Summary: Bible believers are sometimes criticized because they believe in heaven instead of facing the real world. The truth is the opposite. Heaven is more real than this present life because it is permanent and this life is temporary.
Purpose: To challenge believers to stay focused on God.
Aim: I want the listener to worship God intently.
INTRODUCTION: How can we be content in a world where there is so much suffering and pain, especially when it looks like it's only going to get worse? Even if the world doesn't get any worse we know we are all going downhill as we get older. Dr. James Dobson put it this way, "About the time our acne clears up our minds start going fuzzy." Bill Feather said, "Life begins at 40, but so do fallen arches, lumbago, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person three or four times."
Notice how Abraham stayed motivated to follow God in spite of many hardships. The Bible says that Abraham, "lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God " (Hebrews 11:9--10).
"Heaven is more than a destination; it is a motivation." Warren Wiersbe
As a matter of fact, all of the heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 stayed faithful to God because they saw that this life was not permanent. "All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11:13--16).
Bible believers are sometimes criticized because they believe in heaven instead of facing the real world. The truth is the opposite. Heaven is more real than this present life because it is permanent and this life is temporary.
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
Today I want us to learn that: Contentment in this life increases the more we are focused on the glories of the next life.
Today we will begin by looking at the first two of nine ingredients to real contentment.
Vs.6-7 1. Be alert
Vs.6a a. God's message is true "words are faithful and true"
FAITHFUL means that what God says can be trusted. TRUE means that God's Word is sincere or genuine.
John had seen so many wonderful and glorious things that it was important for him to hear that he wasn't just dreaming. The things he saw were real. Notice the words he used in verse 8: "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things" (Revelation 22:8).
Back in chapter 19 Jesus is called "Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11) and here we learn that His words are also "faithful and true."
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31).
If our loving, sovereign God tells us something that should be enough for us. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).
By the way, notice that the message of the book of Revelation is primarily for Christians. It begins by being addressed to seven churches. Here John says that this book is to show God's "bond-servants the things which must soon take place." Then in verse 16 Jesus says, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches...." (Revelation 22:16).
Vs.6b-7a b. God's judgment will come quickly "I am coming quickly"
These are the words of the angel who has been showing John these visions since chapter 21 verse 9: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, 'Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb' " (Revelation 21:9). So, the angel of judgment is warning that when he comes he will come quickly.