Summary: This message explains the character of the book of Revelation as the revelation not merely of future events, but of Jesus Christ the Lord of history.
Revelation of Truth
Play “Perception” video.
This is a video clip where the audience is instructed to count the number of times two basketballs are passed between six students, three wearing white shirts and three wearing black shirts. At the end of the experiment the audience is polled for the number of passes. They are then asked whether or not they saw the gorilla walk among the students.
I was personally amazed to discover that I was so intent on counting passes, I never saw the gorilla!
The attention grabber is that our perceptions are sometimes very wrong when compared with objective truth.
Need (fallen condition focus)
As we approach the book of Revelation, we need to see the past, present, and future truly; that is, for what these time periods really are in God’s overall plan of redemption.
Sermon idea: Revelation of truth is imperative for our world today.
Question: What does this text tell us about the revelation of truth?
1. Revelation of God’s truth is Jesus Christ.
verse 1 "The Revelation of Jesus Christ..."
So many attempt to gain truth from the book of Revelation in ways God did not indeed give it. The book of Revelation is not simply a prophetic book of future events left for us to piece together as best we can. Throughout history, men have tried to accord prophetic Scripture with current events. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes they are wrong. More often than not, wrong.
If God’s revelation of truth is not primarily about future events, then what is it about?The book of Revelation is primarily concerned with revealing Jesus Christ.The very title of this book, apokalypsis, means to uncover something concealed. This is what Christ personifies. Jesus reveals God to humanity, for Jesus is God come in the flesh.
Remember what Jesus told Philip. “He who has seen me, has seen the Father.” “I am the way, the truth, the life,” declares Jesus. John 14:6
Do you only want to know what Christ has done, or do you want to know Christ?
Do you only want to know what Christ is doing in the world today, or do you want to know Christ?
Do you only want to know what Christ will do in the future, or do you want to know Christ?
If we understood every verse, every word, every symbol of the book of Revelation, yet failed to understand God’s own Son Jesus Christ, what good would all the rest do? For example, let’s say I in fact knew the name and location of the antichrist to be Simon Rousseau, living in Switzerland today. Or perhaps I could tell you the exact way in which the mark of the beast (666) would be applied is through a digital implant manufactured by a known company in China. Or assume I knew that the seven heads and ten horns of the beast rising from the sea was the European Union.
What good would any of that do if I still failed to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
Let’s keep first things first and be sure to look always for a deeper understanding of not only events described in Revelation, but let us diligently study and pray to fully know the Son of God. The devil cares very little of how we understand future events. He cares a great deal of how we understand Jesus Christ both now, and in the future.
The book of Revelation is then ultimately about Jesus. This core truth is imperative to understand before we go one verse further, which may be why the Holy Spirit placed it in the very opening words of John’s writing. This is then, the interpretative lens through which we will undertake this study.
Our goal, as followers of Christ, is that when this study is done, we will know Christ more fully, more clearly, and more intimately than we know Him today. How can this be? Only one way… through God’s grace.
This desire leads us to the next fundamental truth of Revelation 1, and that is…
2. Revelation of God’s truth is given by God to His servants.
verse 1 "which God gave Him to show His servants..."
From where does the content of Revelation come? It comes from God.
This fact seems so obvious to us and is probably the reason you desire to read this message. But the declaration that this Revelation truth is from God must be stated clearly and forcefully.
Why? Because there so many false messages, so many false prophets, so many speculative falsehoods that are readily available in our world today.
Everyone loves to predict the future.
The stock market will rise they say.
The war in Iraq will end soon they say,