Faithlife
Faithlife

The Beginning and the End… Revelation

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 37 views
Notes & Transcripts

April 14-15, 2007                                                                                            Paul Gauche

Easter 2 C                                                                                                  Revelation 1:4-8

“The Beginning and the End… Revelation”

Over the past 24 years, I’ve either preached or taught from every book in the bible.  That is except from the book of Revelation.  But I have to take that back, partially.  I did teach through Revelation once about 17 years ago, but I can’t—for the life of me, remember doing that.  And in its own way that is pretty scary.  It’s the weirdest thing; I’ve got all my notes and my handwriting runs throughout 112 pages, but I cannot recall doing the study.  So, it’s like I never did it.

In the year after I graduated from college, when I was living at Holden Village, a remote spiritual community in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, I sat through a teaching on the Book of Revelation taught by Dan Erlander, a pastor, mentor and friend of mine.  And the only thing I remember from that study was his word of caution.  He said, “Beware of anyone who tells you that they’ve got the book of Revelation all figured out.”  That’s been good advice, I’ve never forgotten it; but it makes the task ahead of me today a little more daunting as we wade down into the pages and lessons in this amazing book.

So here’s what I can tell you…I don’t have it all figured out.  But I do know a lot more about this book now than I did when I started re-immersing myself in these ancient words, reading them, studying them daily, digging down into them now, for months.  And one of the most remarkable things that I’ve learned about the Book of Revelation is that it’s really quite accessible.  On Tuesday’s through May 22, from noon until 1:00 PM and then again at 7:00 until 8:00 PM we’re digging into these ancient words right here.  And I do know that when we finish, we’ll be far more confident about the Book of Revelation than we have been.  As we walk through this study, we will strive to take Jesus at his word regarding this book.  We are not going to engage in foolish and unbiblical speculation; instead, we will seek a responsible and biblical stance as we look closely at these ancient words.

Revelation is a fascinating, perplexing, intriguing, challenging book.  One of my favorite authors and teachers, John Ortberg writes, “When it comes to the book of Revelation, people in the church tend to have two primary responses.  Sadly, both of these responses are unhealthy.  There are those who become obsessed with the book.  They treat it like a prophetic jigsaw puzzle that will give them insider information if only they can put all the pieces together.  They write up intricate time lines and diagrams that impressively chart out the last days and appear to offer answers to all of our questions.”   A second response people may have to the book of Revelation is to avoid it all altogether, either out of frustration or confusion.  They say, “I can’t make heads or tails of this book.  It has bizarre images of strange creatures, beasts, blood, bowls of sulfur, people eating scrolls, bottomless pits, dragons, the four horses of the Apocalypse, war, pestilence, famine, and death!  Sadly, these people are missing out on some powerful life lessons God wants to teach us through this book.  John Ortberg, Experience God’s Power.  I want to help us uncover, unveil the mysteries in this book so that we can speak confidently, and responsibly about these amazing ancient words from God.

So here’s what I do know: John is the writer of the book.  He’s been banished by the Roman government to the Island of Patmos most likely for his involvement in this little first-century experiment called the Christian faith, perhaps for his preaching, his teaching if not certainly for his connection to Jesus Christ.  When you think of Patmos, think Alcatraz, and you’re close.  Patmos is a small barren rocky island 37 miles off the southwest coast of Asia Minor.  It is ten miles long and six miles wide, and was the perfect place for Roman emperors to send prisoners into exile.  For John, this was like a “time-out” of biblical proportions.  It most certainly was not a comfortable place.  Historians tell us that the trip to Patmos was generally preceded by a scourging—a severe beating.  Life on The Rock was marked by constant confinement in shackles.  Prisoners on Patmos had little or no light other than the sun—if and when they got to see that.  John’s clothing—what little he had was inadequate, as was his food.  He most likely slept on the cold, hard ground and he worked under constant guard.  If ever there was the idea that John had a little writing shack near the beach somewhere and wrote down his amazing revelation, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Book of Revelation is of a style of writing called “apocalyptic.”  It is often referred to as “The Apocalypse” —a Greek word meaning “uncovering”.  The word revelation literally means “unveiling”.  It’s a book that unveils meaning about the past, the present and the future.  And if we were to uncover, unveil or reveal the central nugget and message of this book it would be that Christ is the victorious Lord of all, from the beginning of time into eternity, the reign of Jesus Christ in the world and in the lives of believers.  There is a great deal here, to be sure, but there are three truths that will be enough for us today that will whet your appetite to come back here on Tuesday at noon or 7 for the deeper study.

