Summary: Worship that embodies a lively eschatology empowers the church to live triumphantly in the present.


Rev. 21-22

Big Idea: Worship that embodies a lively eschatology empowers the church to live triumphantly in the present.

NOTE: This sermon was embedded into all aspects of the worship service. The service began with the intro and first movement; singing, collections, readings, and prayers served as opportunities for illustration and participation before/after each of the sermon’s movements.

REV. 21:1-6

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

REV. 22:1-9

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

Jesus Is Coming

7 “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”


As we near the conclusion of our voyage through John’s Revelation we will revisit some familiar scenes. Revelation 21 and 22 represents the most vivid vision in the book and highlights some of its most important aspects. That makes sense. It is the climax (and wrap-up) and John has certain concepts, truths, insights, and applications he wants to drive home.

One of the most basic themes to this book has been worship. It is at the pinnacle of each of the seven cycles. The book is actually punctuated by worship and it is the hinge upon which each movement of the book turns.

Worship in John’s Revelation is predicated upon the character and work of God. It is “eschatological” in nature; by that I mean it is based upon a faith that God is taking history somewhere. It is based upon the One “who was and is and is to come” (1:4; 1:8; 11:17).

There is no other book in the Bible that focuses on worship like John’s Revelation. Some have even gone so far as to suggest it is the primary theme of the book. It tells us that, as followers of Jesus, worship is at the core of our identity. It spans time, culture, and circumstance. It is present in the life of Jesus’ church in both the best of times and the worst of times. One would be hard pressed not to notice that John’s Revelation illuminates the landscape of worship.

For the next few weeks of this voyage we are going to look at this landscape. We are going to discover powerful, practical, and often overlooked insights about worship.

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