Christ is a great magnet and we his people are STUCK to Him. The realities of the church in this age all reflect the intimate union that we share with our LORD Jesus Christ. Chapter 11 teaches us the surety and comfort of the church as the invincible body of Christ, right along side the reality of suffering even to the point of death! John finishes off this interlude of encouragement to teach us that Christ will be faithful in conforming us to Himself!
Progressing Intimacy (Revelation 10:1-11)
Progressing in the love of Christ goes in two directions. As we deepen our confidence in the Majesty and Mercy of Christ we also experience the suffering of the sinful world more. As we taste more of the sweetness of Christ’s Word, we also get the bitter indigestion of having to be witnesses in a hostile and callous environment. But all this connects us more intimately to Christ, both in his humiliation and his exaltation. John shows us in chapter 10 that Christ gives us the power to preach boldly even through intensifying bitterness!
See How He Loved Him (John 11:36)
You can see the whole Gospel of Christ’s love from that profound narrative of the death of Lazarus and the love Christ showed.
Edification Through Exaltation (Psalm 145:1-13)
How edified are you in your Christian walk? Perhaps an increase in exalting God is in order!
Resurrection Identity (1 Peter 1:3-5)
Elder Mike Layton encourages us all to see our identity through Christ’s resurrection our living hope that is absolutely secure.
Foundations For Life (2 Samuel 24:18-25)
The Closing lines of Samuel give us incredible hope in a real Savior to come that will be a perfect substitute provided by God Himself. They also show us the foundations for life that every human longs for.
Repentance & Selective Hearing (Revelation 9:13-21)
Selective hearing is a terrible curse, our will exercises it to avoid these GRACIOUS sounds. There is other loud sounds coming forth from Heaven and surrounding us every moment… do you know what it is? – Is is the SOUND of Lion of the Tribe of Judah proclaiming HE HAS CONQUERED! – it is the SPIRIT saying to the churches OUR GOD REIGNS… it is the sound of the worshiping Angels and multitudes surrounding the throne – and we the sealed can be selective in our hearing too! We also can be tuning out all these gracious and glorious sounds!
Tender and Tenacious Faith (Luke 18:15-17)
We can understand why this passage is hard when we see what was going on with the Disciples in their “Good old boy club” mentality and contrast the Tender heart of Jesus not excluding even the lowliest. Even more when we consider his righteous indignation toward any who would cause any hindrance to accessing the kingdom of God we can understand better, I think, why this passage is so hard. It strikes at our Pride! – demolishes our self-importance and it teaches us that Kingdom faith will be Tender and Tenacious!
Sola Protectio (Psalm 46:1-11)
In a special way, this Psalm encapsulates why we should still celebrate the Reformation. All 5 of the 5 sola’s of the Reformation can be found in this Psalm… and if you will indulge me – I titled this sermon Sola Protectio a 6th SOLA if you will, meaning = God is our only shelter … if he shelters then the church is safe under divine protection!
Descriptions of Satanic Woe (Revelation 9:1-12)
Nothing can stop God from perfecting and protecting us. As John describes Satan’s power we certainly see how God is always protecting His children even when the gates of Hell are unleashed – they cannot prevail against us. In the description of Satan’s minions we are reminded that the locust eat away what is precious to us, the torment of those not sealed is that their lives are vain and whatever they produce, be it ever so GREAT, is eaten up and taken away from them (
; ) – but for the believers, those who have been sealed by God, Whatever they put their hand to for the kingdom of God Prospers (Abraham; Joseph) – NOTHING is ever VAIN! God promises that we will have suffering in this life… But God will not allow OUR suffering to be pointless and lead to despair.