Sermons

Summary: On 9-11 our nation needed someone to tell us they understood our fears, our enemy and our future. It needed someone to say they had a plan to deal with our enemy and that together we would overcome. Essentially, that's what Revelation 4 is all about.

OPEN: Fifteen years ago, two of our families went on vacation. They went to NYC and had gone to see the sights and enjoy the pleasures of the city.

But their plans were shattered in a moment’s time… along with the plans of millions of Americans across the nation.

19 evil men, with hearts filled with darkness and hate and their minds dominated by a sense of self-righteousness and vengeance, hijacked 4 airliners and carried out suicide attacks against specially selected targets.

• 2 of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center

• A 3rd plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C.,

• And the 4th plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania before it reached its destination because of the courage and sacrifice of those on board.

They murdered over 3,000 people were killed during these attacks, including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.

Osama Ben Laden took immediate credit for the attack and Muslims across the Mid-East rejoiced in the crippling of the “Great Satan” (Us)

Expecting further potential attacks, commercial airlines were immediately grounded. The nation was paralyzed and businesses ground to a halt.

America was shocked and devastated and on the verge of financial collapse.

What our nation needed (and what we received from President Bush) was someone who could say:

I understand you fear.

I know the enemy and I have a plan to deal with them.

I know what we’re going to do to face the coming days and we will overcome this hardship and tragedy together.

That’s essentially the message of Revelation 4.

God is saying:

I understand you fear.

I know the enemy and I have a plan to deal with them.

And I know what we’re going to do to face the coming days and we will overcome this hardship and tragedy together.

Notice these words from Revelation 4:1-4

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “COME UP HERE, AND I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT MUST TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS. At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.”

Notice what’s happening here.

Jesus tells John he’s about to see "what must take place after this…"

We’re all familiar with what’s coming in the following chapters.

There’s horrendous pictures of war, famine, pestilence and death.

Preachers and teachers who make a living telling people about the horrors of Revelation jump right into describing the dangers and challenges the future holds.

BUT NOT JESUS

Jesus doesn’t “jump” into the pictures of the future.

Instead, we find ourselves in God’s throne room witnessing an awesome worship service

• filled with strange sights and sounds

• lightning and thunder and rumblings in the distance

• beautiful colors

• unusual creature

• and an inspiring example of how to praise God

(pause…)

When I first began to study this passage I suddenly thought…

"What’s going on here?”

If Jesus has told John that he’s about to see "what must take place after this…" why would the 1st thing Jesus take John to be a “church service”? Why visit this beautiful BUT seemingly irrelevant ceremony. Why not just get right down to the nitty gritty of it all and tell us all about what we REALLY want to know about:

1. the conflict between the forces of good and evil,

2. between the forces of Satan and the angels of God?

But instead we find ourselves being led into a praise service.

Why start here?

Why?

Because that’s where God KNEW we needed to begin.

We need to realize that when we read Revelation – it’s possible for us to focus on the wrong things. TV Evangelists and radio preachers get caught up looking at the wrong things all the time.

You’ll hear or read many of these guys focus on:

1. the powers of darkness;

2. the Mark of the Beast;

3. The battle of Armageddon; and so on.

Most of the teachers who teach this seem to dwell on the darker, scarier aspects of this vision and thus they end up focusing on the wrong things.

ILLUS: For example, how many of you have heard of the mark of the Beast? (“666” described in Rev. chapter 13)

Over the past 50 years or so, prophetic teachers have gotten people so scared of the prophecy about the mark of the “beast” that many faithful church goers have made nuisances of themselves fighting any attempt by our government to use Social Security numbers, identification cards or anything like of the sort. If there's even the hint that "666" will end up being part of their phone number or SS# or any other of a number of other numbers that could be part of their lives... some folks just go spastic.

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Allan Manalad

commented on Oct 22, 2016

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