Summary: This sermon is a good message about where we find the answer to our hurt and pain when we turn through the pages of Revelation. Only by seeing the attributes of God can we be comforted in the midst of our pain.
The Answer of Praise
(Masterpiece of Hope Series)
Revelation 15:3-4; 11:16-18
We must learn to trust in who God is, and that he is good.
Chapel Service of Plainfield Christian Church
There are some things that we think good Christians just don’t say. It doesn’t matter what we think deep down, or how many people feel that way, we are just afraid to vocalize it. I guess they are sitting there on a list of things that you never expect to hear preached from the pulpit. You never think that the person that is preaching to you thinks or feels that way, it’s too taboo. But I want to tell you something that is along those lines. Sometimes, I find myself frustrated with the bible. There are a number of times that people in the bible ask questions, and then God changes the subject.
• Cain: Am I my brother’s keeper?
God: What have you done to your brother?
• Nicodemus: "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." (He’s looking to figure out who Jesus is. He wants to know who Jesus is!)
Jesus: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Most of all though, I find these questions that I would love to hear answered, left unanswered in the book of Job. Job asks:
• How many are my sins?
• Why do you hide your face and consider me an enemy?
• Why do the eyes of those who know Him not see his days?
Job asks why bad things happen to good people. That is a question I would love to have a concise, one verse answer to. It happens because ________. But God never directly answers that question.
Instead, we see God beginning to speak about himself: Job 38:1-11
1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
2"Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
3"Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
4"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
5Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?
6"On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,
7When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8"Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
9When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,
10And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors,
11And I said, ’Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?
We see the same sort of thing happening in the book of Revelation.
God’s church during the time that Revelation is written is undergoing some terrible persecutions, and those persecutions continue even today in some countries. Many Christians are still being persecuted and killed for their faith in Jesus. Their world was also filled with a lot of violence, hatred, and self-centeredness. It is the same thing today isn’t it. We have tragedies occurring in our own country such as 9-11 and Columbine, and more recently the shootings that occurred at Virginia Tech. On top of all of that there is still starvation, murder, greed, disease and a whole slew of terrible things that are happening to the people of this world on a regular basis.
We find ourselves crying out with the same prayer that the martyred Christians pray to God in Revelation when they ask: “"How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" I don’t know about you, but when I am confronted with all of these images of pain I ask, “How much longer can all of this go on!?” Turning through the pages of Revelation, we are confronted with the same problem that we have when we read through the book of Job. God never directly answers their question. Instead, as we are reading through the pages of Revelation, we are confronted with a beautiful image of worship. The worship of God weaves itself throughout the entire book and ultimately answers our question.
The Answer of Praise
The answer we get to the question of “How long will this all be allowed to continue?” is the same as the answer that Job got. The answer to the question of our pain, the only answer, is the attributes of God.
3And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,