He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
We’ve had quite the journey through the book of Revelation. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John records “the things which [he has] seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this” (Revelation 1:19).
Because John was faithful to this task, we are blessed by reading and hearing and heeding this amazing book of prophecy (Revelation 1:3). We catch a glimpse of what John has seen—Christ, triumphant and glorified. The King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.
We read about the things which are—the letters to the churches at that time. Through them, we see the heart of our Good Shepherd and His longing for His sheep to know His voice and follow Him.
And then, we see the things which will take place. We read of beasts and Babylon and battles. We read of the future—a time unlike any other in human history as the Lord makes one final plea to humanity to turn away from sin and death.
“Even so…” our desire is the same as John’s—come, Lord Jesus! Until then, we wait—but we do more than that. We work, we worship, we make the most of every opportunity He gives us to broadly cast the message of hope and life that is in Christ Jesus. We are His ambassadors—official representatives of our Heavenly home country in this foreign land. Will you ask the Lord this week where He is calling you to take this message, friend?
As ambassadors for Christ, let us point others to Jesus “as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20). If you are not yet reconciled to God, you can be! Simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
Last Sunday, we talked about the new heaven and the new earth. We imagined what our resurrected bodies would be like as we walked through gates made of single pearls and walked on streets made of pure gold.
As awesome as all of that will be, what will we be doing for all of eternity? This Sunday, we continued the description that the Bible provides of what our resurrected lives will look like.
Watch a replay of our live stream or listen to our final study in the book of Revelation as we imagine just a bit of what we’ll be doing forever, knowing that it will be so much more than anything we could ever imagine.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
–2 Peter 3:10-13
At the resurrection, God will transform the lowly bodies of believers to be like Jesus’ glorious resurrected body. But before that, our earthly bodies will die and be sown in the ground like a seed. The Apostle Paul explains it this way:
Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
–1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NLT)
Our current bodies (of flesh and blood and bone) are just the seed for a body more amazing, more alive, and more real. The heavens and this earth will also pass away and God will transform them into a glorious new heavens and new earth. Just as our resurrection bodies are going to be physical (flesh and bone—just like Jesus’ resurrected body), so too will the resurrected heavens and resurrected earth be physical.
What you see here right now is just the sketch, the seed of something far more wonderful and beautiful. We will see things like we’ve never seen before. Hear sounds like we’ve never heard before. Sing like we’ve never sung before. And enjoy unhindered fellowship with the Lord forever in a land and universe untouched, unblemished, and untainted by sin and death.
Do you have that hope? Are you looking forward to that day? Eternal life can begin for you right now. The goal isn’t just to get to Heaven someday (although there is no greater benefit!). The point of your existence is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. That can begin right now! God’s word makes it clear—if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
Then continue the grand adventure of getting to know Jesus through His word, through loving Him, through serving Him, and through being His body on this Earth—for He is coming soon!
The One who sat upon the throne said, "I make all things new!
Write down the words that you have heard, for they are firm and true.
It is all done, and by my power is paradise restored.
I am the First, and I the Last, the one eternal Lord.”
There’s a lie that’s been circulating for quite some time. It’s a lie that hinders the gospel and makes God appear unjust. It’s a lie that seems innocent and many believe, but when held against the truth of God’s word, it quickly unravels.
This lie says that humankind is basically good.
But in His word, God makes it clear: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
We all like to think that if we were Adam or Eve, we would make the right decision. But we have enough proof in our past that we really wouldn’t. And so, something has to be done with our sin, for God is a righteous judge. One day we will all stand alone before Him and give an account for every sinful thought, word, and deed—without any excuses.
That is where we found ourselves in our study this past Sunday. Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study of the first part of Revelation 21 as we begin our time together in front of the great white throne.
The first portion of Revelation 20 reads like a three-act play. Satan is bound for 1,000 years. Jesus rules and reigns on earth for those 1,000 years. And then Satan will be released. But make no mistake, this is not theater—this will be reality! God emphatically promises (six times!) that there will be a specific 1,000 year rule and reign of Jesus, during which Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit.
Let your holy imagination entertain that for a moment. 1,000 years of Jesus on earth, ruling as King and reigning over creation. While simultaneously the devil is bound—unable to steal, kill, or destroy. Jesus will rule as King as His believers administrating His Kingdom without any influence or attack by the devil. Our imaginations just can’t grasp just how amazing that time will be!
