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REV. 1:19


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The book of Rev. is the only book of the Bible that gives the reader an outline right from the beginning…it’s right here in v. 19…look again


1, 2, 3!


This appeals to me, personally, because I like to preach from an organized outline…you probably hadn’t noticed.  Most of my sermons will have several points...some have several more than they should…when I gave my 1st Sunday morning sermon here at GBC I said from the introduction we’d be out in time to eat, and we were…it was supper, be we ate!


As a young preacher I asked my Pastor dad once how many points a sermon should have, he said, at least one!  What’s the point!


Rev. has 3 good points:


1.               The things which thou hast seen


A Glimpse of the Glorified Christ…God’s Glory—ch. 1


2.               The things which are


The Present…letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor—chs. 2-3

                Church Age…Dispensation of God’s Grace


3.               The things which shall be


The Future…God’s Government—chs. 4-22


That’s the outline, 1,2,3.  Imagine it’s a skeleton.  We’ll look at the bones today, then put meat on it each week verse by verse.


#1 is finished,  God’s Glory.  In the first chapter of the book, the main character is revealed, and we’ve seen Him in detail in a way never before seen!


One question remains, however, from ch. 1: 


Justifier/Judge                Redeemer/Ruler     Savior/Sovereign   


Humiliation/Glorification…the risen, living, ascended, majestic, glorious, powerful, holy, God of the Universe, full of splendor!


“Why didn’t Jesus come like this the first time?”


Why, 2000 years ago, did He not come in a dazzling display of glory?  Why veil that glory in human flesh?  Why come as the meek and lowly, humble carpenter, Jesus?


Isaiah said, “He had no form nor comeliness, no beauty that we should desire Him.”  I don’t mean any disrespect, but Isaiah is saying Jesus wasn’t particularly good looking…He didn’t look like the Messiah the Jews had supposed in their minds.  We always see artist’s renditions of Jesus like He just walked out of a makeover, with glory shining forth out of His head, or a halo hovering atop…but that’s not how it was.


Why did He come that way, why not come the 1st time in the spectacular fashion in which He came in Rev. 1?


If He had come the first time with penetrating, omniscient eyes of fire, burning a hole in all he looked upon,/with feet of flaming brass, pursuing judgment/with the snow white hair of His holy, perfect purity/wearing the garments of the high priest/with a voice like the roaring thunder of crashing waves…


…people would have followed Him not in faith, but in fear.  They would have been afraid NOT to follow Him!  Our God wants people to CHOOSE to follow Him.  Oh, but many want proof, don’t they?


As a boy, about 70 miles west of here, I wanted God to prove Himself to me, so I said, “Lord, if you really love me, strike me with lightning!”


I told my folks, who said promptly, “the reason He didn’t is because He loves you.”


It’s not that He couldn’t, but our Lord chooses not to work that way.  He could speak a word and the WORLD would fall on its face before Him and plead for salvation…but there’s no glory for the Lord in that.  He is glorified when a single sinner CHOOSES Him in faith, from their free will!


This is a major problem I have with today’s modern Charismatic Movement, based almost entirely upon signs and wonders.  Jesus said, an adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…people were always trying to get Jesus to do a miracle to prove His deity… “if you’re really God, you’ll do this…or that!”…even Satan tried this on Jesus, fasting and hungry:  “if you’re really God, turn these stones into bread and eat!”  On the cross, the soldiers said, if you’re really Him, come down!


Jesus is not into publicity stunts…He wants people to choose Him for who He is and not what He can do!


So, we’re 1/3rd of the way thru Rev.!  I know, it’s only 1 chapter, but the first division is complete…point #1:  GOD’S GLORY


The next division is GOD’S GRACE.  Ch’s. 2-3 is 7 letters to 7 literal churches that existed at the time of this writing.  “Reading Someone Else’s Mail”…a subseries we covered a couple years ago and will summarize again soon.


