“The Future is Here!”
CBS aired a TV series called Early Edition. Set in Chicago it follows a man who mysteriously receives his newspaper the day before it is actually published? What this means is that he knew everything that was going to take place before it actually happened? He is able to stop tragedies from taking place by warning individuals of things that were about to happen, he knew what stocks to invest in before they went up. He was essentially a prophet but this was just a fantasy TV series. Never actually happened. Revelation is a book of prophecy. Only God can prophecy and I’m glad. I really don’t want to know every detail of life before it happens. Surprises are nice. Many people; pastors, psychics and others will often claim they have the ability to know the future but only God actually knows.
Isaiah 46:9-10 says, “remember the former things, those of long ago, I am God and there is no other: I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: my purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.” Haven’t you ever wondered why all the people who claim to be psychics never win the lottery? The weatherman can only make an educated guess. But here’s the deal—a prophet of God is right 100% of the time. He knows the future, we know HIM. That’s enough.
Now having said that, in all of us there is a sense in which we want to know something about the future. I want to know that God has an ultimate plan for His creation. I want assurance that from God’s view. That everything is planned, under control and on schedule. And the book of Revelation tells ne the future is in God’s hands and the best is yet to come. Now Satan hates the scripture—especially two books in the Bible---Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of scripture. And this is why—because in Genesis, Satan’s demise is prophesied and in Revelation it is realized. Satan doesn’t exist in the first two chapters AND he doesn’t exist in the last two. These two books, Genesis and Revelation are the bookends that tie the gospel message together. Look at this.
• In Genesis, we see all the creation of the heavens and the earth. In Revelation we see the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.
• In Genesis we see the first Adam reigning on earth. In Revelation we see Jesus, the last Adam; reigning in glory.
• In Genesis we see the beginning of death and the curse. In revelation Jesus brings us to a place where there is no more death and no more curse.
• In Genesis, Satan appears for the first time. In Revelation, he appears on earth for the last time and he is thrown into the fiery pit and a lid is placed on it to contain him.
Now I want to give you at least 4 truths about The Revelation built around four topics in this book. Let’s look at …..
1. The Main Person in Revelation. The first two verses in Revelation tells us that the central person of the book is Jesus. Revelation 1:1-2. When the world begins to wind down we will not be looking for some thing to happen; we will be looking for some one to come. Jesus. The 2nd coming of Jesus will be very different from His first coming. He came the first time to be crucified. This time He will come to be crowned as king. He came the first time to be nailed to a tree; the 2nd time He will sit on a throne. He came the first time and stood before Pilate---this time Pilate will stand before Him. To be judged. The main person in Revelation is Jesus.
2. The Main Purpose in Revelation. Revelation 1:1-2. To show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. Only God knows the future and the clear purpose of Revelation is for His Son to show us the future. Don’t ever get the idea that some people have---that Satan knows the future. People get the idea that Satan knows everything. Make sure you get what you believe—your theology, from the Word of God; not from popular thinking or the trends of the day.
3. The Main Promise of Revelation. Revelation 1:3. This verse reminds us that there are 3 things we are told to do when we approach the book of Revelation.
• We must read it. We are promised a blessing if we read it. If you want to be blessed then read the book of Revelation.
• We must hear it. Jesus said, “If any man has an ear, let Him hear.” You can actually read something without actually hearing it. Without taking it to heart.
• We must keep it. Every believer is curious about the book of Revelation. Everyone wants to know more about it. But not everyone wants to keep it. Jesus said we must keep his commandments. To keep it is to obey it. Read it, hear it, keep it and you will be blessed. The Bible is the only book that is guaranteed by God to bless you. Many great books out there but only one God guarantees will bless us.
There are at least 3 blessings you will receive by studying the book of Revelation.
