Summary: The winter of this world bears down on us. But the scene of the life and light of heaven strengthens and encourages us. Cherish the heavenly scene. Parts: 1) A life of radiant pureness. 2) A life of resplendent purpose.
Text: Revelation 22:1-5
Theme: Life Flows from the Throne of the Lamb
A. A life of radiant pureness
B. A life of resplendent purpose
Season: End Times 3: Saints Triumphant
Date: November 21, 2010
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Life-Flows-from-the-Throne-of-the-Lamb-Revelation22_1-5.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit points us to our heavenly inheritance is Revelation 22.
"And he showed me the river of the water of life, brilliant as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In between with [the city's] street on one side and the river on the other was the tree of life, bearing twelve [kinds of] fruit, giving its fruit according to each month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there was no longer any curse at all.
"The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city] and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no night any longer, and they will not need lamplight or sunlight. For the Lord God will shine upon them, and they will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
We've had some cold, cloudy November days. Last Tuesday icy snow blanketed the ground and encased the bare limbs of the trees. Darkness lingers longer in the morning and creeps up earlier each afternoon. Winter cometh.
Yet these winter days, at least for me, bring some of the warmest, brightest scenes: Children ice-skating on the frozen pond bundled up and bubbling with energy. Light streaming from the windows of a snow-covered cottage, glistening off the falling flakes. Fire crackling, candles burning, cookies baking, children laughing. A cup of cheer. A winter wonderland. Sort of a Norman Rockwell, Thomas Kinkade, Capraesque mix. Maybe such scenes of life and light help us make it through these cold months.
And maybe, dear friends, that's why we have scene of heaven shown us in the Scriptures -- not simply to help us through a few months but to help us through the winter of this world. Let's take time today to cherish this scene shown to the Apostle John in Revelation. Let it warm your heart and cheer your soul as you face the coldness of this sin-darkened world. See! Life flows from the throne of the Lamb. Take that theme to heart. Life flows from the throne of the Lamb. A life of radiant pureness. A life of resplendent purpose.
A. A life of radiant pureness
1. How does the Lamb purify us and how does this change the way we live?
In the previous chapter, Revelation 21, John began describing what he saw of the church triumphant in its heavenly glory: The new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. The Holy City with each gate a single pearl and its street pure gold as clear as glass, where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. The old order has passed away. God himself wipes every tear from our eyes.
In that city, John see the river of the water of life as clear as crystal, no impurity, no pollution, no dirty muck, no cloudy sediment -- clear as crystal. Such radiant pureness! It flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Yes! The Lamb. The Lamb, who was slain, but now he reigns forever and ever. The Lamb without blemish or defect. The Lamb whose holy, precious blood purifies us from all sin. For he takes away the sin of the world. He was slaughtered for you, and now he reigns for you. Without the Lamb there is no water of life, no river, no pureness. How precious the Lamb!
Ponder that picture. For how often, as we slosh through the filth of this dark world, don't we grow weary? Like pigs we settle down in the muck and even begin to enjoy it. We imagine that this life is our real home, and we devote our time and energy and money to making our earth existence as pleasant as possible.
But no, dear Christian! Your home, your true home is heaven. Picture the river of the water of life as clear as crystal flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Why wallow in the mud? Why focus on making this dirt look pretty?
Ah, but the more I struggle against my sin the more aware of my filth I become. Haven't you felt that, too? The more we grow as Christians the more we see what great sinners we really are. It's not just my actions, but the very core of my being. The more I clean up the outside, the more I see how deep the stain goes. How could we ever become pure?