SanLo Community, an update for the week of August 26, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from Revelation 7:9-17, “Perfect Ending.” I enjoy watching TV and movies. Not so into the action but more into how well the story is told. And the best is when there is a good ending. If the movie is entertaining all the way through but has a lame ending, it ruins the movie. So what about the ending of our lives? I’m not talking about how we spend our last days here on earth. But rather how we spend our forever. Living in Christ has many benefits here on earth – He gives us peace, guidance, love, power, wisdom, etc. What do we have to look forward to?
1) A perfect victory – Salvation. (vv.9-10) A great multitude – some think it’s the martyrs from Revelation 6:9. Perhaps it’s the 144,000 mentioned earlier in this chapter. Either way, it’s composed of all those who have given their lives to Jesus, those who remained faithful to Him. There is no set number of tickets for this event. No sell outs. There is no one race or one language. Every nation, tribe, people and language will be represented. White robes – the robe is a very important piece of clothing in the Bible. It’s not just something to wear, it represents who the person is and what status that person has. And we will be wearing white robes. White represents purity because that is what we are when we are in Christ. And the palm branches – they were waved before Jesus at the triumphal entrance of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The people shouted “Hosanna” which means “help.” Or “save, I pray.” Jesus did save us as He died on the cross for us. Now these palm branches signify victory of martyrs and victory of the spirit over the flesh. Wearing the white robe and waving the palm branches shows that at that point, the victory is ours. The battle is over and as it says in verse 10… Salvation belongs to our God. That word for salvation can also be translated as “deliverance” and “victory”. He has won. He sits on the throne and is the King and Ruler of all and we join Him in His victory. We have the white robe which signifies our status with Him. We are not outsiders watching. We are participants. We are a part of God’s family and get to enjoy all the spoils of this victory. When you put your faith in Jesus, you don’t have to pretend. You are a part of the greatest team ever assembled. A member of God’s family. And you get to experience the perfect victory – salvation!
2) We get to worship the perfect God – Adoration. (vv.11-12) Adoration = Having a strong devotion and love for God. To praise Him and worship Him. Elders – Revelation 4:4 says there are 24. Some think they represent the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and the 12 apostles of the New Testament, all the redeemed of God and all a part of His family. Jews and Gentles - all who are redeemed in the Lord are worshipping Him forever. Four creatures - Revelation 4:6b-8. Each creature represents qualities and characteristics of God: Lion – majesty and power; Ox – faithfulness; Man – intelligence; Eagle – sovereignty. These 7 attributes in verse 12 – praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power and strength all represent complete and perfect praise for a complete and perfect God. We get to worship the perfect God.
3) We get to live in the perfect home. (vv.13-14) Great tribulation – some scholars believe this to be specific time of intense tribulation yet to come. Some believe it’s the suffering that we go through during our lives. In either case, the verse is referring to after going through this period. Robes made white – you don’t make things white by washing it in blood. Blood cannot make things white but the blood of Christ is the ultimate cleanser as it takes away the stain of sin. And so again we are in white robes. Because we are family. And family is allowed to live under the care of the true King in the house of God.
(vv.15-17) It says they (we) are before the throne of God. We are in His temple (naos = habitation of God). If you have put your faith in Jesus – if you have made the decision to give your life to Him – if you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, you can rest knowing that your eternity is secure and you will be with Him forever. But if you haven’t made that decision yet, please consider doing so. Think about all you can gain. It’s not just for a short period of time. It’s for eternity!
By making that simple choice to accept Him into your life, you can be assured of having your eternal address in Heaven. It says here we are with God and not only that it says that He will spread His tent over us. In the original language it’s the idea that this covering is not just one place where you can leave it. It goes with you. It’s a consistent and complete shelter. (v.16) We are under His full care. Never again to hunger or thirst. Can you imagine! Our basic need for nourishment will be completely satisfied forever! And in verse 17, no tears! All believers will be able to spend an eternity in Paradise. No matter how tough your life here on earth is. No matter how many times you stumbled and fell and made bad choices, you can still find yourself in a place where there will be no more tears. Nothing to make you cry. No pain. No sickness. No sadness. Do you want this? Is this where you want to spend the rest of eternity? You can! All you have to do is receive this free gift. You can do that right here, right now!
Thank you Michi Shimada for the Children’s Message about God’s special plan for our lives: I have a plan for this little square of origami paper. Every summer for 5 years our church has sent a team to NAOMI house. We go to share the love of Jesus. We want the children to know that God loves them and He has a plan for them. The children who live at NAOMI House live there because their families aren’t able to take care of them. How would you feel if you couldn’t live with your family? Sometimes we have sad or hard moments in our lives that we don’t understand. Revelation 7:16-17 says, ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘He will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. When we go to NAOMI house we want the children to know that Jesus loves them, and, if they put their faith in Jesus, He will prepare a home for them in heaven. A home where there is no more sadness, and no more tears. And just like I had a plan to create a butterfly out of this origami paper, God has a very special plan for your lives and for the children of NAOMI house.
Mission Sharing: Ross Yamamoto, Patti Okui and Andie Oh shared on behalf of the 2018 NAOMI House mission team about personal reflections of their experience to Arizona this past July. The whole team is so grateful for all those who supported and sent us to serve the community of NAOMI House. There will be some articles in upcoming Firmly Rooted. This was a very special trip for the team as each year we deepen our ties and commitment to the house parents and leaders as they minister to these special children.