By Leonard Lauriault
On a recent Wednesday morning, I was reviewing a lesson I’d prepared for that evening’s adult Bible class about loving Jesus’ appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8). The lesson included Revelation 19:6-8 and as I began reading that (you must read the passages cited to understand), I heard a rushing sound to my right that caused me to think, “That was neat!”
Then, because I have hearing loss in my right ear, I thought, “Wait a minute; I forgot to put in my hearing aid this morning!” I don’t know what I heard or even if it was all in my head spurred by the verse, but as I went to get my hearing aid, I wondered more about Revelation 19:6.
The sound mentioned in Revelation 19:6 was from a multitude surrounding God’s throne who were responding to a command to praise God (vs. 5). Whether we’re alone or in a crowd we’re to glorify God in all we do causing others to also praise him (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 2:1-12; Colossians 3:22-24). When we fall short of that goal, we’re to get back on track and make progress again by bringing glory to God (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:5-9; Philippians 3:10-16; 1:20-21). Actually, Christians are never alone because the Spirit of Christ dwells within us reminding us that we’re God’s children and discouraging us from sin (John 14:15-21; Galatians 3:26 to 4:7; Romans 8:15-17; Hebrews 3:7-15).
When Jesus instilled his Apostles with the Holy Spirit after his resurrection, it was with a breath – a whisper, so to speak – just like God used when Elijah felt alone (John 20:19-22; 1 Kings 19:9-18). It’s interesting that after God reminded Elijah of his presence with a whisper, he told Elijah he wasn’t alone because there were thousands on earth who were faithful to God.
When the Spirit came upon the Apostles with power on the Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection, there was a sound like a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:1-4). This was an attention-getter from God to confirm what the Apostles were teaching, but those miraculous abilities would pass away with the completion of the inspired New Testament (Acts 2:5-13; Hebrews 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13:8-15; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Now, the Holy Spirit indwells us only through baptism and the only sound might be the whooshing of water as the one being baptized is immersed and arises to their new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Acts 2:38-39).
The multitude in heaven mentioned in Revelation 19 reminded me that we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses from throughout the ages who’ve been faithful to God and who encourage us to focus on Jesus and the salvation he offers (Hebrews 11:1 to 12:4; 1 Peter 1:3-21; 5:8-9). Now, whenever you hear any rushing sound, whether gentle or mighty, remember that God and a host of others are cheering you on to the heavenward goal in Christ Jesus. I hope to hear that a lot.
Isn’t it neat what can happen with personal Bible study?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org