But then…Satan will be unbound at the end of 1,000 years. But why? One reason is that God wants to make something very clear about humanity. Human beings like to blame others for their sin (remember the Garden of Eden?). If we can’t blame an individual, then we blame our environment. During this 1,000 year period, God will reverse the curse and remove any ability to blame others or our environment so that humanity will be without excuses. Even after this amazing time of peace, many will succumb to temptation and follow the devil.
But what about today? What about now? Do you lay excuses before the Lord in regard to your sin? Do you blame others or your environment to dodge responsibility? We’ll never exhaust excuses to use, but they will never be sufficient to explain our sin away.
Come to Jesus—today! Paul Tripp said, “Grace calls you away from excuses and blame-shifting and invites you to confess your sin with the assurance of forgiveness, not condemnation.”
God’s word makes it clear—if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
A thousand years shall roll around,
The church shall be complete,
Call'd by the glorious trumpet sound,
Their Savior Christ to meet,
They rise with joy, and mount on high,
They fly to Jesus' arms,
And gaze with wonder and delight,
On their beloved's charms.
–That glorious day is drawing nigh (John Leland)
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
These were some of the things Jesus told His disciples to pray for when they asked Him how to pray. We experience a portion of that prayer on a daily basis, but there will come a day when that promise is fully realized. The kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, and deliverance from evil.
As we continued our study of Revelation this past Sunday, we see that God will one day answer this prayer. In Revelation 20, we read about the future reign of Christ on earth and the imprisonment of the devil during the same time.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study of Revelation 20 with child-like faith and child-like awe and wonder as we consider what these fulfilled promises of God will one day look like.
“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”
The word “Alleluia” is used only four times in the New Testament—all in Revelation 19. It’s such a beautiful word that comes from Hebrew, meaning “praise the Lord!” What a glorious exhortation to do what we have been created to do—praise the Lord!
Words are never wasted in the Bible. There is significance in this word being used only in this chapter. Something wonderful must happen that would prompt a great heavenly multitude to praise the Lord—four times! And there is—the proclamation that salvation belongs to the Lord; the destruction of Mystery Babylon; the invitation to unhindered worship of the Lord; and the announcement of the marriage of the Lamb—the coming of a King to receive His bride! And not just any king—the King of kings. And not just any bride—His Church, holy and unblemished.
He will come—after years of anticipation and preparation, He will come. He is Faithful and True. He wears many crowns. He judges in righteousness. And He makes war. The description of the final battle to come is not a pretty picture. But the fact that God has restrained His wrath is a testimony to His amazing grace and patience. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires all men and women and children to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Turn from your sin today and turn towards the Lord to receive forgiveness and cleansing and healing and white robes of righteousness. You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord.
Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless king through all eternity.
“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Our study of prophecy should always lead to a deeper walk with Jesus and help us grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus—for prophecy is all about Him! Since the goal of prophecy is to worship God, we must beware of turning prophecy into a search for special knowledge that no one else has or to find a demon behind every bush. If anything else becomes the focus of our study of prophecy, something’s wrong.
So as we continue our study this book of prophecy, our understanding of Jesus deepens as we receive the full counsel of God’s word concerning Christ’s character. Remember—Jesus is not only the Suffering Servant; He will return as the Avenger of Blood. His first coming was the Lamb slain; His second coming will be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Watch the replay of our live stream or listen to our study from this past Sunday as we see even more of Jesus Christ revealed in Revelation 19.
Revelation 18 shows us what will become of Mystery Babylon—the mixture of every false religious system that has taken advantage of people for centuries.
In his attempt to deceive, Satan will construct something that seems religious, but in reality is devilish and demonic. Wrapped up in religious robes and self-righteous pomp, it will hide an evil beyond human comprehension.
But if you were to pull back the veil, you would see, “…a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2).
That’s what false religion is—a demonic prison that appears to be from God, but instead uses the guise of religion to profit off of the people it imprisons. For centuries, civil leaders have entered into a mixed marriage with false religion in an effort to rule over people. For centuries, merchants have seen false religion as a way to profit off of the religious fervor of the people. And Mystery Babylon includes all of these—government, economy, and false religion—mixed together to exploit people.
God will only endure all of this for so long because He wants our total loyalty. He wants us to be wholly given to Him, not to any other leader or movement or organization. So when any of these demand loyalty that’s due only to Jesus, it’s not a time to stay the course and stick it out. It’s a time to leave! Just like the voice from heaven said in Revelation 18:4—“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth—testing what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made visible, for what makes everything visible is light.”
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends