NBC Sunday School Manual For November 21, 2021 : Topic – REJOICING IN HEAVEN
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
November 21, 2021
TOPIC: REJOICING IN HEAVEN
Devotional Reading: Revelation 19
Background Scripture reading: Revelation 19
Lesson Scripture reading: Revelation 19:1-8
Golden Text: Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Revelation 19:7
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
i. State at least three ways Christians can proclaim God’s universal reign.
ii. Discuss the reasons for the rejoicing in heaven, according to the passage.
iii. Identify some lessons learned from John’s vision of the wedding of the Lamb.
It is common nowadays for intending couples to design their wedding cards with all the necessary information to enable their invited guests make adequate preparation to attend the programme. Recently, I received a beautifully designed wedding invitation card from or friend to her daughter’s wedding ceremony. In admiration, I quickly read through the information to ascertain the date, venue, time and possibly the colour code. To my surprise, there was another invitation to Cl wedding ceremony at the dek of the cord with detailed information of the colour code, venue and the quolifications to enter the reception. Immedidtely, I remembered the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, which would mark the coming reign of the Messiah (Matthew 8:11; 22:2-9).
John’s vision in Revelation chapters 17 and 18 is an extended description of the idolatry of Babylon and its fall. However, the first few verses of chapter 19 contains an intriguing vision in which Apostle John heard a great multitude singing, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.” (W. 6-7) Nevertheless, it should be noted that the victory song in this lesson celebrates the defeat of the world’s kingdoms and the proclamation of the Lord’s universal reign. The passage also focuses on the keys to identifying the bride who will reign with Christ in His eternal glory. Therefore, Christians are duty bound to proclaim God’s universal reign through witnessing, testimony and good conduct.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. The Hallelujah Song Revelation 19:1-5
Chapter 19 of Revelation begins another aspect of John’s narrative of his vision.
Having described the fall of Babylon in chapter 18, John narrated how he heard what sounded like the roar of a large crowd of people in heaven singing hymns of praise about Jesus. They were singing, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the prostitute who corrupted the earth by her immorality.” God punished the prostitute because she killed His servants (V. 1-2). This is a resounding song to all the earth for Jesus has come to judge the great whore, who has corrupted the earth and to avenge the blood of His martyred servants. This is indeed a time in which the knees of those who have rejected Him will shake. It is a time of comfort for those who have prepared for His return (v. 3). In response, the twentyfour elders and the four living creatures bowed down and worshipped God who was seated on the throne. They cried with a loud voice, “Amen, Hallelujah!” Without doubt, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures are the same John described in chapter 4 verse 4. They were dressed in white robe with golden crowns on their heads. They are representatives of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshipping and serving God (Revelation 4:9-11). Some Bible commentators suggest that they are the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles (Acts 21:12-14). ln verse 5, another voice came saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him both small and great.” What is important here is the worship of God with great reverence. The implication, therefore, is that Christians should worship God because He alone is worthy to be worshipped, He created everything, He is our Sustainer and so, He reigns and rules forever.
The word ‘Hallelujah’ is repeatedly used in Revelation. It is derived from two Hebrew words meaning, “Praise the Lord”. John’s revelation of the worship in heaven is a confirmation of the popular song that says, “I know there is another fellowship in heaven.” It is the gathering of saints who have triumphed and endured to the end. They will continuously sing that salvation, glory and power belong to God; therefore, He alone is worthy of praise. The call for all God’s servants to praise Him in verse 5 is applicable to every believer, whether young or old. Moreover, God’s standard of justice demands that wickedness must be punished. How much different is this from the presentation of God in so many churches today that God is a God of love who would never judge anyone, especially to send people to hell. People who believe this false gospel will not be prepared on the day of His coming.
Discussion Time 1
1. Considering the worship experience of the twenty-four elders and four living creatures, does the sa feelings occur today whenever believers gather to worship? If no, what are the
reasons and how can this be corrected?
2.What implication does verse 1 have for believers?
B. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb Revelation 19:6-8
The text continues with a great blessing for those who have believed in Jesus and remained true, even to the point of death. We have the majestic choir of the redeemed crying out in exuberant joy! They respond to the rule of God with praise, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.” Considering what judgement we so richly deserve, we have reasons to rejoice greatly. Thereafter, the time for the wedding of the Lamb and the bride who had prepared herself was announced a fine linen, which signifies righteous/good acts of the saints was given to her to wear. John used the imagery of a wedding to illustrate the intimate relationship between God and the people of Israel. In fact, in the Old Testament, the people of Israel were often described as the bride of God because of the covenant relationship He had with them.
Notably, the first two
Hallelujah in verses 1-5 express heaven’s joyous celebration over the destruction of Babylon, the harlot while the third Hallelujah chorus in verse 6 announces the marriage (the union) of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) to His true bride (God’s people). Prophet Isaiah confirmed this when he said, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord Almighty is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:5) The invitation for God’s people to rejoice, to be glad and to praise God’s greatness is emphasised in verse 7. The reason being that the time for the wedding has come and the bride has made adequate preparation for the reunion. As it is often said, the only qualification to partake of the great marriage supper is to accept Jesus Christ as one’s Saviour and Lord, to serve and remain committed to His service. Furthermore, believers should be willing to submit to a relationship with God that is deep, transparent and intimate. After all, the desire of every Christian is to make heaven and have fellowship with other brethren.
Discussion Time 2
1. Discuss the significance of the marriage supper to believers.
2. How does the experience of John about the heavenly worship inspire believers in their worship experiences?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
▪︎ ldentify some differences between the mode of worship in your church and make comparison with what John saw in his vision.
▪︎ Suggest some ways in which your worship can enhanced.
▪︎ God alone is worthy of our praise.
▪︎ God has destroyed every activity of the wicked.
▪︎ Christians should worship God with all sincerity.
▪︎ Those who have accepted Jesus as Saviour will take part in the marriage of the Lamb.
▪︎ God wants His people to be righteous.