REVELATION 17:7-8 BOOK OF LIFE PART TWO : “CITIZENS OF HEAVEN”
In Revelation 20 we find the most sobering words in all the Scriptures: Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (NKJV)
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NIV)
What is this book? Last week we tracked that Book God is keeping of all who ever lived. It is a roster of all who can receive salvation. In the end only those who have trusted the Lamb of God will be recorded. All the rest are erased for they have chosen Death instead of Life.
Thirty-four centuries ago Moses wrote this warning:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (NIV)
So all of life is a choice of Masters. Citizens of Heaven or Citizens of Earth. In Revelation 17 we find the description of those who do not bow to Christ. These people who won’t obey their Creator are called EARTH DWELLERS.
THE WORLD GOD LIVE FOR THE MOMENT ETERNITY GET GIVE
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GO FOR THE TOP BOTTOM BE IN CHARGE SERVE
They are characterized by where their hearts are located. Just as Christ said in His sermon on the Mount: Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (KJV)
Why? Because you live in harmony with your treasures: Matthew 6:20 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV)
Think with me for a moment about the onslaught of the world upon our spiritual lives each day:
1. THE WORLD SYSTEM [EARTHDWELLERS] CRIES, BE INDEPENDENT BUT THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE SAYS DEPEND ON ME. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)
2. THE WORLD SAYS GET FINANCIAL SECURITY, THE OWNER OF ALL THINGS SAYS DON’T GET DELUDED INTO THINKING RICHES ARE SECURE. I Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (NKJV)
The earth dwellers of Revelation 17 are in sharp contrast to the CITIZENS OF HEAVEN. These verses may be outlined as:
1. We KNOW Satan is the Adversary. “out of the bottomless pit” 2. We ARE Citizens of Heaven. “dwell on the Earth” 3. We HAVE a Secure Salvation. “names were not…”
Remember we found:
We KNOW Satan is the Adversary. “out of the bottomless pit” Genesis 3: = STALKER Job 1 = ACCUSER John 8:44 = LIAR I John 5:19 = God of the Earth Dwellers
We ARE Citizens of Heaven. “dwell on the Earth” What does one look like? Matthew 6:19 = LAYS UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN: In 1 Timothy 6:6-12 Paul tells us the attitude we are to have toward money and possessions. We are to be:
1. CONTENTED v.6-8 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” 2. GUARDED v.9-10 ” But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all [kinds of] evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
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3. ANCHORED v.11-12 ” But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. “(NKJV)
Well, how is your citizenship today? Is it drawing you downward toward Earth or upward to God? The challenge of our citizenship is loyalty to our King. Put some of your treasured time, money and affections into the Body of Christ here at QBC this week. How?