The first truth revealed in this passage from Revelation 1 is that there is a blessing for those who read this book and blessing for those who hear it.  Let’s read verse 3 together:  “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.”

There is no other book in the bible that comes with an attached promise that those who read it and those who hear it will be blessed.  It’s painful for me to tell you that for 24 years I was like a lot of people who looked at the Book of Revelation and thought, “There’s no way I can understand that.  I’ll let someone else do it.” And for 24 years (not counting the year that I can’t remember teaching it) I let the blessing go by. 

This is the first of seven “blessings” or “Beatitudes” in the book.  In seven different places, Christ reminds disciples that their connection, relationship, their commitment to him will bring blessing.  Now, we have to understand this ‘blessing’.  It doesn’t mean “stuff”.  We’re not talking about simply reading Revelation in order to get something from God.  We’ve talked many times about how God is not a vending machine.  We would never read this book in order to sort of squeeze out of God something to satisfy our consumer oriented lives.  We would, however, read this book with the expectation that God will bless that reading and hearing with deeper insight and wisdom for how we might worship or praise God for more than just an hour during the week or how we might remain faithful in our daily lives or hang in there when we’re stressed out or hurting or how we might reach out with a word of hope or promise to a friend in need. 

You know, I want to be okay with just knowing that as this book is unveiled through reading and hearing it, that we will be blessed.  And that how the blessing comes and what the blessing turns out to be—that’s just up to God.  I want to be okay with that.  Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.

The second truth revealed here is that “from him who is and who was and who is to come” there is grace and peace for our daily lives.  From the one who existed before time began and who will remain into eternity, we have grace and peace offered to us today.

One of the very creative motifs in the book of revelation is the use of numbers.  The number three is significant.  The number seven is significant.  The numbers 12, 24, and multiples of these numbers all play key roles in the book of Revelation.  In verse four we find the first of many triads in the whole book: “Grace to you and peace from him “who is” and “who was” and “who is to come.”  That triad is quickly followed by another triad in the next verse: “from the seven spirits who are before his throne (Holy Spirit), and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (the LORD), and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (God).  What’s going on here?  What truth is being unveiled?  John wants victorious disciples to know that through Christ, God will provide enough grace and enough peace for each day.

Life is a huge challenge at times isn’t it?  Somehow, in some Christian circles, people tend to the think that following Christ will be this easy, stress and even pain-free adventure.  I heard recently someone talking about the heroes of the bible; everyone from Moses to Malachi, Jesus to John—and how none of these heroes had easy lives.  They were often filled with huge challenges.  The Apostle Paul, probably foremost among the heroes of the bible didn’t have it easy at all.  In fact, to put this in perspective, Paul wrote about his hardships in life to the church in Corinth.  He said, for the sake of Jesus Christ, I’ve experienced “imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death.  Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked…” and it goes on.

It was Paul who greeted every Christ-follower in every church he ever wrote to with the greeting we hear echoing in John’s writing: Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Do you need some grace in your life today?  Do you need some peace in your life today?  In the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, he writes to remind any Christian, anywhere in any time that in Jesus Christ there is “Grace and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come.”  Jesus Christ who spans the timeline of our short lives with his eternal perspective and care.  Where ever we are, there he is.  From the beginning and to the end of all things.

And that brings us to the third truth.  The third truth revealed for us today is that Jesus Christ; the Alpha and Omega is the beginning and the end.  Jesus is the beginning of all our endings and the ending of all our beginnings.  John tells us that Jesus is coming again.  He writes, 7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.  8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Jesus is the alpha and the omega—the beginning and the end.  To say that Christ is the beginning of all my endings is to acknowledge that Jesus is able to redeem my broken dreams and failed attempts in life.  To say that Jesus is the beginning of all of our endings is to say that when we feel like we’ve come to the end of all we can do, when we’ve hit that place that seems hopeless—that is precisely the point at which Christ steps in to offer hope and a way where there is no way.

