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Back To The Future

Sermon #5

 

Revelation 1:12-18

THE LORD OF GLORY IN HIS MINISTRY

Intro: In our last meeting, we considered the message of verses 12-17a. In those verses, Jesus Christ is pictured in all His glory. In verses 12-16, John depicts The Lord Of Glory In His Majesty. John attempts to describe the risen, glorified Jesus. As He does, he pictures for us the Jesus we will see when we arrive home in Heaven. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the day when I see Him as He is, because I will be like Him on that day, 1 John 3:1-2.

Then, in verse 17a, John shows us The Lord Of Glory In His Mercy. John sees Jesus and faints dead away. Jesus, in grace and mercy, raises up His servant and speaks peace to the heart of John. What a Savior we have! I praise His name for the times He has reached down to me and lifted me up in my heart! Folk, where would we be if the Lord never showed up in our hearts to “whisper sweet peace to our souls?

In this last section John describes The Lord Of Glory In His Ministry. Having told us about how Jesus appears and how He encourages His saints; these verses tell us Who Jesus is and What Jesus does.

 

I. HE IS THE REIGNING ONE

A. “I am the first and the last John is reminded that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of all things. He is the One Who has always been and the One Who will always be. He was there in before the beginning and He will be there after the end. Jesus stands as the great Bookend on either end of history. Kings may come and kings may go, but Jesus has, is and will reign forever. He is timeless and He is eternal!

B. What we have here is nothing less that a clear claim of deity by the Lord Jesus. The title “The First and the Last is found in the Old Testament three times: Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12. It is a title that refers to Jehovah God. This title is used by the Lord Jesus three times in the book of Revelation: 1:17; 2:8; 22:13. He is telling us His people that He is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. He is reminding us that He is God and that He is in control!

Ill. I sure am glad that He has the wheel!

 

(Ill. In the early days of the automobile a man's Model-T Ford stalled in the middle of the road. He couldn't get it started no matter how hard he cranked nor how much he tried to advance the spark or adjust things under the hood. Just then a chauffeured limousine pulled up behind him, and a wiry, energetic man stepped out from the back seat and offered his assistance. After tinkering for a few moments the stranger said, "Now try it!" Immediately the engine leaped to life. The well-dressed individual then identified himself as Henry Ford. "I designed and built these cars," he said, "so I know what to do when something goes wrong." God, the Creator is with us to "fix" what is broken in our lives, Heb. 13:5.)

 

C. The people of the Lord need not fear anything can arise in life or death, for Jesus stands on either end of each and He controls the middle too! Jesus is the hub around which the wheel of time rotates. He is before all, above all, under all, around all, and after all. He is all in all! He is the source and sum of everything! He is in control of life and nothing happens without His approval, Rom. 8:28.

 

II. HE IS THE REDEEMING ONE

A. I am He that liveth, and was dead Jesus died, but His death was like no other death in the history of the world. He died, not for Himself, but He died for others. He went to that cross to pay a price He did not owe; for a people who owed a price they could not pay. He gave His all for those who had nothing to offer. He paid the whole price to redeem His people from their sins, Isa. 53:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5. He placed Himself between us and our sins!

 

(Ill. God said: Let us form man in our image. The world says: We must conform man in our image. The Devil said: I will deform man by sin. Education says: Let us inform man by knowledge. Society says: We will reform man by culture. Only Christ says: I will transform man by My great love and by My death on the cross.[1])

B. He accomplished through one offering what millions of gallons of animal blood had never been able, nor would ever be able, to do. He paid the full redemption price for all those who would call on Him by faith, Heb. 10:10-14; Heb. 9:12; 25-28.

 

(Ill. For many years in the marketplace of Rotterdam, Holland, stood an old corner house known as "the house of a thousand terrors." In the sixteenth century King Philip II of Spain ruled over Holland. In his barred of the Dutch, he tortured, maimed, imprisoned, and exiled thousands. When the people rose up in defiance, he sent a Spanish army under the Duke of Alva to put down the rebellion.

The city of Rotterdam held out valiantly for some while, and then finally fell before the Spanish army The victors went from house to house, ferreting out the citizens, then slaying them wholesale in their houses. In one house a group of men, women and children huddled together, a thousand terrors gripping their hearts as the Spanish soldiers approached.

