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Summary: Most of the people who knew Jesus personally are now dead, and a second generation of Christians has grown up. The gospel claims that Jesus is King of the world and is coming back soon to claim His domain. But the years pass, and still He does not come.

Revelation 22:14-16

Purpose: To lift up the glory of Christ’s forgiveness.

Aim: I want the listener to praise God for the privileges of salvation.

INTRODUCTION: When John wrote the book of Revelation Jesus’ resurrection had happened about sixty-five years earlier. Most of the people who knew Jesus personally are now dead, and a second generation of Christians has grown up. The gospel claims that Jesus is King of the world and is coming back soon to claim His domain. But the years pass, and still He does not come.

Now a madman has become emperor of Rome who actually believes the poets’ praises that he is a god incarnate. He likes to be addressed as "Our Lord and God." He has decreed that anyone who holds public office, anyone who testifies in court--which means practically everyone--must offer a pinch of incense to the emperor’s guardian spirit and declare "Caesar is Lord." If a person refuses to worship the emperor, he may lose his job, his home, or even his life.

This is not the only threat to Christians in 95 AD. Within the churches are some members who want to take control and twist the gospel to suit them. Danger without and danger within--is God really in control? In part to answer this question for the embattled Christians in the first century and every century since, God gave a series of visions to the last living Apostle named John. It is called "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place..." (Revelation 1:1).

The promised coming of Christ gives us confidence that God IS in control, and it also gives us the motivation to get busy serving this wonderful Lord.

So far we have seen four of the nine responsibilities that Christians have in light of His soon return. Today we will look at two more.

REVIEW:

1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"

2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present "the things which are"

Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future "things which will take places"

6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation- the first six seals

8-11; 13:11-18; 15-18 B. Savior’s war against Satan: The wrath of God- the seventh seal

Ch.19-20 C. The worship of God

Ch.21-22:5 D. The wonder of eternal bliss

22:6-21 E. The responsibilities of those going to heaven

Vs.6-7 1. Be alert "I am coming quickly"

Vs.8-9 2. Worship God alone "Worship God."

Vs.10-11 3. Spread God’s message "Do not seal...the prophecy"

Vs.12-13 4. Live in light of God’s presence "I am the Alpha and the Omega"

LESSON:

Vs.14-15 5. Rejoice in the blessings of salvation "those who wash their robes"

This verse points back to chapter 7 verse 14: "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).

The word ROBES refers to long stately robes. [1]

Christians are pure and clean because they have been immersed in the blood of Christ: "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

"...be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. " (2 Corinthians 5:20--21).

How do believers respond to this robe of righteous?

Vs.14a a. Believers are happy "Blessed"

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:11--14).

The garments of salvation cover all of our sin: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account" (Romans 4:7--8). The Gospel should be our greatest joy everyday.

"I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels" (Isaiah 61:10).

Jesus goes on to describe the three great and awesome privileges that these happy believers possess.

Vs.14b b. Believers have a right to eternal life "right to the tree of life"

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