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The Beginning of the End

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The Beginning of the End

Text:  Revelation 6

Big Idea:  God will go to drastic means to secure your future.

Purpose:  To comfort and explain the reality of evil.


            I only have memories of two major battles in my life

                        -both in Iraq – and one still going

            What struck me

                        -was the inevitability

                        -how long it took for each of them to happen

            No one should have been surprised when the first bombs were fired

                        -there had been warning

                        -troops had been built up

                        -diplomacy had been tried

            The element of surprise was completely lost

                        -as it often seemed as though we told them when the bombs would fall

            Battles take time to plan and execute

            Even when surprise is the key element – takes planning

                        We say this in the past week

                        -as government officials were able to thwart the plans of terrorists

                                    -to blow up airplanes flying from UK to USA

                                    -the terrorist – had to make plans

                                    -which were thankfully thwarted


            In our text today

                        -Jesus is opening the seals to read God’s will

                        -the deed to His universe

            And as those seals are broken

                        -it becomes painfully obvious that Christ is getting ready

                        -to claim what is rightfully His

                        -and to use force

                                    -because force will be necessary


                        -We see evil around us

                        -we grow impatient

                        -but despite our desire for immediate peace from Satan’s grip

                        -and even though we may grow frustrated

                                    -we get a glimpse – in this picture

            That while evil appears to be winning

            It is just a matter of time

                        -because Christ is setting up His warriors

                        -and He will take what is rightfully His

Sermon Body:

*Evil is not easily dismissed.

            -despite the easy solutions of people

                        -if it were my kids - I'd handle it

                        -why don't you just fix it

            Some people don’t even believe that evil is real – everyone is good

            Some will deny that Satan is real – has no ability to hurt

                        -but Satan has done serious damage

                        -has attempted to stake a claim to God’s creation

                        -and refuses to go peacefully

                                    -even though Christ holds the deed

            For churches who first read this

                        -comfort – the Roman rule, was an enemy occupation

            For us today

                        -similar comfort – whenever we think the world has gone crazy

                                    -and see signs that make us think there is no fear of God

*Jesus is preparing to make His claim.

            -and it will not be made without force

            -He came to divide, bring a sword

            -this is His creation.

Look at His deployment

            -don’t get too caught up in colors, reading too much into it

            -try to get a feel for what is going on – horses, warriors, justice, death

                        -all point to a violent reclamation of Christ’s own

*Responses differ to Christ's battle.

            -some fear/are ignorant the battle is happening

                        -the entire book of Revelation can be frightening

                        -often, it is frightening, because people do not see the battle

                                    -have a life at peace – have not felt the hand of the enemy

                                    -and the talk of war, seems almost harsh, at least strikes fear

                        -this battle is needed – even when we do not see the war

                        -we can be lulled to sleep – in Western world

                                    -where the Gospel of Christ has been central to advancement of history

                        -But though Christ is known – Satan and forces still at work – bringing evil

                                    -tempting us to sin, persuading God’s people of lies

            -some want justice - but easy justice


            -some are longing for justice

                        -like the saints after the fifth seal

                        -they wanted Jesus to act

                        -they wanted to see Christ on His throne

                                    -they wanted the enemy to be served justice

                                    -and a battle for them was reason to cheer

            -Illustration - April 9, 2003 - Saddam's statue comes down

                        -Iraqi's - truly happy

                        -Americans - appalled by war

*God's people are crying for justice.

            -example of Psalms

            -noted in verse 9

            -Christians in China

*Comforting thoughts:

*God is willing to go to drastic measures to secure your future.

            -He will go to battle for you

            -Even give His life for you

            -Justice will be served

            -If you have struggled with evil

                        -as a victim, guilt, succumbed to the lie

                        -for you, this is a comfort

                        -Evil, the bad side, your corrupt nature

                                    -will not always have a claim

                                    -Christ is ready to battle

*God's wrath is about to be unleashed on evil.

            -not just save – but proclaim judgment

            -and His wrath will purify creation

            -ridding Satan of all His power

                        How do I know?   - must confess I’ve read the end of the book

                        -and we can be assured – Satan will be put away

                                    -because Christ is willing to go to war

*God promises His protection to His children.

            -although we struggle with fear

            -uneasy at the thought of war

            -will be subject to damage

                        -Christ has marked His children – not to be harmed


            The sound of gunfire would frighten most

                        -make you duck, run for cover

            But to the hostage – subject to torture from the evil ones

                        -gunfire is the sound of liberation

            Christ – bringing His warriors

                        -might be a frightening

                        -but it is the sound of eternal liberation from the influence of evil


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