Suddenly a young man had an idea. Taking a young goat belonging to the premises, he killed it, and then with a broom swept its blood under the door of the house. Then they waited breathlessly as footsteps approached. Soon the Spaniards were bartering at the door. Then they heard one of them say "Look at the blood running under the door. Come away, men, the work here is already done!"

A little later the army withdrew, allowing a band of thankful people to emerge, safe and sound. They lived because a goat had died.)

 

C. Hallelujah! It was the blood of a little lamb that caused the death angel to pass over the children of Egypt down in Egypt, Ex. 12. It was the blood of bulls, goats, calves, pigeons, and turtledoves that atoned for the sins of Israel for many hundreds of years. But, it is the blood of Jesus, and only the blood of Jesus, that washes away the stains of sin and makes man a new creature! It is only the blood of Jesus that can save a lost sinner and make him into a saint of God! Only the blood of the Lamb of God can do that, 1 Pet. 1:18-19!

(Ill. Many days ago in Detroit, Michigan, the well-known evangelist, Dr. Charles Finney, preached on the text "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin", I John 1:7. After the service a stranger asked Dr. Finney to walk home with him. Advised against it by church officials who knew the man, Dr Finney went with him anyway.

Ushering the preacher into the rear of a building, the stranger locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and said, “Don't be afraid. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to ask a few questions. Do you believe what you preached tonight?

Dr. Finney said, "I most certainly do."

The man continued, "We're in the back of a saloon. I'm sole proprietor. Mothers come in here, lay their babies on the counter, and beg me not to sell liquor to their husbands. I turn a deaf ear to their cry. We see to it when a man leaves here he's well under the influence. More than one night, a man leaving here has been killed by the express at the tracks. Dr. Finney, tell me, can God forgive a man like me?"

Dr Finney replied, "I have but one authority the Word of God which says, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin.'"

"But that's not all,' added the man. "In another room we run a gambling hall. If a man doesn't spend all his money on liquor, we bring him back here and with marked cards see to it that he's fleeced out of his last dollar we send him home penniless to a hungry family Dr. Finney, I'm sole owner. Tell me honestly can God forgive a man with a heart like that?"

Again Dr Finney replied, "I have hut one authority, the Word of God which says, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin.'"

The man spoke again. "That's not all. Across the street is my home where live my wife and little daughter. Neither one has had a kind word from me for five years. Their bodies bear marks of my brutal attacks. Dr Finney, do you think God could forgive a man with a heart like that?"

Dr Finney's head lowered. His eyes filled with tears as he said, "My friend, you have painted one of the darkest pictures I have ever gazed on, but I still have one authority which says, 'The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.'"

The man opened the door, ushered the preacher into the night, and did not leave that room till daybreak. He did not leave until he had ripped up decks of cards and poured the contents of beer and liquor bottles down the sink. After he was finished, he locked the saloon and crossed the street, entered his house and sat down in the living room.

His little girl called, “Daddy, Mother says breakfast is ready." When he answered his little girl kindly she ran back to her mother, "Daddy spoke kind to me! Something is the matter!" The mother followed her little girl to the living room. The man beckoned them both. Taking one on each knee, he explained to their amazement that they had a new husband and daddy He ended, "I'm done with that business across the street!" The man later became a member, then an official in a leading Detroit church. When asked to tell how his life was changed, he would reply "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin.")

 

D. The people of the Lord need not fear sin, Satan or the sentence imposed on sin, because Jesus defeated the power of sin; the prince of darkness and the He eliminated the penalty on sin. Jesus entered death of His Own free will. He stepped into death, and in the moment of His greatest weakness, He forever conquered all the enemies of the soul!

 

III. HE IS THE RESURRECTED ONE

A. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; - Again, Jesus uses a divine title to describe Himself. He says “I am the Living One.” This title was used by the ancient Jews to distinguish Jehovah from the false gods of the heathen. They were dead wood, stone and metal; Jehovah is the self-existent, eternal One!

B. Jesus did something no one else has ever done: He entered death in His Own time and in His Own way, having accomplished every thing He came to this earth to do and then He walked out of Death when He was ready, John 10:17-18.

He died on the cross and then He rose again from the dead, Matt. 28:1-6. Thank God, “He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He live! He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!

