Summary: To show the character of Christ and how he relates with His bride.
Immanuel: Jesus and the Seven Churches
Revelation 1:9 – 3:22
Sermon Objective: To show the character of Christ and how he relates with His bride.
It is my contention that the subject of the Book of the Revelation is not about “end times” matters, or even persecution; it is about Jesus Christ. The book begins, after all, saying it is a “revelation of Jesus Christ” not a “revelation of end times”.
What disturbs me the most is how so many who study, teach and preach the book bury the lead! They give everything other than Jesus most of the emphasis which tends to make it very sensationalistic but far less kerygmatic. Jesus is the cornerstone of this book. In fact, over 20 percent of the book is already written (with Him as the main character) before any “end times” material is even possibly addressed.
It would do us well, if we are going to journey through this book, to get a good grasp of how Jesus is portrayed (particularly in the first 5 chapters), and then frequently refer back to that portrayal. You see, a proper understanding of Jesus is essential to a believer’s life and ministry. The more fully we know Jesus the more fully we can respond to Him.
With that in mind, we are going to read a substantive portion of the first three chapters this morning … I want you to fixate on Jesus because there are Christological principles here that apply to your life and world.
Afterwards, I will offer four principles that illustrate Jesus’ interaction with His church.
9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."
12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
1"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:
7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again
10b… Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.