1. Studying the book of Revelation will unlock the mystery of history. In eastern religions which are becoming more and more popular in the United States; history just goes in a cycle. They teach reincarnation; that when we die we come back and you just keep coming back until you get it right. But history is not cyclical, ; it is linear. We are moving toward a goal. Toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Ever play checkers? What’s the goal? To move the final row and then you say, “Crown him!” That is what God is doing. He will move His Son to the final area; the final row and then He will say, Crown Him! You see the world we live in is in such a mess today---because things are so out of place. The King (Jesus) belongs on His throne. The bride (the church) belongs with the groom. The enemy (Satan) belongs in the pit/in prison. One of these days when the King of Kings is on the throne; the bride is with the groom and the enemy is in prison we will then understand the way things were meant to be. Revelation will unlock the mystery of history.
2. Studying the book of Revelation will make sense of our suffering on earth. What do you say to someone who has lost the love of their life or to someone who has lost a child or a brother or a sister? One thing you CAN say is “this is not God’s final plan.” Revelation 21:4.
3. Studying the book of Revelation will bring stability out of chaos. Anyone listened to the news lately? Chaos and confusion are the words of the day. But Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega….the One who is, who was and who is coming, the Almighty. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
On June 30, 1859 Jean Gravalet was the first man to cross the Niagara River on a tightrope. Somebody asked him---how did you manage to do that without falling? He said I just take a look on the other side in the direction in which I am walking. You see that silver star? I placed it there. I never take my eyes of it. I put my eyes on that star and that’s what gives me stability. Jesus is our bright and morning star and if we focus on Him, he will give us stability.
Now, last. 4. There is the certain prophecy of Revelation. We should have no doubts about all that is promised here. In Revelation 1:3b John says, “For the time is at hand.” Now what does John mean? Well he does not mean that time is immediate. He means that it is imminent. It will happen. It is certain; it is for sure. Jesus Christ can return at any moment. The rapture is the nest event on the prophetic calendar. We are living on the edge of eternity right now. We should be set on ready. We have literally been living in the last days now for more than 2000 years. We are not waiting for Jesus! At any moment He will give the shout and burst through the tribes. So we must be ready! Because everything is about to change.
Consider the principle of exponentiality. It means our civilization is moving faster and faster; growing faster and faster. This is how it works. If I take this sheet of paper and fold it…once, twice, 3x, 4x, 5x…if I fold it 100x the folded paper would reach past the Milky Way Galaxy. If we were to draw a line that shows the advancement of knowledge from the beginning of time to 1975 that line would be relatively flat. But from 1975 to the present day the line would go straight up. As once scientist put it, in the next 100 years science will make more progress than we have made since the beginning of time.
Things are changing and they are changing rapidly. Think about how the world changed after September 11, 2001. One day we went to work; the sun was shining and everything was normal. Then suddenly, everything changed. Just like that. The security of every man, woman and child was compromised. Airports changed and continue to change. Someone asked Ernest Hemingway, how do you go into bankruptcy? He said, “at first slowly and then very quickly.” That is the way our world is changing today. Slowly and then very quickly. The archangel Michael said in the book of Daniel, “many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased.” As the end draws near we will see more and more sin. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. How much longer can the world even survive before it just implodes from the evil in this world?
Hollywood used to produce a lot of westerns/cowboys shows as we called them. One of the singers in those movies was songwriter named Stuart Hamblin. Hamblin also appeared in several movies. But more than anything Hamblin was known for his rough way of living. But one day all of that changed. Hamblin found salvation in Jesus Christ and his life completely changed. One young actor you made have heard of John Wayne noticed the change that had taken place and he asked him, Stuart, what’s your secret?” He simply said it is no secret what God can do. That night God prompted him to write another song and he composed it in just 17 minutes.
It is no secret what God can do.
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.
With arms wide open, he’ll pardon you.
It is not secret what God can do.
Aren’t you glad God makes His salvation clear to us? Doesn’t keep it a secret and neither should we. You want to be ready when Jesus returns? The only way to do that is to receive the One who came and died on a cruel cross for the forgiveness of our sin and for our salvation. It’s not a secret and you can receive it today. If you have it, you can tell someone today. Our vision as a church is to enlarge the size of heaven by taking as many people as possible with us. Together we can reach this community for Christ.
As the writer of this message, I am leaning heavily on the content in the book, "Unveiling the End Rimes in Our Time" by Dr. Adrian Rogers. Excellent resource. Invaluable.