In Revelation 19:10 we’re told just what it is that God wants, His Wish.
Sixteen times we’ve been told to “Look!” and now we’re told to “Worship God!”
Proskuneo is the Greek word translated “worship” and it means, “to kiss.”
God wants high-quality kisses offered in freedom.
How does one go about obtaining high-quality kisses?
Does one threaten? Can they be bought?
Perhaps, the kisses of the highest quality ever obtained on the surface of this earth were obtained by Jesus at a dinner party, held at Simon the Pharisee’s house.
They were offered by a harlot, who, like us, is now the Bride of Christ.
She would not stop kissing His feet as she anointed them with tears.
To Simon, the offended Pharisee, Jesus said, “He who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Have you sinned much? If not, you must not believe that you’re forgiven much; you must be a lousy kisser.
In Revelation 18 we witnessed the destruction of the Great Harlot and it would appear to be the destruction of all who dwell on the surface of the earth.
In Revelation 19 John hears a great multitude in Heaven worshipping God for His judgment—not that they have escaped His judgment, but that they witnessed His judgment. They sound like every creature “in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea and all that is within them,” whom John heard worshipping God in chapter 5.
The Harlot is destroyed and the Bride suddenly appears.
The Bride looks as the Harlot did, and yet, the Bride is entirely different.
The Harlot dressed herself in gold, jewels, and pearls.
The Bride is gold, jewels, and pearls.
For the Harlot, love is a law.
For the Bride, Love is Life and life is Love.
The Harlot kisses for some other reason.
For the Bride, the kisses are the reason. Her kisses are free.
When I first kissed Susan Coleman, her kisses were lousy, for they were laced with fear.
Four years later, her kisses were epic, for I had asked her to be my bride.
She could not pay for me, for “me” was free . . . and so were her kisses.
God wants epic kisses.
Once upon a time, there was a great King who fell in love with a maiden.
He desired her kisses, but how then, could those kisses be free, and their love be true? How would He, or she, know it was Him that she wanted and not His kingdom?
He emptied Himself of power and glory, became a slave, and romanced her to Himself; He said, “as you wish” all the way to the point of death on a cross, in order that His Wish might become her wish and they might love each other in freedom.
This is the Romance of God. It creates the Bride.
But a harlot cannot simply choose to be a bride.
A harlot is a woman who is paid to act like a bride, so if she simply chooses to be a bride, she simply makes herself a better harlot. A harlot must be chosen, in order to choose . . . in freedom.
If we preach, “To get the Kingdom, just choose the King,” perhaps we’re just making better harlots—like Simon the Pharisee.
We often preach, “To get the Kingdom, just choose to call the King, ‘Lord.’”
Jesus said, “Many will say, ‘Lord, Lord.’ And I will say, ‘I never knew you.’”
The Truth does not know lies. The Harlot is a lie. The Bride is who I am.
If we preach Grace, the Word destroys the Harlot and gives birth to the Bride; Grace gives birth to Faith—That’s the Gospel: “Your sins are forgiven you; it is God’s Judgment; it is His Choice.”
Speaking of His crucifixion, in John 12, Jesus said, “When I’m lifted up from the earth I will romance all people to myself.” He had already said, “No one can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, romances him (John 6).” He would soon say, “I will send another helper (John 14).”
The King still comes to us and romances us in weakness.
The Father still arranges all things that we would be romanced.
And they both send their Spirit to help us recognize our Helper.
We die with Him and rise with Him, a new creation.
That’s the reason for all the trauma, tribulation, and drama.
The Revelation is a “kissing book.” Your life is a kissing story.
The Father is telling the story of the King and you—His Princess Bride.
He’s telling you so that you would love Him as He has always loved you; He’s telling you so that His wish would become your wish; He is telling you so that you would worship Him in freedom and endless joy. His story is called reality.
Look! And worship . . . “as you wish.”
*Discussion questions for this sermon are available here: Discussion Questions “The Romance of God”