Summary: Listen carefully to Jesus and take it to heart.
GOD SPEAKS TO THE CHURCH
Th: God Speaks to the Church
Pr: LISTEN CAREFULLY TO JESUS AND TAKE IT TO HEART.
CV: “We will wholeheartedly worship the everlasting God.”
III. PROMISE KEEPER
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Worship Jesus; be filled with awe.
• Listen and obey.
• Experience grace and peace.
RMBC 18 January 09 AM
I think it is important to communicate clearly, don’t you?
ILL Communicate (H)
Elizabeth was nervous as she took the wheel for her first driving lesson in Driver’s Ed. As she was pulling out of the parking lot, the instructor said, “Turn left here. And don’t forget to let the people behind you know what you’re doing.”
Elizabeth turned to the students sitting in the backseat and announced, “I’m going left.”
Well, it is important to communicate clearly, isn’t it?
We are starting a series today that will continue into the middle of March.
It is a study on the last book in the Bible.
And its title tells us what it is about…
It’s a revelation !
The title reveals its own meaning.
It is a revealing.
It is an uncovering.
God is communicating His plans and purposes.
The apostle John is the receiver of this communication, and we are going to talk more about him in a moment.
But when he first gets this message, he describes it like this (10)…
“I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…”
He hears a voice.
And it is so clear and distinct that he describes it like a "trumpet."
The thing about trumpets is that you can always hear them.
They cut through everything else.
Now the bad thing about playing the trumpet is if you sound bad, you really sound bad very clearly.
But if you sound good, it also is clear.
For John, someone is speaking like a trumpet.
It is impossible to ignore.
John ‘s responsibility is to get the word out.
Now, the first audience for this Revelation were tired, discouraged, and persecuted Christians.
The Roman Empire was attempting to destroy all of Jesus’ followers, including John.
It is written to churches.
It is written to seven actual churches (11)…
“Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
You can see that they are geographically in order.
These were real places that John was familiar with.
These were real churches that were familiar with John.
As we have already noted…
It is written by John.
It is likely, at this writing, that John is the only living disciple of the original 12.
John had been a consistent witness about Jesus.
He ran into trouble, however, with Domitian, the emperor of Rome.
Domitian had declared himself “Lord and God” and demanded that people take an oath of worship.
John, obviously, refused to obey such a command.
So, as punishment, he was sent to an isolated island called Patmos.
It was a rocky, treeless wasteland.
He was sent their to work the mines, and die.
Domitian was sure that John, now in his 80s, would not survive long.
Notice John’s attitude (9)
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus…”
You know, I don’t think I have ever turned on Christian TV and heard an evangelist say, “Send in your $100 gift and receive suffering and kingdom and patient endurance – it’s ours in Jesus.”
Never heard one say that.
It is because we don’t like suffering.
It does not match with the average American mindset.
We want blessing on blessing, not suffering on suffering.
On a side note…
Ironically, in the end, Domitian dies about a year later, and John is released and returns to Ephesus.
It is about Jesus!
This is all about Jesus.
This is not John’s revelation.
This is the revelation of Jesus.
Jesus is revealing Himself as an abiding Presence.
He knows what is going on in the future.
He knows what is going on in each church.
He knows what is going on in the lives of individuals.
And that, folks, is good news.
Let’s see what we find out about Jesus in this text…
Jesus is the Sovereign King (5).
“…from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth…to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Jesus is in charge!
He is the prophet – the faithful witness.
He is the priest – the Firstborn from the dead.