Not A Tame Savior
The book of Revelation, despite the many who would cast a haze upon it, plainly presents to us the Lord Jesus as being the Savior of the World; in John’s preface (Rev. 1:1-8) we see that this book is dedicated “unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5).” Furthermore, we see that a “lamb slain” is the whole theme of the book (Rev. 5:6).
We must be careful, however, to not miss the fact that this saving work of Christ is presented to us in a way as to make us understand that He is not only Savior of the World, but also Lord of the World. Jesus is repeatedly pictured in this book as wielding a sword. This goes agains the grain of the popular thought amongst today’s Christians that Jesus is all about love, grace, acceptance and cuddles. We see throughout the apocalypse of John, a Savior full of power, dominion being given unto him, and all rebellion being subdued by him. To riff on Lewis, this is not a tame Savior.
About as Cozy as a Sword
The reason I point this out is that the mindset of 21st century Christians is being coddled with unbiblical, and unhelpful, notions of the nature of Christ and the mediatorial role which He is now invested with by the Father. We believe that the world is to be won to Christ by embracing the sinful notions which are currently most treasured by the world. On one hand we have older evangelical leaders paying homage to the Nationalistic fervor which Trump has incited; they seem to be persuaded that to “win our country back” we must cooperate with our enemy’s enemy. In this case, we ought to see how that worked out for Nikabrik, and then high-tail it the other way; fighting evil with evil never works out well.
On the other hand, we see many Christians wanting to get cozy with the GQBLT community; endeavoring to show the tolerance and acceptance that has apparently been lacking for 2000 years of Christianity, which they alone have bravely chosen to show. This is nothing more than a lust to fit in with the hipsters of current social thought, and friendship with the world means you’re an enemy of God (Jas. 4:4). Truth happens to be much more rigid than we’d like it to be, and it happens to be far more tender than we thought it could be.
Cozying up to the world, by presenting Christ either as a nationalistic figurehead or else a euphoric synonym for tolerance quite mistakes how Christ is presented to us in scripture, and in particular John’s Revelation. He is shown to us as wielding a sword. Swords aren’t as cozy as quaint political slogans or safe spaces.
Cut to the Quick
Jesus, we are told, has a sword protruding from His mouth (Rev. 1:12, 2:12, 2:16), and later we are told that with it He “smites the nations” (Rev. 19:15) and rules the world. We are also shown Christ going forth on a white horse “conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2); two of the three horsemen which follow the first (Christ certainly being figured as the rider of the white horse) are all shown to be “the instruments that [Christ] raised up” to accomplish His redemptive purposes for the world. Two of these three horsemen are given the sword of war (the other plagues), so that even the wicked wars of mankind are directed by the providence of Christ’s sovereign rule.
This said, we should not be so eager to befriend what Christ intends to destroy. His Word, which good, thinking Christians ought to understand by the sword of His mouth, is to go forth, unapologetically to rebuke, correct, and cut us to the quick. When Christians refuse to be cut to the heart by the Word of God, and surround themselves with “easy” teachings, apostasy is sure to arise. Christ is indeed the friend of the sinner, but He is also Lord of the World, whose Word is the binding rule for mankind.
Note that the New Testament presents to us the prophesied Messiah not as a well-manicured, JC Penny catalogue model, but as a fierce warrior who had conquered the greatest foe and before whom all other foes must submit. We live under a Savior who shed His blood, in order that He might conquer and rule the world. He is all love, all grace, all mercy, we affirm this as true; but we must not miss the glorious truth that He is a warrior, on the war-path to avenge His elect, defeat all foes, and establish His Kingdom in righteousness, truth, and glory. The sooner we get this picture in our head, the better. It’s actually the only way to save our nation, and the only way to show compassion to the hurting and lonely sinners.
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