Encouragement for the Church
Chapters 10 and 11 are two chapters that once again introduce a pause or interlude in the Revelation of Jesus.
“These pauses are not so much ‘pauses’ in a sequence of events as they are literary devices by which the church is instructed concerning its role and destiny during the final period of world history.”
What is the role of the church in this final period of world history?
1. Preach the word
A. Sweet – the preached word is sweet because the Gospel is sweet tasting. “Taste and see that the
Lord is good” the Psalmist shouts.
B. Bitter – the preached word is bitter because it brings persecution is spoken rightly and lived out.
1. This is why people do not read their bibles today.
a. They begin and discover that what they are reading does not match what they
think. So they try to make it say what they think by reading things into it on
super imposing ideas on top of it. Next, they begin to realize that if it means
what it says, then I have to do something else or believe something else. Finally,
they just stop reading Scripture. It’s just too dang painful.
What is our primary mission now and then (by the way, this is how we become radical followers of Jesus Christ and build the church local and global)?
A. Preach the word!
1. Know the word
2. Know foundational orthodox Christianity
3. Don’t sell yourself short on what you can learn and know (See D.L. Moody; Bitzer)
a. You have Holy Spirit
4. Tell what you know from the Word in conversation with other people
5. Don’t be ashamed of possessing a biblical worldview. Share it!
6. Count it joy to be treated the way they treated our King
2. The protection of and suffering of the church 11:1-3
The fact that John is told to measure the “temple and the alter and those who worship there” indicate that this is not a literal temple, but the people of God who are the saints and are the temple of God (see 1 Peter 2).
A. Protection: not in the sense of kept from harm, but protection in the sense that the “harm” won’t “harm” us. In other words its what Jesus meant when he said not to fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear the one who can kill the body and cast one into hell. Again, they may kill us be they can’t affect our eternal belonging to Jesus.
B. Suffering: suffering is part of the call of being a Christian.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” (2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV)
C. Suffering will be short-lived
1,260 days is one half of a sabbatical-year cycle (3.5 years) and is intended to communicate the brevity of the suffering of these days.
1. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15 ESV)
3. The authority of and indestructibility of the church 11:4-14
The totality of the church is in view here
A. The two witnesses and are the two olive trees in Zechariah’s vision (Zech. 3:1-5; 4:6-10, 11, 14)
1. A royal leader to rebuild God’s temple
2. A priest to lead worship in it
B. You serve as a priest of God and will rule as kings in the coming Kingdom
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, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
(Revelation 5:9; Revelation 5:10 ESV)
C. Satan will make war on us 11:7
D. We are indestructible 11:11-14
1. Jesus will raise us to life one day
2. When we die, we go to be with him so that what Paul says is true, “to live is Christ and
to die is gain.”
4. The Kingdom comes! 11:15-19