Introduction to the message:
Another time and another place Meagan and I lived in the Great Plains. We didn’t live in the real Great Plains, no; we lived in the Great Plains of Western, OH. Now, if you have been to both places, they certainly aren’t the same, but compared to here they are the Great Plains. One thing I love about this area is if you drive out of town there are rolling hills. But one thing I love about Western, Ohio is when you drive out of town you can see forever.
Well, we lived in a farmhouse in the country. We were just outside Pleasant Hill.
Do any of you know where Pleasant Hill is? Don’t be surprised, I would bargain only about 1000 people in Ohio know where Pleasant Hill is. Well, we were west of Troy, Ohio and 40 minutes or so northwest of Dayton, Ohio. There is a large church in the country that we were a part of. One summer evening, we were driving back home from the country church, down the country road, in the Great Plains of Western, OH. On this particular night a storm was brewing. So, as we drove home from the country church, on the country road, in the Great Plains of Western, Ohio we could see forever, and what we saw was, not a Tornado, not a Hurricane, not an earthquake, not Santa’s sleigh, but we saw lightning and it was cool. In that environment it was as if we were looking out at a lightning storm over the ocean.
How do you describe the indescribable?
The answer is that we do the best we can. Have you ever heard a child tell a story? Babysit sometime, I’ll give you the chance. We will be sitting around the dinner table and Mercedes will say, “You know what Paul did at school today? He, ha, ha, He he, he, he walked this way and it was so funny, ha, ha, he he, and then milk came out of his nose!!!!” She will tell the story about something and she uses the vocabulary she knows and she’ll laugh in between her words, but sometimes we are wondering what really happened. It is cute and funny all the same.
In Revelation, John does the best he can to describe the indescribable. Interesting thing is that the language is formed or John seems to be bending the language for visionary experience. Verse 4: “grace to you and peace from the One who is, the One who was and the One who is to come.” There is kindergarten grammatical error in the sentence. Later we see that John knows how to use his prepositions, so why would he make a kindergarten error grammatically. In chapter 16 it changes: “the One who Is and Who Was…” but the coming disappears. One of my Asbury professors, Dr. Mulholland, thinks that John is alerting his readers to watch this phrase. To the Hellenistic world writing meant a lot and John would not mess up this phrase if not intentional.
John is describing the indescribable.
Be encouraged, Jesus is coming again and He will make all things right.
We’ll read the passage as we talk about it.
I. As I study this passage I am encouraged that Jesus will make things right.
a. This is the theme of Revelation. Look at verse 7. “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
b. Jesus is coming again. If you remember the book of Acts, in Acts chapter 1:10 we have the disciples look to the sky as Jesus ascends and then we have an angel say: “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
c. He is coming back and He will make things right. He will come again. We will see more of that idea in Revelation. Right now, it can be discouraging to turn on the news and see a million candidates running for the President of the United States and they all claim to have the solution, but there is really only one solution. There is really only One who will make things right and He is not a Republican or a Democrat, nor any other party. He is the Rock of Ages (Psalm 18:2).
d. GOD WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHTS. He is the future Leader.
e. Jesus is partially making things right now.
f. Every time a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior Jesus is making things right. Every time someone lives for Him and surrenders to Him, He is making things right. When we surrender to Jesus, He is stomping on the devil.
g. I struggle, I am frustrated and I am a worrier. Seriously, I have news alerts come to my phone. I read the headlines. I hear about another shooting and another one and another one. I hear about boys getting into girls locker rooms, I hear about the culture going to literal hell. We, as a culture, are a mess. We are a mess in morality, we are a mess in real violence and we are a mess spiritually. I look at my innocence four year old and I think, “What is going to happen?”
h. In this book, [hold up the Bible] in Revelation, Jesus tells me what is going to happen. Things are going to be okay.
i. It is as if Jesus is saying, “Here is some encouragement, I am coming.”
j. Jesus says that He is coming in the clouds and every eye will see Him. We used to wonder about that. Well, Jesus can work that out anyway He wishes. He may be on all the cable channels or whatever.
k. All the people will wail. This is possible because He is coming and He will judge.
