Summary: 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 moments notice. So, let’s get Rev’d up and ready to meet Jesus!
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 moments notice. So, let’s get Rev’d up and 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.”
Introduction to Series:
The book of Revelation—Means to be able to see something clearly which once was hidden from sight.
ILLUSTRATION: SOMETHING IS HIDDEN UNDER THIS VEIL AND WE CANNOT CLEARLY SEE IT!
- I can tell you about it:
* It's always moving!
* It speaks to people daily!
* Some people take it for granted!
* Some people worship it!
* It’s a precious commodity more valuable than silver or gold.
* It can come in many different shapes and sizes.
* It's vitally important to most people.
* It can be a slave master.
* It never stands still.
* It comes and goes daily.
* It should never be wasted!
- We can guess what it is but until I unveil it completely to you-you cannot understand everything about it.
- TAKE OFF THE VEIL it’s a bunch of clocks – representing time.
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 book because it will give us joy even in the midst of persecution.
When we see Jesus – it will change us, encourage, revive us and it should Rev us Up! Seeing Jesus will also enable us to smile through the trial!
Historical Background of the time and book of Revelation:
A. The Roman emperors referenced as 666 in Revelation are either Nero or Domitian and they persecuted many Christians.
1. Nero - blamed the Christians for the great fire of Rome in 64. He was responsible for martyring Peter and Paul. He is noted for illuminating his gardens at night with Christians burning on poles.
a. The Roman historian Tacitus says that Nero not just put Christians to death he used Christians as amusement in the circus. The Christians were clad in hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs, lions, and other beasts. Many were crucified and burned alive. He openly enjoyed his cruelty to Christians. He eventually committed suicide from political turmoil and his last words were, "What a showman the world is losing in me!
2. The worst emperor was Domitian who was a paranoid savage killer.
a. He was the first emperor to have himself officially entitled "God the Lord!" He insisted that other people hail his greatness with acclamations like "Lord of the earth," "Invincible," "Glory," "Holy," and "Thou alone."
b. Many believe that John's hideous beast as described in Revelation is pointing to Domitian's blood thirsty reign and blasphemy.
c. Domitian definitely had the spirit of the evil beast in him.
B. The historical setting for the Christian church at this time was not one filled with hope – but fear and persecution. Why? Because of the Roman Emperor’s demand to be worshiped as God and the severe persecution of Christians.
1. A great multitude is being persecuted for refusal to worship the antichristian emperor.
2. These Christians were eager for Christ's return because it had been 40 - 60 years since Christ's death and he had still not come.
3. There was only one of Jesus' apostles left alive and he was imprisoned on an island. All the others had been martyred.
4. The authorities were always prowling around like lions to pounce on anyone who defied Rome. They especially targeted Christians.
C. Revelation became as an encouraging letter to the persecuted Christians. Here is why?
a. Revelation 6:10 tells the Christians that God has heard their cry "They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’"
i. The cry from the people “How long?”
ii. God’s answers, “The time is near!”
iii. There is another section in Revelation which reminds the suffering saints that God is listening to their prayers and He will respond with power from on high see Revelation 8:1-5: 1When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.