Sermon Overview & Prayer: "What Revelation Reveals"

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Revelation 1 – PRAYER POINTS
What Revelation Reveals - Steve Whitacre

These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” Revelation 1:1-3

“No other part of the Bible has provided such happy hunting grounds for all sorts of bizarre and dangerous interpretations.” (Eugene Boring)

PRAYER: Father, please help me to receive and embrace this book, as I do all of Scripture, as breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that I may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Give me ears to hear what I need to learn.

  1. Revelation helps us see the world as it really is and helps us know how to live well as we follow Jesus. 

TRIBULATION

The word, in its simplest form, means "to be pressed." It refers to the distress, affliction, and oppression that sometimes results from living in a world that has been ruined by sin. Revelation protects us from losing faith in God when the world oppresses us; it protects us from losing sight of God in a sin-stained world.  

PRAYER: Lord, when life in this fallen and chaotic world tempts me with fear or unbelief  – tempts me

to give up or give in – show me your glory, that dispels any notion of anything being more desirable! May the awesome wonder of your holiness, beatuty, and majesty expose the fraudulent futility of this world.

KINGDOM

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!” (Abraham Kuyper) One of the great paradoxes of Revelation (amongst many) is that Christians reign with Christ while they suffer tribulation.  

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I don’t always understand how I can be in the tribulation of this world, and yet be seated with you above the world. That being said, I do thank you that current events and present experiences are not the complete picture. Help me to always lift up my eyes to you, the one who reigns, and whose word and will are the final authority. 

ENDURANCE

Because there is tribulation endurance is required. But because there is a kingdom, patient endurance is possible. 

PRAYER: Father, thank you for a grace that is sufficient – for a strength that is made perfect in weakness. Thank you that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. And thank you for your rule and reign that sustains and upholds in this life, in preparation for the glory of the next! 

  1. Revelation reveals the obedience to which we are called (1:1-3).

PRAYER: My Lord, please grant me the grace to walk in, and to display these categories of obedience:

  • COURAGE to resist the prevailing culture.
  • PURITY to protect marriage—one man and one woman joined together for life—and to defend personhood as God has designed. 
  • DEVOTION to God resisting idolatry—valuing something in our hearts or in our lives more than God.         

PRAYER: May my obedience, empowered by your grace alone, not only please you, but bring salt and light to those deceived, ensnared, and lost in sin.

  1. Revelation reveals Jesus Christ (1:1).

The character of Jesus Christ (1.5a) – a divine king who shows steadfast love and faithfulness

The work of Jesus Christ (1.5b) – the penalty of sin has been paid and the power of sin has been broken

The glory of Jesus Christ (1.12–16) – indescribable in his glory and authority and goodness and beauty 

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not,

 I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, 

and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18

From the outset, the vision of Jesus Christ is so powerful. Look what Jesus does: he lays his right hand on John and says, "fear not." This is what Jesus does to everyone who comes to him, because he is close and he cares. A correct view of Jesus Christ makes every enticement and allurement pale in comparison.

PRAYER: Lord, whom have I in heaven but you? There is none upon the earth that I desire beside you!

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In this first chapter of Revelation, we see that this book sets out to reveal the world as it really is, the obedience to which we’ve been called, and ultimately, Jesus Christ himself. Revelation was given to John in order to present God’s eye view of the world and how Christians should live in it as we follow Jesus Christ. This world faces tribulation but King Jesus reigns over it all! As his Church, we have been called to obedience by living courageously, purely, and devoted to Him alone. Finally, Revelation reveals Jesus in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, freeing us from the tyranny of sin and comforting those He loves by drawing near to them.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

  1. What is so relevant about the Revelation as it pertains to you and/or the Church in our present age?
  2. Steve reminded us, “Because there is tribulation, endurance is required; but because there is a Kingdom, endurance is possible.” How does this truth revealed in these verses help you run with endurance the race that is set before you (Hebrews 12:1)?
  3. Abraham Kyper wrote, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!” What tribulation are you currently facing? How can verses 5-8 strengthen and comfort you in your affliction?
  4. Put yourself in John’s sandals. How would you feel experiencing verses 10-16 and then hearing, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (1:17-18)
  5. How does reflecting on the gospel empower you to reject conformity to the world, walk in purity, and take delight in devotion to Christ? In what one specific way can you prayerfully move towards keeping God’s word this week?