Sermon & Small Group Resources
This is the first sermon in our series looking at ‘Postcards from Paradise’ from Revelation. Preacher: The Rev’d Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: Revelation 1:9-19
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BIBLE READING: Revelation 1:9-19
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
CONNECT: What are some ‘applications’ that you can take from our 1 Thessalonians series that will help you live in preparation for Jesus’ return?
What has your approach to the book of Revelation been in the past? (e.g., avoided it, obsessed over it, were confused by it, loved it, or something else!?)
What are the common ways that you prepare for Christmas? How could you use this period to help you better prepare for Jesus’ return?
READ Revelation 1:7-8
Whose ‘revelation’ is this? What do you think are the common approaches to the book of Revelation?
Have you ever treated Revelation as a code book to be deciphered? Why is this not very helpful?
What is significant about the promise that Jesus will return? How will his return be distinctive to his first coming to earth as a baby?
Have you ever worried about missing Jesus’ return? Why should we not be worried about this?
Why will people mourn? Why is it actually good news that Jesus will return to judge justly?
READ 1 Thessalonians 1:9-16
What two aspects of identity (from Daniel 7) are being merged together in this picture of Jesus? Why is this so important?
What do you think of the image of Jesus that is described in this section? Do you think you ever are in danger of having a ‘distant’ or ‘domesticated’ view of Jesus?
How can we consistently maintain a clearer and truer picture of who Jesus is in our lives?
How extensive does Jesus’ power appear to be? What is the significance of this?
READ Revelation 1:17-20
Why do you think John falls as though dead? Do you think this is the natural reaction? Why or why not?
What is meant by Jesus holding the keys? What are the implications for us? Why can we not be afraid?
What are the ways in which Jesus makes it clear that he is alive and has conquered death? What is the significance of repeating this truth over and over again?
If Jesus is omnipotent (i.e., all powerful) and imminent (i.e., present) why should we not be afraid?
APPLY This Week: How can you use advent to practically prepare for Jesus’ return?
Almighty God, thank you that you hold the keys over death and that by trusting in you that we can have confidence of life forever. Please help us to have a clearer and more truthful view of Jesus. Please help us to live in great anticipation of his return. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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