We are beginning a new series this Sunday entitled: “What Would Jesus Say?” It is a study of Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Asia in the first 3 chapters of Revelation. Are these words just for the benefit of the churches as they were 2000 years ago? Of course not, they have universal application, not only to the condition of the churches then, but to us today as well. And so, in the series we will explore what Jesus has to say: His encouragement and His rebuke; and apply it to the church of the 21 century. This Sunday, I want to begin by giving an introduction into Revelation, so we are clear about the context of Jesus’ words to the churches.
The word “Revelation” is taken from the Greek word apokalypsis, where we get the word: apocalypse. That word conjures up all kinds of images for believers and unbelievers. Many see the apocalypse as the end, rather than the process of ending. They tend to think of the apocalypse as global cataclysm — world war, global disaster, pandemic: the time when Satan reveals his true self to those who were deceived by the smooth-talking Antichrist. But the apocalypse does more than forecast earthly destruction.
The apocalypse that we're talking about here is the “unveiling'' because that's what the word means: to “unveil” to reveal. So, in the first 2 sermons, I'm going to set the stage before we get into talking about what Jesus has to say to the seven churches.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
This is a revelation, an unveiling. But what is it in unveiling of? Most would say that it's an unveiling of end time apocalyptic events that are about to take place of severe magnitude. And that is part of the unveiling. But this is also an unveiling of Jesus Christ; it is a revelation of the ascended Christ.
And so, the question comes to mind: is this the revelation of Jesus… or is this a revelation by Jesus of things which are to come. The answer is yes. Jesus is about to reveal some things about the end times and things that will happen before His return, but He also is going to reveal Himself in the middle of it; because He is at the centre of all things from start to finish. He is going to give some instruction and correction to the churches which are a reflection of our church today. He's going to speak to us about the need to get ready; and about errors that need correcting and so this is a revelation of Jesus until the time that He comes to rule and reign on earth and in the New Jerusalem.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “Jesus Christ: Unveiled”