Summary: In the kingdom of God, the whole world, every continent, every foot and everything lost through the first Adam’s sin, will be reconciled to God through the Second Adam, Jesus Christ and that the instrument used to banish the gross darkness in the world is His Spirit filled Church.
Sermon. Will the Church Survive Covid 19?
Text: Revelation 1:1-20
Introduction: Of all the writing of the Bible, the book of Revelations is the only book that assigns a special blessing to those who read, hear, understand and keep the word of these sayings. The theme of the book is the mystery of the kingdom of God. It shows that this whole world, every continent of it, every foot of it, all the places that are on it, lost through the first Adam’s sin, will be reconciled to God through the Second Adam, Jesus Christ and that the instrument used to banish the gross darkness in the world is the Spirit filled Churches reflecting Christ the Sun of Righteousness, and the preachers here on the earth empowered by the Holy Ghost.
Although we do not know the exact year Revelations was written. We do know by this time John was an old man. He stood alone; all the other apostles had long since passed away. The progress of the gospel, that was mighty and triumphant in Paul’s day, had been blocked; edicts went forth forbidding every word of New Testament writing, requiring it to be burned. Women were dragged before the legal tribunals and commanded to reject Christ and worship heathen gods or be thrown to the lions. Many were wondering “Will the Church survive?
Every effort was being made by Domitian, the new Roman emperor, to stamp out Christianity. This was a time of great discouragement. God sends this revelation and prophesy to his servant John. At a time when John himself had been arrested and banished to the isle of Patmos for preaching the word of God, He is given the word to reawaken faith, hope, love, and courage in himself and in God’s people. It is to show them that the clouds will pass away; it is to show them that, however heavy the hand or the heel of the tyrant, truth will yet prevail, and that ultimately the whole wide world will be conquered for our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole book testifies that in the end, we win!
We, like the Apostle John had only seen Jesus Christ the way he was. When we think of Him, we remember him as a babe in Bethlehem, as a boy in the temple, as a worker of miracles, and as a teacher of parables. We remember him is his earthly ministry, persecuted, as a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, despised and rejected. We remember him crucified, dead and buried. All of our memories, like John are of the way he was. But now John sees him the way he is!
This is the revelation of God the Father as revealed to Jesus Christ and transmitted to his servant John. This brief analysis is given by our Savior himself. In Rev.1:19: “Write, therefore, (1) the things which thou sawest; (2) the things which are; (3) the things which shall come to pass hereafter.” The things which John saw, refers to the vision, (vv. 12-16) inclusive:
“I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” That is what he saw.
The second division was “the things that are.” “The things that are” are set forth in chapters 2-5. These are the things that are, and consist of two subdivisions: First, the state of the churches, not as they seem to be to themselves, but as God saw them to be. That is the earth scene of the things that are, and a very discouraging view it is.
In chapters 4-5, among the things that are, is a heavenly scene – it reveals the throne of grace, with all of its agencies and activities in behalf of the imperfect churches – and that is an encouraging view. Then the things that shall be hereafter commence at chapter 6 and extend to the end of the book. That is the prophetic part of the book.
Revelation 1:12-16, is a vision of our Lord in his glory, and in his relation to the churches and pastors, with an indication of the mission of the churches and the pastors. That is the first great revelation of the book. The revelation of our Lord, not in his humiliation, not in the state that he was in before he came to the earth, not in the state that he was in while on the earth, but in his glorified humanity. We have before us a vivid picture of Jesus as the one who was dead, but is alive to die no more. This first revelation is intensely interesting – a revealing of Jesus as he now is in his glorified state, and in his relation to the churches and the preachers that are to reflect his light in the world. How intensely important to us, then, is a vision of Jesus now.