Sermon Overview & Prayer: "The Throne And The One Seated On It"

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Revelation 4 – PRAYER POINTS
The Throne and the One Seated on It - Steve Whitacre
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:2, 9-11)

John’s vision is given to strengthen Christians as they maintain their allegiance to the only true throne of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord God, with many things competing for my attention, affection, and allegiance, thank you for this glorious reminder that none are more worthy of my complete devotion...even at the cost of all else!

Many of the visions in Revelation aren't intended to allow us to create an accurate sketch or a scale model. Instead, they are given so that we might get a sense of the beauty and the grandeur of the awesome power and holiness of God. They are meant to fuel our imaginations and train our emotions.

PRAYER: Lord, we bow in humble awe and adoration as we consider your incomprehensible nature.

You are eternal, with no beginning and no end, perfect in holiness and therefore, justified in requiring perfection. You are incomparable and breathtaking in beauty, with even those descriptions being woefully inadequate. Stars in the heavens and sands on the shore...and you know the numbers of all! Unimaginable!

Revelation teaches us to see the world as it really is. This particular vision augments our reality to remind us that God is on the throne. He rules all things. He is sovereign and powerful.

PRAYER: Father, pretenders to the throne–governments, monarchs, rulers and authorities–can tempt us with worry, fear, resentment, or resignation. Thank you for a revelation that sees beyond their delusion of power, that sees the one that indeed rules over all, and whose reign accomplishes all that he alone pleases.

Revelation teaches us to obey God with our emotions, to bring our feelings in line with God's word. This book teaches us to fear what is truly fearsome: God in his holiness and justice and majesty. To love what is lovely, Jesus, God’s Son, the sacrificial lamb.    

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we shudder when we ponder your infinite holiness and our wretched sinfulness, and consider the eternal wrath and punishment that we deserved. And then we are overwhelmed with joy when you lift us up, to see on the cross infinite love and complete forgiveness...lavish mercy and amazing grace! Holy Spirit, help us to love righteousness and hate sin, as they are the only appropriate responses to our Holy God.

The 24 elders and the 4 living creatures represent all of God's people and all of God's creation united to worship God on his throne. This scene reveals the purpose behind creation. God made the world so that he might receive worship; he formed a people for himself so that he might receive glory. 

PRAYER: Father, that you would create us to know you, commune with you, and enjoy you forever is a gift beyond measure. Prompt us to daily steward that gift with humility, faith, obedience, and worship.

And give us compassionate and creative ways to share with others the love of the Creator found in Christ.

“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21.

PRAYER: Lord, the world we live in is fallen and flawed. We experience temptations and trials, sin and suffering. And we encounter opposition and scorn. But one day we will share in the reigning power of your Son. We will join our voices to the angelic choir and sing to  our God, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.”


OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
God’s throne is at the center of Revelation 4 and at the center of the entire book of Revelation. This chapter describes the One on the throne, those gathered around the throne, and the worship of the One seated on the throne. Because the Almighty God reigns on His throne, we can bow before Him in worship and trust.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. John uses simile (“like”/”as” language) to convey that God’s beauty and his throne is beyond description. Which one comparison in the text (i.e. appearance of jasper and carnelian, rainbow like an emerald, etc.) stretched your imagination and helped you see God as more beautiful?
  2. Steve reminded us, “the feeling of chaos is not all that is true” because God is on His throne. How does God’s almighty reign encourage you when you feel like things are spinning out of control?
  3. John’s prophetic vision shows the twenty-four elders falling before the throne in exultation, of whom we will also get to join in worshiping the Creator. What is one way you see God’s glory in creation?
  4. Steve reminds us this vision was (and is) meant to strengthen persecuted Christians to keep their gaze fixed on the throne. How does this vision cause you to press forward in the midst of a world offended by your proclamation of the gospel?