Summary: In the second half of chapter one the Apostle John see Jesus in His glorified state. This sermon looks at what is meant by John being in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. It also looks at the repentance and how the church is the light of Jesus to the world.
The Book of Revelation
A husband and wife were both doctors, one a doctor of theology and the other a doctor of medicine. Whenever someone came to their house and asked for “the doctor,” the maid replies, “The one who preaches or the one who practices?"
And here’s the point, that while we may know the theory of Christian living, there comes a time where we must put it into practice! This is what the Apostle John tells us in the blessing.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it.” (Revelation 1:3 NKJV)
With this clearly in view, let’s take a look at what the Apostle John continues to say as He sees Jesus Christ in heaven.
Read Revelation 1:9-20
As a refresher, Patmos was a small barren island located in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Italy. It was one of the main island penitentiaries of the Roman Empire. Today we’d liken it to Alcatraz off the coast of California in the San Francisco Bay where the really bad guys were sent.
The Apostle John was in his 80’s when they sent him there and where it’s believed that the book of Revelation was written around 95 or 96 AD.
The Emperor Domitian sent John there to punish him because of his preaching of the gospel.
John says, “(he) was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9b NKJV)
It was intended to punish and isolate him putting him where he wouldn’t be able to continue to preach the Gospel. It’s a great example of how the devil tries to use circumstances to discourage, punish, isolate, and put us in a place where we feel unable to continue with God’s calling upon our lives.
This should be nothing new to believers. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b NIV)
John Our Companion
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9 NKJV)
While John is an Apostle and Elder of the church, he sees himself as one of the guys, that is, a brother in the Lord. Believers, whether rich or poor, male or female, Jew or Gentile are one family, we’re all children of God with all the same hopes and inheritance.
As such John identifies with the believers’ suffering. John shares the same types of difficulties, afflictions, and temptations we all do for the Kingdom of God, which is achieved through patient endurance.
That’s what we need, patient endurance. The question isn’t “Why me,” but rather it’s more like, “Why not me?” John understood that we all go through times of tribulation when we follow our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. John was actually doing hard time because of it. And so like John we need to patiently endure.
John found himself doing time because he refused to compromise His faith and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is no different than all who follow Jesus and willing to accept persecution because of it.
We see the same faithfulness from John’s disciple, Polycarp, who was burned at the stake for refusing to recant his faith.
He said, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any wrong. How could I blaspheme my King and my Savior now?”
Both the historic church as well as the church throughout the ages is filled with such testimonies of all those who are making this same choice, choosing death rather than denying God and His word.
Even during the end time of Tribulation, this is the testimony of the saints who refused to deny their faith.
The Bible says, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11 NIV)
It says they were beheaded for their witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and refused to worship the Anti-Christ and receive his mark on their foreheads or back of their hands, Revelation 20:4.
John Was In The Spirit
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.” (Revelation 1:10 NKJV)
The identification of “the Lord’s Day,” has brought some debate amongst the scholars.
• Some have identified it as Sunday, or the first day of the week, the day Jesus rose from the dead, which became the standard time for believers to gather and worship the Lord, as opposed to the Jewish Sabbath as outlined in the Law.