Posts in the "Series" Category

The Lamb Will Triumph: God Will Create a New Heaven and New Earth

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

This is the seventh and final sermon in this series covering the broad themes of Revelation. In this story, the greatest ever told, we’ve seen the set up, the conflict, and the climax so far. Today we see the resolution, the conclusion, the happily ever after.

Revelation 21-22

The New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21:1-8). … It’s not just a New Heaven. There will also be a New Earth. We won’t be just floating around in Heaven with our spiritual bodies, we will have physical bodies on a physical earth that bares similarities to this earth, but is glorified and perfect. … The sea represents separation from God. On this New Earth, there will be no separation from God, no sin. We will dwell with God in Heaven and on Earth. God will make everything new and perfect. … Those who are victorious, those who persevered for Christ, will inherit the New Heaven and New Earth. Unfortunately, not everyone will make it to Heaven. Some will go to Hell. Heaven and Hell are both real. Those who repent of their sin will go to Heaven and the others will die a spiritual death in Hell.

The New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22-27). … We get an image of a dazzling city. Gemstones. Kingly Splendor. Work without frustration! … Once again we are reminded that not everyone will be there, but only those who have repented.

The River of Live and Tree of Life at the Center of the City (Revelation 22:1-5). … This tree was in the Garden of Eden. Humankind was kicked out of there for disobeying God. In the New Heaven though, there will be many trees of life to eat from.

The Conclusion:

Jesus says, “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:12). … Jesus says that three times in the last chapter. That should

The Spirit and the Bride invite anyone who is thirsty to drink the water of life (Revelation 22:17). … The Spirit has always been inviting people drink of the living water. Now the Bride, the church, also has the authority to invite others to drink of this living water.

The Lamb Will Triumph: Jesus Will Return to Earth and Defeat Evil

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

This is week six of seven looking at the greatest story ever told. All the other great stories follow a similar template, but they are all echoes of this one. All great stories have conflict and we’ve seen that the last three weeks. Every great story also has a climax where the hero somehow saves the day. That’s what we will see today.

Revelation 16-20

The Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16; 17:14) … God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the Holy Trinity. Well, Satan is an imitator and there is an unholy trinity formed by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These two trinities will go to war. … The scripture says it will be at a place called Armageddon. It may be literal or symbolic. Armageddon is an actual place that has seen some crucial battles in history. When this was written, Armageddon was symbolic of any big battle.

The Return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:11-16, 19-20) … Christ will return, bringing justice and vengeance with Him. He will judge the world and all of the wrongs done will be corrected. He will fight battles and the blood on His robe won’t be His own. When it looks like the armies of the world are overwhelming the armies of Heaven, Jesus will defeat them with the words He speaks. The beast and his false prophet will be captured and thrown into Hell. … How much of this is symbolic and how much is literal? It’s hard to know for sure, but it definitely gives quite the image.

The Binding, Release, and Defeat of the Devil (Revelation 10:1-3, 7-10) … It’s hard to know if the events in the visions are sequential or if they are overlapping visions, each telling a different perspective of the same events. Regardless of everything else, if you stick with Jesus, you’ll be good.

Judgment Day (Revelation 20:12, 15) … There will be judgment for everyone. There is a book that contains all of our sins, but for those of us who have accepted the salvation that Christ offers, the sins will be unreadable because they are covered by His blood.

The Lamb Will Triumph: God Will Protect His people from His Wrath

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

Revelation 6-18

This is our fifth week in this series and third week covering the middle chapters of Revelation where the conflict is at its height. This week we will see that God will protect His people from His wrath.

Before God unleashes His wrath He sends an angel to put a seal on the foreheads of those who are His servants (Revelation 7:1-4, 9-10, 13-14). … The angels are about to release more of God’s wrath but they pause for a moment so that the servants of God may receive a mark, separating them from the followers of the Antichrist. … Let’s look back to Exodus for a moment. When God sent the plagues, the people of Israel were unaffected, then on the last plague, they were required to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts for protection. This appears to be a similar thing.

This is a seal of ownership and protection like that in Ezekiel 9:4 and like the sealing of all believers with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). … We don’t know what the seal will be or even if it will be visible.

