Faithlife Sermons

Turn Your Eyes On Jesus

Revelation Wide Open  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:37
0 ratings
· 17 views

Youtube LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6ZY-jDH5kI John writes these words as he sits upon the isle of Patmos exiled and separated from his brothers and sisters in churches all over the world. But he is not alone. Neither, dear Christian, are you. God is still on his throne. Christ is worthy to reign. Set your eyes upon Him. Around you are the crashing waves of fear and doubt. But we do not need to be ruled by fear - we are ruled by faith.

Files
Notes
Transcript

Introduction

On Friday Governor Pritzker mandated that “...all public and private gatherings of any number of people …are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Executive Order. …any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by this executive order.” (section 3 of Executive order-2020-10). That mandate goes through April 7th.
Unafraid because we are ignoring or disbelieving the panic? Unafraid because even if there is something greater out there to fear, our God is greater still.
On Friday Governor Pritzker mandated that “...all public and private gatherings of any number of people …are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Executive Order. …any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by this executive order.” (section 3 of Executive order-2020-10). That mandate goes through April 7th.
We find ourselves in a strange situation. We could (and some have) argue that the governor doesn’t have that power. I’m not a lawyer. But I am mindful of this: That God mandates for us in that we are to be subject to the governing authorities. Yes, it is true that makes it clear that we obey God above men. But this mandate does not go against the word of God - even if it goes against our expectations and attitudes.
If this order were directed against churches in order to suppress Christianity, we would hold a service. But it was not.
If this order were an attempt by government to assert authority over the church, we would be in the building. But it was not.
This order is intended to slow the spread of a disease. It is not yet near to us geographically so I certainly understand why many of us feel like shutting the church doors, staying at home, and switching to a completely digital format is wrong or foolish. But it is our current situation. Around us is a world in fear - but we have the right of glory. And right here we have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
All over this state, and indeed all over the country, even in many places around the world, but certainly right here in our home town businesses are closed or severely limited. People are in need, and we can help them. All of this may be necessary, or it may be blown completely out of proportion - I’m not an infectious disease expert. The crisis may be real or manufactured, but one thing as it pertains to us is certain: the Crisis in people’s lives brought about by the crisis is very real. This, dear church, is our time to show the genuine love of Christ. This is our chance to protect the medically vulnerable. This is our chance to show genuine sacrificial love. This is our chance to trust the King who does all things for His glory.
But the Crisis in people’s lives is very real. This, dear church, is our time to show the genuine love of Christ. This is our chance to protect the medically vulnerable. This is our chance to show genuine sacrificial love.
Three weeks ago if I had said, share your toilet paper with someone who has none, you would have laughed at me. But today it is literally an act of love. So is picking up medicine for your elderly neighbor. Or for that matter offering to run errands for anyone who might have a compromised immune system. You can be - you must be - the hands and feet of Jesus. Share. His. Love.
We are the church of Jesus Christ.
Now with all of that said, Church, or more properly the gathering together of the saints is more than a sermon. There is worship, there is support of one another. Yes there is instruction - but there is also accountability, encouragement, and fellowship. It is time to rise up and be the church where you are on purpose by being very intentional about loving one another, and loving others with real deeds of grace.
I also want to say that I am excited about our future. Not long ago, gathering together digitally like this was not possible. But just let yourself be amazed for a moment that at such a time as this so many methods of making a church service go online are available and many of them free or very low priced. More than that, right now, in a digital world - our geography in the country doesn’t matter. We can reach out to everyone near and far in the same ways and we can continue to reach out to each other. I’ve worked this week to establish a number of resources for us to use as a church to stay in contact with one another, as well as to reach out. (Embedded links in the description.)
Summarizing our links:
Sermon Videos will be on: http://www.youtube.com/c/FameEvangelicalChurchMoweaquaChurch
website: Famechurch.net will point you to https://fameevangelicalchurch.faithlifesites.comCommunity
Interaction: Faithlife.com/fameevangelicalchurchPrayer list updates: text @fameprayer to the number 81010
With all of that said, let us turn our attention to the word of God this morning in the book of Revelation, chapter 5:7-14
Right now I’m working on ways to enable you to reach out to others as well.
I also want to say that I am excited about our future. Right now, in a digital world - our geography in the country doesn’t matter. We can reach out to everyone around us and we can reach out to each other. I’ve worked this week to establish a number of resources for us to use as a church to stay in contact with one another, as well as to
Revelation 5:7–14 NASB95PARA
And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Revelation 5:7-
It seems rather fitting this morning that as the global chaos of the rest of Revelation prepares to unfold we get a chance to observe the glory of Christ. In fact - in the face of the world’s chaos and fear - in the face of our own chaos and fear; your perspective is going to make all the difference.
I watched the Hobbit movies again this week with my family, and there’s a scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5llnbqhLZM 1:32-1:35 ) in which bard the bowman is standing on top of a tower with a broken but patched up bow, an iron arrow, and his son serving as the arrow rest as a monstrous fire breathing dragon races across the flaming rooftops to kill him. Right when Bard is about to launch the arrow, his son becomes distracted with the charging dragon and begins to turn and look in fear but Bard calls to his son, “Hey, Look at me, look at me.” and the boy redirects his attention to his father, he looses the arrow and the mighty dragon Smaug the impenetrable is slain with the last iron arrow.
I can almost hear the Lord whispering this week, “Hey, look at me, look at me.” as the media tries to stoke our fears.
Dear Christian, can I remind you once again that God is on His throne. He is orchestrating the events of time toward his glory, and we can trust Him. Let your eye turn to His glory. With that perspective, the rest of the world’s events find the RIGHT perspective, fear melts away as trust takes over.
Church, or more properly the gathering together of the saints is more than a sermon. There is worship, there is support of one another. Yes there is instruction - but there is also accountability, encouragement, and fellowship. It is time to rise up and be the church where you are. By State order