To say that Jesus is the end of all my beginnings is to concede that there is nothing I can do apart form him.  Every attempt at life that I make will eventually drive me to him and reveal—unveil my need for him in my life.  To say that Jesus is the end of all my beginnings is to joyfully acknowledge that apart from him I am nothing and that the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the Christ and LORD of all loves us, knows us, and calls us by name; and because he is the beginning and the end, our past is redeemed, our present makes sense and our future is secure!  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

What follows are two iterations of this sermon’ the first is the first cut, the last is the final cut getting it down to eight pages.
April 14-15, 2007                                                Paul Gauche

The Beginning and the End…Revelation     Revelation 1:4-8

I.     I have a confession to make: (Attention)

A.   Over the past 24 years, I’ve only preached or taught from the book of Revelation two times.

1.    Well, sort of.

2.    17 years ago I taught through the book of Revelation, but I can’t—for the life of me, remember doing that. 

3.    That—in itself is pretty scary. 

4.    It’s the weirdest thing; I’ve got all of the notes and my handwriting runs throughout 112 pages, but I cannot recall doing the study.

5.    So, it’s like I never did it.

B.   In the year after I graduated from college, when I was living at Holden Village, a remote spiritual community in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State,

1.    I took a class on the Book of Revelation taught by Dan Erlander, a pastor, mentor and friend of mine. 

2.    One of the clearest memories that I have from that study was his word of caution:

a.    Beware of anyone who tells you that they’ve got the book of Revelation all figured out.” 

3.    That’s been good advice—through the years I’ve actually run into quite a few people who’ve told me they’ve got it all figured out, tied up and nailed down.

4.    And while I’ve spent the last 12 weeks getting ready for the Tuesday teachings on Revelation, I’m actually pretty confident in my ability to articulate some things in this remarkable book and equally excited to pass some things on to you.

a.    Still: “Beware of anyone who tells you that they’ve got the book of Revelation all figured out.” 

C.   So here’s what I can tell you…I don’t have it all figured out. 

1.    But I do know a lot more about this book now than I did when I started re-immersing myself in these ancient words just after Christmas…

2.    When most of us open to the first chapter of Revelation, there is a “cracking” sound. 

a.     That’s the sound of the bindings in our bibles opening to place that hasn’t seen much of the light of day.

3.    Nevertheless, one of the most surprising things that I’ve learned about the Book of Revelation is that it’s really quite accessible. 

4.    On Sunday mornings now, for six weeks and on Tuesday’s, through May 22, from noon until 1:00 PM and then again at 7:00 until 8:00 PM we’re digging into these ancient words right here. 

5.    And I do know that when we finish, we’ll be far more confident about the Book of Revelation than we have been. 

D.   As we walk through this study, we will strive to take Jesus at his word regarding this book. 

1.    We are not going to engage in foolish and unbiblical speculation;

2.    instead, we will seek a responsible and biblical stance as we look closely at these ancient words.

II.     Revelation is a fascinating and perplexing, book. 

A.   One of my favorite authors and teachers, John Ortberg, writes this about the Book of Revelation:

1.    “When it comes to the book of Revelation, people in the church tend to have two primary responses.  Sadly, both of these responses are unhealthy. 

2.    [First,] There are those who become obsessed with the book. 

a.     They treat it like a prophetic jigsaw puzzle that will give them insider information if only they can put all the pieces together. 

b.    They write up intricate time lines and diagrams that impressively chart out the last days and appear to offer answers to all of our questions.”  

3.    A second response people may have to the book of Revelation is to avoid it all altogether, either out of frustration or confusion. 

a.     They say, “I can’t make heads or tails of this book.  It has bizarre images of strange creatures, beasts, blood, and bowls of sulfur, people eating scrolls, bottomless pits, dragons, and the four horses of the Apocalypse, war, pestilence, famine, and death!”

4.    Sadly, these people are missing out on some powerful life lessons God wants to teach us through this book.”

B.   What we want to do in this preaching series and what I want to accomplish in the teaching series each Tuesday,

1.    is to help us uncover the mysteries in this book so that we can speak confidently, and responsibly about these amazing ancient words of hope and promise from God.

C.   So here’s what I do know:

1.    A man by the name of John is the writer of the book. 

2.    He’s been banished by the Roman government to the Island of Patmos most likely for his involvement in this little first-century experiment called the Christian faith.

a.     When you think of 1st century Patmos, think 20th century Alcatraz, and you’re close. 

b.    Patmos was a small barren rocky island 37 miles off the southwest coast of Asia Minor. 

c.     It is 10 miles long and 6 miles wide, and was the perfect place for Roman emperors to send prisoners into exile. 

