Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Revelation 7:9-17

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

"Therefore they are before the throne of God,

and serve him day and night in his temple;

and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;

the sun shall not strike them,

nor any scorching heat.

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of living water,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Message: Mud

God! You’re crushing me!!! You give me so much I can’t handle. Each assignment, each appointment, even each break becomes a burden and you still expect me to be a “good person” too?!? I don’t even know what that means!! Am I to be righteous, right in your eyes? Am I to be clothed in pure white like the preacher, perfect and holy in every way?!? Look at me, I don’t deserve that, I’m covered in mud. Even though I try to stay pure, I’m here on earth sinning away. The mud which is my sin splashes in my face. You say in 1 John[1] that whoever keeps sinning is of Satan and whoever practices righteousness is righteous. I try to be friendly and “love my neighbor,” but it’s too hard. I cannot be righteous. I can’t even follow your top ten!! (1) I do put other things above you. I have idols instead of “no other gods before me.” (2) I can’t stop using your name in vain, everyone does it. (3) You said to keep a day of rest set apart from the others and to keep it holy. I don’t have time to rest on Sunday, let alone I don’t even tend to keep it holy. The Pastor is always sooooo boring and the other people in the congregation are always much more entertaining, I usually don’t learn anything let alone really worship you. I can’t even keep from sinning against my neighbor. (4) I don’t always listen to my parents. (5) I harm those around me, either purposefully or by not being there for them. That’s close enough to murder. (6) I lust after almost everyone and Jesus said that was the same thing as adultery. (7) I steal. Maybe I don’t to it physically, but I steal people’s thoughts their ideas. I’m like the ancient Plagrius of Plagiarism. (8) I LIE!! I can’t help it; sometimes people shouldn’t know the truth. Or, at least, I don’t think they should. (9 & 10) I want and want and want. Then, once I get something, I realize that I only need more!!! I don’t even stop to take the time to thank you!! It’s too hard!!!! I can’t be perfect; my robe that’s supposed to be white is drenched in murky brown smelly mud.

I have some bad news for you, there are no good people. At least, not if a good person has to obey all of the rules. No man can keep every single one of God’s commandments. Even though God’s written it out how to be a perfect person, we fell, we sin, and we miss the mark. As Job says, man is a maggot; one of those gross creatures that live in the mud, when he stands before God. The title of that chapter says something like: man cannot be righteous.[2] Yet, when we get to the Revelation chapter we see all the believers. They stand before God in a perfect white, they’re clean and holy. They’re perfect. What happened?!?!? “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.” Christ has become the perfect man for us. Even though we try to be perfectly righteous, He knew that we couldn’t so He took our place. This isn’t an excuse for us to not care whether we do right or wrong since we’re already saved. This is a reason to try to stay righteous. Even though we know we cannot do it, we realize that God became as humble as a man, he was like one of us writhing maggots only he wasn’t in the mud, and He was perfect. He served as an example for what we should try to be. But, since we can’t get there, he died washing us with his blood and rose so that one day we may live forever dressed in the white robes of forgiveness just like him.

We are at the same time a Saint and a Sinner. We can’t get out of the mud, but Christ has still saved us from it. God sees us as white because of what Christ has done for us. This may not make sense to us, just like we may not be able to fully understand the creatures in the text. But, even though we deserve to be treated as mud, we shall hunger or thirst no more. He will guide us to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Don’t give up on trying to be righteous, but when you can’t succeed realize that Christ has already achieved perfect righteousness for you.


[1] This is the other optional reading for the day, around chapter 3.
[2] Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous (Chapter 25)

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