Our Risen King: A Global Savior
The International Space Station posted a picture of Cuba, Florida and the Bahamas a few days ago. Stunning images - a view of the Earth that we could never have from our perspective with feet on the ground.
Our text today is a view of the Kingdom of God from a perspective we cannot see on our own. Today’s text presents a scene that causes sensory overload - amazing, spectacular, celestial vision of the glory of God and the Risen King. The Focus is on Jesus as Global Savior!
1. Jesus the Global Savior (9-12)
Worshiped by All People - A Global gathering (9). Without Number / Without Borders. Without Divisions or Loyalties. Wiersbe: “You cannot read the book of Revelation without developing a global outlook, for the emphasis is on what God does for people in the whole world… “Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” was our Lord’s mandate.”
Standing before the Throne with. Palm Branches (Triumphal Entry - Hosanna). Loud Voices praising work of God and the Lamb. Verse 10
Worshiped by All Angels (11-12) In this text exploding with images we are given a vision of the global nature of the work of the Savior. God is not an American God; Christianity is global. We have brothers and sisters throughout the world who are gathering to worship our Risen King!
2. Jesus the Global Hope (13-15a)
The Ones in White Robes (13-15a). They came out of the tribulation / “ordeal” (NRSV). Problem: identifying future event as ‘great tribulation’ . Instead we should every age enduring a great ordeal for their faith. The underground church is thriving in China and other oppressive environments. Reliable reports suggest more Muslims have become followers of Jesus over the last two decades than in Islam's entire 1,500 year history.
“We Christians are wont to imagine that God’s job is to keep us and our loved ones safe from all harm. This mis-guided belief causes more lives of faith to crumble than any other that I have known…” ~ Dana Ferguson, Feasting on the Word.
Notice How Jesus has Brought Hope to the Persecuted
Washed in the blood of the Lamb (14). The tribulation left them beaten and bloody, but washing in the blood of Lamb makes them white.
Acts 22:16b “Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”
1 John 1:7 …the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Christians have been persecuted for their faith find themselves righteous before throne. Stephen, the first Christian martyr among them. The apostles. Ancient and Modern martyrs. Every five minutes a Christian is martyred for their faith, more than 200 million followers around the world currently face persecution… in a
geographic sweep which extends across northern and western Africa, across the Middle East, throughout Asia and down into Indonesia.
They came out of the great tribulation - were not destroyed - but they live. What have you been through but still remain serving the Lord?
They Serve God day and Night (15a)
3. Jesus - The Global Healer (15b-17)
He will shelter them with his presence (15b)
He will give them food and water and covering (16)
He will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs living water. Psalm 23:1-4 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Some have called this “the tenderest little sentence in the whole Bible.” “God shall wipe away every tear of sorrow, every tear of loss, every tear of disappointment, every tear of pain.” (David Roper)
It is said that the poet Robert Burns could not read the closing verses of this chapter without tears.
William Barclay: “It would be impossible to number the people who have found comfort in this passage in the house of mourning and in the hour of death.”
1. The Global Savior is YOUR Savior,
2. The Global Hope is YOUR Hope
3. The Global Healer is YOUR Healer
When we look at the pictures from the International Space Station we do not see many small details of the Earth, more of a big picture. Do you think God is only seeing a 'big picture' view of the lives of those who serve Him? In no way! God knows what you're going through. He's aware of every tear. He sees every injustice. In His own way and time He will set all things aright.
Are you letting Him lead you to living water today? The healing Christ offers is not only for another time and place when we go to heaven... it is for today ... comfort and assurance that nothing we do for God goes unnoticed.
1. There have been many depictions of what heaven might be like in movies and songs and television shows. What movie, song, or show has presented a picture of heaven that sticks with you and that meant a lot to you?
2. What do you think the overall message of Revelation 7:9-17 was to Christians in the first century? What do you think the overall message is to Christians today?
3. What is the significance of the white robes worn by the multitude? What does it mean to “wash our robes” in the blood of Jesus?
4. Is heaven a place of idleness? What do you think we will do in heaven?
5. What is the most precious promise to you in 7:16,17 and why?