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An Awesome Book

Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:41
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The first in a series on Revelation.

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an awesome book
Revelation 1:1-3 TODAY’S TEXT
Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 1:1–3 NKJV
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
The last time I preached through the book of Revelation, the date of my first message was September 9, 2001—two days before 9-11—when planes hijacked by terrorists destroyed the twin towers in NY.
That Sunday morning two days before 9-11, I began my message with a story from a Time magazine article about the disasters that overtook the African country of Rwanda a few years earlier in 1994. The wars between two tribal groups resulted in the brutal deaths of nearly a million people in the space of three months—people who, according to the Time photographer who was in Rwanda, James Nachtwey, had “their heads bashed in by rocks and clubs, impaled on spears, hacked to death by hoes and machetes.” Nearly a million people! In addition, droves of Rwandan people were trampled to death in an attempt to flee the country. Many that were not killed in the border incident were killed by a deadly outbreak of cholera. The Time magazine article included a photo of bodies stretching off into the distance with the words of a man from Zaire: “This is the beginning of the last days. This is the apocalypse.”
Just two days after I shared that story, disaster hit America on 9-11. And since then, many other horrible troubles have come to our shores. Have these attacks awoken people spiritually? To some degree, yes. But the truth of the matter is that—for the most part—America and other nations around the world continue on in unbelief.
Jesus told us it would be this way. In His sermon to His inner circle on the Mount of Olives just before His death, He told them:
Matthew 24:37–39-----37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Matthew 24:37–39 NKJV
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Noah preached for 120 years as he built the ark, but society ignored his message until the day that Noah entered the ark. And then disaster struck. Jesus said humanity would be this way until His return.
But one day, God, in His mercies and grace, will seek to wake the nearly 8 billion people on earth out of their spiritual slumber. Jesus said:
Matthew 24:21 “. . .there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew 24:21 NKJV
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
How can this truth that Jesus stated shortly before His death make a difference in our lives? Well, today, we are embarking on a study of the last book of the Bible — the book of Revelation. When Jesus spoke of the future, He wasn’t wasting His breath. He was telling us about future events so it would make an impact on how we live and how we relate to others right now.
Revelation will be an awesome book to study because it revolves around an awesome person (Jesus Christ) and an awesome event (His wrath on rebellious mankind).
First of all, I would like us to consider. . .

1. The Awesomeness of its Title

Revelation 1:1----The Revelation of Jesus Christ. . . Revelation = apokalupsis (apocalypse) disclosure, unveiling The book of Revelation has to do with how Jesus will reveal Himself to the world---it will be in a way that the world has never experienced. When He came to earth the first time, He came in meekness and humility. When He comes the second time He will come as King of kings and Lord of Lords---He will come in judgment.
The world we live in cannot conceive of this type of disclosure. The world’s take on Christ (if they even acknowledge His existence) is of a harmless old bearded guy in the sky. But in the book of Revelation, we shall see Him as He is — the judge of the whole earth!
· There are nearly 2 billion Muslims.
· Another 1 billion secularists and atheists.
· Over a billion Hindus and half a billion Buddhists.
· Add to that almost half a billion Confucianists, Taoists, and Buddhists in China.
These five groups alone account for 5 out of 8 billion people (and who knows how many people there are in the 2.4 billion people who claim the name of Christ that are not saved).
One day, God will begin to pour out judgments on mankind in an attempt to awaken the nearly 8 billion people on earth about their need of Christ.
Pain will be God’s megaphone to awaken a deaf world, and though many will continue to rebel against God, many will also finally listen to what God is trying to say to them and be saved.
So first we see the awesome title given to this book: The Revelation— the disclosure—the unveiling—of Jesus Christ!

2. The Awesomeness of its Purpose

To show His people the future events that will swiftly come to pass:
Revelation 1:1----- The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John. . .
Revelation 1:1 NKJV
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
Revelation 22:16-----“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Revelation 22:16 NKJV
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Revelation 22:20-----He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Revelation 22:20 NKJV
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
God does not want us to be in the dark concerning what His plans are in the last days. He wants us to know what His agenda is and what’s in store for us as well as for the people who live on this planet.
He doesn’t show us these things simply to inform us but to motivate us---to be ready, to be a witness, to not waste our time on that which is only temporary.
3. The Awesomeness of its Communication
Revelation 1:1-2 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
Revelation 1:1–2 NKJV
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
God → Jesus → Angel → the Apostle John → Us (His servants)
· He “signified” it. This is a word that refers to “speech that gives a vague indication of what is to happen.”
There is a lot of symbolism in Revelation, so we have to be diligent to rightly divide the Word of truth.
God could have said to John: “In the last days, a terrible and evil man will come to power.” Instead, he says, “I saw a beast rising up out of the sea.” A vicious, wild animal.
· Notice how the contents of Revelation are described in v. 2:
Revelation 1:1b-2-----And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
Revelation 1:1b–2 NKJV
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
Revelation is:
· God’s Word
· Christ’s personal witness about the future
· A record of the visions God gave to John about the future
So far, we have seen the awesomeness of Revelation’s:
· Title: it is an apocalypse—an unveiling of Christ and His future plans for mankind
· The A of its Purpose: to show Jesus in His future role as judge of the whole earth
· The A of its Communication: it is a message from God Himself to His people

4. The Awesomeness of its Promise

Revelation 1:3-----Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 1:3 NKJV
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation is a book to be read, to be heard, and to be obeyed.
Why? Because obedience brings God’s blessing — Jesus promised that if we obey, He and His Father will come and make our home in us — that they will reveal themselves to us — that is blessing! To be able to see things that others do not see and to know God in a way that others do not know Him — that is blessing!
But we also obey because the time is near.
-----------
In the movie called Jurassic Park the scientists in the beginning of the movie are overwhelmed at the beauty, majesty, and power of the dinosaurs — they are so swept away by what is happening all around them and by all that they see, that they have no idea that in the space of just a few hours, their dinosaur fantasyland will be transformed into a place of unbelievable suffering and death. One moment, the scientists are taking a tour of the park with some kids — the next, the dinosaurs are loose and killing people and wreaking havoc.
Folks, the time is near. And the world is oblivious. And many in the church are asleep. Let’s not let our lamp go out. Let’s keep shining. The Lord could come at any moment — we’ve got to let this truth change our lives!
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