D.   And he’s there because of his connection to Jesus Christ. 

1.    It most certainly was not a comfortable place. 

2.    Historians tell us that the trip to Patmos was generally preceded by a scourging—a severe beating. 

3.    Life on “The Rock” was marked by constant confinement in shackles. 

4.    Prisoners on Patmos had little or no light other than the sun—if and when they got to see that. 

5.    John’s clothing—what little he had was inadequate, as was his food. 

6.    He most likely slept on the cold, hard ground

7.    and he worked under constant guard. 

8.    If ever there was the idea that John had a little writing shack near the beach somewhere and wrote down this amazing revelation under the blue Mediterranean skies, nothing could be further from the truth.

E.    The Book of Revelation is of a style of writing called “Apocalyptic.” 

1.    It is often referred to as “The Apocalypse”

a.     —a Greek word meaning “uncovering.”

2.    The word “Revelation” literally means “unveiling.” 

3.     It’s not a crystal ball that predicts the future

4.    but a book that reveals meaning about the past, the present and the future. 

5.    And if we were to uncover, unveil or reveal the central nugget and message of this book it would be that Christ is the Victorious Lord of all,

a.     from the beginning of time into eternity, the reign of Jesus Christ in the world and in the lives of believers. 

F.    There is a lot here, to be sure, but there are three truths that will be enough for us today that will whet your appetite to come back here to worship each weekend and again on Tuesdays at noon or 7 for the deeper study.

III.     The first truth revealed…

A.   There is a blessing for those who read this book and blessing for those who hear it. 

1.    Let’s read verse 3 together: 

a.    “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.”

2.    There is no other book in the bible that comes with an attached promise that those who read it and those who hear it will be blessed. 

B.   In the bible whenever you read or hear the phrase:

1.    “Blessed are they…” or “blessed is the one who…” it’s known as a Beatitude—or a blessing statement.

2.    Here in verse 3 we find the first of seven “blessings” or “Beatitudes” in the book. 

3.    In 7 different places, Christ reminds disciples—Christ-Followers that their connection, relationship, their commitment to him will bring blessing. 

C.   We have to understand this word: ‘blessing’. 

1.    Receiving blessing from God doesn’t mean receiving “stuff”, “things”  “possessions,” because we really do have enough of everything.

2.    We’re not talking about simply reading the Book of Revelation in order to get stuff from God as if God is some kind of cosmic vending machine.

3.    We would never read this book in order to squeeze out of God something to satisfy our consumer--oriented lives. 

D.   We would, however, read this book with the expectation that God will bless that reading and hearing with deeper insight and wisdom

1.    for how we might worship and praise God with our whole life and for more than just an hour during the week;

2.    or how we might remain faithful in our daily lives and relationships with our;

3.    or hang in there when we’re stressed out or hurting;

4.    or how we might reach out with a word of hope and promise to a friend in need. 

E.    That is the blessing:

1.    How the blessing comes and what the blessing turns out to be—that’s up to God. 

a.     And God promises…

b.    “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.”

IV.     The second truth revealed here is that

A.   There is extravagant grace and deep peace available to you and to me…

1.    “From him who is and who was and who is to come”

2.    From the one who existed before time began and who will remain into eternity,

a.     we have enough grace and enough peace offered to us today.

B.   One of the very creative characteristics in the book of Revelation is the use of numbers. 

1.    The number 3 is significant. 

2.    The number 7 is significant. 

3.    The numbers 12, 24, and multiples of these numbers all play key roles in the book of Revelation. 

C.   In verse 4 we find the first of many triads in the whole book:

1.    “Grace to you and peace from him

a.    “who is” and

b.    “who was” and

c.     “who is to come.” 

 

2.    That triad is quickly followed by another triad in the next verse:

a.    “from the seven spirits who are before his throne (the Holy Spirit),

b.    and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (the LORD),

c.     and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (God). 

D.   What’s going on here, what’s the truth being revealed?

1.    Whatever it is, John wants victorious disciples to know that through Christ, God will provide enough grace and enough peace for each day.

2.    Life is a huge challenge at times isn’t it? 

3.    In some circles, people tend to the think that following Christ will be this easy, stress and even pain-free adventure. 

4.    I heard recently someone talking about the heroes of the bible;

a.     everyone from Moses to Malachi, Jesus to John—and how not one of these heroes had easy lives by any means.