And we’ll see Grace Baptist in many verses, in good light and bad, and in one particular letter, we’ll see GRACE BAPTIST practically mentioned by name!  We’ll be challenged and changed as we snoop thru the mail…and while it’s got someone else’s name on it, we’ll see that God put your address on it, He knows right where we live and what we need!


Glory, ch. 1/Grace, ch. 2-3/ …


God’s Government…future events…ch’s. 4-22.


Today let’s look at a timeline of the future, an overview in 10 minutes of what we’ll study together over the next few months in the next 21 chapters of Revelation.


Here’s the big picture:  This is Rev. 101…here’s the big picture painted in broad strokes:


Right now we’re living in the church age…chapters 2-3, and the next event on God’s prophetic time table is the rapture of the church…look at 4:1


An entire generation of Christians will not taste death, and I’ll be surprised if we’re not part of that generation!


By the way, what are the last 5 words of 4:1?  Same as last 5 of 1:19!  This definitely marks the beginning of the last division of Revelation…future events…God’s Government on Earth!


And it all begins w/ a trumpet!


I Cor. 15

51Behold, I show you a mystery; (nursery theme verse)…We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


I Thess. 4

16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


It’s true, the word rapture does not appear in the Bible.  Neither does missions or the Trinity, but they’re all very real concepts!  “Rapture” literally means catching away, and I don’t care what you call it, I’m goin’ up!


Joke—grammar teacher asked a farmer, “would you say the hen is sitting, or setting?”  “I don’t care, I just wanna know, is she laying, or lying!”


The next event on God’s time table is the rapture of the church, and I’m so glad today that before there will be a tribulation…


…there’s gonna be an evacuation!!


I’m not looking for the anti-Christ, I’m looking for Jesus Christ!


That’s what’s next, the rapture of the Church…and that’s the end of the age of Grace…


…and immediately begins the horrible 7 year period called,

“The Great Tribulation”…it will be, literally, “hell on earth.”


Satan will be given full control, thru the person of the anti-Christ, aka, Satan’s Superman.


It will be a very unique period of time…there’s never been a time like it before!


In the meanwhile, the ACLU wants rid of Christians, the liberals want us “right-wingers” to get out of their way, the new-agers say the world would be a better place if we could just be free of the born-agains…


…oh, wait, this just in:  “they’re gonna get their wish!”


But what they don’t realize is that the Bible says that believers are the salt of the earth.  Any old-timers here ever salt down your meats?  Why?  To preserve it.  Salt preserves!  Yes, right now, they would say, salt irritates…we’re like salt in a wound to them as they are convicted of their sin…but they’ll see that the salt of the earth had a preserving effect, holding back God’s judgment in this age of grace.


And if you think this world’s bad now, wait ‘til the salt is removed, in the person of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the born-agains!


How bad will it be in the tribulation?  Look at 9:6


6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.


The tribulation period will be so bad as demon spirits are set free on the earth, that people will want to commit suicide…and much worse will be the fact that they won’t even be able to succeed at killing themselves!


The tribulation period will begin w/ the anti-christ making a 7 year peace treaty w/ Israel…and it’s not a coincidence that the middle east is the hot spot in the news constantly in these last days.


I dare you to try to watch a 30 minute news program without seeing something about Israel.  And that little country which makes up about 1/10th of 1% of our globe will usually take up about 25% of the world news portion of the broadcast!


What will propel the anti-christ to power?  He’ll do something no one has done in 4,000 years…bring peace to the middle-east…and for a while, it will look like his plan is working, but after 3.5 years he will break his agreement w/ Israel, he’ll set himself up in the temple as God, that’s the “abomination of desolation”, and Israel will realize they have been betrayed, deceived, and will refuse to worship the anti-christ, and he’ll turn on them w/ Satanic fury…

…and anti-christ will make Hitler look like a choir boy!


In Mt. 24, Jesus said, when that happens, head for the hills, don’t go back for clothes or possessions, get out of town, it’s the darkest day Israel has ever known.


The anti-christ will gather all the armies of the world together in the valley of Megiddo [Armageddon], to make war w/ Israel…it’s the battle of Armageddon…the goal, is to totally exterminate God’s precious people…

…but that battle will be interrupted…interrupted by a sudden, cataclysmic event…the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ!