Worship His Glory

Dear Christian, can I remind you once again that God is on His throne. He is orchestrating the events of time toward his glory, and we can trust Him.
Worship His Worthiness
As the scene in heaven opens, the Father sits on the throne holding a seven sealed scroll which no one is worthy to open. Then, heroically, Jesus steps forward as the Lion of Judah - worthy to take the scroll and crack the seals. But when John turns to see him, he sees not a lion but a lamb that looks as if he has been slain. The crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are all preparatory for the king to take his throne. Now the lamb approaches the Father and takes the book out of his hand.
(v8) Up until this moment, the four living Creatures around the throne had been crying out the holiness of God the Father upon the throne, every time they cried out the thrice holy praise the elders would cast their crowns down and declare His worthiness. Now in the eighth verse they turn their worship to Jesus the Lamb for His worthiness.
This scene is very important in understanding the identity of Jesus. For example in God says, “I will not give my glory to another...” but here do you see what is happening? God will not share his glory with another, and yet here the Father shares his glory with Jesus the Son. In this beautiful moment of worship, two members of the trinity come into focus (Three if you consider verse 6’s description of the lamb having the Seven (or the completeness of the) Spirit of God.
Up until this moment, the four living Creatures around the throne had been crying out the holiness of God the Father upon the throne, every time they cried out the thrice holy praise the elders would cast their crowns down and declare His worthiness. Now in the eighth verse they turn their worship to Jesus the Lamb.
All of heaven here is displaying the truth of the trinity: The Father and The Son are one. Jesus is equal to the Father - which is exactly the claim that his assailants in wanted to stone him for.
This scene is very important in understanding the identity of Jesus. For example in God says, “I will not give my glory to another...” but here do you see what is happening? God will not share his glory with another, and yet here the Father shares his glory with Jesus the Son.
John 5:18 NASB95PARA
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
All of heaven here is displaying the truth of the trinity: The Father and The Son are one. Jesus is equal to the Father - which is exactly the claim that his assailants in wanted to stone him for.
We see a few elements pointed out such as the elders each holding a harp. Being common enough instrument this simply indicates worship, and the bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints points out the priestly role of these twenty-four elders.
How amazing to contemplate this however, that in this image the singing of worship to God is side by side with the prayers of the saints. We may not have had the chance to come together in song this morning, but we do have the opportunity to pray.
.
We may not have had the chance to come together in song this morning, but we do have the opportunity to pray.
Spend time in the presence of God. Indeed if you’re stuck in the house right now, you have more time than ever to turn off Netflix and get on your knees - not to spend time in prayer, but to spend time in the presence of God. Don’t increase your prayers - increase your time with God in real conversation with him in the presence of His word.
Indeed surrounding you this morning are a great number of heart concerns, a great number of frightened people, a great number of needs - and all of them are ready to be shared with your Heavenly Father.
Share also the prayer which for 2000 years has filled the mouth of the saints: “May your kingdom come, May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Worship His Worthiness

