Summary: Do you long for Christ’s return? John was given a glimpse of the glorious Christ. Seeing Christ through Revelation helps us to appreciate Him more and see our lives in the light of the hope we have in Him.
[I’ve taken some of the thoughts in this sermon from Anne Graham Lotz’s The Vision of His Glory.]
The second coming of Christ does not always conjure up the same emotions.
• If you are to narrow down your emotions regarding the return of Christ to one word, what would that be?
• Discomfort, Fear, Anxiety, Disappointment, Panic, Happy, Excited?
For some, they are unprepared and they are afraid.
• Those who are sick and elderly may look to it with gladness, since there isn’t much they can do on earth.
• For many, there may be too many things left undone and they want to finish them.
• The young ones may want to get married and enjoy the world a little bit more.
I wonder what God would want us to feel.
• I believe there isn’t any right or wrong emotions.
• But one thing is sure – the Lord does not want us to love this world and treat this as our home.
• Jesus wants to return and bring us home to be with Him. He is delaying because He wanted more to come home.
Look at what John writes, after he saw a glimpse of Christ in His glory.
• …the last part of the Book of Revelation - Rev 22:20.
• The Lord says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” And he says, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
• The vision of the glorious Lord changed him.
• I believe it will change us too, and help us appreciate Him and see His return in a new light.
I will share a series of messages through the book of Revelation.
• And see through the eyes of John the Person of Jesus Christ in all His glory.
• The return of Christ will be “The Beginning of the Very Best”, Max Lucado says, I borrowed his term for this series.
Let’s read Rev 1:1-9.
• John describes this book as “the revelation of Jesus Christ” – this is the theme of this book.
• It’s not primarily about prophecy, or symbolism, or future events, but Jesus Christ.
• This book unveils Jesus to us in such a way no man has ever known.
John had a unique experience.
• He is the only man who has seen Christ more ways than one.
• He was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus. He saw Him bodily, and then in His resurrected form, and finally in His glorious state (through revelations).
• He was a prisoner placed in the island of Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” (1:9). And he was given visions of Christ in heaven.
No one then, except John through these visions, had seen Jesus in such a complete way.
• Not Mary or Joseph, not his step-brothers and sisters or even the other disciples. They cannot fully understand who He was while He was on earth.
• Through Revelation, God lifts the veil and enable John (and us) to see Jesus in a way that those who walked and lived with Him on earth could not.
No wonder John says in 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
The first thing John did was to praise God, and draw our attention to what Christ has done for us.
• Rev 1:5-6 “…and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
• John said this out of a personal experience. He saw Jesus crucified. He was at the foot of the cross, and probably the only disciple there. Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to him (John 19:26-27)
• He saw the shedding of His blood for our sins. He loves us and died for us.
• We are related to this God!
1:6 “…And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father.”
• We are intimately related to Him, John seemed to remind us.
• We owe our lives to Him. He bought us with His life.
• No wonder He will come for us, personally. We belong to Him. We are His.
One day, the daughter of Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz was sitting in an airport between flights, feeling very depressed by the smallness of her life.
As she watched the hundreds of people rushing through the terminal and did not see anyone she knew; as she watched the television report of world and national news and knew that not one of the important people quoted or pictured even knew she existed; as she thought of her own family members who have achieved so much while in comparison she seemed to be doing so little. She said, “My thoughts made me feel smaller and smaller. Insignificance, unimportance, and inferiority swept over me.”