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.

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!”


A few weeks back I had the privilege to meet Dr. Brian Blount, the President of Union Theological Seminary. Amongst other things we talked about was a recent book of his that I have read, “Can I Get a Witness?: Reading Revelation through African American Culture.”

The book talks about the role that informed worship played in helping the slave church resist American subjugation and how the slaves identified so closely with the 1st century church of John’s Revelation.

Blount talks about how the slave church understood that real worship touches life and heaven. Earth’s worship is informed by our hope of heaven. He talks about how people such as Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman were motivated and energized by their faith. He speaks of the essential role that the African-American spiritual played in sustaining the Christian slave. “The songs of sorrow” Blount says, “were consumed by a message of this-worldly, transformational hope.” (p. 94).

That is what I mean by “eschatological” worship.

When an understanding of God’s determined future and certain promises are embedded within our worship, they impact, embolden, strengthen and transform us in ways that cannot be calculated.

In other words, Worship that embodies a lively eschatology empowers the church to live faithfully in the present.

Last week we began looking at what “eschatological worship” can do to us and for us. We looked four empowering benefits. We discovered that they can have tangible and concrete expressions.

They are:

1) Worship Turns Chaos into Order

2) Worship Gives Courageous Hope

3) Worship Transports Us Forward

4) Worship Energizes Mission

John’s visions of the heavenly gathering in worship punctuates and dominates his letter and is meant to elicit a parallel response within the church on earth.

Let’s return to the Revelation again this morning. It is the longest continuous worship text in the Bible. Let’s see what else a “future-informed worship” can do for us.

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