In “The Screwtape Letters” C.S.Lewis wrote “there are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them”. Being a Christian, knowing the love of God and living by the love and power of Jesus is an wonderful life, but not a life without opposition. Revelation unveils the battle for every Christian. Its a battle against Satan and the demonic forces of evil. Yes, we don’t often speak like that, but unless we name the reality we are deceived and unarmed. But in Christ we have the authority, the power and the joy to stand and we are not unaware of the devils scheme.
There is a reason why the book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible. Revelation completes the glorious storyline of the Bible and seals the history of the world with hope. When we are faced with persecution, sickness, turmoil and chaos Revelation reminds us that all things are in the merciful hands of our Father in heaven whose heart is filled with love for all He has made. It’s a love we can experience and rely upon today. But it also presents us with a choice. To whom will we align our hopes, and what will that look like in our day to day choices?
History is drawing to its conclusion in God’s victory, and we need the long view of life to secure our hearts and be a people focused on Jesus.
Adi talks about starting a fire from embers. He looks at how God has moved in the past, and poses a few questions on "Why, Not Now?"
When I watch a movie I don’t want to know how it ends before I’ve seen it. However, I sometimes think how different the characters’ lives would be if they knew how their story ended. What struggles could they have avoided? The book of Revelation contains the greatest ‘spoiler’ in history but far from spoiling the journey, the vision of God reigning and the creation bowing down in worship gives us confidence to take risks and live a godly, abundant life. At the end of time, as Revelation shows us, all enemies of life are defeated, and Jesus the Lamb of God will be seen as the worthy center of all our worship. We too will bow down to God in utter amazement at His Love for us. In this case it is good to know how our story ends.
So… Spoiler Alert: It all ends with worship.
The book of Jonah is a rollercoaster! God calls Jonah to reach a people that He loves, and Jonah buys a boat ticket and literally flees in the opposite direction. It's easy for us, with hindsight, to look back at Jonah and be critical of his response to God's call. But how many of us are running from our Ninevah? If we're honest, a lot of us shirk responsibility, avoid trouble, and choose to dwell in comfort. God calls us to more.
The Bible shows us that God has a plan of salvation for the whole world and that believers who know Him have a key part to play in the outworking of that plan. This is an amazing grace and mystery. The book of Revelation reminds us that while we live in this world we do not live independently from the God who loves us, who speaks to us and commands how we live. Perhaps the most important question we can ask ourselves today is “what is the Spirit saying to the church?”
Revelation gives us an insight into that very question.
Today we begin a new series on the book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation is a book of hope to a church suffering under the persecution of Rome. The exclusive worship of Jesus as the risen and reigning Lord was the ultimate threat to Rome’s authority. It is a timely book of great encouragement to us as well. Revelation reveals Jesus in the hidden realities of our life. In Revelation we discover we are not alone, that God reigns and deals with evil and we can and must remain faithful and hopeful in Jesus.
Come with us as we unveil the presence of Jesus, alive and reigning in our day.
Jesus is alive! We celebrate today the greatest day in history – the day death was defeated and new life in Jesus became a reality for us all.
For the two travellers on the Road to Emmaus, this was a confusing time as they tried to make sense of what had just happened. It wasn’t until they were joined by another man who helped them to see how the whole Seriously Surprising Story fitted together that they at last understood… we’ll be unpacking this today in our All Age Service as we discover afresh how Jesus still journeys with us, bringing the glorious revelation of his resurrection to bear on our own confused thinking and head-scratching…