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Saturday, May 2, 2015

See the End From the Beginning (Sermon Outline)

See the End From the Beginning
Revelation 5
Greater Vision, p. 3

1. Nurture a hunger and thirst for righteousness

Revelation 5:1–5 (ESV) Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” 

2. Pursue what provokes profound worship

Revelation 5:6–10 (ESV) 6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, 
“Worthy are you to take the scroll 
and to open its seals, 
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God 
from every tribe and language and people and nation, 
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, 
and they shall reign on the earth.” 

3. Develop an eternal perspective

Revelation 5:11–14 (ESV) 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, 
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, 
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might 
and honor and glory and blessing!” 
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb 
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. 

Philippians 2:8–11 (ESV) 
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Questions for further reflection and discussion:
1. Why study the book of Revelation?
2. How does a person keep working to see the uniqueness of Jesus?
3. How can a hunger and thirst after righteousness be cultivated? What relevance does this have to John’s weeping over there being no one found to open the book (v.3-4)?
4. How can we learn to identify with suffering of believers under persecution around the world? Why might this be important?
5. What discourages you from praying? How could the image of the prayers of God’s people being incense before him encourage prayer?
6. What can provoke increasingly greater worship?
7. To what extent do we expect multiple ethnicities in our church body? How does that square with the report of what Jesus does in Revelation 5:9?
8. What difference might developing an eternal perspective make in our church life and what would that look like?

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