Sermon Overview & Prayer: "The Terrifying Truth"

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Revelation 6 – PRAYER POINTS
The Terrifying Truth – CJ Mahaney
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17).

There is no “mumbling” about the wrath of God in the book of Revelation. The theme of God’s righteous judgment is prominent throughout Revelation. In this book, God is revealed as glorious in both His mercy and His wrath.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, your Word once again makes me aware of how holy You are and how sinful I am apart from grace. And when I pause and marvel at Christ’s death in my place, I am filled with worship. Thank you that Revelation offers comfort and not terror for those who are saved. Please help me grow in my understanding of your justice, as well as your mercy as I meditate on Your Word.

John describes what he sees and hears and writes to the seven churches he serves so they are not surprised, perplexed or dismayed by wars, violence, inflation, famine, scarcity, pestilence, plagues, spreading death—but instead aware the Lamb is executing the purposes of God for judgment and redemption.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I want to be more aware of your purposes and confident in your sovereign reign through the hardship and calamity that seems to loom over the world each day. Cancer in our congregation, violence in our city, disasters hurting family and fellow Christians in other states, rumors of wars throughout the world—temptations abound to fear or worry. Strengthen my soul with the knowledge that you reign and are working every mystery and calamity for your sovereign purposes.

In the book of Revelation, the church isn’t spared suffering. The church experiences the effect of the four horsemen and have added to their suffering in this world the harsh reality of persecution for the sake of the gospel.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I know that you warn Christians to not be surprised when fiery trials come. Would you help me, both in the trials I am currently under and the future trials that you have ordained, to keep hold of your very precious promises and trust your goodness no matter what comes (2 Pet. 1:4). I thank you that no trial will separate me from you and your Son (Rom 8:35-39). 

It is Christ sitting on His throne who controls all the trials and persecutions of the church.” Greg Beale

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you that you sit on your throne and no purpose of your enemies can prevail. I reaffirm my trust that you will bring your church safely home regardless of how fierce trials become. I pray for those in our church who are walking through difficult trials right now. Would you set their minds on Christ? Remind them again of your presence, your care, your goodness, and your sovereign hand. Father, please help them to rest in the sacrifice of Christ, our greatest treasure. “

He delays His return and final judgment so that more might be saved from His wrath: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

PRAYER:  Oh Father, when I consider that none of us deserve mercy from you, I am undone by the fact that you had patience toward me and let me reach repentance. I am overwhelmed by your grace and goodness despite my sin. Father, may your patience grip the hearts of those who do not know you and may the gospel go forth through your people so that many more can be added to those who are being saved.

“There is no book in the Bible to which I turn more eagerly in hours of depression than to this, with all its mystery, all the details which I do not understand. I go back to it, to the throne, and to the Lamb as it had been slain; and my puzzled mind and troubled heart feel the healing virtue; and I hear the song, and am ready for another day’s fighting, for I know that Jesus shall reign.” G. Campbell Morgan

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, please fortify my soul with the knowledge that Jesus shall reign no matter what trouble comes. Lead me to sing and pray the praises of Revelation, and to experience peace where I would otherwise be troubled, rest where fear could abound. May those songs and prayers lead me to rejoice in Christ’s rule and look forward to that final day. Amen.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In Revelation chapter 6, God is revealed as glorious in both His mercy and wrath, as six of the seven scrolls are opened by the Lamb. The four horseman of the first four seals represent symbols of continued world judgments of war, famine, and death. As the fifth seal is opened, the martyrs cry out asking “how long” until the Lord will intervene with His justice. The Lord comforts their cry by reminding them that He will answer their prayers and fulfill His justice. The opening of the sixth seal marks the day of final judgment in which all who are not in Christ will face the wrath of the Lamb. The opening of these six seals are intended to comfort our suffering souls as we see Christ’s rule over a seemingly chaotic world and His purposes for our suffering. We can rest in the Lamb who has set us free from the condemnation that lasts forever and be moved to evangelism as we see the compassion of God for the lost as He delays His righteous justice for more to be saved.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. As C.J. noted in his sermon, both God’s mercy and wrath are expressed in this chapter. What do we learn about God’s wrath from this chapter? What do we learn about God’s mercy from this chapter?
  2. In verses 10 and 11, we hear the cry of the martyrs who experienced great suffering for their faith in Christ. How can this verse inform the way you pray for brothers and sisters undergoing persecution across the globe?
  3. In contrast to the world’s condemnation of their faith, the martyrs in verse 11 are given a white robe representing Christ’s cleansing of their sin. How did this chapter give you renewed comfort in and hope in God’s ability to purposefully work through your suffering?
  4. In light of God’s compassion to delay His righteous justice so that more may be saved through the work of His Son, how will you respond to C.J.’s call to evangelism? How might you do this individually, and how might you do this as a community group?