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The Serpent Crusher V: Restoration
a. The Four fold Division of the Bible
i. Creation – Gen. 1 & 2
ii. Fall – Gen. 3 – 11
iii. Redemption – Gen. 12 – Revelation 20
iv. Restoration – Revelation 21 – 22
b. Throughout the Book of Revelation we are told of Satan’s defeat
i. The message to the seven churches “To the one who conquers”
ii. Rev. 6:12-17; 11:15; 12:12; 19:11-16; 20:11-15
iii. Now we enter into the eternal state after the destruction of Satan and all that he brought into the world .
a. How does the Book of Revelation draw our attention to Christ? If the whole Book is about Christ how does this fit in? – It is the work of the cross that gets the restoration accomplished. This has been strongly referred to throughout the Revelation (5:9-10; 7:13-17; 11:15-18; 12:10-11;17;14;
b. Hope – Where there is no hope there is no life … And the Book of Revelation is about hope. Hang on. Conquer. There is a better world coming.
3. 21:5 All Things New
a. 21:1 – a new heaven and new earth
i. This takes us right back to the Garden. God is creating again. This time it will not be spoiled
ii. The old had passed away – Jesus said they would
iii. The first were corrupted by the fall – this reminds us of the devastating results of the fall. The lion will lie down with the lamb, swords shall be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, war shall not be studied anymore…
b. “No more sea”
i. see 13:1 The sea is where evil comes from. (Evolution maintains that we all came from the sea – a good theological point for it to make.)
ii. see 4:6 – the sea in the current heaven separates man from God and the point in the new dwelling place of the saints is that God and man are completely reconciled and there is now nothing between them – see verse 3.
c. 21:2 – the new Jerusalem –
i. this is the church. We know it is the church because it is the bride adorned to meet her husband. It is not a piece of geography. It is a people.
(1) eg. The rest of Canada hates Toronto. It is the city the country loves to hate. I grew up hating it, even though I cheered for the Leafs… . But it is not a piece of geography that the country hates. It hates what it perceives to be the arrogance of the people who live here.
(2) See the New Jerusalem in verses 10-11 and compare 4:1-3. The point? The new Jerusalem is where God lives and the new Jerusalem is the people of God the bride of Christ. God dwells in us. There is no longer any separation. God and man are reunited.
d. Well, there can hardly be a Baptist there then can there.
i. Dear ones, are you tired? Are you tired of fighting the same old sins? Are you tired of the temptations that never cease to come at you? Are you tired of losing battles? Are you tired of opposition and disagreement and failure and trying to do better and people not responding to the Gospel and… and … and . Jesus is going to make all things new. The old struggles will be gone and the fatigue and the failure and the inner turmoil and the sin and the doubts. It will all be removed and replaced with what is new. And it will not just be new. It will be flawless and eternally thrilling and never tiring and always fresh… . Hear this: Isaiah 65:17-25.
(1) Dear Christian, what does that do to your heart? Does that not thrill your soul? But know this – this is for you. But this text should not be new to you if you have been a Christian for four years or more. Get into this Book and see what God is planning to do for the faithful and pray that God will use it to conform you more and more into the image of Christ. Keep your hope ever in front of you. Feed your mind and soul with the promises of God like the ones in Isaiah and Revelation. THIS is what it means to have Christ crush the serpent for you.
4. Fellowship with God.
a. The fellowship that was lost in the fall is restored in the eternal state. 21:3, 7, 19 (see 4:3), 22; 22:3f, 20)
i. We saw a foretaste of this as the essence of the eternal state in Genesis 5 – Enoch walked with God and God took him …
ii. Rev. 3:20
iii. See Lev. 26 – If the people of Israel obey the Law of God then God will walk with them. Of course they do not keep the Law and they are punished – but God will have communion with His children so He sends His Son into the world to do what the Law could not – bring people into real fellowship with God. But even now our fellowship is not all that it should be. But God is not done yet. He is coming and He will destroy all the work of the evil one who caused our fellowship with God to be broken. We shall have perfect fellowship with our God – See I John 3:1-3
iv. 21:3 – the dwelling place of God is with men – fellowship with God – see 21:7;
v. This is what was lost in the fall
(1) A&E are cast out of the Garden. They no longer enjoy the sweet fellowship that they had in the garden. This will be restored.
(2) This reminds us of God calling out in the garden – “where are you?” And that is what God has been calling out ever since.
