THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
1 John 3:1-3
We are living in the end times. It is a “time of great
distress” (Rev 7:14b). It is a time for the New Evangelization.
the cultures of death and life clash, when the barbarians
at the gates assault the kingdom of God on earth, then there
will be great suffering due to persecution. But this is just
the prelude to the ultimate salvation of Jesus’ second
will the world persecute God’s people? Well, in the
same way, the world persecuted Jesus himself. “The reason
the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
(1 Jn 3:1c). So our task today is to get the world to know
Jesus. This is the work of evangelization. But because the
world will not understand that we only want what is best for
people by introducing them to Christ, and because their sinful
lifestyles will be threatened, then the world will react by
persecuting us. But this is a sure sign that we are on the
God’s people do an effective work of evangelization,
then we can look to “a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count, from every nation, race, people,
and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”
(Rev 7:9). White robes and palm branches are symbols of joy
and victory. White is a sign of victory and joy as well as
The question is: will we be among them? “Who are these
wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
(Rev 7:13b). The answer: “These are the ones who have
survived the time of great distress; they have washed their
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
this is interesting. The robes have been washed in the blood
of the Lamb. They should be red (blood) but they are white.
They should be soiled but they are clean. There should be
grief but instead there is joy. The way of Jesus is the way
of the cross. The way of victory is the way of seeming defeat.
There is intense darkness prior to the blinding light.
is the great paradox of the faith. We suffer yet but a little,
but look to being blessed. The poor in spirit will possess
the kingdom of heaven, those who mourn will be comforted,
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied
(Mt 5:3,4,6). It is when we are persecuted for the sake of
righteousness that we will possess the kingdom of heaven (Mt
is the way of righteousness that we pursue, so that we will
possess heaven? It is our own personal holiness, and it is
the work of evangelization, by which we help bring the righteousness
of God into the world.
First, our personal righteousness. We are “the children
of God” (1 Jn 3:1a) and “we shall be like (God)”
(1 Jn 3:2b). Thus, “everyone who has this hope based
on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).
We need to live pure. How? How can we indeed possess heaven?
“Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? Who can stand
in his holy place?” (Ps 24:3). It is those who live
pure. They are “the clean of hand and pure of heart,
who are not devoted to idols, who have not sworn falsely.”
(Ps 24:4). Our holiness is our badge of entry into heaven.
“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”
it is not just about who we are but also about what we do.
We do not only look to our personal holiness, but also to
those of others. We do not only want to make it to heaven
ourselves, but to bring along a great multitude of people.
Thus we need to evangelize, and do so massively and with great
passion and commitment.
we do so, the enemy and the world under him will react viciously.
We will suffer. Our robes will be washed in the blood of the
Lamb. But this is the only way of salvation. And so if we
are privileged to suffer for the sake of righteousness, then
we are truly blessed and we ought to rejoice. Jesus himself
assures us: “Blessed are you when they insult you and
persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely
because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be
great in heaven.” (Mt 5:11-12a).
This time of great distress is a time of great joy. This time
of persecution is a time of great blessing. We are fortunate
to be living in such a time. We are fortunate to have the
privilege of doing the very work of God, of bringing salvation
into the world, as we evangelize.
need to persist and to persevere. We look to being among “the
ones who have survived the time of great distress” (Rev
7:14b). Then we will stand around the throne of God with the
angels and saints, as we prostrate ourselves before the throne
and worship God (Rev 7:11).