Summary: The KJV tells us in Revelation 1:6 that we are "Kings", but the NIV says we’re only a "kingdom". Why the difference?
OPEN: Possessions of the powerful or famous - no matter how common - can become extremely valuable. Even priceless.
Some years back, Napoleon’s toothbrush sold for $21,000. This was an old USED toothbrush! I seriously doubt you or I could get 10 cents for one of ours!
Hitler’s car sold for over $150,000. I have a 1996 Mercury Villager that probably runs better than it does and if anybody is willing to offer me $5000… you can drive her off the lot today.
People have paid extraordinary amounts for Winton’s Churchill’s desk, a pipe owned by C.S. Lewis, sheet music handwritten by Beethoven, and a house once owned by Ernest Hemmingway. All were sold at many times their intrinsic value.
At one of the large auction houses Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s FAKE pearls sold for $211,500 and JFK’s wood golf clubs went for $772,500. And I have it on good authority that (name a member of the congregation who loves to golf) bought them.
These items didn’t demand great prices because they themselves were worthy. They went for those prices because they once belonged to someone who was important.
I. That’s the same message Scripture has about those of who belong to Jesus. We have great value because we belong THE MOST IMPORTANT someone in the world.
We belong to Jesus Christ.
APPLY: In C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” Aslan - the resurrected King - enthrones the children of the story - Lucy, Peter, Edmund, Susan - as Kings and Queens in Narnia. They become royalty –not because they deserved it anymore than any other creature in the story - but because they were the “Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve”. They became Kings and Queens because they were descendents of the first man and woman created by God.
In the Bible, we’re told that “Jesus Christ… washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us KINGS and priests unto God and his Father...” Revelation 1:5-6 (KJV)
1 Peter 2:9 tells us we “are a chosen people, a ROYAL priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
In fact, when we became Christians, Ephesians 2:6 tells us “…God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…”
As Christians, we are – quite literally – Kings and Queens. You are seated… right now… beside royalty. Look around. Look next to you. That person in your row, and the rows in front and behind you are of regal bearing.
Now… what does that mean? It means that God values you above all the rest of His creation.
You’ve already been made in His image and in His likeness. But God has lifted you up and seated you in a position of prominence. You have become a royal priesthood and a holy nation
The fact that you folks are royalty also means that each member of the body of Christ deserves to be treated with respect. It would be improper of me – or anyone else – to belittle any member of Christ’s church. It would be improper for us talk down to one another, or look down upon a fellow brother or sister in Christ.
ILLUS: I once read of 2 women who had spent a good deal of the afternoon trying to impress each other with how religious they were.
Finally, one woman left, and the other smugly turned to her husband, who had been quietly smoking his pipe, and remarked, "You know, Mrs. Sills is a good Christian, but I just believe I live closer to the Lord."
The husband thought a moment, and then replied, "Ain’t either of you crowding Him any."
It is a sad reality that many Christians don’t treat their fellow believers with respect.
· I’ve heard husbands put down their Christian wives
· wives put down their Christian husbands
· children showing disrespect to their Christian parents
· I’ve heard of preachers who have put down members of the church
· and church members who have had their preacher for lunch.
And I’m here to tell you – brothers and sisters - this ought not to be. You are seated amongst royalty. Kings and Queens of the Kingdom of our Savior. And you and I need to treat each other with respect.
You must realize that God has given EACH of us a promise.
God has promised that if anyone blesses you… He will bless them.
BUT if anyone curses, belittles, puts down a believer… God will make their lives miserable.
II. Now, this idea that we are royalty isn’t one that is preached very often
In fact, as I searched the internet, I found only one other sermon that taught about this principle. I copied much of his sermon to my notes because I was impressed by what he had said and how he said it.