Summary: THINGS TO COME (part 1) - Things to come are not given to show us a timeline of future events. Things to come reveal Jesus. John sees heaven filled with priase given to the One who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb. THIS SERMON IS AVAILABLE AS A PDF
THINGS TO COME –Filled with Worship
• Revelation 4 – 5
As a church we need a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ. Over the last several weeks we have looked at how Jesus is revealed in Revelation chapters 1-3 taking special notice of how Jesus made Himself know to the seven churches. The Revelation of Jesus was specific to each of the churches so they might know that it is Jesus who will enable them to be overcomers.
Jesus calls the church to repentance and repeatedly says, “He that has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This is not an encouragement to just listen; rather if we are to have ears to hear then we must LISTEN and OBEY the Word spoken by the Spirit. Through repentance and obedience and with the help of Jesus the church overcomes and is victorious.
In Revelation 4 the focus changes. Instead of Jesus being revealed IN THE PRESENT, as the one to enable the churches to overcome sin and gain victory, now John is shown Jesus through the THINGS TO COME. What is to come to pass in the future reveals Jesus as the overcoming champion; Jesus is victorious over all. He is King of kings and Lord of lord, the One who is to come. Things to come give us a revelation of Jesus, and the assurance that the best really is yet to come.
I. An Open Door—The Church in Heaven
• Revelation 4:1 (NIV)
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."
1. The passing of time; John’s second vision.
a) John did not see one continuous vision on the island of Patmos; days may have passed as different sections of the book were revealed to him. John uses this phrase six times through out the Revelation.
b) Chapter 4 then begins with both a change of time and a change of scene. John sees an open door in heaven and the voice which had spoken to him earlier calls him to, “Come up here,” that is to enter through the door into heaven itself.
2. “I will show you things to come.”
a) Chapters 4 and 5 both center around what happens around the throne of God in heaven. What happens in these two chapters are the introduction to everything else that happens through out the rest of John’s revelation things to come.
b) Remember the primary purpose of Revelation is to give a revelation of Jesus; therefore, the purpose of the vision of things to come is not just to give us a timeline of future events. Yes, God has shown us within John’s Revelation a picture of things to come—some of which we can understand and some which remains a mystery until these things come to pass. However, through out everything that is revealed in this final book of the Bible, the primary purpose of the vision of things to come is to reveal Jesus to us.
c) Jesus tells John, “I will show you what must take place after this.” John was told in Revelation 1:19 to write what has been what is now and what will be—the past, present and future. Revelation 1 reveals the glory of Jesus; chapters 2 and 3 contained the letters to the seven churches describing things as they are now. Now God would unfold the mystery of things to come as promised.
3. The vision of things to come begins with the church caught away into heaven—the rapture.
• Revelation 4:2 (NIV)
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
a) John was caught up by the Spirit into heaven; John was taken through the door into heaven itself where he was brought before the throne of God. Many believe what happened to John here is symbolic of the catching away of the church. In other words the vision of things to come shows what must take place after the church is taken into heaven to be with Jesus.
b) That with John being in the Spirit and taken into heaven symbolizes the church being raptured and in heaven is further understood by what John sees in heaven before the throne.
• Revelation 4:4 (NIV)
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.
c) Some have stated that these elders were angels; however in all the Old Testament visions angels and seraphs are seen around the throne but elders are never mentioned being before the throne. This may indicate that John saw a new group before the throne of God participating in things that were yet to come that had not been previously revealed.