Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Blessed are the dead

Revelation 14:12-13, “Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus."

Obeying his commands refers to those who have genuine saving faith will result in such obedience is the clear teaching of Scripture. John 8:31, “Jesus said to the people[1] who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.” John 14:21, “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them."” John 15:14, “You are my friends if you obey me.” Luke 6:46, “"So why do you call me `Lord,’ when you won’t obey me? 1 John 5:3, “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn’t difficult.”

Those who are encouraged or ought to be encouraged when undergoing persecution are those who remain firm in their faith, because they live in expectation of the coming of the Lamb for them, because they obey and trust Him, and honor the commands of the Most High. For them the faith is not merely an intellectual enterprise but a reality which must be confronted a challenge which must be known. For them knowledge is truth, and truth is piercing, and like hound dogs on the hunt; they must find the answers to the questions that haunt their hearts, and assail them at every corner. The answer of course is in Jesus, and the answers are found through careful examination of God’s Holy Word. These are the one’s who are blessed and encouraged those who mark themselves by study and contemplation of God’s Word, because it is they who can endure persecution as a direct result of the study and outgrowth of that persecution, through obeying His commands and trusting in Jesus to lead them through the persecution through praising His holy name.

Trusting in Jesus refers to those who are loyal, even under the tyrannical reign of Antichrist. Even the threat of execution (13:15) will not cause them to abandon their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11, they will maintain their testimony until the end-even if that end is a horrifying martyrdom. These faithful believers are considered blessed because they have lived noble, pure, purposeful, obedient, rich, joyous, and exemplarily lives. They lived life to the fullest in faith and obedience to God. Even if there were no heaven, that would be still be the best way to live, but there is heaven to follow this life for God’s people therefore the deaths of the Tribulations saints will also be eternally blessed.

It is those who have staked their claims with Christ who have said that they will stand amidst the tyranny that our world system converges upon us in the name of truth, for it is those who have made the stand and profession of the faith through trusting in Jesus to grant them eternal life both presently in this age and in the future or in the age to come when they will experience salvation in the total sense of the word through being made completely white and spotless white as doves. In the sense of the word we have been perfected in this sense before God, because God no longer remembers our sins, but we are nevertheless engaged in a battle for our allegiance, which Satan seeks to turn us upside down and turn our hearts against God and His Christ-who redeemed us through His Blood. Praise God that sufficient weaponry through the Word of God-Study of His Word, prayer, fellowship and proclamation of the Word of God, but most importantly the blood of Jesus defeats the powers of darkness and causes them to retreat in fear, for at the name of Jesus Christ every knee will bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God to whom be glory, and honor and praise forever and ever. Trust in Jesus, He will guide you through all the way towards perfection-towards eternity running the race towards His face.

Revelation 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from all their toils and trials; for their good deeds follow them!"

John hearing a voice from heaven is the sixth time (10:4,8;11:12;12:10;14:2) he will hear such a voice three more times (18:4; 19:5; 21:3). Twelve times in Revelation John is told to write (1:11, 19; 2:1,8,12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; 19:9; 21:5); the apostle was under a divine mandate to record the visions he saw. Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on refers to the inclusion of martyrs such as Antipas (2:13) those seen underneath the heavenly altar (6:9-11), and the “great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes…. The ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:9,14). These believers were blessed not because of anything they did directly, but because they placed their trust and obeyed and trusted in the Messiah, and as a result they died in the Lord. These will experience in death the fullest reward because ,”Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15). With Paul, they will be able to cry out in triumphant praise, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:15).

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