19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.


The anti-christ will show up w/ tanks, guns, lasers, bombs, jets, and nuclear warheads…

…our captain will have only one weapon: a Sword proceeding out of His mouth, His spoken Word!  And with 1 spoken word the battle of Armageddon will be over…and the one Who spoke them into existence will speak them into oblivion!


So, next is the rapture, then the tribulation: and after 3.5 years the abomination of desolation, it all culminates w/ the battle of Armageddon, and when Jesus returns and delivers Israel…the Jews will finally turn to Him, receiving Him for who He is.


Then begins the Millenium:  a big word which literally means, “1,000 years”.  Jesus will rule and reign in His kingdom here on earth for a thousand years!


Look at 20:6

6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


That verse says you and I will rule and reign w/ him…that is, if you’ve been born again!


Jesus said, “the meek will inherit the earth.” 


Hasn’t happened yet…but it will happen!


At the 2nd coming, when Jesus Christ defeats Satan and his forces, many people think that is the end…but it’s just the beginning!


God will keep His ancient promise that Jesus will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem and rule the earth in peace.  It hasn’t happened in history, but it will!


For centuries men have prayed: “our Father, which art in heaven,…thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”


Has never happened yet…It WILL happen!


The millennium, then what?


The Great White Throne Judgment


It’s the final judgment of the unsaved dead!  Those who die w/out Christ will stand before God to be sentenced.  Their final sentence will be pronounced, “depart from me, I never knew you”.


How do they get there?  Where did they come from?




The Bible says, death and hell cough up their occupants for final sentencing, and death and hell are cast into the lake of fire, this is the 2nd death!  Death had the body, hell had the soul.


Much like a criminal who is held in county jail awaiting trial, and final sentencing to prison.  Jail is bad, but it doesn’t compare to prison…and those in hell today awaiting sentencing don’t know how bad it will be when they are cast into the lake of fire!


Look at 20:11

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


But, I thought people can only be saved by grace?  Why are these judged according to their works?


To determine degrees of punishment!  Jesus said that some are worthy of many stripes, some of few stripes…he said to the Pharisees that hell will me more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for them…and while the slightest degree of punishment in hell will be absolutely INTOLERABLE, it will be even worse for some.


All sin must be judged…and if you’ve been born again, your sin was judged on the cross of Calvary, but if you have not, and you die in your sins, a judgment awaits you!


Why are the unsaved dead reserved away for judgment someday?  Because not all the record is in!  Take Larry Flint, or Hugh Hefner.  I take no pleasure in imagining these men in hell, but if they die in their lost condition they will wait in hell for their judgment…


…and the books which keep record of their evil works will continuously grow page by page, for these men have corrupted people, who corrupt other people, and long after their deaths their works will continue to pile up, and eventually, they will be judged according to their works!


Someone says, I thought there is no big sins or little sins, that it’s all the same to God?  That’s true, when it comes to the saving, cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross…yes, Flint and Hefner, despite all they have done can turn to Jesus and be saved, just as saved as this little boy was at the age of 6, comparatively innocent!


The bottom line:  Why do people go to hell?  V. 15


Because they were not found written in the book of life! (repeat, repeat)


Did they go to hell because they committed adultery, yes or no?


Murder/drank or smoked/lied or cheated or stole?


No, but because their name wasn’t there in the book!


You don’t go to hell for what you do, but for what you don’t do.  A person goes to hell because they don’t accept the forgiveness offered thru Jesus Christ, for rejecting Him and His offer.


The last 2 chapters of Rev. are about that wonderful city of God, prepared for those who did not reject the offer, but accepted the offer of the gift of salvation.  That will be a wonderful study, those last 2 chapters, and I don’t know if we’ll make it to the end of this book before that trumpet sounds and we’re outta’ here!  But you can know that you’ll enter that city if you’ve been born again.  Have you?  Is your name written in the book of life?


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