The ability of the salmon to find its way home is beyond belief, but it pales in comparison to the promise of Scripture that the Lord ‘knows his own’ (2 Timothy 2:19) and will not lose any that belong to him. Nothing can keep him from finding us. No one can snatch us from his hand. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus. We know this intellectually, but it is easy to feel lost sometimes. Our sin and circumstance often seem to obscure his love, his promises, and his mercy. While scripture exhorts us to assurance, we all struggle to feel that our calling and election are sure.
And as Revelation 14 unfolds even further, the scene moves from the first-fruits, to the finished harvest. At the end of the age, the Lord returns in glory to collect all of his own and to carefully distinguish the wheat from the tares, the sons of light from the sons of darkness. None are confused. None are mixed. None end up in the wrong place. God loses none he purposed to save. None are lost who trusted in grace. Join us this Lord’s Day as we consider Revelation 14:14-20 and consider the assurance of God’s promise that he is coming again and when he does, he will take us – all of us that are his – to himself.
Tunnel vision can be dangerous, and even deadly, especially in our spiritual lives. The enemy of our soul, the ancient Serpent, Satan, wants to blind us to the truths of God’s power and promises. Satan is forever working to foster suspicion of God. And accusation against you. His relentless assaults on God’s promises wear us down, destroy hope, and fill us with despair. Satan wants to give us tunnel vision – seeing only insurmountable crisis and unsolvable brokenness.
Revelation 13 unfolds Satan’s fury against the church. Two beasts arise, making war against the saints, conquering them through crushing power and relentless propaganda. The picture seems hopeless. But that is not the end of the story. In Revelation 14 the true Lamb appears with those where were sealed by the living God with the Holy Spirit. Their number is not diminished. Every one sealed is saved. Not one is lost. The lies of the Dragon were just that. His boasts, his threats, his accusations, his propaganda have all come to nothing. God gives us this word of comfort to restore the peripheral vision of faith. Join us this Lord’s Day as we consider Revelation 14 and learn to avoid spiritual tunnel vision.
‘Propaganda’ is an ugly word, the tool of tyrants. In Revelation 13, Satan’s power is unleashed in a brute beast that pursues, crushes, and destroys. But Satan has another, more subtle strategy. A second beast arises from the earth. He appears as a lamb with two small horns, but speaks with the voice of a dragon. While he looks gentle, harmless, and trustworthy, his words are anything but. Through this beast, Satan assaults the Church in the realm of ideas and words, forever working to foster suspicion of God. How careful are you to test the spirits of this age? To view your world, not through your devices, but through the Word of God? Join us this week as we examine Revelation 13:11-18 and consider the call to resist Satan’s ministry of propaganda.
In Revelation 12, the Dragon, the ancient serpent, the devil, tries and tries to overthrow God’s redemptive plan and purpose, but fails at every turn. Yet his failure never wearies his fury. Revelation 13 unfolds what this fury looks like. Two beasts emerge. One from the sea and one from the earth. An unholy Trinity of counterfeits to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit emerge in the persons of the dragon, the beast from the Sea, and the Beast from the earth.
In this well-known narrative, the Lord Jesus calls us to endurance and faith. Conquest belongs to the Church, but it comes at a cost. Satan’s fury is intense. His warfare unrelenting. When we face his rage, it is easy to despair. Revelation 13 drives this home. But makes it clear that this counterfeit trinity will never conquer. Join us this week as we examine Revelation 13:1-10 and consider “Counterfeits and Conquerors.”
When the Thessalonian Christians heard the Gospel preached by this Pauline company, the Lord called them irresistibly to Himself, changing them from the inside out. Paul rejoices at their conversion that God wrought and also at their continued growth in grace. Are we marked by Gospel thankfulness? Are we thankful for the work God has done in our lives and also in the lives of fellow believers? Do we long, as did Paul, to see the lost converted?