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HOPE As We Look Forward – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2023 3:00 pm

HOPE As We Look Forward – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Anne Graham Lotz

Here's Anne Graham Lotz. In part one, Anne explained what the Apostle John saw when he had a vision of the throne room in heaven. And today, she'll look at the scroll and the lamb found in Revelation chapter 5.

Now, let's join Anne. In Revelation chapter 4 and 5 speaks of the worthiness of Jesus. He's worthy, absolutely supreme as Lord of Lords, totally sufficient as the lion and the lamb.

The glory of God is His character, the glory of God emanating from Jesus. His supremacy is revealed not only by the position that He holds, seated on the throne, but by His presence on the throne. And His presence is revealed by His mercy. You serve Him with excellence.

The third characteristic I see of His presence, His activity. Surely if He's King, seated on the throne of your heart, you'll be doing something for Him. And His authority, you serve Him with excellence.

There's no mediocrity in your service when He's King of your heart. When He's King of your heart, there's activity, no apathy, complacency, and there's purity, no immorality, no sinfulness at all. And yes, oh my goodness, I don't want to sin, I try not to sin, but I sin. And so I confess my sin and ask the Lord to cleanse me of this. So in His presence, when He's King of your heart, there should be no conscious sin, no deliberate sin, no willful sin.

In fact, 1 John says, if you're sinning willfully and deliberately and intentionally, then He doubts you even know Jesus. I long for the day when I see Him in His absolute supremacy and the whole universe acknowledging that He's King of kings and Lord of lords and seated on the throne at the center of the universe. And in the meantime, I'm throwing Him as King of my heart, absolutely supreme in my life.

Would you do the same? In chapter 5, it describes Him as being totally sufficient as the Lion of Judah and the Lamb. Verse 1, then I saw, so when is that? It's after John has been given this glimpse into the throne room of heaven, so he's described to you the throne room and what's going on and what he sees, and now he just focuses right in. And he sees in verse 1, I saw on the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

And if I can just, just go with me for a moment. The one who's seated on the throne holding the scroll is God the Father. We know that from the context of this passage. And the scroll represents the title deed to planet Earth. Whoever possesses the scroll has the right to fulfill God's purpose for the human race and rule the world. And so God the Father is seated there holding that scroll with seven seals.

And then I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll? And he's asking who is worthy? But I can think of people who are willing. I think Klaus Schwab, who's head of the World Economic Forum, he would be willing. I think George Soros would be willing. I think President, former President Obama would be willing. I think President Xi of China would be willing.

I think Vladimir Putin would be willing. But that's not the question. The question is who is worthy to take the scroll, to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race? And then John says in verse three, but no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll and even look inside it. The entire universe was searched.

Every generation, every planet, every corner, every dark hole. No one was found who was worthy to open the scroll and break those seven seals. And John, you can imagine thinking Abraham, he wasn't worthy. He's the friend of God, but he wasn't worthy. And David, a man after God's own heart. And as they are one of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. And John the Baptist, who Jesus said was as great as any man who'd ever been born. Not Mary, the mother of Jesus. Not Peter, who took the gospel to the Gentiles. Not Paul, who was the greatest evangelist the world has ever known.

Not even John, who's recording this vision. No one was found who was worthy to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race. So John says in verses four and five, I wept and I wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. And I think John was weeping with shame for the human race.

Entire human race from Adam right on up to him. Not one found who was worthy to rule the world, fulfill God's purpose for the human race. And he was weeping with shame for himself because he knew he wasn't worthy either. And you understand, no one was found who was worthy to take that scroll.

No one was found who was worthy to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race. You know what that means? That means in the end, the devil wins. That means in the end, evil triumphs. That means in the end, the cross is just a joke.

That means in the end, there's no purpose, there's no meaning, and we all just spin off into space. Paradise is lost forever. No wonder John wept. He's standing there with the tears just streaming down his weather-beaten face and down his long gray beard. And then one of the kings gets up from his throne and he comes over and wipes the tears from John's face. And he said, do not weep, John. See, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has triumphed.

He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. John, in all of the universe, there is one man and one only. And he's worthy to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race.

The lion of Judah and his name is Jesus. Praise God. He's unequaled in his position. No one else is able to rule. So let me ask you, if he's the only one who is able to rule the universe and to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race, why would you think he's not able to rule your life? Why would we submit our lives to any other Lord?

Why would we think we know better that we can handle ourselves and our families and our business better than he can? There is one man who's able and his name is Jesus. So when you put him on the throne of your heart, he's unequaled in position.

He has no rivals. Absolutely the only one who's able to rule your life and enable you to fulfill God's purpose. You know that you were created for a purpose. The rulership, the lordship of Jesus in your life taking over that will enable you to fulfill that purpose.

He's unequaled in his position and he's undisputed in his power. Verse 6, then I saw a lamb. I mean the king just said it's the lion of Judah so he looks at where the king is pointing but he doesn't see a lion. He sees a lamb looking as if it had been slain because there were wounds on his brow where the thorns had been and wounds in his hands and feet where the nails had been. So down here people can mock the cross.

