An exposition of Revelation 5:1-14. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, August 17, 2008.
The persecution increases daily. Arrest, confiscation of property, torture and executions are commonplace. The strain is unbearable. Daily you are called upon to deny your faith and declare Caesar Lord. What do you do? How do you respond? There is a genuine clash of culture and religion but it is not merely in the realm of ideas. Your faith has cost you dearly. Your family disowned you. Your friends shunned you. Your job is gone. Now your life is being threatened. Then you are told you can have it back, all of it, if you’ll just bow and confess, “Caesar is Lord.” What do you do?
Such was the conflict then and now. The forces of light and darkness have always been
at odds. Truth and error have forever been in conflict. The Kingdom of God and the
kingdom of Satan are at war. And you are a foot soldier in that conflict. What will you
do? How will you stand? What will be your inspiration? Our text this morning is found
in the 5th chapter of Revelation.
Perseverance is the fruit of a Christ-centered vision and impassioned worship.
- Hopelessness brings bitter disappointment and despair. (5:1-4) Are you burdened by hopelessness? Do the cares of this life overwhelm you to the point you’ve giving up or are on the verge of giving in? John’s weeping is sincere. It is certainly understandable. It is worth weeping over. But it is premature!
- Disappointment and despair vanish at the glorious revelation of the Lamb of God. (5:5-10. In the face of conflict, heartache and despair you need a clear, unimpeded vision of the person and work of Christ. You need to see Him for who He is and understand what He has done. Once you catch a glimpse of that or better yet once this truth takes hold of you – disappointment and despair vanish.
- Perseverance and hope find their voice in Christ-centered, heaven rattling worship. (5:11-14) When life is at its worst. When turmoil reigns – those with the clearest vision and the most accurate knowledge lose themselves in glorious, profound, explosive worship! This is not fanaticism this is the natural response to the vision of God.