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Standing in the Royal Chambers

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Standing in the Royal Chambers

Text:  Revelation 4

Big Idea:  The Lord of the Church is the Lord of the Universe.

Purpose:  To comfort people with the knowledge that their Lord is supreme.

Introduction:

There's an irony about the way people respond to attention.

            Most would love to shake the hand of a powerful person

                        -or be excited to meet a movie star.

                        -or to learn from someone who is accomplished

But there are times - when we do receive attention, we dislike it.

Teacher grades paper - picking on us

Parent teaches - get off our back

Critical comments - we shrug off.

Our ironic feelings about attention are not limited to other people

            -we feel similarly about God

            We want our prayers answered

            We like His help in times of trouble

            We don’t necessarily want to be reminded of our guilt

            We might feel like God is overly critical as we hear His instruction

The churches in Asia Minor – who first read this book of Revelation

            -might have felt this way

            -Christ had just walked among their churches

            -offered some harsh words – couched with words of comfort

And they may have wondered:  Why critique us

            -Why does Christ seem to pick on his churches?

This morning

            -we get a glimpse from Revelation

            -to see the man, and the motives

            -of Jesus Christ

            -for intervening in the lives of His people

Sermon Body:

*Christ had been paying attention to His churches.

            -and he pays attention to us

            -watches us,

                        -we sometimes don't like that

            -but in Revelation, it is all put in perspective

                        -who is paying attention to us?

Have you ever had someone who picked on you

            -and you decided to merely disregard them?

Maybe a high school bully didn’t like your braces,

            -a co-worker thought you were foolish for coming to church

            -a member of a different cultural group – didn’t understand your concerns

When I have been faced with those kinds of situations

            -I slip into a way of operating

            -that begins with asking – Who are you?  Why should I listen to you?

Many times – there is no good reason – no expertise, their lives are a mess

            -there criticism, is merely meanness

But sometimes – people have something to offer

            My little league coach – watch me play, offer advice on the game

            My math teacher – pointed out repetitive mistakes – helped improve

Some people – parents, authority, have a basis, credibility to offer suggestions

            -and they do it for your benefit

When we hear the voice of Christ – his commands, Holy Spirit’s conviction

            -we may want to dismiss

            -silly traditions, old wives’ tales

But Revelation 4 – shows that the one critiquing, paying attention

            -has the clout

We want to look in detail at Rev. 4

            2 purposes

            1.  Ongoing reading – know these creatures – they appear repeatedly

            2.  see the splendor of Christ

*Symbolic Elements worth noting:

1.  Christ's appearance. (v. 3)

            -not described in a physical form

            -but as light – not human-like – but divine – power

            -furthermore – on a throne – and His throne is mentioned repeatedly in this book

            -Many look at Revelation as a story about the future

            -but this is a book about Christ

                        -He was, is, is to come

                        -He is Holy

                        -He is glorious on His throne

            -no earthly king has the kind of honor Christ has in Revelation 4

2.  24 Elders – Council of people – ascended to heaven – given robes (v. 4)

            -you would expect 12 – magic number

                        -tribes, disciples

            -there is a fullness about 24 – more than just Israel

            -these elders appear to be people

                        -who have ascended to heaven

                        -signifying – you have a place in God’s Kingdom

            We can grow frustrated – with judgments, questions

                        -feel like we are lowly

            Maybe the churches in Revelation – had a sour taste in their mouth

                        -hearing of their shortcomings

            This idea – of elders in God’s presence

                        -tells us that not only will we be glorified

                        -we will have a significant role to play in God’s Kingdom

            In America – you have a vote

                        -and you may think “big deal”

            In heaven – you have a seat at God’s governing table

                        -part of his council

                        -which is a privilege, and a tremendous responsibility

           

3.  7 Spirits (v.

            -represent the seven churches

            -the people who are receiving this letter

            -but again, we see that this letter, prophecy

                        -is not just about them

                        -it is about Christ’s plan

            And it is a lesson to us

                        -when we long for a word from Christ

                        -to see Him as Lord of All

            -His plan is not just a personal plan for you and me

                        -but for his entire creation

4.  4 Living Creatures (v. 6-7)

            In Ezekiel – animals like this were angels – protecting God’s throne, holiness

            -each creature is the best of its kind

                        – lion king of beasts, ox king of cattle, eagle of air, man of creatures

            All of nature praises God

                        Furthermore – in Daniel

                        Animals represent different nations

                                    -all the nations are in God’s presence

                                    -he rules over all

*Christ is the Holy Lord of the entire Universe.

Which means:

He is Lord of the Church

            -will instruct us

            -because He loves us

The whole world will praise Him.

            -and you have a chance to get in on the ground floor

*You can have status in the presence of the King.

            -but it happens today

            -we submit, praise

            -join the voices that give praise and honor to Him

When you hear the voice of Christ – you do not dismiss

            -feeling picked on

            -though we are tempted to do so

How do we hear it?

            -through people

            -through God’s word

            -through prayer life - meditation

It cuts to our souls

            -reveals Christ to us

            -reveals ourselves

When we hear that voice

            -the voice of Christ

            -we listen

            -and we obey

Conclusion:

            Christ is calling you today – trust, obey, love, repent

            I believe – many here know what that calling is – and you want to ignore

            Christ has the clout – to look at your life

            Christ has the heart – to raise you to His side

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