Summary: A series of sermons moving through the Bible at a rapid pace. Inspired by Randy Frazee and Max Lucado.
May 22, 2011
The Story 31
There’s a program on Sunday evenings which I rarely get to watch, but when I have, and we’ve watched it as a family, we’ve all enjoyed it. It’s called Extreme Home Makeover. You know about that program don’t you?
Whenever I watch it, I’m struck at the human element, the plot of helping a family in need. The producers learn of a family who has been through a disaster, or who needs help, and at the same time it’s often a family who is trying to make a difference in the world, and in comes Ty Pennington and everyone is jumping up and down all excited about what’s about to happen.
Volunteers come in and tear down the old house and build a new one. The family doesn’t get to pick out anything. They learn about the family and design the house with them in mind. There’s one point in the show which really hits you. It’s when the family gets to see their new house for the very first time.
Now, between the family and their new house is that Extreme Makeover bus. The family is on one side of the bus and the house on the other side. The crowd and volunteers are chanting and you know what they’re saying, “Move that bus!” It’s remarkable to watch. If you’ve never seen it, take a look and see what happens.
VIDEO - Extreme Home Makeover
Wasn’t that great!! I can’t wait to see the same thing happen to you. When your heavenly Father unveils to you for the very first time, this place that right now He’s creating. I don’t know if there will be an angel shouting “move that cloud!” But the expression on your face, in that moment . . . every hassle, headache, heartache, you’ve had in life will melt away. It’s all going to be worth it.
This is the promise in the book of Revelation. The promise that in the end, God wins. It’s tough now, it’s hard now, there’s challenges now, it’s not fair now, there’s inequity now, there’s hunger now, there’s poverty now, there’s joblessness now, there’s loneliness now, there’s sin now. But in the end, God wins. That’s the promise of the book of Revelation. It’s also the promise from God.
That desire you have now deep within you, to see a house, to see a place, to see a place intended for you, that’s really going to happen.
Can you imagine how this promise must have encouraged the original readers and listeners of God’s word. John was encouraging the Christians of the first century. They were part of the church which was being heavily persecuted. These were the 7 pillar churches of Asia Minor and the Romans were trying to obliterate the church. The people who were reading these letters and stories from the apostles were living under intense persecution.
They knew first hand what it was like to be persecuted. They had witnessed crucifixions, beheadings, and saw loved ones put into the ring with wild animals; all because of their faith. They were always under the threat of persecution. John, the writer of this book, had been exiled to the island of Patmos. And it seemed like the devil was winning the war. It seemed like the dragon of Rome was winning, the monster coming out of the abyss was winning. It seemed like they were about to be defeated, but the big message from the book of Revelation is things are not what they seem.
It seemed like defeat and devastation were imminent, but that’s not the case. We’re barely into the book of Revelation and we realize Jesus is still here. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
High above Rome and preceding and succeeding the cruel and vicious Roman rulers is and was Jesus. He is the preceding alpha and the succeeding omega. And we see how He conquers hades, how He conquers the dragon, how He conquers the beast, and He conquers the false prophet. He conquers all who promote evil. Jesus knows our name, He knows our pain, He’s right here in our midst. Listen to these remarkable words from John, later in chapter 1,
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, (John sees Jesus here, standing in the center of the lampstands) dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.