I would like to take a few moments to introduce myself and explain who I am as a preacher.
My husband Chris and I were here at Shepherd when he received his call to ministry. While we were pastoring at Cooke Road, now One Hope Community Church of the Nazarene, I finally came to grips with my calling.
Starting at age 4, I knew I was called to preach. I would give riveting sermons on the greatness of Lemon Joy each Sunday afternoon before nap time.
(We are now
When I preach though, I am a little different. My preaching is more of an invitation to others to join in my journey. I can only share where my heart is… that is why I am a Friday and Saturday planner, not because I am procrastinating, but because it keeps evolving with each day until Sunday comes.
So today I am sharing with you my journey in the book of am taking the theology of Revelation along with Congregational Mission and the two have really change my perspective.
when it comes to Revelations: people usually fall into two camps: the avoidance camp or the end times camp. We tend to either steer clear of it because it can be so mysterious or we are obsessed with figuring out the secret formula to what will happen in the end times.
Today, I invite you take off the avoidance lenses, take of the eschatological (fancy word for end times) lenses, in order to put on new lenses...
Today, we are going to read Revelation as a continuation of God’s good news, His call to be His witness and proclaim freedom from sin to all who repent and turn to him.
Please turn with me and read (You really should read with me, it is a lot to take in.)
First, let’s put this in context.
John is writing a letter that is to be given specifically to 7 churches and then it will be distributed to others. This is in around 90 AD or CE. No major wide spread persecution of the Christians has happened yet. It is still just a branch of the Jewish faith that has so few followers that the Roman Empire is not concerned. So the persecution mentioned is still limited.
John tells those churches- hey you did a great job- hey you really screwed up- hey you think you did a great job but you are wrong- hey you let people teach you untrue things… you get the point. Then he goes on to describe this great worship event in the throne room and then… BUM BUM BUM!!!! the horrors in Revelation begin! Stars are dying, people are dying, animals are dying, people wish they were dying… it is truly horrific…
Then we start Chapter 11.
Verses 1-2 say: I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months What is this about? In the midst of the calamities that await believers and unbelievers- John is reminding the receivers of the letter that God has not forgotten about them. He is still their safe place.
After these encouraging words… Then we have these two witnesses. These two witnesses in these weird circumstances breathing fire