Summary: I fear that American Christians have largely lost their focus on holiness. We have allowed the things of this world and our own personal desires to distract us from loving and serving Jesus Christ as we should. The solution is to allow the Bible to renew
Revelation 8:1-6; 15:1-8
Purpose: To display God’s wrath against sin.
Aim: I want the listener to gain a greater sense of God’s awesome holiness.
INTRODUCTION: The Lord is about to unmask the full fury of His wrath against sin. All of man’s vain attempts to excuse or ignore sin will be stripped away and laid bare for everyone to see. The book of Revelation is a loud warning that judgment is coming.
There are a number of ways to get people’s attention. Being loud is one way. In the book of Revelation the word “great” is used 71 times; “great voice” or “great cry” is used 18 times; “loud voice” is used 12 times. This makes the statement in verse one of chapter eight even more startling.
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past “the things which you have seen”
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present “the things which are”
Ch.6-22 III. John’s Vision of the Future “things which will take places”
6-7; 12-14 A. Satan’s war against God’s creation
➽8-11; 15-18 B. The wrath of God: the seventh seal
After the breaking of the first six seals there will be several events that will serve as a dramatic pause before the seventh seal is opened. It all begins with complete silence for thirty minutes.
➽1. The preparation for God’s wrath
I believe that the lesson for us, in our text today, is the supreme importance of the exaltation of Jesus Christ. I fear that American Christians, and yes I am in that number, have largely lost their focus on holiness. We have allowed the things of this world and our own personal desires to distract us from loving and serving Jesus Christ as we should. The world sees little difference between Christians and non-Christians. Both groups appear to be looking for pleasure and wealth. Both groups enjoy the same worldly entertainment. Both groups divorce at almost the same rate. What has gone wrong?
I fear that American Christians, and yes I am in that number, have largely lost their focus on holiness. We have allowed the things of this world and our own personal desires to distract us from loving and serving Jesus Christ as we should. Christ is best displayed to the world when Christians are willing to suffer and still display a love for Jesus. Sadly, many who claim to know Christ are constantly looking for the easiest way to follow Christ, instead of desiring to glorify Christ no matter what it may cost.
Let’s look at our text and see what we can learn about our God. As we approach the greatest judgments this world has ever seen we would think that it would start with something dramatic. It does, but in a way we might expect.
➽8:1-2 a. A dramatic pause in heaven “silence in heaven”
Imagine complete silence for thirty minutes. I am going to pause for 15 seconds. That seems like a long time because we are so used to filling our lives with constant noise. It is probably rare for most of us to turn off the TV and the radio and the IPod and sit quietly in God’s presence and just think about Him.
“It is not the silence of emptiness, of the yawn of boredom, but it is the silence of mystery and intense waiting. But most important of all, it is the silence of sovereignty.”