Summary: A communion sermon challenging the congregation to spiritual fidelity
SOME CALL IT “TREASON”
Sermon Objective: A communion sermon challenging the congregation to spiritual fidelity
1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"
13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Have you ever read a more beautiful depiction of our Savior? If you are looking for a passage to show His glory, draw you to Him or inspire you – look no further.
I once heard someone say. “When we ask ‘what do you stand for?’ we get pulled apart… but when we say, ‘Who do you stand with?’ (as in Jesus), we are one.”
Treason. A simple definition is “a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign; the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.”
Is it too strong a term to use in relation to our faithfulness to Christ’s Kingdom?
Does it add a sense of importance or even urgency to your fidelity?
It works for me.
• It speaks to me about the underlying intention of the book of the Revelation and the reason John emphasizes the imagery of “Kingdom.”
• Chapters 2 and 3 support this assumption for me (the insistence on faithfulness and the dire warnings regarding abdication of the same).
• The place of honor that the martyrs play throughout the book also drives home the nature and expectancy for unswerving perseverance.
If my study of “The Revelation” has done anything it has reinforced the belief that identifying with Jesus Christ is an all-or-nothing proposition. There is no place for compromise or half-hearted service. The book has made it clear that a disciple must count the cost and make a life-changing, loyalty-altering choice. The imagery of (and loyalty to) Kingdom is at the heart of the book once the slaughtered Lamb is introduced in this chapter.
Are there are other ‘kingdoms” that compete for your allegiance?
What might these “kingdoms” be?
As I said, the churches in chapters 2-3 give us some idea of what those kingdoms are. Yet even there we see they pale in comparison to The One who is worthy of our devotion.
What “kingdoms” are competing for YOUR allegiance?
Religion, as I am using the term, plays on the edges. It seeks to accommodate the world’s interests and attachments while still making a play at being “Christian” in ways that are really not costly or significant.
The church has for centuries struggled with the notion that somehow in some way we (Christians) are responsible to make the Gospel relevant to society. I heard that very thing from a minister just this week. That suggests that the Gospel must somehow be manicured or massaged in order to help the message “make sense” to the world-at-large.