TEXT: Revelation 19:11-21
I. Christ the King Returns in Majesty (vv. 19:11-16)
This vision reveals King Jesus, ready for the final battle returning on a white horse, signifying complete victory. John refers to Jesus by four titles:
–Faithful and True – reminding us of Christ’s perfect character and integrity.
–An Unknown Name – pointing to the deity and mystery of Christ.
–The Word of God – reminding us Jesus embodies the Bible, as well as the “final word” of God’s judgment.
–King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus has complete and perfect authority over all.
In the middle of this vision of King Jesus riding into battle, John is now shown who is riding with Jesus. It’s the Church – riding with Jesus, on white horses like Jesus, wearing white robes like Jesus, clothed in the power of Jesus! We are there to have a front-row seat to see His justice and power, to share in His victory, and to give Him glory as those He has redeemed.
And how fitting it is that we don’t fight. We didn’t do anything to be saved – Jesus alone did that. It’s not our strength or will that chose God – He chose us and saved us. So it only makes sense, here at the final battle, the saints don’t get any credit for the victory.
II. Christ the King Conquers His Enemies (vv. 19:17-21)
Before the final battle between good and evil, between Christ and the devil even takes place, the angel of the Lord announces the victory, calling out to the birds of prey and the scavengers to gather for what is called “the great supper of God”, (a horrific picture contrasted with the wedding banquet of the Lamb at the beginning of the chapter).
This is the famous battle of Armageddon first mentioned in Rev. 16. Every government, every false religion, every person who has not submitted to the Savior Jesus in this life, will be conquered by King Jesus in the end. And notice here that the beast and false prophet were thrown “alive” into the lake of fire. They did not simply cease to exist. This underscores something we need to remember – Hell is forever.
This is a warning for those rejecting Christ to turn to Him before it’s too late. And it’s also an encouragement to the Church:
-To strengthen our faith. Jesus has all authority and will have the final victory. That gives us strength to endure suffering, to resist sin in that moment of temptation, to be faithful to evangelize the lost even if it means rejection or persecution, and strength to face even the little, mundane moments of life, knowing that as Jesus is Lord over all.
-To give us hope. When we are reminded that King Jesus is returning in His majesty and glory, that gives us hope. It reminds us this life is not all there is, and that Jesus keeps His promises. The one who promised to come again in all His glory – He will come again.
-To increase our joy. God’s people should be the most joyful people on earth. He has called you out, saved you in Christ, adopted you into His family, and secured an eternity with Him. Nothing in this life can take you out of His hand or steal His promises from you. So rejoice! Be glad! Praise Him with joy and without shame! Encourage one another, knowing that Jesus has conquered and He’s coming again.
1. Dutch Reformer Abraham Kuyper famously said: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine’!” How should this truth comfort us now? Affect our worship now?
2. This vision portrays Jesus as He is right now – with complete and absolute authority over all. Does your view of Jesus fit this description? Why is it important that we see Jesus, not only our Shepherd and Savior, but as our Conquering King?
3. In the vision of the saints returning with Christ, yet none of us actually fight in the battle, how is this a fitting example of our salvation and Jesus getting all the glory? What areas of your life are you tempted to depend on your own strength, or forget to glorify God?
4. We often face struggles that can steal our Christ-centered joy. How can this vision / these verses replenish your joy in those areas?