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A Vision of Beauty

• Greg Boyd

Everyone believes the world will one day come to an end; however, we disagree on how, when and why. In this sermon, Greg begins the series on Revelation and shows us three things to keep in mind when reading the book of Revelation.

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Everyone believes that the world will one day come to an end. Many Christians use the book of Revelation as a roadmap for the end of the world. They see it as a literal interpretation of the future. However, this isn’t the reason that the book of Revelation was written. It was written for a specific time and place, and for a specific reason. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about this book and what it means to the Kingdom.

We need to understand that the book of Revelation is a thing of beauty and not to be feared. Whenever we hear about the end of the world, or hear that a book portends the end of the world, it can cause people anxiety and fear. But the book of Revelation is a thing of beauty. It was written to the Kingdom to tell them about God’s work on Earth and how we should persevere. Revelation was written so that people would act in the here and now, instead of worrying about the future. Today, we have three things to focus on as we start this study.

First, the people of God are called to trust God. Many people have turned to others to help predict the future because we feel it gives us power. The Bible uniformly condemns the use of divination, which is tapping into the spiritual world to foretell the future. When we think we need to have some sort of eye into the future, it shows a lack of trust in God. Jesus said don’t worry about tomorrow. So, trust God.

Second, our job is not to figure out the future but to be passionate disciples of Jesus now. God is the great I AM who is always present with us. He’s not waiting in the past or future. He’s actively at work today. To dwell in the future means that we will miss God now. Live for God with all your heart now and the future will take care of itself.

Finally, Revelation should not motivate us with fear but with beauty. If you take all the symbols of the book literally, it can be quite fearsome. Many people dying, darkness, and destruction pervade the pages of this letter. But the book of Revelation is a book of good news more than anything else. So, never let fear be your motivator.

As we begin this series on Revelation, it’s important to keep these three things in mind. They will be our guide as we read and learn from Revelation. This picture of beauty is something we can trust and never fear. We only ask that people keep an open mind as this isn’t the common understanding of Revelation in modern, Christian circles.

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Topics: Controversial Issues, End Times, Fear

Sermon Series: Rescuing Revelation


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Focus Scripture:

  • Revelation 1:1-4

    1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

    3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.

    4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia...

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8 thoughts on “A Vision of Beauty

    Dave Pritchard says: Tuesday March 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    What a great message!!! I can’t wait for this series!!!

    Yes, living in the present moment is everything as we are immersed into the “Zoe-Life” that comes from our Father, allowing us to love and forgive others with a genuine power and affection. An Inaugurated eschatology pans this out in which God is building His family for the future – forgiven person by forgiven person over the centuries through a marvelous anakainosis process! But…… looking forward to the culmination of that future though, through particular parts of Revelation – (21:1- 7) for example, does provide for and ground our hope in, the ultimate outcome of our Eternal Life in Christ. Our palingenesia crescendo will be awesome beyond the ability of words to describe as we enter the New Heavens and the New Earth to be with our Savior face to face forever!!!

    Imagine for a moment stunning five-mile high waterfalls flowing crystalline blue and gold, flowers that bloom evermore beautiful on the hour along with magnificent sunsets that glow with flames of radiant color in the sky with an unending warmth and glorious vivacity as the sweet smell of jasmine and orange blossoms fills the air. Fireflies begin to dance just above the cool grass in the early evening as children play singing songs and clapping their hands in a joyful rhythm while birds and animals of all kinds, peacefully commingle with one another. There are trees so heavy-laden with fruit their branches are bending! You can hear celebration and singing in the distance, a beautiful chorus –you’ve just got to join in. Our Lord is there and greets us with a smile and a big hug and says, “Come quick, I’ve got a special place at the table for you – wait till you taste the pumpkin pie – it’s outta this world!!!!!!!”

    These are the new physics of Heaven, which will be on Earth – an “Eden” reborn where Gods sustaining love, power and light permeates every molecule, atom and subatomic string of this incredibly beautiful Resurrected Creation and we’re going to be a part of it!!!!! We can hold this in our hearts and minds now as we allow The Holy Spirit to take our imaginations there! The only “crystal ball” that we’ll ever need, will be the one that our Father in heaven is preparing for us!
    Maranatha!!!!

    Reply
    Adrienne says: Tuesday March 4, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I am excited for this series! Is there a more specific reference for the “scholarly literature” mentioned in this service?

    Reply
    Jill says: Wednesday March 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Great message! Thank you for your passionate teaching which I have not seen anywhere else.

    Also, form 8 years old on I always had so many thoughts like you mentioned in the beginning of your sermon; how did we come about, how is it I’m me, and my Mom is herself and my friends are themselves, and we aren’t anybody else but who we are with entirely different brains etc. and how can it be we die and this unique person we all are just goes away, and on and on. It’s nice that many years later I’m not the only one who thought this way. You make me think I wasn’t all that crazy:-)

    Reply
    Nate says: Thursday March 6, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you for this sermon — looking forward to the rest of the series!

    Reply
    Loree says: Friday March 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I guess we could say that the scientific community is calling God a “pin-head.” Ha .. sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Reply
    Kathy D. says: Saturday March 8, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Like others, I am exited for this series, too, thank you for doing it. Good message. I am an eternal animal welfare person who thinks of scripture as it relates to all flesh. I am curious about John’s message in the Revelation as it pertains to “destroying those who destroy the earth.”

    What in your opinion does this mean?

    Thank you. Again as always, enjoyed the message. Refreshing to hear this view of the book.

    Reply

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