Summary: Tenth (and final) sermon in summer series based on the 10th chapters from the books of the New Testament.
We come to the conclusion of our summer series: Perfect 10’s. We’ve looked at all of the 10th chapters in the New Testament, except one. Here we are in Revelation 10. And if had been paying closer attention, I might have chosen a different series and avoided this chapter altogether!
At first glance - and second glance, too - there doesn’t seem to be much preaching material here. Let’s read Revelation 10 and you will see what I mean!
Anyone have difficulty reading and understanding the book of Revelation? People always want to get involved in Bible studies on The Revelation, but it is so difficult to grab hold of! Here is at least part of the reason for that difficulty: What we are reading was written almost 2000 years ago! But John was seeing at least some things that have not yet taken place. Imagine, John trying to describe those things with his first century, fisherman’s vocabulary! Now, you start to understand some of the difficulty!
Let me put it another way. Can you imagine what this world is going to be like in another 2,000 years, should the Lord tarry, of course? And let’s suppose you have a vision of that far-off world, but you have the vocabulary from the beginnings of the 21st century. It’s the same situation that John finds himself in!
In spite of difficulty, remember this: This is the only book of the Bible that carries a specific pronouncement of blessing for the reader. “God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.” (Rev. 1:3)
It was written so we would not be in the dark about what will happen! “Write down what you have seen – both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later.” (Rev 1:19)
John was convinced that the return of Christ was imminent – could happen any moment. We dare not lose that sense of imminence 2000 years later!
The book of Revelation doesn’t just take us to the end - and drop us off! It helps us persevere through the destruction of this earth, and to find ourselves in Chapters 21 & 22 in the New Jerusalem that God has prepared for those who believe in him.
I am not a scholar of Apocalyptic Literature. I can’t tell you with any degree of certainty what is going to take place in the last days, how the events will unfold. All I know is that God has given us everything we need for godliness and life in this Book – and we better be reading and studying it! With that said, let me share with you some observations from this 10th chapter that really excite me. Not at first, mind you, but the more I read and paid attention to what I was reading – I started getting happy in the Lord! Let me see if I can help you get excited, too! There’s a lot of things that could be said here, but let me narrow our focus down to just 4 questions.
1. WHO IS THE MAIN CHARACTER? “Another mighty angel coming down from heaven.”
2. WHERE IS HE STANDING? “He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.”
3. WHAT IS IN HIS HAND? “And in his hand was a small scroll, which he had unrolled.”
4. WHAT DOES HE DO WITH WHAT HE HAS? He gave it to John to eat, bitter-sweet though it was.
FIRST, WHO IS THE MAIN CHARACTER? Do you recognize him? “Another mighty angel” – sounds like one of many “mighty angels,” right?
Can we recognize him by his face? “His face shone like the sun.” This wasn’t the first time John, the writer of Revelation, has seen a being whose face shone in such a way. Matthew records the Transfiguration of Jesus in chap. 17, and he writes, “As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun and his clothing became dazzling white!” In Rev. 1:16 John describes the one who was speaking to him: “And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance.” Hmmm….the face is familiar.
Can we recognize him by his voice? I told you a few weeks ago that I can recognize many of you calling me as soon as you say hello! Can we figure out who this is by his voice print?
“And he gave a great shout, like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders answered.” Ezekiel heard a similar voice and described it: “As they flew their wings roared like waves crashing against the shore, or like the voice of the Almighty, or like the shouting of a mighty army.” (Ez 1:24) Later, in Ez 43, he says, “I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.” The passing of time doesn’t seem to weaken the voice of God much. In his gospel, John writes, “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified (my name) and will glorify it again.’ The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel has spoken to him.” (John 12:28-29)