Summary: A lot of our focus is the here and now, because we want to serve Jesus faithfully here and now. But John's picture of our future in Revelation 21 inspires us to keep the faith and fight the good fight, because we know what tomorrow brings!

November 24 Sermon - Revelation 21:1-8 - New Heaven and New Earth

If you’ve been here for the past number of weeks I hope you’ve enjoyed the look we’ve had at the churches of the book of Revelation.

I’ve done a quick rat-a-tat-tat practical overview of the lessons to those churches and to us.

Those churches remain a reminder to us to

1) Church in Ephesus: Keep very close to Jesus, lest you lose your first love and get lost in good works, which cannot save you. Repent of sin quickly and often to keep your relationship with God alive and vital.

2) Church in Smyrna: God remembers you in your affliction and poverty - He knows your secret - you are rich in faith.

When you are doing all the right things, you may still be slandered. Don’t be surprised about that. Suffering is unavoidable.

Keep being faithful to the end and you will receive the victor’s crown.

3) The Church in Pergamum: Stay true to Jesus, no matter the persecution that comes. Keep the main thing the main thing: Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected.

Don’t fall into error in your thinking about God because of the pressures and hounding from your surrounding culture to conform your thinking to theirs. Stay strong in the faith. Repent when you sin.

4) The Church in Thyatira: Your deeds done in love, your service and perseverance are excellent! Beware of false teaching, and beware of and do not tolerate syncretism (the blending or attempted blending of different religions). Repent when you sin.

5) The Church in Sardis: Don’t be dead. Have and be true to a reputation of being alive in Christ. Don’t leave good deeds unfinished. Hold fast to the gospel, and repent when you sin.

6) The Church in Philadelphia: I know you and your deeds. Even when you feel weak, keep to God’s Word and never deny Jesus.

Endure hardship patiently. I will keep you safe in times of testing. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.

7) The Church in Laodicea. Don’t be meh. Don’t be lukewarm. Best to be passionate about your relationship with God.

Don’t get distracted by temporary things like money and material success. Come to me and you will find spiritual success.

Since I love you and accept you deeply and dearly, I will rebuke and discipline you.

I will transform your life when you give it to me. I want to come into your spiritual house. Here I am, knocking, until you let me in.

So that’s a super quick review of what we learn from Jesus speaking to the churches of Revelation. It’s good stuff, current to us in the 21st century.

God’s Word has a way of speaking loud and clear throughout the ages.

If Jesus doesn’t tarry, a hundred or a thousand years from now the church of Jesus will still be here and around the world.

And the words of the Bible will continue to be powerful and penetrating and redemptive, because the Word of the Bible are the Word of God.

And notice our focus has been on the churches of Revelation, and yet the application is in the here and now.

Starting next week it will be Advent, and we will have our usual 4 Advent service on Advent themes. Then January we will begin to look at the book of James.

However, today, we thought we WOULD look at a section of the book of Revelation that many of us might be quite familiar with.

You may have heard it read at a funeral. You may have read it yourself in your ongoing reading of the Bible.

And whereas our look at the book of Revelation has been very much about how we live today and how to live in the best possible way, the passage today is actually about...your future.

It’s about our future as the church. It is about the hope that we have as people whose sins have been forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

So today we are looking at a very beautiful part of scripture, A gorgeous piece of literature in and of itself, and part of the Word of God that intends to drive home the extraordinary benefits of belonging to Jesus.

It’s about what’s coming for all those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

And for those who do not yet believe, and who have not yet received Jesus Christ as their Lord and King, their Master and Saviour, it’s about what COULD be true for you, if you decide to follow Jesus.

So this holds out hope for all - it’s a surefire coming reality for all who now trust in Jesus, and it’s the potential future for everyone, literally everyone else who comes in faith to Jesus Christ.

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