The 144,000 mentioned in chapter seven has many interpretations. It might be literal. It may represent all believers. It may be just a group of believers from Israel, 12,000 from each tribe. … Regardless, it appears there will be a group of believers who will receive a special mark.

Three audiences:

  1. First Century Christians: The people who were reading this when it was written would be warned that they would have to suffer persecution, and they did suffer bad persecution.

  2. Christians of all Ages: Even today Christians face some persecution. Depending on where you live in the world, it will be to different extents.

  3. The Last Generation: Christians in the end times will face great persecution.

This seal is related to the name of God, and it contrasts to those who are marked with the name of the beast (Revelation 14:1, 9-11). … God will essentially put His name on those who are sealed. It is a mark of ownership and protection.

Those Who Worship the Beast

Those Who Follow Jesus

Marked with the Name of the Beast

Sealed with the Name of the Father

Protected from Persecution

Exposed to Persecution

Exposed to God’s Wrath

Protected form God’s Wrath

Exposed to Suffering from the Curse of Sin

Christians and non-Christians alike get the flu. We all suffer due to the curse of sin in this fallen world.

Without the mark of the beast, we will be persecuted on Earth, but with the seal of God, we will be protected from God’s wrath, which is a better deal.

The Lamb Will Triumph:God Will Pour Out His Wrath upon the Earth

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

Revelation 6-18

This is the second of three weeks we’ll spend in this middle section of Revelation where the conflict reaches its height. Last week we saw that evil will win some battles, but this week we see God release His wrath upon the earth in judgment. … When we see injustice in the world, we feel a righteous angry towards those who commit the injustice. That anger comes from being made in God’s image. If we have trouble accepting injustice, just imagine how God feels towards injustice and those who commit them.

Wrath is God’s intense hatred of all sin. There are two aspects to God’s wrath:

  1. God’s wrath is expressed every day (Romans 1:18; Psalm 7:11). … God judges people everyday and His wrath is poured out a little everyday.

  2. God’s wrath is being stored up (Romans 5:25). … God’s patience allows him to store up wrath so He doesn’t pour out all that we deserve every day. Revelation shows God pouring out all of His stored up wrath.

In Revelation, God’s wrath is poured on the earth in three series of sevens:

  1. Seven seals (Revelation 6:15-17) … The first four seals release the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

  2. Seven trumpets (Revelation 8:1-2). … The trumpets herald judgments that affect creation.

  3. Seven plagues/bowls (Revelation 15:1-4; 16:1) … The seven bowls release plagues upon the earth.

God’s wrath is described as a cup which sinners must must (Revelation 14:9-10).

On the cross, Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us (Luke 22:42; John 3:36). … Today we took the Lord’s Supper as a way to remember what Jesus did for us. Jesus knew the wrath of God and that all sinners deserved it. But Jesus took our cup and drunk it. Jesus has already endured and absorbed the wrath of God for those who have accepted Him as savior.

The Lamb Will Triumph: Evil Is Strong and Will Temporarily Conquer God’s People

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

Revelation 6-18

These chapters will take three weeks to get through. They hold the conflict part of the story. The best stories always have some sort of conflict. Those are just shadow of this story though. … C.S. Lewis was an atheist and one of the big factors in his conversion to Christianity was J.R.R. Tolkien explaining to him how all the stories he loved so much were just shadows of this one.

The forces of evil strike back against the Lamb. The key word in Revelation (nike: conquer) is used two times in this section of the forces of evil conquering God’s people. … There are three audiences the same as the previous sermons.

A red dragon seeks to destroy a male child, but Go protect the child. There is war in Heaven. The dragon is thrown down to the earth and wages war on the followers of Jesus (Revelation 12:1-5, 7-9, 13, 16-17). … The dragon is Satan, the devil. It is commonly thought that the stars he swept from the sky represent angels that followed him in his rebellion, but we don’t know that for sure. It may be symbolic that a third of the Trinity died for our salvation. … The dragon is kept from harming the child and is then hurled to the earth where he pursues the mother of the child and all her offspring. The child is Jesus and the mother is Israel. The offspring of Israel is representative of Christians.

