Summary: What was Christ's message to the 7 church in Revelation and why does it matter today https://youtu.be/mvLlyLqZnbU
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April 19, 2020
Pastor Brad Reaves
Grace Community Church
On November 27, 1989, the day when Communism fell in Czechoslovakia, a Methodist church in the capital city of Prague erected a sign. For decades, the church had been forbidden any publicity, but with the winds of freedom blowing, the Christians posted three words, which summarized not only the New Testament in general but the book of Revelation in particular: “The Lamb Wins.” Their point was not that Christ had unexpectedly gained a victory, but that he had been reigning in triumph all along. Richard Bewes explains: “Christ is always the winner. He was winning, even when the church seemed to lie crushed under the apparatus of totalitarian rule. Now at least it could be proclaimed!”
I know of people that fear the Book of Revelation. There is no other portion of Scripture that is more misunderstood or mischaracterized. The fact is, the reason the Book of Revelation is so poorly understood is that it’s been poorly interpreted and poorly taught. The Book of Revelation can be summarized with the words, “The Lamb Wins.” When I first starting putting this series together last Fall, I had no idea what we would be facing here in April 2020. What I do know is that the timing of this study is incredibly prolific.
The fact of the matter is most people view the Book of Revelation as a book about the future. And it is a prophetic book, but it also a book with a rich history, and incredible relevance for us today; maybe more than ever. Some people ask me if the COVID-19 pandemic is an end-times event. The short answer to that is yes. Jesus spoke of increases in earthquakes, famine, and pestilences in Luke 21:11 and Matthew 24:7. We don’t have to go too far into Revelation to see how difficult things will be here on earth. What people are really asking is, if I think that this is the final event or leading up to the final event that will bring the Second Coming of Christ. We know that only God the Father knows when Christ will come
It is very important and timely for us as a church to study Revelation. Whatever the outcome of this pandemic. The church must be ready to This morning, I want us to look at the opening verses to show you why. Even if you are watching today and you haven’t taken time to seriously consider this part of Scripture, or perhaps you are skeptical of the Christian faith. We can universally agree that these 22 chapters at the end of the Holy Bible carry enough significance for our study. Why? Well let us look at the opening words to see:
I. Revelation is a Book from God
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.
The opening words explain why this book is significant. This book comes from God Himself. Now, we hold, according to 1 Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed. But John opens this with a momentous declaration: This is from God the Father Himself. God the Father didn’t give it to just anyone, He gave it to His son Jesus, who gave it to his angel, who revealed to John be a beloved disciple. This pedigree of those who were entrusted with this is of no small consequence.
In the military, you have a chain of command. If your sergeant comes in and says, “Troops we have a mission.” The guys get their stuff and go and do their job. Now let's say, the company commander - or even a general comes in and gives the order, a great degree of haste and intensity hits the marines. Now let's say the commander walks in and the troops snap to attention and the commander says, “I have a mission for you today, and this one was handed directly to me from the top; the President of the United States.” There is nothing these guys wouldn’t do or sacrifice to see the mission to its completion.
This is what we should realize in the opening lines of Revelation. This is a Revelation from God. Also notice it is Revelation, not revelations. There is one revelation here. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is a message and mission coming straight from the top. John makes it clear that this is from God, not something fabricated by a man. Which is central to the very fabric of Christianity. Christianity was revealed by God to humans, not invented by humans to reveal God.
2. Revelation is a Book for Us
Revelation is a book from God to His servants (Rev 1:1). That word there, servants, is literally slave. Meaning one who is completely devoted and submitted to under authority. You see, the Christian is not a religious devotee or extremist. The Christian is someone who traded the bondage of being a slave to sin for being a slave of Christ. Paul identifies himself as Christ’s slave (Romans 1:1). He also uses the term slave to describe a believer: