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Remembering Revelation (Roby)

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Pastor Wes Terry preaches on the book of Revelation for FBC Roby to cap off their series in the book.



My understanding is that you guys have just finished the book of Revelation. Interestingly, our church just finished the same book not to long go. (2 year, fascinating journey!)
Because of that, Eli asked if I could come and share tonight about the book - summarizing the high points and some of truths that the Lord really drove home as we journeyed through it.
Of course, the book of Revelation is a fascinating book. There are all sorts of reasons WHY people read the book of Revelation.
But an important question WE need to answer as we wrap it up is why did JESUS give us the book of Revelation. Because this is a Word FROM Jesus TO us.
We don’t have to look far to get an answer to that question. The answer is actually given by an ANGEL who shows up in the very first verse of the very first chapter.
Angels show up all over the place in the book of Revelation.
They form the heavenly host of worship that surrounds the throne of God. (Rev 5:11)
They retrain the four winds of God’s judgment on the earth. (Rev 7:1)
They sound the seven trumpets of God’s judgment. (Rev 8:2)
They fight evil along side of Michael the archangel. (Rev 12:7-10)
They preach the Gospel throughout the earth. (Rev 14:6)
They announce the fall of Babylon the Great. (Rev 14:8)
They judge the wicked in the presence of Jesus Christ. (Rev 14:10)
They participate in the Great harvests of judgment and salvation. (Rev 14:17-19)
They pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath. (Rev 15-16)
They reveal the great Harlot, Mystery Babylon. (Rev 17:1)
They call the birds of the air to feast on God’s judgment on the earth. (Rev 19:17)
They bind Satan to the abyss to 1000 years. (Rev 20:1-3)
They reveal and participate in the glory of the final heaven. (Rev 21:9-10)
But do you know what the first angel in the first verse of the first chapter of Revelation does? He gives John a message of Grace and peace for the churches.
Let’s read it together because it will serve as our preaching text this morning.
Revelation 1:1–5 (CSB)
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.
4 John: To the seven churches in Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Notice the flow of the text.
God the Father gives Christ the son a “revelation” of what will soon take place.
Jesus communicates that revelation to his servants through one of his angles.
John, receiving that revelation from that angel, testifies to the seven churches in Asia.
What are the first words that John relays from that Revelation? Grace and peace.
In other words, Jesus has shown me what is going to soon take place and has called me to share those things with you. But the words that I’m about to share are words of grace and peace to you.
Most people, when they think of the book of Revelation, don’t think of “peace.” For many, the book of Revelation is associated with fear or confusion or controversy and debate.
So in this final sermon on the book of Revelation I’d like to help us “Remember Revelation” as a book of God’s grace and peace to us.
Just as that Bethlehem angel announced grace and peace to those shepherds. So also does God’s angel announce grace and peace to us.
Jesus, through the words of John who received this vision from this angel - wants his church to know something about who he is and what he’s promised to do.
What are those things? In summary fashion, I want to place them under the following headings.
How we see the future.
How we see this world.
How we see our suffering.
How we see our Lord.
As we “remember” the truths of the book of Revelation it will drastically shape the way we see these four things. In in remembering revelation we can experience God’s grace and peace in our life and our church.

Seeing The Future

The first thing we need to remember so that this book might be a means of God’s grace and peace to us relates to how we see the future.
We must remember that Revelation was not written to promote fearful speculation. It was written to promote hope-filled sanctification.
It’s not a book for us to debate the nuances of shadowy figures/governments in the future. It’s a book to motivate joyful obedience to Christ in the present!
So many people, especially young people (myself included) have distanced themselves from studying the book of Revelation because it sounded too confusing and unrealistic.
I certainly didn’t want to wade into all of the debates because most people who have an opinion on Revelation have a very STRONG opinion and think you should share the same.
I was afraid it might create all sorts of division in our church family as we worked through this book.
How wrong I was! I think the Lord accomplished in our hearts what he desired to accomplish in the hearts of those first century believers.
They were struggling with a culture that had turned hostile and godless.
They had friends and loved ones who were selling out and compromising on their Christian convictions.
They had political leaders and government that was growing increasingly authoritarian and cracking down on their religious expression.
They were experiencing in a BIG way what we are starting to see increasing signs of in our day.
So Jesus writes to them to encourage them and remind them of who HE IS and why HE is so much greater than the false promises of this world.
The point of Revelation is that Jesus is coming soon. The application is NOT therefore to compare your timelines and eschatology charts and fight one another on the particulars of the timing.
The application is to live a holy and godly life as we together wait on the Lord.
This is the consistent theme around the second coming of Christ in the NT.
Peter says the same thing in his letters. 2 Peter 3:11-13
2 Peter 3:11–13 (CSB)
11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming...
Skip down a few verses 2 Peter 3:17-18
2 Peter 3:17–18 (CSB)
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
Revelation will become a book of God’s grace and peace in our life when we allow it’s truth to promote hope-filled sanctification instead of fearful speculation.

Seeing The World

The second thing we need to remember from Revelation relates to the way we see our world.
REMEMBER: This world is broken and deceptive. But God, through Christ, is bringing something better.
To maintain peace in this world we must never forget that truth.
We’ve seen this 100 different ways in the book of Revelation.

What Is “This World?”

The “world” according to the book of Revelation, is marked by sinful desire that expresses itself in greed, jealousy and sensual excess.
In 1 John 2:16 the world is characterized by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
If you take that definition you can see how the world system leads people away from Christ and into a snare.
And it’s not just “unbelievers” who get snookered by the world. Even Christians can be led astray as we saw in John’s seven letters to the seven churches.
There was a growing lovelessness in the church in Ephesus. (Rev 2:4)
There was a spirit of slander afflicting the church in Smyrna. (Rev 2:9)
There was a spirit of compromise in the church at Pergamum. (Rev 2:14-15)
There was a spirit of worldly tolerance in the church at Thyatira. (Rev 2:20)
There was a spirit of duplicity and arrogance in the church at Sardis. (Rev 3:1)
Philadelphia, like Smyrna, was being afflicted by blindness and spiritual deception. (Rev 3:9)
And Laodicea there was a spirit of apathy and indifference that neutralized their effectiveness in the kingdom of God. (Rev 3:15-16)
We see the contrast to this world system in chapters 4-5 with a vision of heaven. God - not man - is at the center of this alternative system. (Rev 4:8, 11)
In chapter 6 we see the futility of this system in that it promises peace and prosperity but ultimately fails to deliver those things and when it doesn’t it points the finger to some one else to take the blame. (points to the Saints)
Conversely, in chapter 7, an alternative system satisfies the saints. They no longer hunger or thirst or have the sun strike them with scorching heat. The drink from the water of life and have every tear wiped from their eye. (Rev 7:16-17)
In chapters 8-9 we begin to see the deterioration of this world. The physical creation begins unraveling. Demonic evil begins to torture others as they experience the “end game” of sinful commitments.
This culminates with the seventh trumpet being blown and the kingdom of THIS WORLD becoming the Kingdom of OUR GOD and of HIS CHRIST. (Revelation 11:15)
Chapters 12-13 show the horror of a world under the sway of Satanic ideology.
Chapters 17-19 show the false promise that Babylon (this world’s system) gives to her people but ultimately fails to deliver.
Chapter 14, 19, 20-22 on the other hand show the absolute splendor of the King and Kingdom that is to come.
Victory belong to Christ and His Bride. (Rev 14:1; 19:15)
All things are made new. (Rev 21:1, 5)
Chaos is brought into order. (Rev 21:1)
Death is destroyed and sufferings cease. (Rev 21:4)
A new city, God’s city, becomes infinitely greater than all that came before. (Rev 21:10-11)
The world system is broken and deceptive. But God, through Christ, is bringing something better.

How Then Should We Live?

What practical application should this have on the way we live our lives? There are at least two ways that your life can have more peace if you live in light of this truth.
The first has to do with the satisfaction of your deepest desires.
The second has to do with the solving of our biggest problems.

Deepest Desires Never Satisfied

First, remember that your greatest longings will never be satisfied by this world.
There is a mindset that says this world is all there is, was and ever will be. So make all the money you can and pursue all the please you can and maybe you’ll get lucky and be happy.
If you study the lives of the people who live that way you’ll discover it never really works for them.
If you’re looking for this world to satisfy your deepest longings then you’ll be always searching and never finding.
It’s like trying to satisfy your thirst by drinking a Dr. Pepper. It sounds like a great idea but it’s actually having the opposite effect. Caffeine makes you more thirsty not less.
The prophet Jeremiah likened it to putting water in a broken cistern. It won’t ever work. Jeremiah 2:13
Jeremiah 2:13 (CSB)
13 For my people have committed a double evil:
They have abandoned me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug cisterns for themselves—
cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

Sin, Money & True Happiness

When sin entered this world it broke the good system God had created. The creation is now ontologically incapable of satisfying your heart and soul.
What’s needed is for us to seek the things that are above. Where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
What produces peace in your heart and not pursuing wealth and material gain. What produces peace in your heart is pursuing God’s purpose for your life in advancing His Kingdom.
Don’t get me wrong - God may choose to make you fantastically wealthy. Maybe he has! Praise God. But you know by know the money itself doesn’t provide you peace.
What provides you peace is stewarding that money according to God’s good design. It’s being generous with your wealth in advancing God’s kingdom agenda.
It is the people who are MOST heavenly minded that enjoy the greatest earthly good.

Greatest Problems Never Solved

The second practical application of this truth is to remember that our greatest problems will never be solved by this world.
In the book of Revelation this is EXPLICITLY clear as it relates to putting our hope and trust in government to fix our problem..
Politicians, political parities, and presidential administrations are an inevitable feature of living in this world. Communities need leaders and big communities need BIG LEADERS.
It’s part of how God designed the human race and human civilization.
But we make a tremendous mistake when we look to leaders, governments or political solutions for problems that only God can fix!
Psalm 146:3 (CSB)
3 Do not trust in nobles, in a son of man, who cannot save.
There are certain things government can’t do. When we look to government for those things or put that kind of power in the hands of government it corrupts that power and destroys the citizens living underneath it.
This is the whole point of Revelation 13. Satan loves to use authoritarian power and false religion to advance his schemes. And sometimes we play right into it!
Don’t fall for false promises of Babylon! (AKA presidential stump speeches)
Sensual pleasures,
Material possessions,
Promise of satisfaction and security,
The insatiable lust for more more more.
As John wrote in another letter.
1 John 2:15–17 (CSB)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

Seeing Our Suffering

That leads me to the third thing we need to Remember from Revelation. How we see the future. How we see this world. Thirdly how we see our suffering.
Remember, in this word we will have trouble but in Jesus Christ we’ll overcome.
John actually wrote these same words in his Gospel. John 16:33
John 16:33 (NIV84)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The theme of suffering shows up in the first chapter of Revelation. We discover very quickly that affliction has stuck the people to whom John is writing.
John describes himself as a “partner in that affliction” (Revelation 1:9)
John’s purpose in writing the book of Revelation was to acknowledge and address that suffering with the truth of the gospel.
It’s a MAJOR theme of the book of Revelation.
It’s the concluding words to seven of the seven letters that were written to the seven churches. “To the one who overcomes…” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21)
The triumph of Christ is the theme of the song that the heavenly host sing in Revelation 5:9-10; 12-13.
Perseverance through persecution is highlighted in the seal judgements. (Revelation 6:9-11) This suffering is followed by a picture of heavenly rest and triumph. (Revelation 7:13-17)
The same pattern can be seen with the trumpet judgments and bowl judgments.
God protects his people so they can persevere through tribulation and then vindicates their suffering by destroying evil and entrusting them with a better world. (Rev 11:18)
In Revelation 12 we see Satan rage but God’s people overcome. (Revelation 12:11)
In chapter 13 Satan uses corrupt authoritarian government and deceptive false religion to lead many astray and centralize the persecution of the saints. It calls for endurance (Rev 13:10) and wisdom from the saints. (Rev 13:18) .
Yet chapter 14 boasts of the victory of the Lamb, glory of his people and the unstoppable spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth: a harvest of righteousness followed by God’s vindication through judgment. (Rev 15-16)
Harlot Babylon shows up in 17-18. Sin gives birth to arrogance and idolatry. Such a culture becomes hostile to God’s people and God’s truth. But their perseverance is rewarded when God comes in judgment. The saints are vindicated and the harlot is judged. (Rev 18:20)
Finally in chapter 19 we see the total triumph of the lamb with the return of Christ. The people of Christ, those who overcome, rule at his side during the millennial reign. (Rev 20:4)
Over and over again I could show you this theme throughout the book of Revelation. A theme that ought to bring great peace to your heart even if you’re in the middle of great trial.

Real But Temporary

Our suffering is real but it’s temporary. It’s unjust but not unseen. Our heavenly Father knows and he keeps a record and he will vindicate his people when the proper time comes.
That knowledge is what enables us to persevere through suffering.
In this world, we will have trouble. But in Jesus Christ we will overcome.
Practically how ought this change the way we live?
Don’t be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good!
Jesus possesses you and he protects you. Don’t be surprised by suffering but be sealed by his protection.
Know that it is through your suffering that Christ is making much of himself and advancing his Gospel to the ends of the earth.

How We See Christ

The final thing I want us to remember from the book of Revelation revolves around the way we see our Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember Christ in all of his glory. HE. IS. WORTHY.
When Revelation works on us as God intends then we will trust, love and hear Jesus more. That’s my prayer as we conclude this journey.
Think about the picture John has been painting with this book. The imagery is so compelling.
Jesus is fully human and fully divine.
In his humanity he identifies with his church and the sufferings they experience.
In his divinity he is described with language belonging to God alone.
The book of Revelation begins and ends with these glorious descriptions of Christ.
In chapter 1 he is the Promised Son of Man from Daniel 7,
Robe with a golden sash. Great high priest and King. (Rev 1:13)
Hair white as wool/snow. Infinitely old and wise. (Rev 1:14)
Eyes a firey flame. Sees, knows and reigns over all. (Rev 1:14)
Feet like fine bronze. Judgments are pure and righteous. (Rev 1:15)
Voice like cascading waters. Thunderous voice of authority. (Rev 1:15)
The seven churches resting in his hands. Sovereign care of His bride. (Rev 1:16)
A double edge sword coming from his mouth. Words that penetrate the heart. (Rev 1:16)
Face shining like the sun a full strength. Glory unmatched in all creation. (Rev 1:16)
The first & the last, the living one, dead but alive forever and ever! (Rev 1:17-18)
Holds the keys to death and hades. (Rev 1:18)
In chapter 21-22 Jesus is the Christ and our Long Awaited Groom.
He is the great groom of the Bride (Rev 21:9)
The great lamp and temple of God’s city. (Rev 21:22-23)
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last the Beginning and the End. (Rev 22:13)
The root and descendent of David. The bright and morning star. (Rev 22:16)
Revelation 5 Jesus is the ONLY one worthy and the object of universal praise.
He is the conquering Lion and the slaughtered Lamb, standing in victory. (Rev 5:5-6)
His worth is undisputed. (Rev 5:9)
Power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing belong to him.
His work is unforgettable. (Rev 5:9, 12)
For all of eternity we will never forget the price he paid for us.
His worship is universal. (Rev 5:9)
The Lion-Lamb deserves the praise of people from EVERY tribe, tongue and language.
Revelation 12 Jesus is the Defeater of our Enemy
Through his birth he destroyed schemes of Satan. (Rev 12:5)
Through his death he defanged our enemy and demolished every accusation he might throw at us. (Rev 12:10-11)
Revelation 19 Jesus is the King of Kings & Lord of Lords
He is faithful and true. (Rev 1:5; 19:11; 22:6) in all he says and does.
Many crowns adore His head (Rev 19:12)
Much mystery surrounds His name. (Rev 19:12)
He conquers God’s enemies and purifies God’s people. (Rev 19:13)
He speaks God’s Word and reigns over over all. (Rev 19:14)
He is king of kings and Lord of Lords and nothing compares to Him. (Rev 19:16)
Listen to this quote from Dennis Johnson.
““When you think of Jesus Christ, do you see him in all the ways that Revelation’s images portray him? When you think that you have hidden your sins well from others, do you remember his eyes like flames? When fear grips your heart—fear for yourself, your family, or Christ’s church—do you fight that fear with the picture of the rider on the white horse, against whom the devil’s worst, last weapons are impotent? When you are confused, not knowing whom to trust or which path to take, do you hear the voice of the faithful witness ringing in your ears, ‘These words are faithful and true,’ and do you turn expectantly to his words to find your way? When the accuser, though disbarred from heaven, renews his prosecution against your conscience, do you stand with John in awestruck wonder, gazing at the slain Lamb who poured out his blood to wash you clean and robe you in his own fine linen, bright and clean, to make you—yes, you!—God’s precious treasure.”
Oh that we would see Christ in all of His glory and see our future with joyful hope. See our suffering in light of his coming and see this world for it’s brokenness and deception.


These are the truths we must remember from Relation. Whatever else we forget, these things we must remember.
And, in remembering, Jesus will guard, strengthen and purify us - his people.
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