Faithlife Sermons

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Introduction:
START LOW
Quote - "The glorious fact is not that the past is sullied, dirty, or unclean, but that the future is unsullied."
[Craig Brian Larson and Brian Lowery, 1001 Quotations That Connect: Timeless Wisdom for Preaching, Teaching, and Writing (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2009), 161.]
It's sounds crazy, I know.
But grant me a moment of your sanity?
I invite you, if you're up for the adventure of your lifetime, to join me on a tour of somewhere I've never been, somewhere you've never been (as far as one can know), but a place of which I've read the description, and been given a ticket to ride; not only to see this place, but to move there forever.
I know where it is, and I know how to get us there, because a guidebook and compass has been provided.
The path is simple, but narrow, all you have to do to get there is follow the light.
Illustration: Imagine planning a hiking trip.
It starts with a simple trail map.
Then a line on the featureless map gives way to the much more dynamic and informative line on a topographical map.
Here you consider elevation and decide whether you really want to ascend five thousand feet in a day.
The maps give way to photographs, and the mountains become more real.
Finally, with your gear packed and your route charted, you head out to the mountains.
There you discover that maps and photos fall far short of the real thing.
[J.
Scott Duvall, Revelation, ed.
Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014), 291.]
Jesus said that He had to leave to go and prepare a place for us.
Now, John gives us a glimpse of the handiwork of our Master Carpenter.
Welcome, New Jerusalem!
Main Thoughts: Focus on the hope that this description stirs in the heart of finding that city whose builder and Maker is God (Heb.
11:10).
Draw the attention to the central focus of the city - The Lord, Lamb Temple, God's People becoming the Holy of Holies into Eternity
Sub-Intro: Whereas the devil had his seductive harlot city (Babylon the Great), the Lord has His beautiful virgin city (New Jerusalem).
Note - John's description is completely logical, he describes first the outside of the city (Rev.
21:9-21) and then the inside of the city (Rev.
22:1-5)
Body:
I. New Jerusalem’s Descent (Rev.
21:9-14)
GO SLOW
Note - The Same Angel Used to Purge the World (see Rev. 16:17-21) Now Gives John a Precious Portrait of the New City of God
Note - See Rev. 17:1
A. John' Invitation to Behold (Rev.
21:9)
Note - See 1 Cor.
2:9, cited from Is. 64:4
Note - Paul visited the Third heaven, see 2 Cor.
12:2, 4
B. John's Experience (Rev.
21:10-14)
Note - John Is Shown the Great City (v.
10)
Note - Compare how Ezekiel was similarly set upon a high mountain to view the Millennial Temple (Ezek.
40:2)
Note - "shew" (deiknumi) here often has the idea of making known in great detail; see the seven occurrences of deiknumi in Revelation that John was "shown":
The Vision of the Apocalypse - Rev. 1:1 (1x)
The Heavenly Throneroom - Rev. 4:1 (1x)
The Harlot Judged - Rev. 17:1 (1x)
The Heavenly Bride - Rev. 21:9-10 (2x's)
The Crystal River - Rev. 22:1 (1x)
The Prophecy of the Revelation - Rev. 22:6, 8 (1x)
Note - What "Great Cities" have you seen?
How could they compare?
Note - The Bride of Christ is the Wife of the Lamb, and encompass all the saved, the chosen, those whose names are written in the Lambs Book of Life, throughout all the ages.
The Bride Is the Wife Is Believers.
See the Sevenfold referrals of the Lamb in our passage under study: Rev. 21:9, 14, 22, 23, 27; 22:1, 3
1.
The Brilliance of the City (Rev.
21:11)
Note - It's Radiance Is the Glory of God, as predicted, Is. 60:19
Note - This "Glory of God" was also seen by Stephen, Acts 7:55
Note - How Vine's describes John's word for this "light"
phoster (φωστήρ, 5458) denotes “a luminary, light,” or “light-giver”; it is used figuratively of believers, as shining in the spiritual darkness of the world, Phil.
2:15; in Rev. 21:11 it is used of Christ as the “Light” reflected in and shining through the heavenly city (cf.
v. 23).¶
In the Sept., Gen. 1:14, 16.¶ [W.
E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 370.]
Note - Though not a perfect analogy, the closest we could probably describe would be like a diamond
2. The Bars (or Walls) of the City (Rev.
21:12-14)
Note - Ezekiel also saw that the Millennial Temple had walls and gates (see Ezek. 40:5-6)
a.
The Twelve Foundations: The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb (vv.
12, 14)
Note - Twelve is significant: 12 gates, 12 angels, 12 tribes, (v.
12), 12 foundations, 12 apostles (v.
14), 12 pearls (v.
21), 12 fruits (Rev.
22:2), city 12,000 furlongs cubed (v.
16), 144 cubit walls (v.
17)
Note - The Church will be forever distinct from Israel, yet we are all one in Christ
Note - See Eph.
2:20; 4:11; 1 Cor.
12:28
b.
The Twelve Gates of the City: The Twelve Sons of Israel (vv.
12-13)
Note - Three Gates Each: East, North (e.g.
aurora borealis), South, West (from front to back)
From the east was the direction of entrance (going westward) into God’s presence, Scripture revealed.
For instance the cherubim guarded at the “east” of the Garden (cf.
Gen. 3:24), Cain left the presence of Jehovah and went east of Eden (cf.
Gen. 4:16), and man journeyed from the east to Shinar in rebellion (cf.
Gen. 11:2).
Furthermore, Lot left Abraham and journeyed east toward Sodom (cf.
Gen. 13:11), and during the Millennium Jehovah will enter the Temple through the east gate, as Ezekiel predicted, saying, “And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east” (Ezk.
43:4).
The Lord’s original plan for Adam and Eve will continue throughout eternity, with the place of worship and the presence of the LORD approached from the east.
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 931–932.]
Note - The Angels' at the Gates, cf.
Cherubim at the Garden (Gen.
3:24), God's Guard
Note - See also Ezekiel's Description of the Millennial Temple: Ezek.
48:31-34 as well as other prophets who were privileged to see the "pattern of the things in the heavens" (i.e.
Moses and the elders (Ex.
24:9-10), David (Ps.
11:4, etc.), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:19), Isaiah (Is.
6:1-5), Paul (Heb. 9)
Note - Ezek.
48:32 lists the names of (Rachel's and Bilhah's children) Joseph (first to fail in the Promised Land), Benjamin (first failed king), and Dan (first altars to Baal in the north of Israel) being on the East Gates.
What mercy God has toward sinners!
Note - When all added up, there were thirteen tribes of Israel as well as thirteen Apostles of Christ
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