Scripture: Revelation 5
Notes from a message offered, 5/5/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
Do you have a book of the Bible you avoid?
- Leviticus – What happened to the story in Genesis and Exodus? It’s law and how to build the tabernacle.
- Numbers- It’s a census
- Joshua- Full of blood and genocide
- Job- Very hard to read. Doesn’t seem fair.
How many of us avoid Revelation? It’s weird, mysterious, hard to understand.
All Scripture is God-breathed. We need all of it. We don’t have to avoid any of it. We can hear from God there.
- Revelation 1 is a vision of the powerful, victorious Christ
- Revelation 2-3 are 7 letters to the 7 churches which were located in what is modern-day Turkey. All 7 letters were read by all 7 churches even though they are addressed to specific churches. They traveled together as a bundle. They are also letters to us, the current church, on how to be faith-full.
- Jesus Christ is to be your first and only love
- Following Jesus comes at a price. Discipleship is costly. You will suffer for your faith.
- Choose truth over error/falsehood
- Choose right relationship (righteousness) with God and others over evil
- Don’t be a hypocrite. Your inner life should match your outer words and actions.
- Jesus opens a door of opportunity to share the Good News in every time, place, and circumstance, no matter how hard the times seem
- Stay awake, alive, afire, wholehearted in following and sharing Christ (not lukewarm)
- Chapters 4-5 describe the heavenly throne room and worship in heaven
- The One, True, Living God is seated on the throne surrounded by 4 powerful, divine creatures. On both sides of the throne is seated 12 elders- 12 to represent the 12 tribes of Israel (Old Testament) and 12 to represent the 12 apostles (New Testament).
- There’s light, singing, and worship. It’s glorious!
- Scrolls of the ancient world were folded accordion-style (like a map) with seals on each fold. 7 seals meant the document was important, like a will. The scroll represents the will of God. It is in the right hand of God- the hand of power and authority.
- Who is worthy to fully release the will of God into the world? Only Jesus Christ!
- The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
- The Root of David (covenant with David fulfilled)
- The One who Conquers
- The Lamb of God (who takes away the sins of the world)
- The Slaughtered, Wounded One (by his stripes we are healed)
- The One Who Is Worthy
- The Resurrected One
- The number 7 is used over in over and over in the book of Revelation to represent fulfillment, completion.
- The first response to the releasing of God’s will in the world is worship
- Go to Revelation as a Word of hope for a persecuted people and you will find God
- When, O Lord, will your will of peace, justice, goodness be released in the world?
- When, O Lord, will your will of no more sin, no more pain, no more night, no more death be released in the world?
- It will be released because the Lamb has conquered!
- Worship 1- the 24 elders and 4 living creatures making music, bowing down, holding the prayers of all the faithful.
- The fulfillment of the Great Commission (proclaim to all the world)
- Worship 2- the elders and living creatures are joined by too many angels to count. All are singing with full voice.
- Their song includes a list of 7 things the Lamb is worthy to receive: power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessing. You are worthy to receive it all.
- Worship 3- The worship of all creation echoes the words of the angels.
We get a chance to experience a taste of heavenly worship in the here and now. We’re practicing. What do we do in heaven for all eternity after we die? We worship, we sing, we pray, we fellowship (every tribe, every language), we feast. No more separation between us and God and us and each other.
Come to worship. Come and gather. Come and hear the story. Come and sing. Come and pray. Come be together. Get a little taste of heaven. We need it.
Heavenly Worship © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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