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Fear Not, I Am the First and the Last

By Joe Boot/ December 21, 2014

Series  Advent 2014: God with Us

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Salvation

Scripture  Revelation 1

Jesus inaugurated a new kingdom which would convulse all of history. We are empowered with strength for tomorrow, knowing that the government is upon His shoulders.

Scripture:  Revelation 1

Sermon Notes:

  1. We live in a time when men’s hearts are failing them for fear of economic collapse, Islamic terror, a new cold war, deadly diseases, climate apocalypse, aging, and death.
  2. In a world of fear, Jesus declares, Fear Not, I am the Living One… the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8, 17).
  3. The identity of Jesus is that of being “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).
  4. Christ is judge and emperor over the whole universe (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).
  5. There’s a connection between the kingdom of God and the tribulation of God’s people.  The sovereign Lord enters history as a king who demands universal loyalty. Families and nations are divided by their response to His reign. 
  6. Kingly authority is represented by a sword.  A sword comes out of the mouth of King Jesus (Rev. 1:16).
  7. Although the message of the gospel is “peace on earth, good will to men” (Luke 2:14), it does not immediately bring social peace among men (Matt 10:34).
  8. God’s Word is the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17) which when it goes forth always accomplishes God’s purposes (Heb 4:12; Isaiah 55:11).
  9. John was considered a danger to society on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
  10. John was on Patmos because of the direct challenge the proclamation of Jesus means for earthly political powers.
  11. The sword which brings tribulation also brings victory in Jesus.
  12. Both church and state are under the jurisdiction of Christ.
  13. History has been shaken ever since by the uneasy relationship between church and state.
  14. The church is responsible to declare that Jesus is King.
  15. Jesus inaugurated a new kingdom which would convulse all of history. He scatters the proud and raises up the lowly (cf. Luke 1:46-55).
  16. Everything that can be shaken, is shaken by the power of the resurrection. 
  17. Don’t expect to be warmly received and celebrated for declaring Christ’s universal reign.  God’s Word still divides men, families and nations.
  18. There’s nothing more final than death and hell; but Christ has conquered both.
  19. Jesus’ earthly ministry involved restoring creation by His resurrection life.  The power of evil is broken so righteousness can take its place.
  20. We’re empowered with strength for tomorrow, knowing that the government is upon His shoulders (Is. 9:6-7).

Application Questions:

  1. What is the extent and jurisdiction of Jesus’ reign? 
  2. How does Revelation portray Jesus’ relationship to political authorities?
  3. Why does Christ’s reign divide families and bring conflict?
  4. What is the impact of Christ’s reign according to Mary’s exaltant song in Luke 1:46-55?
  5. What is the sword that comes from Jesus’ mouth in Rev. 1:16, and what is its function?
  6. Why was John on Patmos?  Why did Herod try to Kill Jesus?  What should we expect as servants of Jesus?
  7. In all the shakings of history, are we going to put our trust in the King of kings or the ideas of men?
  8. How does assurance of the universal reign of Christ affect the courage and optimism within the church?