Summary: It has often been said, "When the outlook is bad try the up look." That is what we see here in chapter 4. There were “doors” of persecution all around, but now John sees an open door in heaven. This was not just a door into heaven; this was a doorway int
Magnifying God’s Majesty
Purpose: To display Christ in His proper glory.
Aim: I want the listener to have a deeper and more profound worship of Christ.
INTRODUCTION: Revelation is the "Throne Book". The word throne is used 46 times in Revelation and only 15 times in the rest of the New Testament.In this chapter alone it is used 14 tines.
➽Chapters 1-3 Christ enthroned over the churches
➽Chapters 4-5 Christ enthroned in heaven
➽Chapters 6-20 Christ enthroned on earth
➽Chapters 21-22 Christ enthroned in the new creation
When John received this vision he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos. He has the ocean for bars. As he stands on the shore of Patmos and gazes over a seemingly endless sea surrounding him, he can’t help but think of fellow believers beyond that sea who are suffering greatly under the cruel hand of Domitian, the Roman ruler.
One of these believers was the third pastor of the church at Antioch, Syria who was Ignatius, a disciple of the apostle John. During the time that Revelation was being written, Ignatius was tenderly shepherding his church through the persecution. Ignatius survived Domitian’s persecution, but a few years later in A.D. 111, after Emperor Trajan came to power he was arrested for refusing to offer sacrifices to Trajan and the Roman gods. He was brought before Trajan. Ignatius declared that he was a Christian because Christ lived inside of him. Trajan then replied, "Do we not then seem to you to have the gods in our mind, whose assistance we enjoy in fighting against our enemies?"
Ignatius boldly answered, "Thou art in error when thou callest the demons of the nations gods. For there is but one God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that are in them; and one Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, whose kingdom may I enjoy."
Trajan lost patience with Ignatius and sentenced him to be carried to Rome where he was to be devoured by lions, "for the gratification of the people." When Ignatius heard the sentence he cried out loudly, "I thank Thee, 0 Lord, that Thou has vouchsafed [graciously granted) to honor me with a perfect love towards Thee, and hast made me to be bound with iron chains like Thy Apostle Paul." With tears he prayed for his church and gave his people into the care of the Lord.
When he was delivered to the governor in Rome by the soldiers he was kept in prison for several days until a Roman feast day called Saturnalia. This feast was in honor of Saturn, the god of the harvest. Ignatius was brought into the amphitheater. They tried to get him to renounce Christ with many different kinds of tortures, but his faith only got stronger, and he refused to offer any heathen sacrifices. The governor then called for the lions. As soon as Ignatius heard that he said, "0 ye Romans, all you who have come to witness with your own eyes this combat; know ye, that this punishment has not been laid upon me on account of any misdeed or crime; for such I have no wise committed, but that I may come to God, of whom I long, and whom to enjoy is my insatiable desire." With that, two ferocious lions were released and they instantly tore and devoured him. Ignatius then found himself in the presence of his beloved God.[Adapted from an article in "Christianity Yesterday" Vol.2, No.1 Jan-Feb 1995 p.18]
It has often been said, "When the outlook is bad try the up look." That is what we see here in chapter 4. There were “doors” of persecution all around, but now John sees an open door in heaven. This was not just a door into heaven; this was a doorway into reality. The Devil would love for us to think that what we see on earth is eternal. The reality is that everything we see and touch is very temporary. Lasting reality is only found in God. When we focus on the things of this world, we are chasing soap bubbles. The world can be attractive, but it is not lasting.
This is what Paul was explaining to us when he said, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (NAU)
Let’s take a look at what is eternal.