Friday, June 30, 2017

EMA Day 3: Closing Sermon - Vaughan Roberts - Rev 11:1-13 - The God Who Sends

Closing sermon – Vaughan Roberts – The God Who Sends – Revelation 11:1-13

A missionary summary, a brief period of service, 2 missionaries who serve for 3.5 yrs, who then lie unburied and are raised

Visual symbols

A series of 7s – 7 letters in ch 2 & 3, 7 churches, an appeal to persevere, endure faithfully to the end

4:1 – trailblazing of what is to happen – chapters 4 & 5 two foundational visions

A throne in heaven with someone sitting on it – the sovereignty of God

The lamb who was slain – a saving God

A context of victory, conquest

7 seals

Suffering & security

7 trumpets – wake up calls, delay, 7th trumpet

Ch 11 – the church in the last days – a delay, an opportunity for a gospel call to go out

These 2 representing the whole church – lampstands represent the churches

Jesus sent the disciples out 2 by 2, 2 witnesses required in a law court

The church in the age of gospel proclamation & mission

We are missionaries. What should we expect? What would Jesus say to us as he commissions us?

(1) You will suffer

OT imagery – Ezekiel 40-48 – new temple imagery – 1 Pt 2 – church as temple

Measuring a sign of ownership, commitment, plans cf. Measuring up a new house

Gentiles standing for the world in opposition to X

42 months – Daniel 12 – tribulation – 3.5 yrs – 42 stages of journey to promised land

A long time but not for ever – the same as the period of mission

Proclamation and persecution together

The experience of the church parallels the experience of X – despised, rejected, opposed, killed

Today we are regarded not just as repressed for holding to traditional biblical morality but repressive

(2) You are not alone

Don’t despair!

V4 – olive trees provide oil to keep the lamp burning

The witness of these prophets will never go out. There is a constant supply of power.

V5 – Jeremiah 5:14 – words like fire

V6 – Elijah and Moses in a context where they were largely rejected, but powerful – no rain for 3.5 yrs

Water into blood, plagues (Moses)

Mt 18:18 – power in what is said, authority to preach the gospel, to announce the gospel, the response to which will have eternal consequences

The preaching of the gospel might seem weak but its powerful – God’s word never returns empty. It always brings judgement or salvation

(3) You won’t regret it

V11 – Is it worth it? Take the long view. We share in X’s cross; we will share in his resurrection (v12)

Cf. The resurrection of the church in China, Cambodia, Iran

John Patten who went to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific. An old man said to him, “Don’t do, you’ll be eaten by cannibals.” / “you’ll be eaten by worms. If I can serve X, it will make no difference whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms”

Elijah – 7000 remnant that did not bow the knee to Baal

Give glory to the God of heaven – saved?

A vast numberless multitude

D L Moody mission to Cambridge – mockery but then many saved, Guildhall packed, “My God, this is enough to live for”

Yes, ministry is tough, there is suffering, but you are not alone and you wont regret it. My power is with you.

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