Sermon Preview: A First Word on Last Things

Sermon Preview: A First Word on Last Things

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I am pretty odd. I know that. I like bigfoot. I could eat catfish every meal. My favorite book of scripture is Revelation.

Yep, that book. The scary one. The one the ruddy faced street preacher always hollers about.

This month I begin a series at St. Paul's called "Leaving Left Behind Behind". I am hoping to really show how Revelation doesn't serve as an escape plan, but an exercise in continually focusing on Jesus Christ as the center of everything.

There is hesitancy surrounding the book of Revelation and many times it is simply ignored...which then creates greater hesitancy. It is important because how Revelation has influenced our own lives, how we think about mission, politics, and so much of popular culture revolves around ideas that have been brought about through people reading it. The last few years have been a pattern of predictions of the end and we are coming up on a pretty big one in just a couple of months.

G.K. Chesterton, a british writer and theologian said this...”Though St. John saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators”

With that, let's jump into the scriptures

4 Then I looked, and, oh!—a door open into Heaven. The trumpet-voice, the first voice in my vision, called out, “Ascend and enter. I’ll show you what happens next.”

2-6 I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald. Twenty-four thrones circled the Throne, with Twenty-four Elders seated, white-robed, gold-crowned. Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God). Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea.

6-8 Prowling around the Throne were Four Animals, all eyes. Eyes to look ahead, eyes to look behind. The first Animal like a lion, the second like an ox, the third with a human face, the fourth like an eagle in flight. The Four Animals were winged, each with six wings. They were all eyes, seeing around and within. And they chanted night and day, never taking a break:

Holy, holy, holy
Is God our Master, Sovereign-Strong,
The Was, The Is, The Coming.

9-11 Every time the Animals gave glory and honor and thanks to the One Seated on the Throne—the age-after-age Living One—the Twenty-four Elders would fall prostrate before the One Seated on the Throne. They worshiped the age-after-age Living One. They threw their crowns at the foot of the Throne, chanting,

Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God!
Take the glory! the honor! the power!
You created it all;
It was created because you wanted it.