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Summary: There are three things worth talking about that are found at the finish line. 1) Rest. 2) Refreshment. 3) Family.

This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2007 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org . You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.

The Finish Line

Revelation 7:9-17

By Greg Johnson

Today, I want us to focus on the finish line of our marathon called life. It’s the finish line that we press toward today as Christ followers and we can say as the Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:14 NIV) "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

There are three things worth talking about that are found at the finish line. 1) Rest. 2) Refreshment. 3) Family.


There is rest at the finish line. One of the best things about crossing the finish line in a marathon after running 26.2 miles is that you can finally rest. There’s no more running. Just resting.

God’s Word says (Revelation 14:13 NIV) "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."" Once we cross the finish line of this marathon called life, we will enter in to an eternity of rest. Until that day comes, we keep pressing toward the finish line while keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and helping others along the way.

I April 2006, my friend Cat Cavazos crossed the finish line of his marathon called life. He is now resting from his labor, but his deeds still follow him. In 1995 he found Street Vision, a gang intervention program and home for Latino youth in Salem, Oregon. Today it’s named in honor of its founder, the Cavazos Center for Hispanic Youth and Families. Cat is resting around the thrown today and his deeds follow him.

Are you laboring for Jesus today? What deeds will follow you once you cross the finish line and enter into rest?


There is refreshment at the finish line. Every marathon I have run has great refreshment at the finish line. There is water, sports drinks, juices, ice cream, fruit, cookies and even pizza. After running 26.2 miles and burning over 4,000 calories, you can afford to splurge.

God gave John the Revelator many glimpses of the finish line that Christ followers will enjoy. Listen to him describe this glimpse. (Revelation 7:9-17 NIV) "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. {10} And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." {11} All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, {12} saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" {13} Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" {14} I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. {15} Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. {16} Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. {17} For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.""

Praise God! Awesome refreshment!


There is family at the finish line. On November 4, 2007, I completed the 4th Annual Marshall University Marathon in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s a great marathon to run and has a stadium finish. The last 200 hundred yards of the 26.2 mile marathon, you run down a ramp into the nearly 40,000 seat Marshall University Football stadium. Once you enter into the stadium, you run 100 yards down the sideline to the endzone. In the endzone you are handed a football and you run the last 100 yards down the center of the field to the other endzone.

When I got to the stadium, my legs were exhausted and my left ankle was so painful, I could barely stand to put weight on it. But when I ran down the ramp into the stadium, I heard the cheering of my family at the finish line. I immediately found new energy and was able to pick up my speed and sprint to the finish. There waiting for me was my mom and dad, my mother-in-law, my brother and sister with their spouses, my niece and my two grand nieces. What joy filled my heart to not only cross the finish line and enter into rest and refreshment, but to be greeted by my family. It was a great finish!

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