September 6 - Message Update

“The Revelation Of Jesus” – Revelation 1:1-16 – Pastor Brian

What is revealed about Jesus in the end?

 

For most, 2020 has been a very difficult year.  We can’t wait for all the bad stuff to end. We begin our preaching series in the book of Revelation.  It is a book about the end of time and what we can look forward to as followers of Christ.  All the bad stuff will come to an end when Jesus comes back.  The return of Christ will reveal the personal and powerful Savior of the world. His return demonstrates the good and mighty character of Jesus Christ and that in Him, we will triumph over trials and tribulation.  In the end, life as we know it will be cleaned up and made perfect with no more tears, pain, sickness or death because of Jesus. Jesus is completely and perfectly revealed at the end of the world, but how is Jesus fully known?

 

1) In the end, Jesus blesses those who live according to His Word. (vv.1-3) Jesus blesses those who abide in His Word. Those who study and live by the teachings of the Bible will be rewarded both now and forever. Revelation is often misunderstood and portrayed by the world as only about judgment and destruction. This is only a partial truth. Yes, there is judgment and destruction but in reality, the opening statement explains that this book is about the revelation of Jesus Christ.  This prophecy was given to the apostle John on the island of Patmos about 60 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.  It is written to bring a sense of urgency and hope to help Christ followers know and realize that tribulation leads to triumph and to warn those who reject Jesus. 

 

The message of Revelation is about the second coming of Jesus and all that will take place during the end of this world as we know it.  There is an urgency for Christians because time is getting shorter to tell our loved ones, friends, co-workers and even enemies about the good news of being set free from the grasp of sin and be eternally united with God. God wants everyone to know what lies ahead which is, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place.” If we take God’s word to heart and live in it, then... (v.3) “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the word of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” In God’s plan, in the end, Jesus blesses those who live according to His Word both now and forever. 

 

2) In the end, there is no doubt that Jesus will return, will you be ready? (vv.4-8) The first three chapters of Revelation focused upon a specific group of seven churches in Asia Minor. This prophecy is not limited to these churches but in fact is meant for all of God’s people. Revelation has something to do with the completeness and perfection of God’s plan through Jesus.

 

Without question, Jesus who is, who was, and who is to come, the Alpha and Omega, will return, but why?  It’s because Jesus loves us and wants us to live in the freedom from sin He died and was resurrected for. He wants us to enjoy living in the Kingdom of God, in the completeness and perfection of the abundant life promised by God. Everyone will see the return of Jesus but not everyone will be happy. (v.7) This is the warning of Revelation that those who are not ready for His inevitable return will wail and mourn because they will be cut off from God.  Who are those not ready? The ones who deny Jesus is God’s Son and do not believe in Him or receive Him as their Savior and Lord. There is no doubt that Jesus will return so here is the most important life question you can ask yourself. Am I ready for when Jesus comes back? What must I do to be ready for His second coming? How can I be ready for His return? John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

     

3) In the end, the mighty and awesome power of Jesus will be seen. (vv.9-16) While on the island of Patmos, the apostle John was in the Spirit, which some believe John was like in a trance or a dream state, when he heard a loud voice like a trumpet. This voice instructed him to write to seven specific churches when there were many other churches in the region.

 

Then John (vv.12-13a) “Turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like the Son of man.” What does this mean? Verse 20 tells us that the seven lampstands are the seven churches just mentioned in verse 11. So, John sees one like the Son of man standing among the seven churches presented in a spectacular way. As we go through this symbolic description of the Son of man, it will become clearer that this man is Jesus.  It is Jesus who stands among the seven churches.  Each section in the seven-element description of the glorified Christ has symbolic significance.

 

This book was written about 60 years from the time Jesus died and was resurrected and during those 60 years Christians were an oppressed minority who felt powerless as they were ridiculed, beaten, jailed and tortured. They needed to view the risen Christ as a source of strength. Though a kind and loving servant of God who was killed on the cross He is also the King who could withstand any tribulation and triumph in the end. Jesus, our Lord and Savior is both Prince of Peace and the powerful King of Kings at the same time. 

 

Pandemic, division, fires, and financial catastrophes make us feel powerless and afraid.  It’s easy to lose peace.  Jesus is the King of Peace who has the power to instill in us a calm that is beyond any understanding. In a messy world full of chaos, we are given a vision of Jesus, the Messiah King, described in a most powerful way. 

 

Overall, the language of Revelation expresses the majesty of the glorified Christ’s appearance. These seven features of Jesus reveal His mighty and awesome power. He’s not a super hero. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of the Universe. He is supernatural, not super human.  He is God.

 

I have lost count of how many times people have referred to what we have seen in the news and are experiencing, as the end times, the apocalypse.  The pandemic, racial divide, fires of California, hurricane Laura, and the ugly political war for presidency.  If you watch TV and have no other influence or perspective, these times can make you feel hopeless and powerless.  We can’t intermingle, we can’t go to restaurants, movies, businesses are closing, we are stuck inside due to the smoke, and we can’t even worship together. But if you believe Jesus is coming back there is power and strength today knowing that in the end all will be good.

     

Instead of being overwhelmed by hardships, be overwhelmed by the love of Jesus, who will powerfully bless and protect you when you feel powerless. Jesus is coming but He is also here to love upon you in His strength and mercy. He says in

Matthew 11:28, “Come to e, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

 

Praise Songs: Way Maker, Cornerstone, Amazing Grace, Doxology