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Jesus, Our Exodus

Spoiler Alert: Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:23
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In suffering, you have two places to go- closer to the Lord, or further from the Lord.
Paul in Phil. 3.
Here in Revelation 8, 9, and 11, we’re going to see some stark parallels to the Exodus plagues in Egypt. And we’re covering a huge portion of Scripture today, but I’m not going to read it all. I want to get to the point of what is being communicated in the Trumpets. And I want to ask the question: “In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?” because the Christian life is messy, amen? Things don’t always go well. Sometimes, people sin against us, or we sin against other people. Being a Christian doesn’t mean perfect marriages and happy kids, and healthy bodies. Sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes marriages fail, children wander from the faith and sometimes, they die, crops fail, homes flood, friends leave, money runs out, people take advantage of us, and sometimes, the Christian life can feel like such drudgery, and so we ask the question: “In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?” That’s the question that I want to answer from this section of God’s Holy Word. But I want to start with verse 6, and then we’ll summarize the trumpets:
Revelation 8:6 NLT
6 Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts.
So these angels blow the trumpets (seven of them if you’re paying attention):
1st Trumpet (Rev. 8:7): hail and fire mixed with blood 1/3 of the earth burned.
This echoes Exodus 9:24-25
Exodus 9:24–25 NLT
24 Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. 25 It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed.
2nd Trumpet (Rev. 8:8-9): Mountain of fire thrown into the sea. 1/3 of sea turns to blood. 1/3 of living creatures die. 1/3 of ships destroyed.
Mountains are a symbol for kingdoms.
3rd Trumpet (Rev. 8:10-11): star falls, and turns 1/3 of fresh water bitter and kills many people who drink it.
Jeremiah 51:63–64 NLT
63 When you have finished reading the scroll, tie it to a stone and throw it into the Euphrates River. 64 Then say, ‘In this same way Babylon and her people will sink, never again to rise, because of the disasters I will bring upon her.’ ” This is the end of Jeremiah’s messages.
And you see the Exodus in the plague as well:
Exodus 7:20–21 NLT
20 So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! 21 The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt.
4th Trumpet (Rev. 8:12): 1/3 of sun, moon, stars go dark. 1/3 of day and night are dark.
Do you hear the Exodus echoing here?
Exodus 10:22 NLT
22 So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days.
Then we get this verse:
Revelation 8:13 NLT
13 Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.”
It’s not bad enough already?!? Which brings me back to our question: “In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?” Keep thinking about that question as we finish the trumpets out.
5th Trumpet (Rev. 9:1-12): Locusts that torture, but not kill only those who don’t belong to God (like many of the Exodus plagues)
Exodus 10:14–15 ESV
14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. 15 They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
That God doesn’t allow these creatures to kill people is significant. And it makes me ask the question again: “In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?”
6th Trumpet (Rev. 9:13-19): four angels and their armies kill 1/3 of the people on earth.
Notice death has been introduced. This is still a parallel to the Exodus plagues. And what does the death of the firstborn plague in Egypt lead to? Judgement at the Red Sea. What does this death lead to here? Judgement at the end.
I’m not going to go into the details of these symbols, but I want to reiterate my question:
“In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?”
Because notice the point of these trumpets:
Revelation 9:20–21 NLT
20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The answer to our question: “In the midst of a mess, is there hope for me?” is a resounding “YES!”
Because in times of trouble, you have two places to go- only two- toward Jesus, or away from him. And the WHOLE POINT of the trumpets is that Jesus wants people to move closer to him.
James 4:8 NLT
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
If you’re struggling or you’re in the midst of a mess- in your marriage, in your relationships, at your job- draw near to Jesus, and he will draw near to you. In the midst of a mess, you need to preach the Gospel. That we are not good, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins to save us from Satan, sin, death, Hell, and the wrath of God. And when others are in the midst of a mess, we need to preach the Gospel. That they are not good, that Jesus died on the cross for their sins to save them from Satan, sin, death, Hell, and the wrath of God. We can serve people all day long, but if we never open our mouths and preach the Gospel (GOOD NEWS!), we will never change their lives.
There are good deeds that we should do. There is good advice that we should give. But there is a Gospel that God’s people MUST proclaim!
There are good deeds that we should do. There is good advice that we should give. But there is a Gospel that God’s people MUST proclaim!
Because the whole point of the trumpets is to get people to draw near to God. These judgements are acts of mercy.
The people that are going to hell want to be there.
The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. Same action can produce different reactions in people.
He's calling people back to repentance, and these people refuse.
"Suffering is God’s 'megaphone' to rouse us.” C.S. Lewis
(9/11)
You may be suffering physically, but if you do not repent, eternally, it will be much worse.
Revelation 11:15–19 NLT
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” 16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. 17 And they said, “We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power and have begun to reign. 18 The nations were filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come. It is time to judge the dead and reward your servants the prophets, as well as your holy people, and all who fear your name, from the least to the greatest. It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth.” 19 Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.
IS AND WAS. What's missing?
This is the beginning of his forever reign. This section is the answer to the question, “what does hope look like if I draw near to Jesus in times of struggle?” Jesus returns, becomes the Exodus for his people to set us free from this world, to set us completely free from sin. To set us completely free from pain and suffering. The early Christians had a saying in Latin: post tenebras, lux. “After darkness, light.” And here, we see the brightest light we can imaging when the presence of God dwells with his people as we see here the ark being revealed.
And that’s what Christianity is. That Jesus is our only hope. And when we draw near him with our lives, there is nothing that can be lost that is worth more than what we gain in Christ, like Paul says in Philippians 3:
Philippians 3:3–14 NLT
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! 5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
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