Revelation is a book of comfort, not discomfort, but “forewarned is forearmed.” Christ has broken the power of the Devil. Satan cannot triumph, but he is carrying out a war of terror. Revelation 12 paints this picture with vivid colors and bold brush strokes. Using a palate from Exodus, Daniel, and Zechariah, the Holy Spirit creates a stunning spiritual view of the persecuted church. Satan tries to destroy both Christ and His Church. But fails at every turn.
God’s word tells us that our journey is marked with “here be dragons!” But that is not the last word. The Bible tells us that, “the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8) and that God “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [Christ].” (Colossians 2:15) Join us this week as we examine Revelation 12:1-18 and consider a call to vigilant, yet victorious life in Christ.
In Revelation 11:15 the persistent prayer of the church is answered. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
In this answered prayer we are reminded that God delights to answer our prayer. Even the most remarkable request. The vision of the Seventh Trumpet declares that we are not forgotten by our God. Our prayers are not in vain. Therefore, we ought to pray boldly, earnestly, and expectantly. Not vainly or carelessly. Listen to “Thy Kingdom Come” as we examine Revelation 11:15-19 and consider the prayer God delights to answer – that His kingdom come and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
The gospel is sweet, but first it is sour. The truth sets men free. But first it makes them mad. It exposes their condition before applying the remedy. And to worldly men, this exposure is torment. They will hate the one who dares expose their condition. Sharing the gospel is a deadly dangerous business. But it is a deadly dangerous business that God calls us to take up. What PPE is there for us against the world’s hate for the truth of the gospel?
In Revelation 11, John sees a second vision. A vision of the two witnesses. Witnesses who symbolize boldness and power. Witnesses who faithfully finish their testimony. And witnesses who meet abuse and death for their message. But their suffering is short-lived. Death is not the last word. The God who protected them in life, gives them eternal life and calls them home. And a world so eager to be rid of them, realizes too late the terror of a world without the gospel. Join us this week as we examine Revelation 11:1-14 and consider God’s protection and care for faithful witnesses.
Many of the joys of life depend upon a mixture of extremes — pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, discomfort and comfort. We even see this in the Bible and the gospel. Before we can accept God’s mercy, we must accept that we deserve only His condemnation. The gospel does not make good men better, it saves the unsavable. It is sweet, but first it is sour. The truth sets men free, but first it makes them mad. It wounds, then heals. It tears, then binds up. It is sweet in the mouth and bitter in the stomach.
How willing are you to say hard things to soften hard hearts? God’s Word can be bitter, but it is also sweet. Jesus has the keys to Death and Hades and gives these gospel keys us. But will we use them? Listen as we examine Revelation 10 and consider our calling to share the gospel boldly.
It is easy to read Revelation with satisfaction as the enemies of Christ receive justice from God’s hand. But does the justice of God awaken our sorrow for the lost? All mankind deserves God’s justice and will, indeed, receive it unless they find grace in Christ. Does the horror of this thought ignite a sense of urgency? Those you love, those you serve, those who serve you, who are not sealed through faith in Christ, will fall under these horrific judgements. They will seek for death and not find it. And when it comes, it will not be relief or release, but intensification of pain. But the Lord Jesus has the keys to Death and Hades. And he gives these gospel keys to his church.
Do you have a sense of urgency regarding the lost? Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. As his people, is that not our purpose as well? God has given us this word for comfort, but also to make us uncomfortable with the condition of the lost. Join us this week as we examine Revelation 9 and reflect on our own sense of urgency.