Summary: One church sign in Mississippi read: “Church for sale, must find new owner ASAP! Who is the owner of the Church The Book of Revelation reminds us that Jesus Christ owns His church!
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.” (Revelation 1:1-2)
Have you ever read church signs as you rode down the highway? Here are some that were well-intentioned but not well thought out. ”Don’t let worry kill you - let the church help” … “Sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice” … “Dr. Scrubbs preaching, hear a good sermon while our pastor is away” … “Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door” … “Remember in prayer those who are sick of our church and community.” One church sign in Mississippi read: “Church for sale, must find new owner ASAP!
Who is the owner of the Church The Book of Revelation reminds us that Jesus Christ owns His church!
I. THE DISCLOSURE OF JESUS CHRIST (1:1)
A. The Source of This Revelation
The source of this revelation is God Himself. The Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ about Himself. In the New Testament, the word revelation means an unveiling or full disclosure. Biblical revelation is not a hidden secret but rather a revealed mystery. “… Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began … now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations …” (Romans 16:25-26).
The construction of verse one emphasizes that this unveiling of Christ is something that God Himself has done. This revelation is not an invention of man! Biblical revelation is not the vague meanderings of a Nostradamus nor the con-gram of some TV psychic. Jean Dixon (the most famous psychic of the 20th Century predicted that the Soviets would beat the U.S. to the moon, that World War III would begin in 1958 and there would be a cure for cancer in 1967. Obviously her kind of revelation was not from God because God has no lapses in accuracy.
No, this is the revelation of God about Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul was quick to remind his readers, “…I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians” (Galatians 1:11-12). These are truths only known by God and therefore can only be revealed by God (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
B. The Stability of This Revelation
This Revelation brings stability. Because God never changes and He Himself has revealed everything we need to know, we have a sure foundation on which to build our lives. The Apostle Peter encourages us to “rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). These truths about Christ and His church are timeless and unchanging. God’s revelation about Himself is a sure foundation on which to build one’s life and rest one’s hopes.
II. THE DESCRIPTION OF JESUS CHRIST
A. What is Christ Like?
Above all this book is what Christ says about Himself. In May 1897 the demise of author Mark Twain was reported a bit too early. When the news reached Mr. Twain he was reported to have said, “The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated.” Had someone thought to go to Mark Twain himself they would have know he was alive. In the same way, we should go to Christ to find out what He has to say about Himself.
There are twelve titles given to Jesus Christ in Revelation one through five. These title can be grouped into four categories.
He is the Sure Word of God. Christ is the true and faithful witness (1:5).
He is the Sum of All Things. Christ is the Alpha and Omega (1:8,11); the Beginning and the End (1:8); and the First and the Last (1:17).
He is the Savior of Man. Christ is the Lamb as though it had been slain (5:6); the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (4:5); and the root of David (4:5).
He is the Sovereign Lord. Christ is the Firstborn From the Dead (1:5); the Ruler Over all the Kings of the Earth (1:5); and the Almighty God (1:8).
In all of these titles we see a different Christ than what is often presented by the world. He is much more than a babe in a manger or a humble teacher. Christ is everything that God is because He is God! As we learn later in the Book of Revelation, He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.