5.    In fact, they were often filled with huge challenges. 

6.    The Apostle Paul, probably foremost among the heroes of the bible didn’t have it easy at all. 

7.    In fact, to put this in perspective, Paul wrote about his hardships in life to the church in Corinth. 

8.    He said, for the sake of Jesus Christ, I’ve experienced

a.    “imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death.  Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked…”

9.    and it goes on.

10.But it was Paul who greeted every Christ-follower in every church he ever wrote to with the greeting we hear echoing in John’s writing right here in verse 4:

a.    Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

E.    Do you need some grace in your life today? 

1.    Do you need some grace/peace in your life today? 

 

2.    In the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, he writes to remind us today that in Jesus Christ there is supernatural “Grace and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come.” 

3.    Jesus Christ who spans the timeline of our short lives with his eternal perspective, love and care. 

4.    Where ever we are, there he is. 

5.    From the beginning and to the end of all things.

V.     And that brings us to the third truth:

A.   That Jesus Christ; is the Alpha and Omega he is the first and the last; he is the beginning and the end. 

1.    There is a profound promise in verses 7-8:

a.    “Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.

b.    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

2.    To say that Christ is the beginning of all my endings is to acknowledge that Jesus is able to redeem my broken dreams and failed attempts in life. 

3.    To say that Jesus is the beginning of all of our endings is to say that when we feel like we’ve come to the end of all we can do, when we’ve hit that place that seems hopeless—that is precisely the point at which Christ steps in to offer hope and a way where there is no way.

4.    To say that Jesus is the end of all my beginnings is to concede that there is nothing I can do apart from him. 

5.    Every attempt at life that I make without Jesus Christ, will eventually drive me back to him and reveal—unveil my need for him in my life. 

6.    To say that Jesus is the end of all my beginnings is to joyfully acknowledge that apart from him I am nothing

a.     and that he is the Alpha and Omega,

b.    the First and the Last,

c.     the Beginning and the End,

7.    He is the Christ and LORD of all—and he loves us, knows us, and calls us by name;

8.    and because he is the beginning and the end, our past is redeemed, our present makes sense and our future is secure! 

9.    He is the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.


I.     I have a confession to make: (Attention)

B.   Over the past 24 years, I’ve only preached or taught from the book of Revelation two times.

1.    Sort of—I think;

2.    17 years ago … but can’t remember

3.    The only other time: Spring of 2001

C.   For all of its intrigue through the years—

1.    In spite of Hal Lindsay’s Late, Great Planet Earth, and the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins,

2.    Revelation is not the book in the bible that we normally spend time in;

3.    In fact, when most of us open to the first chapter of Revelation and we hear that “crackling” sound. 

a.     That’s the sound of the bindings in most of our bibles opening to place that hasn’t seen much of the light of day.

4.    Nevertheless, if I’ve learned one important lesson …

5.    The Book of Revelation is actually very accessible. 

II.     Revelation: A fascinating & perplexing book!

D.   John Ortberg identifies two responses:

1.      The first response comes from those who are obsessed with it:

a.     They treat it like a prophetic jigsaw puzzle that will give them insider information if only they can put all the pieces together. 

b.    They write up intricate time lines and diagrams that impressively chart out the last days and appear to offer answers to all of our questions.”  

2.    A second response people may have to the book of Revelation is to avoid it all altogether, either out of frustration or confusion. 

a.    They say, “I can’t make heads or tails of this book.  It has bizarre images of strange creatures, beasts, blood, and bowls of sulfur, bottomless pits, dragons, the four horses of the Apocalypse, war, pestilence, famine, and death!”

3.    Sadly, these people are missing out on some powerful life lessons God wants to teach us through this book.”

III.     Here’s what I do know:

E.    The Book of Revelation …

1.    Comes from God through Jesus Christ communicated by an Angel to a man named John

2.    who writes it down to encourage 1st century Christians who are being persecuted and oppressed by the very evil Emperor, Domitian.

F.    John is banished to Patmos for his connection to Jesus Christ.

1.    1st century Patmos ~20th century Alcatraz

2.    Small barren, rocky island

3.    10 miles long/ 6 miles wide

G.   Life on the Rock: anything but “cushy”

1.    Beatings

2.    Solitary confinement

3.    Under constant guard and shackled

4.    Little food, clothing, shelter …

5.    No picnic—no little writing shack!

H.   Style: Apocalyptic

1.    Greek work meaning “uncovering”

2.    What it is not:

a.     a crystal ball that predicts the future

3.    What it is:

a.     a book which reveals deep, profound meaning about the past, the present and future.

