August 29, 2021
THE HOPE OF THE REVELATION
The Book of The Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings. Too many times too many people either ignore or purposefully avoid The Revelation. It seems to many to be a dark foreboding place that cannot be understood by anyone. But the opposite is true. The Revelation is full of blessings and knowledge we should have as we go through our walk with God.
Let us begin in Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. We are supposed to read these words. We are supposed to understand at least some of it. Why else would God put The Revelation in the Bible? The Bible from cover to cover is there for our reading, education, and edification, including the sometimes hard to understand Revelation.
The Apostle John is the author of The Revelation. He identifies himself on four different occasions. (Revelation 1:1, 1:4, 1:9, 22:8) The Revelation was written about 95 A.D. on the island of Patmos during the reign of Domitian. John was sent into exile there and God took advantage of the situation. Or.. vice versa.
There are seven specific Beatitudes or Blessings contained in The Revelation. (How about that 7) Hope comes through these Blessings. Let’s look at those Blessings. We have already seen 1:3, so let’s look further today.
Revelation 14:13 – Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
the dead who die in the Lord are all who have died knowing the Lord in such a way that they have the Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts. In other words, they have experienced the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Remember in 1:3 where it says take to heart this is exactly what that refers to. Taking the Lord into your heart and letting Him reside there. Letting Him abide in you and flourish in you. As well as taking to heart all the words written in the Holy Bible. One of the constant chords of the Scripture is the concept that present-day sufferings are inconsequential in view of the eternal blessings. In other words, what we are putting up with today pales in comparison to what God has planned for us. Paul said, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Paul also wrote:
However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9)
When you see New Testament Scripture written as the 1 Corinthians passage is written, it is because it is quoting an Old Testament passage. In this case Paul is quoting Isaiah 64:4.
Our next blessing comes in Revelation 16:15 – “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes wi8th him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” The first thing you notice here is these words are written in Red. You know what that means, it’s a direct quote from the Lord Jesus. The Apostle John is standing in heaven, listening to Jesus speak and quoting Him to us. Jesus will never come as a thief – not to the Church.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 – But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (NIV)
Revelation 19:9 – Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” I’ve been waiting on this one. Guess who is invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb… You are! All who have taken to heart what the Lord has said, just as He said. We have had a lot of weddings in our in our beautiful Sanctuary. But, as nice as they have been, they won’t hold a candle to what God has prepared for the Bride of Christ as we join Him at His Wedding Feast. We acknowledge this event in our Communion liturgy.
Revelation 20:6 – Blessed and holy are those who have part in the. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. The first resurrection is our Resurrection in Christ. When we “die” here on earth, we are instantly Resurrected in Heaven to be with the Lord forever. And we are a part of that. We have already been raised up with Him and He is there in Glory awaiting our arrival. (Colossians 2:12, Colossians 3:1-4)
Revelation 22:7 – “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” The word soon! in this case means when He comes it will be quick, instantly. Once He comes back to earth to clean up the mess, there will not be a chance to say, “But I want to change my mind now.” So, whether Jesus comes tonight or 100 years from now, be prepared. Live the life He has called you to, it’s not too late to start.
Revelation 22:14 – “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” This is the seventh and final Beatitude in The Revelation. This picture symbolizes those who seek purity in their lives. God is looking for a pure people, a spotless people; a people whom He can bring to the Wedding Feast as the Bride of Christ.
Oh, wait a minute. You aren’t living a pure life? You are not spotless as you stand before the Lord? And you’re wondering how you’ll ever get invited to the Wedding Feast where all the Saints of Christ will be seated. Well, look again. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your life He has cleansed you and made you whole in God’s eyes. You have an invitation and a seat at the Wedding Feast.
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us reason together,”
says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us, and He has and will be returning one day. Now, go live a life that glorifies your Lord and wait with great expectation, and anticipation that He will one day… return for you.
Bostwick UMC 8/29/21