Summary: We read in the annuals of church history and the Bible of people who gave up their lives for the cause of Christ – to uphold his name even in the face of death. Jesus appears to John and sends 7 messages to His church telling them he sees.
Series: Rev’d Up
Thesis for Series: We need to get Rev’d Up for Jesus’ Second Coming as we look at what is happening to our society and world. Many are saying the time is near and Revelation tells us to be ready at a moment’s notice. So, let’s get Rev’d up and be ready to meet Jesus!
Scripture Text: Revelation 12:11: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Illustration of a testimony from the past: Perpetua's story: Perpetua-In A.D. 202, Emperor Septimius Severus disallowed conversions to Christianity. In the wake of that act, severe persecution broke out against Christians, particularly in North Africa. Living in Carthage at the time was a young woman of nobility named Perpetua age 22. She had been arrested for converting to Christianity and going to be water baptized. When she was arrested and placed into prison she was still nursing her infant son. In March of 203 A.D. she was lead into the amphitheater. Upon entrance in the arena she started to sing some of the Psalms. Her and the others were stripped naked and placed in nets. The crowd wanted them clothed so they were given tunics to place over their bodies. The Egyptians unleashed a mad heifer on her that charged her and up ended her. Later a gladiator was sent to kill her. He struck her on the shoulder she screamed in pain then she took the gladiators hand and signaled for him to slice her throat. He did. In the writings about her they tell of a vision she had upon her arrest. …She saw a ladder going toward Heaven. On it before her she saw her pastor ahead of her. (He had been killed by a leopard prior to her killing) She said in the vision that he said, ‘Perpetua, I am waiting for you. But take care; do not let the dragon bite you.’ “He will not harm me” She said,” in the name of Jesus.” Slowly, as though he were afraid of me, the dragon stuck his head out from underneath the ladder. Then, using it as my first step, I trod on his head and went up” (Christian History, Issue 27 page12-14).
Our main text for this series is Revelation 12:11 is about our testimony and being willing to die for it – This text is placed in this revelation of Jesus to remind us of all the people who have sacrificed their lives to keep the message of Jesus moving forward through time. They were and are heroes of the faith – their sacrifice is honored in Heaven – just like the heroes of our past and current wars are today – they were men and women of great faith who sacrificed their lives in the war of good and evil so as to see others saved. They died for Jesus and for you and I to have what we have today in this church service.
Their names are famous in Heaven – they left a legacy at their death – they did it for Jesus and for The Gospel of Hope and Freedom.
Question: What will the world and Heaven record of your life and death in the annuals of History? Will you be famous in Heaven – before the throne of God?
Introduction to Series:
The book of Revelation—Means to be able to see something clearly which once was hidden from sight.
This is what the book of Revelation does for us. It takes off the veil and reveals more than any other book in the Bible - JESUS CHRIST. It reveals to a suffering persecuted church a victorious Jesus Christ. It's the climax to the entire Bible fueling HOPE AND FAITH! It challenges the church to be ready because He is coming back very soon! Time is spoken of in this book – it references the past – deals with the present and looks into the future.
We need to take to heart the message of this apocalyptic book and prophecy because it will give us inner strength, joy, perseverance even in the midst of persecution.
This revelation wants us to see Jesus – if we see Him – as He is, was and will be in the future - it will change us, encourage us, revive us and it will Rev us Up to stand up for truth! Seeing Jesus will also enable us to smile through the trial as we face the persecution for standing up for truth in a world filled with lies and demonism!
To understand the message of this book and it's time frame in writing by the Apostle John let me remind you of church history for a moment.