C. Would you like to know what the greatest miracle of the redemption story is? The greatest miracle is not that Jesus rose again from the dead. After all, “The Living One would be hard to hold in a tomb. The greatest miracle is that God would enter humanity; live among men; suffer the agony of the cross and the “taste death for every men, Heb. 2:9. The greatest miracle of the redemption story is God in human flesh “reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 2 Cor. 5:19. The greatest miracle is that God “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, Phil. 2:8.

D. The people of the Lord need not fear death, for Jesus has conquered it for them.

 

IV. HE IS THE REMAINING ONE

A. I am alive for evermore Jesus proclaims Himself to be the One Who will never taste death again! He lives and He will live forever!

 

(Ill. The Cities of Refuge – The person who fled to the City of Refuge for protection was allowed to stay in that city until the High Priest died, Num. 35:25. He was absolutely safe and protected; his life was bound up with that of the High Priest. Folks, those who have fled to Jesus for refuge enjoy safety and protection for as long as Jesus, our High Priest, shall live, Heb. 7:25. Since He will never die again, we have absolute, eternal security, John 10:28-29; John 6:37-40!)

 

B. When every ruler and every subject has faded from the fabric of the ages; when every rich man and every poor man has been erased from the memory of time; when every kingdom and every deed has been forever diluted by the stream of history; Jesus Christ will still be Lord and He will still be God. He is the remaining One! Don’t worry about something happening to Him! When the dust of time has been swept away into the vast dustbin of eternity, Jesus will still be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! That ought to bring comfort to every child of God and strike terror into the heart of every demon and sinner.

C. The people of the Lord need not fear life, for Jesus is alive; He is with them and He is ever taking thought for them.

 

V. HE IS THE RELEASING ONE

A. I…have the keys of hell and of death Keys speak of access and authority. I have keys right here. Because I possess the keys, I have access to the things connected with the keys. Because I have those keys, I can go places others are not allowed to go. The same is true with Jesus!

B. Jesus Christ decides all the issues of life and death. He determines who lives and who dies. Because Jesus entered death and conquered it, He possesses the keys of death. Because He entered the place where the dead reside and walked out again, He holds the keys of Hell. Jesus is the Key Man! He is a good Man to know! The word “hell in this verse is the Greek word hades. It does not refer to the place of punishment, but to the realm of the dead. You see, death is the condition and Hell is the place and Jesus holds the keys to both!

Jesus Christ possesses the keys to every tomb, graveyard and burial place in the universe. He knows where every body, every bone, every ash and every bit of dust lies on this earth.

One day, Jesus will open all the graves. His people will rise again and join Him in His glory, John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:13-18. Praise the Lord, we do not have to worry about our loved ones who die in Him!

However, those who have died in their sins will also come out of their graves one day; but they will face Jesus in judgment, Rev. 20:11-15; John 5:29b.

Friends, it pays to know Jesus Christ! He is the Key Man! Because I know Him, I cannot go to Hell, He has locked the door! Because I know Him, I can go to Heaven; He has unlocked the gates of that city for His children.

C. Did you know that He holds the keys to every grave in the world? He is able to raise your loved ones from the dead, 1 Thes. 4:13-18. Did you know that He has unlocked the door between life and death all His people? When I reach the end of life, I will be able to step out of this earthly life into that heavenly life because He has already opened the door, 2 Cor. 5:1-8.

D. The people of the Lord need not fear eternity, for Jesus holds the keys of death and hell. He is in control of all the issues of life and death.

 

Conc: When Jesus appeared to John on Patmos, John was overcome by the presence and appearance of the Lord and He fainted dead away. The Lord, in grace and mercy, laid His hand on John and said “Fear not.” This phrase is in a tense that means “Stop being afraid and don’t ever fear again!

If you know Jesus, you do not have to fear life, death, sin, Satan, or eternity. If you know Jesus, you know “the Prince of Peace. And the Prince of Peace can drive away all fear.

Maybe you have some fears you would like for Him to put to rest today. You can bring them to Him and you can find the help you need, Matt. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7. Maybe you are dealing with the greatest fear of all. Maybe you are wondering what will happen to you when you die. Jesus can give you peace in that area today. Maybe your life is filled with more questions than answers. If there is a need for peace on any level, Jesus can give that to you today. He can take your fears and transform them all into fear nots.

 



[1] Adapted from: http://elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+292

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