II. As I study this passage I am encouraged that Jesus is outside of time.
a. Look at verse 8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
b. We talked about this last week, but let me emphasize again: Nothing happens without God knowing it. God is not taken by surprise.
III. I am also encouraged that Jesus is almighty.
a. Look at verse 6 and then we’ll look at verse 8.
b. Verse 6: and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.
c. I mainly want to emphasize that God is to be glorified forever and ever and His is the power. God is almighty. Look at verse 8 again: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
d. Notice that final noun, “almighty.”
e. God is almighty. When you are trusting God, He is the almighty.
IV. I am encouraged with the Gospel: God loved us and set us free with Jesus’ blood.
a. Look at verse 5: and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…
b. Notice the end of the verse: we are freed from our sins by His blood.
c. We know that we needed a sacrifice. In Genesis chapter 22 we have Abraham take Isaac up to be sacrificed and Isaac asks his father, “Where is the lamb.” (Genesis 22:7)
d. For human history we have needed a Lamb for our sacrifice. God provided Jesus. We are set free.
Let’s apply this:
1. Jesus will come as judge. We all must surrender to Him now. If we can’t surrender now, how can we surrender later?
2. God is Awesome, what we get right here, what we begin to see right here is this amazing picture of our amazing God. Seven Spirits before the Throne, wow! He has all dominion (verse 6), He is outside of time (verse 8). I know that Cher might want to turn back time, but only God can go anywhere at any time. We have all seen amazing images. But God is bigger than a lightning storm. Actually, I think the lightning and thunder happens in God’s presence because when God is present the surrounding area recognizes it and responds with splendor.
3. Do we, can we, love the Gospel? I am not only talking about surrendering and recognizing Jesus as Lord. I am saying can we be satisfied in the Gospel? Please, think on this.
a. This is a real struggle for me because we have temptations. I have an example:
i. [example, take out a Steelers hat with candy hanging from it, a hot wheel hanging from it, some other things.]
ii. See these: they are all trying to give me satisfaction. But it doesn’t work. The worst of it all is many times they hang right in front of my face. Look the chocolate is hanging here, but I can’t get it in my mouth.
iii. I have this struggle like you do, I would think you do. Here, up here, I have marathon medals, you think they bring satisfaction? They don’t. There is always someone faster than you. Then afterwards, there is a letdown. You know the worst part, you lose weight running and you get faster and everything is going well. That was me three years ago. But then… your body gets used to running and you no longer lose weight. You can no longer reward yourself with that milk shake.
iv. I think God has set up everything as if to say, “be satisfied in me.” To me, the world says, “That new car will give me satisfaction.” God says, “Only for a while, then the bill will come, then the rust will come, then the damage will come.” To me, the world says, “That Chipotle across the street, oh yea, it will give satisfaction.” God says, “Yes, you need to eat and you can enjoy food (Psalm 104), but only so much.” God continues, “I am the Lord and there is no other, rejoice in Me. I can fill your deepest void. You need Me. I want to help.” (Ecc. 3:11) To me, the world says, “You will be satisfied if the Steelers get to the super bowl, that Mac Book, that iphone, that book, that tool, those will all add to satisfaction, that big TV, Oh yea, that is satisfaction, that electronic, you name it, I feel like that will be satisfaction, that vacation destination it will satisfy, that house, that man-cave, they will bring satisfaction.” I want them to fill a void within me. I want it all. But God says, “Are you kidding Me? Are you really, actually, seriously kidding Me? I am God and there is no other (Isa. 46:9), you are in the richest country in the world, if that does not prove that you need Me, what will. Turn to Me, be satisfied in Me.” God says , I love you.”
v. Do you get that? The Gospel is right here in verse 5: this letter is from the One, Jesus, Who has freed us from our sins, by His blood.
vi. God says, “I love you, be satisfied in me.”
Mercedes will often say, “I love you.” We will say, “I love you too.” She will say, “I love you more.” Abigail will chime in “I wove u.”
God loves you and He loves you more.
Revelation is God showing us the future. Be encouraged He will make things right. Be encouraged you are loved. Be satisfied in Jesus, in the Gospel. The Gospel is Amazing.
Do you know Jesus?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)