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We Envision pt 1 (Revelation 5)

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A vision can transform the future. We live in a world that has been shaped by visions of others.

When God wants to change a world or nation, or even a neighborhood, He instills vision in an individual.

–        Wright Brothers envisioned people flying through skies. Today people fly by the hundreds…

–        Alexander Graham Bell envisioned communication over wire lines. Today over 91%[1] of the world communicates via cell phones.

–        George Washington Carver envisioned a world with variety of uses (105+ recipes) for the peanut. Later in 1928 Harry Burnett Reese created PB Cups or “penny cups” as they were sold for a penny.

–        Steve Jobs envisioned of human identity & lifestyle wrapped into micro-computer fitting inside pocket…

–        Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned a nation and society that would not judge others by skin color.

In this sermon series my hope is to help us envision eternity. Christians are headed to heaven and we need our hearts captured with that vision. Envisioning eternity will help fuel our faith in the present.

In this 2 part series we will examine Revelation 5 for 1 vision with envisioning 7 application aims for SPBC. We Envision_Revelation 5_logo

 

EXAMINE       We Envision pt 1        Revelation 5

Vision – “Then I saw” (vv.1, 2, 11… cf Rev 1:12-19)

 

John’s vision was for him and written down for us (Revelation 1:19)

Vision for the worth and worship of Jesus Christ (Rev 5)

Jesus is uniquely worthy creator (4:11; 5:2-4)

John saw Jesus sitting on the throne. Images of Jesus’ throne are prevalent (43x) in Revelation. The previous chapter Rev4 has the throne room with “flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass like crystal… [with] the elders falling down before him who is seated on the throne… casting their crowns before the throne saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev 4:5-11).

In Rev5 Jesus is holding a scroll written on both sides, implying ample content. Scrolls were only a certain size and generally written on one side. Additionally, the scroll has 7 seals. The greater amount of seals on a Roman document implied greater importance; in this case 7 implies complete significance.[2]

John saw a strong angel shout with a loud voice to search for one worthy to break its seals. A loud angelic voice echoes throughout heaven and earth only to be met with silence. No one on earth had the power to destroy satan, defeat sin, and undo the effects of sin’s curse on all creation.

Ø  Revelation provides vision for awe of God.

o   Can you remember a moment of awe… 1st pro baseball game, roller coaster ride, 1st kiss, seeing Niagara Falls or Grand Canyon… these are all passing moments that we can only reflect back. Yet, Heaven is permanent moments of awe in the presence of God (Rev 4:8 “day and night they never cease”)

 

Ø  Revelation points us to worship Jesus.

o   Who has your worship?

o   What are you pursuing?

o   What do you fear?

o   What do you worry about?

o   Who’s shoulders rests your well-being? Who or what could make it better/happy?

o   What are your entitlements?

o   Where does your mind drift in leisure time?

o   Where or to whom do you escape from life’s tensions, troubles, trials?

è Worship Jesus as Creator.

Jesus is unrivaled conqueror (5:5-7)

John weeps (klaio = deep weeping, strong unrestrained emotion) loudly and continuously (imperfect tense). The idea is that God’s purposes would not just be unknown but unaccomplished until the scroll was opened. However, one of the elders says “weep no more”. John’s sorrow is to settle immediately because the OT was fulfilled through Jesus – “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals” (5:5).

Almighty God sits on the throne and John sees a “Lamb standing, as though it had been slain with seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (5:6).

Ø  Revelation provides vision for Jesus as completion of God’s purposes.

o   Jesus is…

–        The faithful witness and the Ruler over the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5).

–        The Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13).

–        The First and the Last (Rev. 1:17).

–        The Living One (Rev. 1:18).

–        The Son of God (Rev. 2:18).

–        The Holy One and True One (Rev. 3:7).

–        The Amen, the faithful and true Witness (Rev. 3:14).

–        The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David who has conquered (Rev 5:5)

–        The Lamb deserving blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever (Rev 5:13)

–        Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11).

–        The Word of God (Rev. 19:13).

–        The King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16).

–        The Groom receiving the Bride, the Church, (Rev 21:8)

–        The Lord God (Rev 22:5-6)

–        The Root and the Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16).

–        The Bright and Morning Star (Rev. 22:16).

–        The Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:21).

The following chapters will show the unleashing of the seals of God’s judgment.

7 Seals (6:1-8:6)

  1. Antichrist 2. War 3. Famine 4. Death over ¼ of earth 5. Martyr’s cry 6. Astrological earthquake 7. Silence leading to announcing trumpets

7 Trumpets (8:6-9:21)

  1. 1/3 vegetation burned 2. 1/3 of sea turn blood 3. 1/3 of fresh water turn bitter 4. 1/3 of luminaries turn dark 5. Abyss Plagues 6. 1/3 of man killed 7. Announcing more judgment

7 Bowls (15:1-16:21)

  1. Painful sores 2. Turn sea to blood 3. Turn fresh water to blood 4. People burn with fire 5. Darkness & Pain  6. Evaporate Euphrates River 7. Greatest earthquake

Revelation 6:15-16 “[They] hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” 

Revelation 9:6 “During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.”

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

God’s judgment is not arbitrary but for willful rejection to receive His grace and worship Him.

Revelation 9:20-21 “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

Revelation 16:9, 11 “They did not repent and give him glory… [They] cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.”

è Worship Jesus as unique Creator & unrivaled Conqueror.

 

Jesus is unparalleled Lord and Savior (Rev 5:8-14)

The Lamb is standing – slain but alive!. All those around fell down in worship to Jesus, singing a new song… “Worthy are you to take the scroll, and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev 8:9).

Angels, numbering myriads of myriads [10K of 10K – an uncountable host] and thousands of thousands sang with a loud voice to the glory of Jesus (Rev 8:11-13).

è Revelation invites us to sing new and sing with loud noise.

o   Sing new…

  • Psalm 33:3 “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”
  • Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God”
  • Psalm 96:1-2 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth… bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day”
  • Psalm 98:1 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.”
  • Psalm 144:9 “I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you.”
  • Psalm 149:1 “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly.”

o   Sing loud noise…

 

è Revelation shows us faith is not just an informed mind but an aflame heart with the fire of worship.

o   If your faith is not also feeling then you are calloused, complacent, cold. God is calling you to remember… to repent…

o   If you have forgotten what you have been rescued and ransomed from, losing your praise and passion for God then return to this vision of worship of God.

o   See God and savor what He has done for you through the sending of Jesus to die and rise from the grave for you.

 

è Revelation shows us a vision for the variety and volume of heaven. Heaven’s variety will be more diverse than a skittles bag.

 

è Creatures and elders say “Amen”. A summary punctuation to the praiseworthiness of God.

 

APPLY/THINK

Vision for the worth and worship of Jesus Christ (Rev 5)

Jesus is uniquely worthy creator (4:11; 5:2-4)

Jesus is unrivaled conqueror (5:5-7)

Jesus is unparalleled Lord and Savior (Rev 5:8-14)

µ  When God wants to change a world or a life, He instills vision in an individual.

–       – – – > Do you have vision for eternity? Are you prepared to stand before Jesus?

 

–   –   – —————–

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/06/cell-phone-ownership-hits-91-of-adults/

[2] John MacArthur, Revelation, p.163.