases. The first phase is the so-called millennium, during which time Satan is bound in chains in the abyss, and the saints reign with Christ. When the millennium ends, Satan is released, and he attempts to wage war one last time against the Lamb and his army. But Satan is soundly defeated, and he is thrown into the Lake of Fire along with everyone whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life. This passage has been interpreted in a variety of different ways throughout Christian history, but the overall message is clear: In the end, Satan will be defeated and the Lamb will reign victorious forever.
In Rev. 19:11-21, John describes a vision in which the beast and the "false prophet" assemble a great army to do battle against the armies of heaven. But just as we have seen in previous battle scenes, before the enemies of God have a chance to fire their first shot, God secures the victory! And after defeating the beast and false prophet, God takes them and throws them into Lake of Fire, where they will be tormented forever. John then describes a revolting scene where the birds of prey are called down to gorge themselves on the flesh of the dead who are strewn across eschatalogical battlefield, thus fulfilling the prophecy described in Ezekiel 39.
How important is it to defend the gospel against distortions and redefinitions? Is it too far fetched to think that servants of Satan could disguise themselves as Christian leaders? Why are warnings against false teachers fairly common in the New Testament? What is the best way to prepare ourselves to be discerning as we can be exposed to so many voices claiming to speak truth? Out of love for Christ and his Bride, Paul here takes aim at those who would preach "another Jesus" (11:4).
What does Paul mean by “a pure and sincere devotion to Christ?” How can I tell if I have that? If I’ve lost it, how can it be recovered? Why does Paul compare becoming a Christian to getting engaged?
Following the catastrophic devastation of "Babylon the Great" described in Rev. 17-18, the scene shifts back to heaven in Rev. 19:1-10. In this passage, John describes a vision of a great multitude singing praises to the Lord. The Lord has judged his enemies and avenged the blood of the saints; therefore, the multitude cries, "Hallelujah!" The multitude also glorifies God because "the marriage of the Lamb has come." The marriage of Christ to his church is the consummation of God's redemptive work, and all those who are invited to the wedding banquet will enjoy a celebration beyond anything we can presently imagine.