Revelation Explanation

Last weekend, I asked all my Crossroads family to read the first three chapters of Revelation and I’ve had some people asking questions.  So, I thought I would just use my blog and cover a few things.

First of all, did you realize that you are blessed if you read, hear and take to heart the message in Revelation?  Says so in Rev. 1:3.  That is an awesome promise!

Who are the angels and stars that are mentioned?  Most scholars believe these to mean the messengers of the seven churches.  This means that Jesus is holding these churches and leaders in His hand.  They are not sovereign, but under the authority of the One who paid the price for His church.  He walks among them and is very much concerned about them.  Just like He is still concerned and watching over His church today.  God is still the true leader over His church and it’s leadership.

What is the sword from his mouth?  The sword in Jesus’ mouth symbolizes the power and force of His message.  Even when Jesus walked the earth in human form, his voice had power to raise people from the dead and cause others to fall to the ground (John 18:6).  In Ephesians 6:17, we are told to take up the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Back at the beginning of creation, God set things in motion through the power of His word.  True Christ-followers do not need to fear the words of Jesus, only those who will come under His judgment.  For them, it will be terrifying.

One has to keep in mind that much of Revelation is figurative language.  In other words, it most likely is not a true sword that will come from Christ’s mouth, but rather the power of His voice and words will be like a sword of spiritual power upon His enemies.  Also, consider how tough it would be for a man of 2,000 years ago (John) to write down the incredible things he was seeing.  How could his ancient mind even wrap itself around all that he was experiencing?

You might also notice the repetition of the number seven throughout the Bible, as this is the number of completion.  Though it is used over 50 times in Revelation and over 700 times throughout Scripture, we must be careful not to overemphasize it by attaching symbolic meaning in each instance.  Sometimes a seven is just a seven, especially if Scripture is not explicit about a meaning.  However, there are times, it seems, that God is communicating the idea of divine completeness, perfection, and wholeness.

I hope that by reading these first three chapters, you have allowed the Holy Spirit to speak a new, fresh word into your spirit.  Perhaps one of these seven messages is meant for you today so you can “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

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Last Day Lovers

The predictions of the Bible have always been fascinating to me.  Not so much that I spend all my time looking for a sign (Jesus said that’s what an evil generation does), but enough to know where are we at in God’s timeline.

Yesterday, I was reading in 2 Timothy 3 where Paul predicts what people will love in the last days: themselves, money and pleasure.  Wow!  Does that describe America or what?  There’s not much that can get in our way of loving ourselves, spending and thrill seeking.  So much so, we will often ignore the bigger items of life and settle for an incessant search for self fulfillment.

How do we know if we are what the Bible describes as “last day lovers”?  Here’s a little test to help diagnose where you fall.

Lovers of Themselves:  do you consistently think of yourself more than others?  When is the last time you went out of your way and gave of your time to serve others in Christ’s name?  Do you volunteer on a regular basis?

Lovers of Money:  do you give a percentage of your income regularly to further God’s kingdom causes?  Do you give to God’s work first and then save and live on the rest?

Lovers of Pleasure:  do you schedule time to enjoy God, His people, and His cause, or is it more about what you want to do?  Do you think of your time as your time, instead of living as a manager of God’s time?  Have you gotten to the level where you are thrilled about God’s work in the lives of others more than your own thrills?

Maybe you can tell from this little test if you fall into the category of last day lovers, or if your part of the remnant that Jesus is coming back to receive.

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What The Resurrection Means For You Today

“I have seen the Lord”!  With those words, everything changed.  Mary Magdalene came back from the empty tomb to the disciples to report that Jesus had risen from the dead and had actually talked with her.  From that point on, her life and the lives of many others were never the same again.

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for you and I today?  Here are just a few things:

  • A guarantee of eternal life (John 11:25-26 – Sunday’s text!)
  • Demonstrated His power over death (Acts 2:24)
  • Secures our forgiveness (1 Cor. 15:17)
  • Safeguards our resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23)
  • Gives us hope in hard times (2 Cor. 1:8-11)

Today, we think about His sacrifice, suffering and separation He endured for our sins, but not without hope for resurrection.  The cross would mean nothing if not for the empty tomb.  Praise God for those who said, “I have seen the Lord” and those who having not seen, yet believe.

Be sure to do all you can to invite someone to be your guest in Easter services this weekend.  Let others know what the resurrection can mean for them today.

 

 

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The End of the World

Posted in End of the World, Second Coming by PCraig on July 28, 2010

Many are talking about it.  Movies are made about it.  Theologians and scientists debate about it.  It’s the end of the world. 

What most agree on is that it is inevitable.  The questions for many are “When will it happen?” and “How will it happen?”  I’ve got a better question: “Will you be ready for it?”  If you know something is coming and you don’t know when exactly it will take place – then, how should you live?  Shouldn’t you live like it could happen any minute? 

If we don’t know exactly when it will happen, (The Bible says no one knows except God Himself) then how should you treat your spouse, your parents, your friends, or strangers?  See, this brings up a whole new set of questions.  If we don’t know when the end of the world will occur, then what movies should we see?  What TV shows should we watch?  How should we dress?  What is most valuable in light of eternity?  Where should we invest our time, talents and treasure? 

This weekend, I’ll be tackling this topic in the conclusion to our ON DEMAND series.  I hope you’ll be there for this important message that will answer the most important questions about The End of the World.  Below are some teaser links that reveal some truths about biblical signs we are living in the last days. 

Earthquakes:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

http://www.iris.edu/seismon/

 ONE WORLD GOVT  http://www.clubofrome.org/eng/new_path/

 MORE…http://endoftheworld.net/

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