The message was brought by Eddie Foster.
Psalms 146:1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. 10 The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord. Psalms 147:1 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. 12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. 20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord. Psalms 148:1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. 13 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. 14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord. Psalms 149:1 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord. Psalms 150:1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Psalms 146 through 150 begin and end all the same–with a call to praise the Lord. They overflow with praise. With everything we do, we should praise God. What will praise do? (1) It takes our minds off our problems and shortcomings so that we focus on God more than any other thing. (2) It comes from individuals and leads to corporate worship with the body of Christ. (3) It causes us to pause and consider God’s character. The more I think of him, the more I see his holiness. (4) It lifts our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly. The Bible tells us that life is a vapor, here for a while then vanishes. A general lifespan is 70 years and in that time there is sorrow and grief. But as we focus on God, we are lifted to the heavenly. Don’t get caught up in the temporal and lose sight of the eternal. Everything here will pass away, your house, your car, your bank account. When you leave this world, it will all be left behind. For the saved, we’ll go to a place where rust and moths don’t eat away at things. The street of gold will not tarnish. The best is beyond this life. Praise is a heartfelt response of our love. We love God because he first loved us. He didn’t just tell me he loved me; he showed me. The best way to show love is not by what we say, but by what we do. The more we realize his love, the more we will praise him. And praise is the heart of true worship.
When we get to Revelation 19:1-3, a vast crowd praises God for victory. In verse 4 we find 24 elders have joined in. There were 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples. I believe these represent the redeemed of all time. When Jesus died on the cross, it was not just for those who would be born after that; it was for people who trust him on both sides of the cross. True praise and worship is from the heart. Whether we raise our hands or cry or not, it is to come from the heart. When we get to heaven, we will worship forever. This virus is going around the world; it has gotten the attention of people. I miss being in church, but I have been so excited to preach on Facebook each Sunday morning. This could well be signaling the coming of the Lord, and I assure you he is coming soon.
It’s very easy to praise the Lord when things are going well. You have clothes, food, a job, good health–it’s easy then. What about when health declines or the job goes? Can you still praise God? Job lost it all–family, health, and wealth. His wife told him to curse God and die. He said Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job still praised God! We have become less emotional over the years. There used to be Amen corners. People used to shout praises. We’ve removed the ancient landmarks. I know it’s 2020, but God hasn’t changed. He said to praise him in the Psalms, so it’s still what we should do now. Then we see the word Alleluia in Revelation. Translated it means praise the Lord. In Psalms the praise was on earth; in Revelation it is in heaven. So let’s get in a little practice here. We get caught up in our world and have pity parties. When Elijah had his pity party, God told him to quit whining. Always remember someone is worse off than you are. Still praise God.
In Revelation 19 verse 1 we see Alleluia of redemption. Jesus is appearing with the church to fulfil it completely. Jesus died and paid the sin debt so all could be saved. Everyone can, but not everyone will. In Acts 1:11 we see his ascension in the clouds, a visible, bodily ascension. He’s coming back the same way. In Thessalonians Paul says For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. This is not the second coming. This is the rapture of the church. We’ll be called out, caught up–raptured. The next 7 years will be in heaven at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. On earth the tribulation will occur. There’s going to be a time unlike any other here. Blood will come out of faucets. People will cry to die but can’t. Then the second coming occurs and Jesus will rule for 1,000 years. The Battle of Armageddon will be fought, the earth redeemed, and there will be peace in the valley. The devil has lots of power, but he’s not all powerful. Christ holds that title. By creation and redemption he owns it. Redemption is illustrated by the prophet Hosea. He was instructed to marry the harlot Gomer. She stayed with him a while and went back to her old life, selling her body. Hosea went after her, paid the price and brought her back home. We’re not redeemed by gold and silver but by the precious blood of Jesus.
We see the Alleluia of retribution in verses 2-3. This is the punishment for evil. Babylon, the old Roman system, will be punished. The judgment will be good and fair. We never know what judgments will come out of the courts today. Take Roe versus Wade for example. Science agrees that life begins at conception. That means it should be protected. God’s judgments won’t be that way. People who teach the annihilation of the unsaved see here that it’s not true. Verse 3 says the smoke of it lasts forever and ever. It is a place where the worm dies not. The rich man of Jesus’ story of him and Lazarus is still in torments today. Have you noticed at funerals these days that everyone goes to heaven. They don’t. To say a lost person goes to heaven nullifies everything I say I believe. Others say that God won’t send people to hell. That’s not a Bible teaching. They will.
We see the Alleluia of realization of the greatness of God in verses 4-5. We can see that greatness in creation and by man. The emphasis today is evolution. Believe the Genesis account and life will take on a new meaning. In the greatness of creation we can praise God. As we look at it we have to. We have seen his power to heal, his power over demons and over death. Take some time to go read Psalms 107; you’ll see several things to praise him for.
We see the Alleluia of Christ’s reign. Isaac Watts wrote a song usually sung at Christmas time, but if you read the words it goes back to Psalms 98. It’s not about Bethlehem, the first coming. It’s the second coming. The song is Joy To The World. Read the words. The curse was here even after Bethlehem. He was not received. For centuries people have prayed the Lord’s Prayer, really the model prayer after the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. In it, we say “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That unfolds in Revelation 19. The first time Jesus was rejected. The second time will be different. All will bow to him. You say, “not me.” Yes; you will. The difference is when you bow. It will be here or at the judgment of the unsaved. You will bow!
I thank God everyday for redemption. The retribution will be fair and just. The reign will happen one day, but for now he can reign in our hearts. The best is yet to come. Are you ready? In all we’ve been going through for weeks, we can still praise the Lord. Have you? Are you still saying Alleluia? Focus on the right things. God is still in control.