A beast come out of the sea. He is given great power. He conquers God’s people (Revelation 13:1, 4, 7-8). … The beast represents a great political power that serves the forces of evil. In the time this book was written, it was the Roman empire. It has also been Hitler and other leaders who do the bidding of the forces of evil. Today it’s Kim Jong Un and others. There will be more, including one that is worse than all the others

A second beast comes out of the earth. He makes the earth worship the first beast. (Revelation 13:11-12, 16-7). … This second beast appears as a lamb but speaks like a dragon. It pretends to be a force of good, but points everyone to the first beast. In first century Rome, it was a priesthood that encouraged people to worship Ceaser. Today it’s churches that teach values that go against the Bible.

God appoints two witnesses to preach. The beast conquers and kills them (Revelation 11: 3, 6-7). … God will raise up two people to preach the truth, but the beast will conquer them and have a sort of Anti-Christmas.


  1. Evil is strong: don’t take it lightly. … 1 Corinthians 12:10 also expresses this idea. Don’t underestimate the ability of evil to take hold of you.

  2. We are in a spiritual war. Expect to get shot at. We will lose some battles. … War is ugly and there are casualties on both sides. This won’t be easy.

  3. There are only two sides in the battle. You must choose a side. … It’s easy to straddle the fence while the battle doesn’t appear to be affecting us, but a time is coming when that won’t be an option.

This seems a bit gloomy, but just remember our key verse: Revelation 17:14. God prevails in the end.

The Lamb Will Triumph: God is on His Throne and Jesus Is in Control of the Future

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

Revelation 4-5

The  word “nike” is the key word in the book of Revelation. It means “victory” and is translated a few different ways in Revelation, but it always has something to do with victory.

John is allowed a glimpse into Heaven. This vision is given to encourage God’s people when the world seems out of control. … We don’t often get to peer into Heaven, but John was and his vision was also in the future.

God is on His throne in Heaven (Revelation 4). … John attempts to describe what he sees, and it sounds like a glorious sight, full of diversity in color and even angels. The throne that God sits on is surrounded by four angels who appear to be leading worship. Surrounding them are 24 elders who we do not know much about. These elders have crowns but they fall down and cast their crowns at the feet of God. God is being worshipped as the creator of all things. God is in control. … It doesn’t always seem like God is in control, but He is. This vision is given to help us realize that truth.

Jesus is in control of the future (Revelation 5). … The scroll in the right hand of God likely represents the future. An angel asks who can open and read it, but no one worthy was found. John wept hopeless tears as he as he sees no one is worthy of controlling the future. Then an elder tells him not to worry because the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” has triumphed and is worthy and is coming. Then a lamb that appears as if it had been slain appears. The elder said a lion was coming, but a lamb showed up. Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb. The symbolic description given is quite amazing as it shows the power and wisdom Jesus holds. The Lamb stands in the middles, next to the throne while everyone else bows down. The Lamb takes the scroll. The angels and elders break out in song, praising the Lamb. Then every creature everywhere joins in on this praise and worship song.

These chapters show us that God is on His throne and Jesus is in control of the future. It is a reassurance that God is in control and that Jesus will be triumphant over evil. When John cried tears of hopelessness, the Lamb brought hope with Him and does the same for us.

The Lamb Will Triumph: Jesus Is Alive and Walks among His Churches

Sunday Sermon Series The Lamb Will Triumph

This is the first of seven sermons where we are going to look at seven broad themes in the book of Revelation. This is a book of Revelation is a book of encouragement. It also speaks to three audiences:

  1. The first century christians … This book contains letters written to seven churches of that time and also provides hope for the future.

  2. Christians of all ages … Timeless truths within the book still speak to us, as does the hope of a future in Heaven.

  3. The last generation … The book also contains end time prophecy and much symbolism of the end times.

The Greek word “nike” is in this book quite often. The word, often associated with shoes, means “victory” and is translated into a few different words in our English translations.

Revelation 17:14 is the key verse in Revelation and shows us the final outcome of the battle between Good and Evil, God vs Satan.

Revelation is a vision God gave to John that is symbolic of the end times.

Revelation 1-3

Revelation 1 reveals Jesus as the Living One who holds the keys to death and Hades. He walks among the seven churches and holds their angels in His right hand. … The lampstands represent seven literal churches, churches that actually existed. What does a lampstand do? It holds up the light. … The stars could mean a couple of different things, but is most likely the elders or pastors of the seven churches. … Jesus lives and walks among them. Jesus is alive and talking to John. … Some people will say they love Jesus but hate organized religion. These verses show that Jesus is among the churches; He is in organized religion. Elsewhere in the Bible we see Him say that wherever two or three gather in His name, He is there. We were meant to worship God together with other humans. The church is far from perfect (as we are about to see), but that is where Jesus chooses to make His presence known.

Revelation 2-3 record the seven letters from Jesus to His churches. The letters all follow the same outline:

  • Jesus knows the particular circumstances of each church (Revelation 2:13). … Jesus knows the circumstances of our lives too. He knows what you have gone through and what you are going through.

  • Jesus praises almost every church. The main thing Jesus commends in the churches is perseverance/faithfulness (Revelation 2:13). … There’s one church of the seven He has nothing good to say about. All of the churches have at least one commendable quality.

  • Jesus criticizes almost every church. … Two of the seven churches receive no critique.
    Jesus’ three major complaints involve:

    • False teaching (Revelation 2:20). … Jesus cares about what we believe.

    • Sexual immorality (Revelation 2:20). … Jesus cares about how we live and condemn sexual immorality.

    • Spiritual temperature (Revelation 3:16). Jesus cares about our passion for Him.

  • Jesus challenges (or warns) every church (Revelation 2:5; 3:19-20). … He gives us challenges and warnings that are meant to draw us back to Him. To one of the churches, He says He is knocking at the door id they would only let Him in

  • Jesus offers a promise to those who overcome (nike) (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). … Jesus promises eternal life and glory and honor to all who overcome sin and follow Him.

Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations: Advice

Series Gospel Conversations

Last week we were challenged to share the Gospel with 12 people in 2018 and saw one way of doing so, the 3 circles guide. This challenge is going to be a theme all of 2018. There will be other sermons and series, but this idea of turning everyday conversations into Gospel conversations will continue to come up. This week we get some advice on how to do this.

  1. Pray for people to be saved (Acts 7:57-60). … This is the story of Steven. Even while he was being stoned for his ministry, Steven prayed for his murders’ salvation. Saul, the man they laid their clothes by, went on to become Paul, one of the greatest champions of the Gospel.

  2. watch and listen to see what God is doing (Acts 8:29-31). … Be alert to what God is doing. Phillip heard the Spirit and listened. He ran next to a chariot for a while and then was asked to explain scripture to an Ethiopian man. That man was baptized soon after

  3. Don’t prejudge anyone (Acts 9:13-15; 10:28). … Saul was one of the great persecutors of Christians. God sent him to Ananias and Ananias was told by God to help Saul. Ananias questioned God and prejudged Saul. Ananias eventually concedes to God and is proven wrong to prejudge as Saul became Paul, a great Christian theologian. The Peter prejudged Cornelius, a Roman centurion. But God told him to speak with Cornelius and he and his family were saved.

  4. Open your mouth and talk about the Gospel (Acts 16:30-33). … It might not be politically correct to do this, but we can’t allow politics to get in the way of the Gospel. Even when the apostles were imprisoned for their ministry, they were faithful. God performed a miracle and still someone had to speak for the guard to know how to be saved.
    Transition the conversation by asking questions:

    1. What will happen to you when you die? … This direct question is for people you know well. Most people will say they will go to Heaven or they don’t know.

    2. Indirect: Ask: May I share with you what has given me hope/purpose?

  5. Analyze the response you receive (Acts 17:32, 34).

    1. Red light: Some will sneer. .. Stop. We can’t bully people into believing. Stopping might leave the door open in the future.

    2. Yellow light: Some will need to think on their own for a while. … Give them their space.

    3. Green light: Some will believe right away. … This is when you can have further conversations and help them grow in their faith.

Turnig Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations: 3 Circles

Sunday Sermon Series Gospel Conversations

The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. Gospel; conversations are conversations that are centered on the Gospel, where you have a chance to evangelize.

Challenge: In 2018, have 12 Gospel conversations. That’s one per month. For some, this might be easy. For others, this might be extremely difficult.

Acts 1:8 - This is one of the last things Jesus said before He ascended. He tells us that He has given us power and authority. This should give us the boldness we need to spread the Gospel; every chance we get.

