Revelation is a book of hope. It’s a word from God to his church to remain faithful, seek wisdom and patiently endure the trials that Christians will face living in the world. The hope that we have is that Jesus has come to us, saved us, and He will secure us in the storms of life for God’s ultimate purpose. Some of these storms will come in the form of other people and worldly systems who do not know the love of God and God’s kingly authority in all things. They will seek to humiliate and marginalise people of faith but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Neither should Jesus’ ultimate victory. God has a plan and he is at work in the world for good. So let our Hallelujahs resound. Jesus is Lord.
Have a listen to this great encouragement from our June CUSundayNight service from Mike Potter!
Jesus speaks tenderly and boldly to us. He loves us where we are and yet calls us out of ourselves in triumphant suffering love. In John’s Gospel Jesus said “In the world you will have trouble and suffering but take heart, I have overcome the world”. If Jesus has overcome then He calls his church to overcome the world through trust and obedience to him. It is important that our hearts are encouraged because Jesus also reveals the evil spiritual influences behind our trouble and suffering in the book of Revelation. Being forewarned is forearmed. Jesus is Lord, our protector and our commander in the battle of life.
Why do we celebrate Pentecost? Is it because it is ancient history, relating back to when the Jews left Egypt, or something that happened 2000 years ago?
Or are we celebrating the Holy Spirit bringing the amazing truth of God’s love and plan, the reality of the strange work of Jesus which has changed the human situation, which transformed you and me, and continually changes and empowers us today.
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.
Have a listen to this great encouragement from our May CUSundayNight service from Adi Francis!
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.