In heaven, perfect trust in God leads to perfect security in God. We can be perfectly obedient to God in heaven through Christ, which brings perfect rest. In Luke 14, Jesus tells a parable. A man wants to throw a big party and invites his friends. But they all have lame excuses for why they can’t come. One of his friends claims to be working on a real estate deal. Another friend bails because he just bought five yoke of oxen. A third says, “I’m married,” which makes no sense.
All these excuses make the man angry, so he tells his servants, “Go out into the streets and invite everyone! The poor, the maimed, the blind, and lame.” That’s what Jesus does. He invites everyone to the party in heaven. Some choose not to show up. In Revelation 14:14, Jesus appears. John writes, “Then I saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.” (NLT)
At this moment, Armageddon begins. God begins the process of enacting perfect justice. The defeat of evil is imminent. Good prevails. Jesus wins. A famous song references this moment. Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic after she met President Lincoln. She was an abolitionist and early supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. The song begins, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.”
The lyrics are a reference to Revelation 14:19-20. In the great winepress of God’s wrath, sin will be trampled. And if you are identified by your sin, you will be trampled with it. God’s wrath is not a popular concept today, but popularity does not always equate to truth. The sickle swings, taking down the grapes ripe for judgment. Will you be taken down under the wrath of God? Or will you be taken up into the glory of heaven with Jesus?
The choice is yours to make.