(a) And the Good Shepherd searches for His sheep until He finds it
(b) He came to seek and to save that which was lost
(c) The woman seeks for her coin until she finds it
(d) God is sought by people who did not seek Him Isaiah 65:1-10
(e) See Ezekiel 48:35 – the name of the temple is “The LORD is there”. This is the glory of what we are seeing here. The fellowship broken is going to be restored. We shall be with Him and glory of glories we shall be like Him (and therefore we shall purify ourselves now)
5. 21:7-8 – For Conquerors
a. 21:7 – The one who conquers will have this heritage. This is why this Book was written. The serpent is going ot be totally and ultimately defeated. Don’t you surrender now because of a few momentary troubles. – dear Christian. Remember what God has promised you (See II Peter 1:3-4). Remember what God has said to you. Do not allow the horrors of this life ot take your eyes off Christ. Don’t let the temptations and ingratitude of others and the lack of fruit … make you think it is all a waste of time. If all you do in this life is keep your heart from evil and your lips from telling lies then you have done much. Don’t you give up. Don’t you quit. See here what awaits those who remain faithful and who conquer. “Aw Pastor I am no conqueror” Yes, dear one you are. Conquering is not quitting.
i. When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
The only problem with the poem is that it does not go beyond this life for the reason you shouldn’t quit. The Christian hope is this – even if you don’t see the reward of your efforts here – it is worth the fight. The Book of Revelation tells us of those who died in the struggle. They never saw the reward in this life. Here we struggle seeking to convince people of their need for Christ, seeking to get husbands to come to church, seeking to get people out to pray, to give their money, to join a Bible study group – and it all seems so fruitless. What’s the point? The point, dear ones is that no work done for God will be forgotten by Him and even if it did not produce the fruit you were hoping for it will please the God who gave it to you to do and you shall have a reward that will make you wonder why you ever thought that it was not worth it.
b. Victory is for conquerors. Note well who does not get in on the victory that Jesus brings – 21:8. Don’t claim to know Christ and be in the winner’s circle with Him if verse 8 describes you.
i. Cowardly – hear Jesus in
(1) Mark 8:38 (ESV) For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
(2) Luke 9:26 (ESV) For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
(3) In light of all that this Book has told us about the kind of opposition that faces the followers of Jesus Christ, now we are told that if we run from it we are cowards and not fit for the kingdom of God. The ones who conquer are those who are contrasted with those of verse 8. The conquerors are not those who are cowardly, and faithless … .
ii. This is one the greatest concerns that I pray about daily and hope to see people overcome. And no matter how clearly I say it, it seems that there are still those who think that they are on their way to an eternity of peace with God because of some sort of faith that they maintain while all the time not being transformed by the power of the Gospel. You deny Christ when the topic of religion comes up at work. You haven’t enough courage to bow your head over your lunch to say thank-you for your food. There are people that you hate. You see yourself as number 1 even though you say that Jesus is. But the discontentment and selfish chasing after things, the rudeness, the lack of concern over sin … these all state loud and clear that God is not number 1 in your life – you are. You find no real satisfaction in Christ. There is no passion for Him, no chasing after to be more conformed to the image of Christ. Your wanters have never been made new.
iii. Some of you express your idolatry differently. You think you and God are tight because you are so good. “I am not immoral. I am not a liar. I am not hateful … . No, you are just an idolater, a person who won’t take himself off the throne that only God deserves to be on. You look down on a lost world. You love to see people fall because it shows just how holy you are. Nothing thrills your soul like a passage like this one because you know that you are better then that. And you manage to skip over the little part that says “idolaters”, because that is what you are. You worship yourself and you are so proud of your own righteousness. Like the Pharisee, you thank God that you are not like other men. The church is not under budget because of you. The church does not have holes in the wall because of your kids. … Idolatry. You know that when Jesus comes He is going to be very pleased with how much you got done for Him.
iv. No, those who conquer are those who trust a powerful grace and live for the praise of God’s glory and flee from what separates them from the joy filling fellowship with God that thrills their hearts. They say no to sin because they cannot imagine living out of fellowship with God. They live holy because they are filled with a power that enables them to do so. They are those who like Joseph of old say to sin “How can I do this thing and sin against God?”
6. Final Conclusions
a. This series of messages has been given so that you will have an understanding of the plot line of the Bible. It was preached so that when you read individual portions of the Scriptures you will be able to relate them to the overall purpose of the Scriptures that we have been looking at these six weeks. If we finish this series and do not look into the Scriptures and study them and pray them in and seek to see how the parts fit into the whole then you have wasted your time coming here these six weeks. People often complain that they cannot remember what the preaching was about … but dear ones listen. In order to get something out you must work it in. Are you reading your Bibles? Are you studying them? Are you asking the text questions and finding that the text has such answers?
b. How does this apply to us? This message is so good and so necessary that we ought to be telling others. The world needs to hear the Gospel from us. It needs to see it in us. They need to see us living such godly lives in their midst that they ask us about the hope that is in us. And you know what? They are not in here. The culture is changed. People do not flock to churches on Sunday. It is easy to look holy in here. But the world needs to interact with committed Christians everyday. This church should be here to help you do that. We haven’t done that very well. But we need to start. We need to be sending missionaries out of this building every Sunday. But if we are not smitten with Christ then we will not be the witnesses Christ calls us to be. Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments”. If you love me. That means that the reason we are not living more Christlike lives in the world is because we do not love Jesus as we ought. Consider what we saw here this morning. This is what Jesus has prepared for you. He did it because He loves you. There are others that He did it for too and He calls us to love lives of missionary zeal in their presence. …