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“Revelation’s Third Beautiful Beatitude”
Revelation 16:15


Pastor Kevin Vogts
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost—August 15, 2010

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

We continue our sermon series on “Revelation’s Seven Beautiful Beatitudes” as listed on the back of the bulletin.  This morning we consider “Revelation’s Third Beautiful Beatitude” from today’s Epistle Reading: “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Christ is coming!  Stay awake!  Clothed in his righteousness!

“Behold, I come like a thief!”  The time is short.  The day of the Lord’s coming and the final judgment is near.  The trumpet will sound and he will come on the clouds with great power and glory.  Heaven and earth will pass away and we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  This is the last hour.  And no one knows that day or hour.  Like a thief coming in the night, he will come when you least expect him. 

Christ is coming!  Stay awake!  Clothed in his righteousness!

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake.”  You have been slumbering in your sins long enough.  Wake up, before it is too late!  Wake up, before he comes and finds you resting in your wretchedness!  Wake up and repent!  Make yourself ready to stand before him.

Christ is coming!  Stay awake!  Clothed in his righteousness!

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”  On Judgment Day all our sin, all our guilt, all the wrongs we have done—all will be laid bare before the Lord.  All your secrets, exposed.  All your shame, uncovered.  All your life, an open book before the Judge.  He knows.  You cannot conceal it; you cannot hide it from him.  He knows. 

Are you ready to stand before him?  Are you read to give account, to give account of your life to God? You have only one hope, you have only one refuge, you have only one escape from the punishment you deserve!

The Lord promises in Isaiah, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.”  That is you escape, God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The Apostle John writes, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. . . And the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.”  You are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  As today’s Introit says, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”  Blessed are you, your transgressions are forgiven, your sins are covered.

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”  On the Day of Judgment, you will not go naked, you will not be shamefully exposed.  For you are clothed, spiritually clothed in the righteousness of Christ. 

Revelation says of you and all who trust in Christ, “These are they who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Like a white robe, his righteousness covers you, his righteousness makes you pure and holy in the sight of God.  “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.”

When he shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in him be found,

Clothed in his righteousness alone,

Redeemed to stand before the throne!

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Christ is coming!  Stay awake!  Clothed in his righteousness!

Our closing benediction is from the Second Epistle of John: “And now, dear children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

Amen.

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