I.      If we were to uncover the nugget:

1.    Christ reigns!

2.    Much here! For today … 3 Truths

 

IV.     The First truth revealed here:

J.    A “Blessing” for those who read this book and “Blessing” for those who hear it. 

1.    Let’s read verse 3 together: 

 

“Blessed’ is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it.”

2.    No other book in the bible comes with an attached promise that those “who hear and keep” it will be blessed. (Active verbs!)

K.   Phrases: “Blessed is the one/are those who…”

1.    Beatitudes: Verse 3 we find 1st of 7

2.    In 7 different places in this book, Christ reminds disciples that a relationship with him brings blessing.

L.    Understand “Blessing” …

1.    Not tangible “stuff and things”

2.    The blessings we receive for hearing, reading, keeping carry into eternity: wisdom, hope, encouragement and promise in Christ.

 

V.     The second truth revealed here:

M.  Christ offers us supernatural grace and peace in the midst a culture filled with judgment and shame.

1.    From Jesus Christ—who existed before time began and who will remain into eternity—we receive enough grace and enough peace for today.

N.   One of the very fascinating characteristics of the book of Revelation is the use of numbers. 

1.    The numbers 3 & 7 are significant. 

2.    The numbers 12, 24, and multiples of these numbers all play key roles…

O.   In verse 4 we find the first of many triads in the whole book:

1.    “Grace to you and peace from him

a.    “who is”

b.    “who was” and

c.     “who is to come.”

 

2.    That triad is quickly followed by another triad in the next verse:

a.    “from the seven spirits who are before his throne (the Holy Spirit),

 

b.    and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (the LORD),

c.     and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (God). 

3.    What’s going on here is that John is reminding readers of the truth and power of the Trinity;

4.    He wants victorious disciples to know that through Christ and with the power of the Holy Spirit, God will provide enough grace and enough peace for this day.

P.    Why do we need to know that?

1.    Because life can be a challenge!

a.    We all have our Island of Patmos!

2.    Following Christ is costly!

Q.   I recently heard Chuck Swindall talking about the “heroes of the bible and how

1.    from Moses to Malachi

2.    from Jesus to John,

3.    everyone had huge challenges!

R.   The Apostle Paul: encouraging churches:

1.    “For the sake of Christ, endured imprisonments, countless floggings, often near death.  He was beaten, went through stoning, shipwrecked, hungry, thirsty, exhausted, etc.

2.    But it was Paul who greeted every Christ-follower in every church he ever wrote to with a greeting we hear nearly 70 times in the New Testament and echoing in John’s writing right here in verse 4:

a.    Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

S.    Do you need some grace and peace in your life today? 

1.    Book of Revelation is ultimately a reminder of God’s supernatural “Grace and peace that comes from him who is and who was and who is to come.” 

2.    Wherever we are, there he is…from the beginning to the end of all things.


VI.     And that is the third truth revealed:

T.    Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega he is the First and the Last; he is the Beginning and the End. 

U.   There is a profound promise in verses 7-8:

“Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

V.   Jesus Christ is the beginning of all my endings:

1.    That acknowledges that he is able to redeem my broken dreams and failed attempts in life. 

W. Jesus Christ is the beginning of all our endings:

That is to say that

1.    When we feel like we’ve come to the end of all we can do,

2.    When we’ve arrive at those places that seem hopeless,

3.    When we’ve been on our own Island of Patmos just one day too long…

4.    That is precisely the moment at which Christ steps in to offer hope and promise!

X.   Not only that, but Jesus Christ is also

1.    The end of all our beginnings:

2.    That is to finally admit that there is nothing I can do apart from him. 

3.    That every attempt at life that I make without Jesus Christ, will eventually drive me back to him and uncover, reveal—unveil my need for him in my life. 

Y.   To say that Jesus is the end of all my beginnings

1.    is to joyfully acknowledge that apart from him I am nothing and that he is the

a.     Alpha and Omega … not me;

b.    First and the Last… not me;

c.     Beginning and the End… not me;

2.    He is the Christ and LORD of all—

a.     who he loves us

b.    knows us

c.     and calls us by name;

3.    And because he is the beginning and the end, our past is redeemed, our present makes sense and our future is secure!

4.    He is the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →