Lots of symbolism (and confusing images) in today's reading. Here was my takeaway.
The seventh trumpet blows and loud voices from heaven thunder: "The kingdom of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever" (11.15). First of all, I love Handel's Messiah and in particular the Hallelujah Chorus. You'll note, if you're familiar with the lyrics to that song, that Revelation 11.15 was the inspiration for it. Very cool.
But for me, I noticed the certainty of it. There is no question in the statement. There is no room for doubt. It's a very clear statement of victory.
Which leads me to the next bit. The Accuser, Satan, is thrown down, having been conquered by the blood of the Lamb and the word of the testimony of those who follow the Lamb, those who didn't love their lives even unto death (meaning they loved Jesus more than breathing). Again, certain victory even for those who died. They may kill the body but they will not kill the person nor severe his or her relationship with Christ. Victory.
And then the last piece: perseverance as a result of certain victory. In 13.10 and 14.12, John clearly states that this is a call for the perseverance of the saints. It would be easy to turn away from Christ when times got hard in following Him. It would be easy to turn away from Christ when others, especially loved ones, are following someone else. It would be easy to turn away from Christ when it appears those not following are prospering and "really living" while those who remain faithful are struggling, hurting, oppressed, persecuted, and martyred.
But certain victory makes perseverance worth it. And that urges me on to faithfulness and stick-to-it-ness with Christ. I hope it does you too. Amen.