Now then listen to the praise of the elders which begins in verse 9 as a new song. We have moved from the praise of the creator to the praise of the redeemer.
Revelation 5:9–10 NASB95PARA
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Revelation 5:9 NASB95PARA
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
The new song swells to fill the heavens and they sing a song of the worthiness of Christ . Please pay attention for a moment to the reasons for Christ’s worthiness.
They sing a song of the worthiness of Christ
Hebrews 10:14 NRSV
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Each of the Elders is also holding a harp
And golden bowls full of incense which is identified as the prayers of the saints. And just as a reminder: Saints are those who have faith in Jesus Christ and which are cleansed by his blood. They are made Holy () and are being made holy ().
You were slain. When Jesus took the death penalty we deserved he forever earned our worship.
The harp is symbolic of worship, and the prayers are symbolized with the incense. This helps us to understand the role of incense in the Old Testament Tabernacle and temple as well, always there is a symbolic rising of our prayers to God who views them as a fragrant offering.
and you purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. We are not our own, the apostle Paul reminds us elsewhere. We were bought with a price - the precious blood of Jesus. Therefore honor God with your bodies, he exhorts us. When Adam sinned he broke our relationship, our proper reflection of His glory with the Father. The death of Jesus on our behalf restored all of that by paying the price of God’s wrath over our sin. Christ bought us then as a possession of God the Father. We belong to Him and are not our own.
And then amazingly, God has made us into a nation of priests.
What is a priest for? In scripture - the priest was the intermediary the representative who prepared people to come to God. That is what you are as a Christian. You are one who - through the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power in the verbs and nouns of the gospel message to bring people to repentance and faith as they find cleansing in the blood of Jesus Christ.
This is the worthiness for which Jesus is worshipped - the power of the gospel to save.

Worship Him Together

There is no doubt much that could be said in relation to the last few verses of chapter 5. But today in particular I wonder - in our separation if we do not need to see this through the eyes of the body united across the ages and around the globe.
John’s attention shifts again to a new vision, or rather an expanding vision as his perspective changes again - this time to encompass the universe of praise directed to Jesus.
He sees angels beyond number crying out the worthiness of Jesus to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. But it isn’t just the angels. He also sees the innumberable angels, the four living Creatures, and the twenty four elders all beginning to shout: Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.
But not only the heavenly host are singing his praises. John also sees every created thing in heaven and on the earth alive, every created thing under the earth - perhaps dwelling there, and those who have died before crying out praise and adoration to God upon his throne and to Christ his Son - the Lamb who was slain.
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.
Where once in response to the four living Creatures crying out holy! The elders had cast their crowns and worshipping the worthiness of God now they begin to chant in answer to the unversal praise of God saying Amen Amen Amen Amen as they too fall down to worship.
Do you see this progression?
Listen to these verses:
Revelation 5:11–14 NASB95PARA
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
The difference between the world we’re about to see as Revelation unfolds and the reality of heaven is who we choose to fear.
First one group, then another group, and then yet another group praises God. But then when the praise of God begins in all, all begin to respond. This day, yet future will come when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. And on the day, these mysterious beings in heaven from angels to creatures to elders will all rejoice in one universal song to the almighty.
We often sing that hymn taken from this image, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all!” Then there’s that marvelous verse that inserts us into the anthem of glory. “Oh, that with yonder sacred throng, we at his feet may fall! We’ll join the everlasting song and crown Him Lord of all.”
We often sing that hymn taken from this image, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all!” Then there’s that marvelous verse that inserts us into the anthem of glory. “Oh, that with yonder sacred throng, we at his feet may fall! We’ll join the everlasting song and crown Him Lord of all.”
The worthiness of Christ
My friends we are invited to this great scene of worship at the end of the age. And he who stands beside the throne receiving power is He who died to bring you there.

Conclusion

Don’t look around you with fear - look to Jesus with confidence.
John writes these words as he sits upon the isle of Patmos exiled and separated from his brothers and sisters in churches all over the world. But he is not alone. Neither, dear Christian, are you. God is still on his throne. Christ is worthy to reign. Set your eyes upon Him. Around you are the crashing waves of fear and doubt. But we do not need to be ruled by fear - we are ruled by faith.
<Prayer> Father, redirect our hearts away from fear and back to worship....</prayer>
<Prayer> Father, redirect our hearts away from fear and back to worship....</prayer>
Benediction:
God is still on his throne, Christ is forever worthy, and around you swells the rising praise of heaven. Join in the song this week and praise Him. Turn your eyes upon his throne and find peace.
Amen.
And he who stands beside the throne receiving power is He who died to bring you there.
Related Media
Related Sermons