Today we celebrate communion, which is the highlight of our month. We have also been studying Revelation. It is amazing that Revelation and the Celebration of Communion have a very big connection. What is also amazing is that the very same big connection can also be found in the Lord’s Prayer. Today may be one of the most amazing connections of the Bible to our every day life.
The Big Connection of The Lord’s Supper & God’s Kingdom
First, please open in your Bibles to Matthew 26:26 where we see Jesus initiating communion as an ongoing reminder of:
Christ’s Death on the Cross for us
Christ’s Burial that forever removed our sins from God’s wrath upon us
Christ’s Resurrection that declares the triumph of God’s plan, God’s Kingdom and of us His children
The Book of the Revelation has always been regarded, by all who have taught it, as unlike any other of the books in the Bible.
As we open to Daniel 7, we continue to listen to God describe the worst human who will ever live.
We first met him as the Beast and the false peacemaking Rider on the White Horse in Revelation 6& 13.
Then we saw him as the One Standing in the Holy Place that Jesus says in Matthew 24 will bring the abomination that causes desolation.
Then we saw Paul’s long description of him as the Man of Sin and the Lawless One in 2 Thessalonians 2.
We went on to 1 John’s description of him as the Antichrist.
One of God’s attributes is His wrath. Last time we saw His future, ultimate, smoldering wrath as He returns to judge the world. That is His cataclysmic wrath as He pours out His fiery indignation. There is another element of God’s wrath and that is what operates all the time. It is called His consequential wrath. Cataclysmic & Consequential, both are forms of God’s wrath against sin and sinners who do not repent.
God’s consequential wrath was built into His creation of the universe. Please turn to Hebrews 11. Our Creator-God who is the All Mighty Maker of the Heavens & the Earth, spoke so much into existence at Creation that scientists have never stopped discovering, for thousands of years, more and more of what He did. Underlying all the vast parts of the Universe are laws that seem to govern everything.
This morning we are examining the Biblical Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. This Doctrine is taught in God’s Word across over 1,800 verses, with over 300 of those verses in the New Testament.
The Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ
God’s Word is immensely prophetic.
When the Bible was written it was made up of approximately 27% prophetic material. Over the thirty-five hundred years since the Bible first began to be written down, many of the prophecies have already come true. But many prophecies are still slumbering, not yet awakened and launched into history by the Hand of God Himself. God watches over His Word to perform everything He has written (Jeremiah 1:12).
We have come this morning to the next doctrine in Revelation 6. We have come to the Day of the Lord & Christ’s Centrality to Everything.
All of human history, all of God’s Word the Bible, and the entire universe in which we live centers upon Jesus Christ, God the Son.
Paul overflowed in wonder at Christ’s glory in Romans 11:36 (NKJV) when he said:
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
This morning we enter a new chapter of the Book of Revelation. As you open with me to Revelation 7, let me explain what lies before us.
If we were doing a one-phrase-summary of each chapter of the Bible, we could summarize the main idea of Revelation 6 as: The Intense Wrath of God Against Sin.
If we did the same for Revelation 7 it would be: The Immense Love of God Towards Sinners. Back to back those seem to be polar opposites. What is amazing is that God designed this incredible contrast.
As we open to Revelation 8 today, we are going to find again that in each chapter there are incredible insights into our Great God. Each of this book’s 404 verses are like tiny windows into understanding a bit more of our All Powerful and Almighty God.
Almost every one of the seven teaching truths or “doctrines” that are presented in this chapter are tied to the same doctrines in the other books of the Bible that God has already taught us. Here is what we see taught in Reveltion 8:
This morning we arrive at the eighth chapter of Revelation. This chapter may hold one of the most impacting truths we have studied so far in this final book of God’s Word. This chapter before us contains the twin truths that explain what has happened to the prayers of every believer and saint of every age of human history. The twins truths are that God illustrates for us:
The Destination & Application of Our Prayers
Each time we pray in Christ’s Name that prayer rises before the Face of God our Father.
In Genesis 6-8, God sent the first ecological disaster of human history in the catastrophic Global Flood of Noah. It was less than 5,000 years ago, when God completely devastated the surface of the entire planet. Through 40 days of rain, plus most likely the fountains of the deep (volcanic eruptions), God drowned or buried every land animal, and every human except the eight in the Ark. That was:
The First Catastrophic Ecological Event
Before we return to Revelation 9, which would be opening to one of the darkest chapters of the Bible, we should ask ourselves why would we even want to study through this chapter? Why do we need to study what God says about Satan, demons, and the bottomless pit? Is that something that believers in the 21st century really need to know?
The answer to all those questions is the same. A resounding YES. The truth is that God has warned us about our Adversary Satan (that by the way is the meaning of the name Satan, “adversary”), and commanded us to on guard against him.
We open to what most Bible commentators over the centuries have called perhaps the most challenging chapter in the Bible, Revelation chapter 9. Before we dive in we need to step back and remember one of the most amazing features of this book: the role of the Gospel in relation to the horrors of the Tribulation.
An Invitation from God
The Bible closes with one of the greatest invitations of all, found in the final chapter, of the last book of the Bible. So, before the horrors of Rev. 9, listen to the offer of endless life from Jesus Christ to all who will listen:
Revelation 22:16-17 (NKJV) “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.