Who, or what, captures your attention these days? The economy? The political shenanigans dominating our headlines? CRT? Perhaps you are now preoccupied with “Delta,” not the kind created by an expanding and receding river, but the newly minted form of, I hate to say it, “Covid.” Whatever, or whomever, seems to be nabbing your attention at this moment, there is soon coming another set of characters which will overwhelm your senses and cause you to become frozen in your steps with awe.
First, there is coming a time when all those who have believed, living and dead, will stand in utter dumbfoundment as they look upon the One who died, rose, and lives forever.
2 Thessalonians 1:10
When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
The word “admired” means we will marvel at Jesus. We will be astonished at our Lord. Think about that for a moment. We have so demeaned Him, so diminished Him in order to make Him palatable for our weaknesses and acceptable to a lost world, in many circles He is not much more than a nice guy who did some good stuff and wound up being killed. Yet Paul says when He comes back, you and I are going to be stunned as we gaze upon Him. He will be so amazing, so mesmerizing, our senses will be overwhelmed by His grandeur and glory. I don’t know about you. I can hardly wait for that moment!
Yet there is another time when this same term, or at least the same root word, is employed.
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
That’s right, while the believers have Jesus at which to marvel, the world has the one called “The Beast” to capture their attention. In all honesty, the future prospects of the world are not very bright.
Lest we, the church, become enamored of the Beast and his world systems, take the following into consideration. This Beast overcomes a near death experience (Revelation 13:3). The Christ overcame a total death experience and has the keys to the entire experience (Revelation 1:18). The Beast is granted amazing and widespread military power (Revelation 13:7). The Christ has absolute and everlasting authority over all military powers (Revelation 17:14, 19:11-16). The Beast is arrogant, loud, and obnoxious (Revelation 13:3). The Christ speaks as well, only with righteous judgment and authority (Revelation 19:15). The Beast, give him credit, will be worshipped by the vast majority of earth’s population (Revelation 13:8). The Christ, our Christ, however, will receive worship from every created thing…the entire cosmos will erupt in a cacophony of praise to the Exalted Christ (Revelation 5:11-14).
Remember, John’s Revelation, indeed the entire canon of scripture, is not designed to point us to the glory of the Beast, the identity of the Antichrist, or any of Satan’s charades. No, part of the amazing allurement of our Christ is the fact that He, the slaughtered Lamb of God, overcomes all and ultimately is the most amazing, spellbinding, and mesmerizing individual throughout human history. It is He, the Jesus in whom we believe, who stands supreme at the end of the day.
Oh, one more thought. Paul stated that as we stagger in our amazement of Him, He will in turn be glorified in us (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The fact He kept us when we were weak will cause some to give Him glory. The fact He forgave us when we should have been judged will cause some to give Him glory. The fact He sought us out when we were dead in sin will cause some to give Him glory. The fact He provided for us when we were destitute will cause some to give Him glory. The bottom line is His redemptive story has been played out in our lives will cause us to give glory to the Amazing One. In fact, such glory and worship are due Him today. Join with me and let’s exclaim the glory of our Amazing Christ!