Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The entire Bible, from the first page to the last, points us to Jesus. We place our hope and faith in Him alone.

“It’s All About Jesus”

Revelation 22:12-17,20

May 23, 2004

It’s no big secret. Y’all have been making fun of the way I talk since the day I moved here. It aint easy being a Texan living in Nebraska. We’ve had fun discussing the meaning of words and phrases like; y’all (2nd person plural pronoun), shindig (a get-together), fixin’ to do something (the action is immanent), and what it means to be fuller than an old grey cow tick (means you just ate a lot, my wife hates it when I say that last one). Just last week after Bible Study somebody came up to me and said, “Vicar, you did a great job leading Bible Study this morning, Pastor Poppe would be proud of you…”. And I waited to hear what I might have done well. He said, “He’d be proud of you. You only said y’all twice.” Well, at least we got that going for us.

It may surprise you to learn that English really wasn’t my best subject in school. I could talk it good, no problem. It was the Reading Comprehension that tripped me up. Particularly the part where you had to pick out the main idea of a story. I would always. For example, the stories of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were great. To me the main idea was that 2 kids my age could walk around barefoot, wear cut-off shorts, leave school and go fishin’ whenever they wanted to, and nobody seemed to care! Now that’s the life. Charlotte’s Web was another book I liked, but once again I came away with less than the author intended. Instead of discerning the central theme of enduring friendship, I was truly impressed that a bug could be so smart, and that Wilbur was really lucky he wasn’t bacon.

Now, it’s funny sometimes when a kid misses the point of a story and gets carried away with their imagination. Adults do it too, we can get sidetracked by interesting subplots or side events, and that’s fine. But it isn’t funny, and it’s not fine, when people make the same mistake with the 1 Book that really counts. God’s Word, as it is revealed in Scripture. The sad reality is…it happens more than we realize.

In our text for today, Jesus points us again to the Main Idea and Central Theme of all Scripture. These words of Rev. 22 are the last words of Jesus recorded in the Bible, and they serve well to point us back to “what really matters.”

What is the Main Idea of the Bible? The Main Focus? It’s not just an idea, it’s a Person, Jesus Himself! God’s only Son, the Promised Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the Victorious Risen and Ascended Lord. HE’s what Scripture is all about.

In verse 13 of our text He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” You need not be a Greek scholar to understand the meaning of the “Alpha and the Omega”, those are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The story of salvation begins and ends with Jesus. Beginning- Genesis 1:3, John 1:1-4, 14. End- Revelation 22. Jesus is on the first page of the Bible, He is on the last page of the Bible, and He is everything in between. It’s All About Jesus.

The entire Old Testament points straight to Jesus. The people of the OT were saved the same way we are, by grace through faith. They looked forward, in faith, to the coming of the promised Messiah. (Gen 3:15; Isaiah 53:5-7,11; Jer. 23:5-6).

The entire New Testament points to Jesus. The people of the NT church are also saved by grace through faith. Our faith looks back to what Christ accomplished by His life, death, and resurrection. And because of what He has done we also look forward to eternal life. (Luke 2:25-32; John 1:29; Hebrews 10:19-23).

The Bible, from the very first page to the very last, focuses on the person and work of Christ. It’s All About Jesus. He is the end all be all of our salvation, the very center of our lives. Today, as God’s people, sitting in God’s house, hearing God’s Word, we have a God-given task to participate in God’s mission of saving the lost. How do we do it? By pointing people to Him, and only to Him.

Sadly, people that call themselves “church” fail miserably in this responsibility. Not only do they point people to other places, but they themselves discard Jesus in favor of other pursuits.

--Last Sunday, in Massachusetts, many “churches” canceled whatever services they had planned. What replaced them, celebrations. Were they celebrating Jesus, no, they have left Him behind. They were rejoicing over gay couples who were permitted to wed beginning Monday, according to the laws of that State.

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