Today I came across my sermon outline (or one draft of it) and thought I would share the notes for anyone interested in studying the passage more or seeing what I preached on 12/29/13. It was the final sermon in our church’s advent series.
Revelation 21:9-27 Outline:
Dear Desire of Every Nation, Joy of Every Longing Heart.
Big Idea: Future hope sustains through present struggles.
• Future hope sustains us through present struggles.
• Our hope just around the corner is God’s presence dwelling with his purified people in his perfect place forever.
• Saying yes to this future promise helps us say no to the power and pleasure offered here.
Point 1: The Bride’s Beauty (The Bride’s Purity)
Rev. 21:9 (Rev 17-18, 19, 21)
The beauty of the bride has more appeal than the seductions of the harlot.
OT & NT imagery of a bride (Is 54:5; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)
Revelation imagery of bride (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17)
The Bride is the people (and a city) 21:2, 9
The Bride is contrasted with the Prostitute. Rev 17:1-6 (Rev 17-18)
John (& the angel) is using these images to show us two ways to live and the two fates of all people.
Jim Hamilton: “We need to be convinced that it is better to live for the Lamb than for the beast, with the pure bride than with the nasty whore, for eternal things rather than the temporary, to please God and not enrage him, to enter his city rather than being thrown in the lake of fire.”
• Dave Ramsey’s line: “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else” can be similarly applied in the area of holiness for exiles. Saying no to the illegitimate pleasures of this world is saying yes to the greater and legitimate pleasures of the world to come.
- Do not give up under pressures or give in to the pleasures from the world.
- Saying no now is always saying yes to something greater to come.
- The bride wasn’t always pure and beautiful but is made so in Christ. The bride’s present imperfections shouldn’t distract from her future perfection.
- Our longing are fulfilled not in the arms of the prostitute (world) but in the arms of Christ
Point 2: The City’s Splendor (The City’s Perfection)
The splendor of the city to come surpasses the allurements of this earth.
It’s a physical city (21:2, 10)
It’s beautiful (21:11, 18-21)
It’s complete (21:12-14, 15-17)
It’s perfect (21:22-25)
It’s home (22:5)
It’s God’s place (21:22-22:5)
• My failure as a husband to prepare a place for my bride in my bachelor’s pad.
• When I think of the earth I think of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Everything will pop with the glory of God. It will be a jam-packed with pleasures and gifts not as competition to God but as avenues to God.
• We might not be able to enjoy all the things we’d hoped for here (vacations, nice stuff, fulfillment) but all those thing are awaiting the bride in the city to come. We can give up some things here if we get everything there.
• One of our greatest temptations today (world, America, Indy) is becoming so comfortable and happy here that we think this is our home. We build lives as if our safety, security, comfort, leisure, and luxury is supposed to be maximized here instead of living as if we can give up things and risk everything now because we get all those things forever.
• The goodness of creation points us to the glory we will experience in the new earth. The brokenness of creation points us to a renewed earth, resurrected bodies, and reconciled relationships where fulfillment is experienced.
Point 3: The Lamb’s Glory (The Lamb’s Presence)
Rev 21:22-27 (21:22-22:5)
The glory of the Lamb outshines the heaviest darkness.
The Lamb’s presence with his people (22)
First advent: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)
Second advent: The Lamb is the temple and he dwells among his people (Rev. 21:22)
The Lamb’s glory among his people (23-26)
First advent: The magi from the east bring their treasures to the King of the Jews (Matt 2:1-12)
Second advent: The nations & kings bring their wealth & glory to the King of the world (Rev. 21:24-26)
• The relationship between first and second advent, minor but not complete fulfillment. It is the appetizer preparing us for the meal, the trailer drawing us into the full-length film.
• The longing to be known is fulfilled in God’s presence. His presence satisfies us and his glory stirs us now, and one day His presence and glory will fully complete us.
• God sees, and he knows. One of the hard things about the trials and the pain in this life is that we feel alone and we sometimes feel like God doesn’t see, doesn’t know, or doesn’t care. Isaiah 25:6-9 is the prophecy of a people in exile waiting on their God and one day seeing his face and receiving their salvation.
You can listen to the full audio here.