All Saints’ Day Sermon – The Gathering of All Companions….
The Gathering of All Companions
Rev. 7: 9-17
† In Jesus Name! †
We’re all here….
In the epistle to the Hebrews, after describing the great heroes of the faith, there the following words,
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Hebrews 11:39-40 (NLT)
Thhat prophesy we see in Hebrews is described in the first reading, the one from Revelation 7. When people from every continent, from every culture, from every language, from every time period in history are gathered together, and God looks out on them,
and they praise Him.
Much as God has gathered us from every corner of this world and brought to this room. To celebrate the same thing we will celebrate then, that,
“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
I want to hear those words, said by us all, to give us and idea of what they will sound like, in various accents, in various voices, male and female, young and old
We are here for the same reason, for the same purpose, to praise the God who comes to us and loves us.
There has been much to be written and said about the answer the elder gives about the great crowd dressed in white.
Some translations talk of them coming through, or out of the tribulation. The translation we use here describes it as those who died in the great tribulation. I am not sure how it translates into Chinese, but the idea of tribulation in English has for a couple of centuries caused great fear, so much fear that theological systems have developed, not around Christ Jesus, but around when and how this tribulation occurred.
Oh, by the way, its not just any tribulation – it is the mega-tribulation. The greatest tribulation, the greatest suffering known to man, in all of history, since this passage happens at the end of time.
A tribulation that only God can bring us through, a tribulation where God brings forth all of His wrath against sin. A tribulation so great, that sin can’t withstand it, and those who are sinners are killed off by it.
All sinners, and it doesn’t matter what they have done.
For as Paul tells the church in Rome, all have sinned.
You might find it interesting, but that mega tribulation has already happened. It happened much as the Old Testament prophet claimed it would,
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck done. Isaiah 53:5-11 (NLT)
That is why the passage of Revelation mentions that the blood spilt, that causes their robes to be white is not their own, but it is Christ’s.
For it is in His death that we find life, it is united to His death, that we find our sins stripped from us, and our being brought to life. Don’t take my words for it, that is what Paul writes often,
11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:11-14 (NLT)
My dear, dear brothers and sisters, what makes us family, part of the family of all Saints, is simply this, that Jesus suffered and died for us….
That’s Why We Praise Him
Because He died, we died with Him, because He has risen, we have been given new life, we’ve been born again, we’ve been quickened by the Holy Spirit, and been cleansed from every sin, and can wear the white robes of God.
That is why we can gather here, people from so many different backgrounds, and yet we are one people, God’s one people. The saints He gathers in His presence, and as we realize this, our voices cry out in praise.
This is our God, who loves us, who gathers us together, as His holy people. It is time to celebrate His love, just like the people do in Revelation.
Church, and especially the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, has been described as the Feast that is a foretaste of the feast to come….. and so the church is supposed to be is a small glimpse of what heaven will be.
So as we feast, on the Lord’s Supper, may we see that moment, when millions upon millions will gather, from many more backgrounds, ethnicities, languages than here.
But this glimpse, is a small view of that peace, the peace that passes all understanding. ..
For we are His people, gathered by Him together… gathered to live with Him.
Posted on November 1, 2015, in Sermons and tagged Abiding in Christ, apostolate, baptism, brokenness, Concordia Lutheran Chruch- Cerritos, Concordia Lutheran Church, grace, Life in Chirst, the cross, Tribulation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.