Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A Walk through The book of Revelation and understanding the message of hope and freedom instead of one of fear and rapture

I am going to show a scene from “Horton Hears a Who.” Whoville is a village that lives on a speck of dust that sits on a dandelion. They are in danger. As you can imagine, living on a speck of dust on top of dandelion is not a very stable pace to live. Horton is an elephant with huge hears and is the only one who can hear the people of Whoville. He is on a mission to get them to safety. Unfortunately for Horton, noone believes him. Mayzie, the village dictator, is a sour kangaroo who knows every law and enforces every rule. She is the self proclaimed head of the jungle of Nool. She is on a mission to silence Horton’s insistence of the existence of Who. At his point Mayzie has turned the entire village against Horton and The Who’s only hope of survival is for the entire village of Whoville to make enough noise that the animals in the jungle of Nool can hear them. That is where we pick up this scene.

Tell the story of the scene

As a result of their voices being heard, action was taken. Horton became their champion. Whoville was saved.

I believe this can be a metaphor for prayer. The churches in The Revelation had undergone tremendous persecution because of their faith. The most effective weapon in their arsenal in their war with Nero was prayer. They did not take that for granted. Prayer was not a special time of day they set aside; it was their life. I can imagine that there were days that they wondered if their prayers were being heard. --Days when it probably seemed as if there was just something preventing their prayers from breaking through to God, so that their anguished cries for help would be heard. I can see the churches in the midst of their persecution crying out to God. We are here. We are here! We are Here! Even as the Mayzie of Rome was attempting to turn the others against them in an effort to silence their attempts to share the truth. Each day that passed brought additional threats. You can imagine the tells of terror. “Did you hear about Jerry?” –No. He was praying the other day and a Roman guard burst into his house, drug him into the street and beat him. Then they hung him on the side of the road as an example to other would be “prayer warriors.”

Today we join John and these seven churches in the Revelation chapter 8. At the beginning of the Revelation We found John exiled, and he says he was in the Spirit. He was no longer thinking about God, or talking to God, he was attending to God. The man was praying. If there is one thing that we should learn from Revelation is to never underestimate the power of our prayers as people of God. Prayer is a language used to address God. John begins this chapter and says there is silence in heaven. Prior to this chapter there has been anything but silence. This silence is deafening. In contrast to the scenes prior to this it is almost as if time has stood still. The Silence is for the prayers of the people of God. He listens to every word, every cry for help, every moan and groan, every stammering attempt at prayer. God not only hears He listens; the silence was an intentional pause by the Creator of the universe by a sound from earth-It is the prayers of God’s people. They are not running away. They are not being broken. They are breaking through and the hosts of heaven hear their prayers, even in the midst of this horrific battle. We are Here! We are Here! We are here! Is the scene on earth and just as it seems all hope is lost, just the dandelion is being dropped into the hot caldron, the hosts of heaven here something and there is a deafening silence. Out of this silence action is taken; the lamb is the champion for the people of God. Prayer is access to an environment where God is the pivotal center. All other persons, events, or circumstances are third parties. Existence is illuminated in direct relationship to God.

God is taking action as result of the prayers. The prayers are not just stored on the altar; they are mixed with the fire of God’s Spirit and returned to earth. Prayer is the most practical thing we can do. It is not a mystical escape-- it is an historical engagement. Our prayers are returned to earth in the censer. The trumpet is a powerful instrument, it is unique. Its sound can be picked out even in the fullest of orchestras. So is God’s action powerful in response to our prayers. -Even in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances, when God acts there is no doubt amongst His people, and his enemies that He has acted. Just as the seven seals were revelation, the seven trumpets that are being prepared to be blown by seven angels are God’s proclamation. Seven is the number of completeness, there is nothing not addressed in the Proclamation of God. But there will be another pause before it is complete. After the sixth trumpet there is pause similar to that after the sixth seal was broken.

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