Summary: Beautiful buildings do not make a church. The important question is, “What is God doing here?”
7 Stars 7 Lampstands
Purpose: To display Christ as the light of the world.
Aim: I want the listener to look for ways to spread the light of Christ.
INTRODUCTION: Beautiful buildings do not make a church. A tour group was going through Westminster Abbey. [ Pictures of Westminster Abbey] The guide pointed out the priceless art, the matchless architecture, the beautiful furniture and the rich history. One little lady in the group kept trying to say something so finally the guide let her speak and said asked, “Has anybody been saved here lately?” This is a good question for any church. What kind of light to the world is Bethel Chapel Church? The important question is, “What is God doing here?”
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past “the things which you have seen”
Vs.1-3 A. The importance of this book “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”
Vs.4-5a B. The character of God “Him who is…was…is to come”
Vs.5b-6 C. The change Jesus makes “released us from our sins”
Vs.7 D. The coming of King Jesus “He is coming with the clouds”
Vs.8 E. The superiority of King Jesus “the Almighty”
Vs.7-8 F. The certainty of the return of King Jesus “it is to be”
Vs.9-12 G. The setting for this book
Vs.12-16H. A glimpse of the exalted Christ“white wool, like snow”
17-18 I. The results of meeting Christ“I fell at His feet”
17c-18 J. How can we worship with confidence?“I am the first and the last”
➽Vs.19-20 K. The importance of the local church
➽Vs.19 1. Christ reveals Himself to the church “write”
The vision of a glorious Christ wasn’t just given to John. John is commanded to share it with the whole church.
Jesus told John to write this book and send it to seven churches, not to a government, not to the head of a denomination, not to a general—he wrote it to local Christian churches. Christ gave to the local church a vision of Himself in His glory (Ch.1); warnings to stay true to Him (Ch.2-3); and a description of God’s judgment on the world (Ch.4-22).
The same Jesus who spoke the worlds into existence has spoken to us. Hebrews 1:1-2 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (NAU)
➽Vs.20 2. What is the purpose of the church? “lampstands”
a. The church exists to display Christ’s unity to the world “seven"
➽Why is the local church important?
One of the clearest statements about the purpose for groups of local believers is given to us by Paul in, 1 Timothy 3:15 . . . the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (NAU)
➽1. The Church is a Dwelling place for God “the household of God”
In the OT God’ presence actually dwelt in the Temple (earlier it was the Tabernacle). His glory came down and filled the Holy of Holies. When the church was born in Acts 2 individual flames of fire rested above the heads of each believer. This symbolized that the presence of God was now in each Christian instead of in the Temple.
It is not correct to say, “I go to church”. Actually believers are the church. Church is not a building, but a church is a group of Christians who are organized by the rules in the New Testament.
For example, Paul addressed the following comments to the whole church, not to individuals, because the word YOU is plural. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (NAU) 2 Corinthians 6:16 . . . For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (NAU)
Paul also taught us this truth in, Ephesians 2:19-22 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (NAU)