Summary: The Gospel is very clear - those who trust the Lamb are given the promise that He will be with them always. Those who ignore Jesus will face judgement.
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Last time we look at Revelation we saw that there is an unholy trinity.
Satan – who is seeking is constantly focussed in harassing and sabotaging and wearing out the people of God. Sometimes with great success because we compromise, and water-down and make our Christianity comfortable.
The Beast of the Sea who represents oppressive kingdoms, political powers and social structures. Materialism. Tolerance. Democracy. We embrace them rather than trusting in God.
The Beast of the Earth is a deceptive copycat who is trying to get us to follow cheap and easy faith. We can follow by allowing ourselves to take the easy path, which is the wrong path.
That is the unholy trinity. We know that one little word shall fell them – but what if no-one uses that word? What if we really can’t be bothered to make a difference? We are in a dangerous spiritual battle. That is what we saw last time. We saw that we need to be willing to stand up and stand out.
How do we fight the battle?
How do we really stand out in this world?
How can we stand against this threat?
What message do we need to hear to keep us on track?
John answers these questions in the next section
Read Revelation 14:1-15:4
The Gospel is Proclaimed in This Broken World.
How do we fight … and stand out … and keep on track?
Firstly you need to know that Jesus is with us (Revelation 14:1-5)
John starts with an image of Jesus the Lamb on Mt Zion with 144,000. We saw in chapter 7 that the 144,000 represents those who have been brought into the family of God.
It works like this. If I was to say today, “You are Northside Evangelical Church”. I would be speaking about the whole number that are part of our community. Around 100 people. Imagine in four years time I said to that group, “You are Northside Evangelical Church”. Maybe then the number would be 200, or 300, or 500 (wouldn’t that be great). The constant phrase is Northside Evangelical Church … but the number changes.
Something similar is happening here. All who put their faith in Jesus are part of the 144,000.
That was true in the days of Paul and Peter and the early church fathers.
That was true in the middle ages.
That was true in Congo, or South Africa, or Iran, or Australia.
Every believer from every nation and tribe and people and language right through history. All can still be part of the 144,000. That is how the number works in Revelation.
Now look where the 144,000 are.
On earth … at Mt Zion … with Jesus the Lamb.
Learning a song that comes from heaven.
This is not a picture of the future, when we are in heaven with Jesus.
This is a picture of what is happening now.
More specifically it is a picture of what has been happening since the day Jesus ascended into heaven.
We are in a battle with the unholy Trinity.
Evil tries to get us tired and make us distracted.
Evil tempts us and causes failure.
Evil causes compromise and complacency.
Evil makes us look for the easy and comfortable way.
How do we fight … and stand … and stay on track?
Because Jesus is with us – now.
In the Scripture Mt Zion is the place where God gathers his people on Earth. It is the place where all the enemies of the Messiah will be defeated. It is a place of protection, security and salvation.
In Jesus we are gathered by God.
In Jesus we will see the enemies of the Messiah defeated.
In Jesus we will be given protection, security and salvation.
“I am with always to the very end of the age”, Jesus said that to us in Matthew 28:20.
We saw at the beginning of Revelation; Jesus is among the lampstands. Jesus is among His church.
We are not alone. Jesus is with us now.
As those who are gather we get to learn a new song. The same song which is played by the four living creatures and the 24 elders who are right there next to the throne of God. We have been told about this song before.
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Only those who know Jesus can learn the song. Sure anyone can learn the actual words. Lots of people sing Amazing Grace. Or they will say the Lord’s Prayer. Or they know Psalm 23 – the Lord is my shepherd. They know the words. But they don’t know the meaning. It doesn’t change them. It doesn’t stir their heart for Jesus.