Acts 8:1 - This verse tells us that all believers are challenged to tell people of the Gospel, not just pastors or missionaries.

Today we look at a simple way to turn any conversation into a Gospel conversation.

Below is a diagram we can use to show people why the Gospel is important. This method is called the 3 Circles.

Note: when drawing this out for someone, you may want to leave out anything in parentheses. The references are there to help you along.

Start by drawing the first circle and write “God’s design” in it. Explain that God created the world perfect and that something happened to cause it to be imperfect.

Draw an arrow to the right and label it “sin.” Explain that sin is the reason the world fell from perfection and how it happened.

Draw the circle on the right and label it “Brokenness.” The sin in the world produced a broken world with broken people.

Draw the arrows going to the right. These are our attempts to fix ourselves. They go nowhere.

Draw the third circle and label it “Gospel.” Tell them what the Gospel is.

Draw the arrow from brokenness to Gospel and explain how we must repent and believe to accept Christ.

Now draw the arrow from Gospel to God’s design. This is where you explain that the Gospel leads to the recovery and pursuit of God’s original design.

At this point, you can lead them in a prayer of salvation if they are ready.

God’s Odd and Wonderful Plan to Save the World: Week 3

Sunday Sermon Series God's Odd and Wonderful Plan

We’ve looked at the birth announcements and the births of John the Baptist and Jesus the first two weeks. Now we look at what happened after the birth of Jesus. We look at some of the visitors that came to see Him.

Matthew 2:1-23

Why would God communicate through the stars with Magi from an eastern country? What does their visit tell us about God’s plan to save the world? … Magi are wise men from the east. They are probably astrologers, people who study the stars. It seems odd that these Magi would come to visit Jesus. … There is a lot about the Magi that we do not know. We don’t know if there were only three of them or more, or maybe even less. They may or may not have been kings.

The Magi come to Jerusalem and visit King Herod to ask him where the newborn King was. Herod, a very disturbed man, did not like that a new king was born who might overthrow him. Herod had his own son killed when his son became popular. He also had a few wives killed. … So, Herod plots to kill the child. He consults his people who would know where the Messiah was to be born and sent the Magi on their way with instructions to return to him and tell him where to find the baby. Herod said he would worship the baby, but his real motive was murder.

The Magi followed the directions given and then followed the star to the precise location of the baby. When they arrived, they bowed down. The phrase “bow down” is not what we might see on tv when characters “bow down.” The phrase here means they fell on their faces. These Magi were laying down, prostrate, in front of a bay, the Messiah.

Before the Magi could return to Herod, an angel told them to not go to Herod. An angel also appeared to Joseph and told him to take Mary and Jesus to avoid Herod’s wrath. When Herod realized the Magi were not returning to him, he ordered all boys young enough to be the Messiah according to the Magi, in Bethlehem to be killed. A terrible massacre of young boys occured.

Once Herod died, an angel appeared Joseph again, saying they could return to Israel. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had a detour early in their family life. Many of us also face detours in our lives as we try to become who we are meant to be. This detour retraced the journey of the Israelites in the Old Testament.

They plan on returning to Bethlehem, but they heard the worst of Herod’s sons was ruling there and decided to return to Nazareth, which is where they were before all of this happened. It’s amazing how God uses everyone to ensure that Jesus is born in Bethlehem, as the prophecies say, and that he would grow up in and be from Nazareth, as the prophecies say.

God is telling us that Jesus is a worldwide Savior. He came to save all people from all nations, all backgrounds, and all religions.

God reaches out to people in ways they can understand. For the Magi, it was a star. For others it might be dreams or another person. The possibilities are limitless.

There are three responses in this passage to the news that a King has been born:

  1. Hostility … Herod is against Jesus, sees Jesus as a threat, and wants to get rid of Him. Even today He still threatens the lifestyles of people living in sin.

  2. Indifference … The religious leaders and scribes told the Magi where to go and did not go themselves. These are the people you would expect to be most excited to see what they’ve been studying their whole lives.

  3. Worship … The least likely people in this story to worship the Messiah are the ones to do it. The Magi come and fall down and worship the Messiah and give Him gifts.