Sermon Overview & Prayer: "Sealed for Eternity"

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Revelation 7:1-8:5 – PRAYER POINTS
"Sealed for Eternity" - Brian Chesemore
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 7:4, 9-10, 17

God intends for all who belong to Christ to live in the assurance of a salvation that is abundant and secure.

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, as I consider the realities of this fallen world, please constantly remind me that the love of my Father, and the salvation secured through the cross of my Savior, are everlasting!

To be “sealed” by God is to experience his ownership of you. Ephesians 1 makes clear that the seal is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Believers may suffer in this world of tribulation but the Holy Spirit’s presence in guarantees your future inheritance.

PRAYER: Lord God, it is beyond my comprehension that you, in the person of the Holy Spirit, indwell me;

having sealed me to yourself, and granted me an inheritance, for all eternity. May your promised protection from future judgment, comfort and sustain me when I am tempted to magnify and fear present tribulation and suffering as the final word. And instill a humble confidence that puts the assurance of persevering endurance on your faithfulness, not mine.

Life in the presence of the Throne, and the One seated on it, and the Lamb, is one of abundant provision.

Christians experience an eternity of heavenly mercies because salvation, the gift of forgiveness and eternal life, it has come to us from God.

PRAYER: Father may my response to your mercy in having chosen, called, and saved me be a life of humble faith and grateful joy. Keep me from self-righteousness. Keep my gaze fixed on the cross as the only means by which I, or anyone, could ever be saved. Grant me the wisdom, compassion, and courage to share with others the futility of seeking hope anywhere or in anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Alert me to opportunities to bring hoope to the hopeless.

These worshipers have taken their place around the throne having died during the “great tribulation”, that is the Last Days.  

PRAYER: Lord, I can be tempted to speculate about what it will be like to be among certain believers in heaven. May that concern be quelled by the awesome miracle that I am there at all...and by the spectacle of beholding the very face of the One who made my being there possible!

The opening of the 7th seal is met with...silence. “Silence is creation’s expectant response to the Lord’s impending arrival in judgment. ‘Be silent, all flesh before the LORD; for he is aroused from his holy habitation.’ (Zechariah 2.13)...This silence is the calm before the storm. For God’s enemies on earth it is a silence of dread, but for those who dwell in heaven it is the silence of eager expectation.” – Dennis Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb

PRAYER: O Lord, may the reality of impending wrath and judgment – perfectly righteous, but dreadfully horrible -- compel a compassion for the loss and a fervency to share the gospel. Grant me the comfort of knowing that all will be made right, but without a complacency toward those who do not rightly consider eternity.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
John’s primary burden in Revelation 7 is for all who belong to Christ to live in the assurance of salvation. Chapter 6 left off with all of heaven poised and ready for the seventh and final seal to be broken and the completion of God’s judgment. Chapter 7 begins with a delay in the opening of the seventh seal as John receives two more visions. In the first vision, John sees final judgment delayed until all of God’s people are sealed and secured in God’s salvation. Then, John beholds the glorious provision of Christ’s righteousness for a diverse, innumerable people who enjoy rich fellowship with God Himself! Now that God’s people are sealed and assured, chapter 8 continues with the seventh seal opened as final judgment is poured out on the unrepentant earth and Satan.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What fears have been unsettling your assurance of salvation? How does this chapter speak to the assurance of salvation that is in Christ?
  2. What promises from this chapter fill you with hope in your current troubles from which you long for relief or vindication?
  3. How does the promise of salvation, beginning with and belonging to our God and not our works, comfort you and empower your sanctification?
  4. Even though these saints in the vision were sinners from birth, they are clothed in Christ’s righteousness and cleansed by His blood. How does affect your thoughts and actions towards your brothers and sisters?
  5. Can you imagine the complete unending satisfaction of being in God’s presence? How does that change the way you live today?
  6. Who comes to your mind that you know is unaware or afraid of this judgment of God, that we might pray for you to share this good news of the gospel with?