Gospel Reality

revelation.pngAn exposition of Revelation 12:1-17. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, September 21, 2008.

We all know there are various ways of looking at things. Some are optimists and they see the glass as half full. Others are pessimists and they see the glass as half empty. There are antagonists and they always see things differently than you do. No matter what the subject or what their particular point of view – they just love to agitate (I must confess that I’m at times a bit of an antagonist myself). And of course during the political season we are well aware of there being different points of view. We see and hear it ad nauseam! Our worldview or how we look at the world greatly affects how we live. Whether you have taken the time to think it through or formally adopted a method of interpreting the world around you – you do have a worldview. There is a grid by which you interpret the world. And the basic framework of your interpretation determines, to a great extent, how you react to what’s going on around you. What is the met-narrative or “great story” behind history for you? For the Marxist it is the inevitable struggle between the classes. For Nietzsche it was the “death of God” and a new morality based in naturalism. What drives your understanding of the world? For the people of God the great story begins and ends with God. A biblical worldview looks at and interprets the world from a heavenly perspective. And of course I’m convinced this is what the book of Revelation is about. Written during a time of great struggle the Lord of the Church is saying to His people, “Things are not as they seem.” He wants His struggling saints to understand Caesar does not “run” the world. Caesar is not Lord, Rome is not the eternal kingdom and history is on schedule. It is easy to miss that when the world is collapsing in on you. When your world comes crashing down – you tend to say, “Lord what are you doing? Are you in control or not?” Revelation then gives us the “big picture.” It says, “Here is what is really going on.” Our text this morning is found in Revelation chapter 12.

Text: Revelation 12:1-17
As we make our way through the 12 chapter I think we’ll learn…

Thesis: At the heart of a biblical worldview is a bedrock understanding of the great
reality behind the human struggle.

In our text we find the “big picture” of our struggle. I want to point out three realities that the Lord of the Church gave to those struggling first century believers to lift their hearts and grant them courage in the battle. Truths that will do the same for you in our day.

  1. Reality number 1 – Satan is “hell-bent” on destroying the work of God. (12:1-9)
  2. Reality number 2 – Satan’s doom is sure yet his attacks are relentless and his appetite is ferocious. (12:10, 12-17)
  3. In spite of how things may seem – God’s people triumph in the end. (12:11)

3 ways in which we triumph:

  1. We stand united with Christ and his finished work at Calvary—the blood of the Lamb.
  2. The word of our testimony—not our “personal testimony” but our testifying to the truth and reality of the Gospel. By our “gospeling” the gospel. Our preaching of Christ.
  3. A simple willingness to die. You do know there are things worse than death. Worse than death would be my bringing disgrace on Christ and his church. Worse than death would be to cheat on my wife and ruin the witness of the gospel and bring shame on the church. What are you going to do with a group of people who are not afraid to die? How are you going to threaten them?

At the heart of a Christian worldview is a bedrock understanding of the great reality
behind the human struggle.

  • Reality #1 – Satan is hell-bent on destroying the work of God.
  • Reality #2 – Satan’s doom is sure yet his attacks are relentless and his appetite ferocious.
  • Reality #3 – No matter how things seem, God’s people will triumph in the end.
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