I saw some things at Halloween that just wanted me, I wanted to throw up at the blasphemy of what was done. And they can make fun of the cross or neglect the cross or say it's not necessary there are other ways to God but in heaven the memories of the cross are precious. The lamb is standing in the center of the throne. He's no longer hanging on a cross, he's got the scars in his brow and his hands and his feet but that lamb is no longer dead. He's alive, he's standing in the center of the throne and he's encircled by the four living creatures and the elders and the lamb had seven horns and seven eyes so don't freak out, okay? The seven horns, that's his omnipotence, that's his power, he's the almighty, remember? And seven eyes, that's his omniscience, he sees everything, he knows everything. And the seven spirits of God, that's his omnipresence, he fills the universe. So it's just a flowery prophetic way of describing who Jesus is and his omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. And look at this in verse seven, he went and he took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne, he just walked over, took the scroll, asserting his right to rule the world and fulfill God's purpose for the human race and nobody said, wait a minute. What do you think you're doing?

Who do you think you are? I think we need to discuss this, let's have a committee and we're gonna see who's the most qualified candidate or he just asserted his right to rule the world because he made the world at creation, he bought it at Calvary, he has the right to rule it. And so he just seizes that right and he's undisputed in his power, nobody lifts a voice against that. So aren't we ashamed when he's undisputed in his power in the whole universe and we have the gall to argue with him to try to tell him what to do. Tell him we think he didn't act quickly enough, he didn't act thoroughly enough, he didn't, you know, and we're resisting, pushing back, complaining, murmuring. He's on the throne of your heart, unequaled in his position, undisputed in his power.

You can talk to him about things, please don't misunderstand me. You watch his disciples, they could ask him questions, they didn't understand things, they talked to him about it. But with respect, not with push back, not arguing, like Peter did when Jesus said I'm going to the cross and he said, oh no, not you, I've got a better plan for your life. And Jesus said, Peter, Satan is speaking through you.

So he's unequaled in his position, undisputed in his power, unrivaled in praise, and I've just got to read through this, verse 8. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the lamb, each one had a harp. And the harp represents joy.

In the Old Testament, do you remember when Judah was taken off into captivity in Babylon? And the Babylonians came and said, sing us a song. And they said, we can't, we've hung up our harps on the willow tree. They had no song to sing, no joy. But right here, they got their harps back. And when Jesus is seated on the throne of your heart, there is joy.

Doesn't mean you just go around happy all the time, doesn't mean you don't suffer, doesn't mean you don't weep, but deep, deep down, there is joy because the joy is not in your circumstances, your joy is in Jesus. And they got their harps back. They were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people, prayers of God's saints. And I've wondered, what will be the last prayer that come into that bowl? And then he says, I've got enough, it's time to go back and start all this process. And I've wondered if everybody's prayer life was like mine.

Would we be several thousand years away from this moment? So every day I pray, O Lord Jesus, come. Come and take us to be with yourself. O Lord Jesus, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. And I know peace will not come to Jerusalem until the Prince of Peace rules there. So when I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I'm praying for the Prince of Peace to come and the government will be on his shoulders. And Jerusalem and all of Israel to be saved and under his lordship and his rulership. So I pray, come Lord Jesus, please come.

Fill up that bowl with our prayers. And they were singing a new song saying, you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain with your blood. You purchased men for God, people from every tribe, language, people and nation. And all around the throne, people from every tribe, language, people and nation. I think we're going to be there. And when you look around, who will you see around that throne?

Who's there? Because you were here this weekend and you went back home and you just refused to be fearful and timid anymore and you shared the gospel with somebody. Maybe they didn't pray with you to receive Christ but you started them thinking and you sow the seed. They come to faith maybe in your presence or maybe sometime later but you look and there they are.

And then you see your children and your grandchildren and your loved ones and your family members. Oh, how important it is to share the gospel before this moment comes. So that when we look around the throne, we see people who are there because we were here and we were faithful to share the gospel with them. So, verse 10, you've made them to be kingdom and priest to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.

And then I looked and I heard thousands upon thousands, 10,000 times 10,000. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders and in a loud voice they sang, worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise. And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them singing, to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and praise forever and ever. And the whole universe just rocks in praise. And it roars in acclamation of the one who alone is absolutely supreme, totally sufficient. And I wonder is it at that moment down on planet earth where everybody's blaspheming, profaning in his name, obscenities and shaking their little dust fist in his face and is it at that moment that every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord because you have the option.

You can receive him as Savior, you can reject him, but you have no option. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord. Amen. And I'm going to be there when we see that.

Praise God. So, you know, on that day we're going to look around and we're going to say it was worth it. It was worth it to carve out time to come to this seminar. It's worth it to open my Bible every day and read, listening for his voice. It's worth it to serve him and teach those little children in Sunday school. It's worth it to share the gospel with my grandchildren. It's worth it to tell my neighbor about Jesus.

It's worth it to risk the rejection and the persecution and the pushback. It's worth it because Jesus is worth it. You find hope in this crazy world by looking forward to that day when we see with our own eyes what John saw, the revelation of Jesus Christ, his absolute supremacy as Lord of Lords, King of Kings. See the throne room. And we gather around the throne and see his absolute sufficiency as lamb.

The lamb who was slain for you and for me. Standing in the center of the throne, getting ready to come back and rule the world. And the Bible says that you're going to rule and reign with him. If we've suffered with him, we'll reign with him.

So on that day, I wonder if you'll have something that you can give him in response for all he's done for you. And I actually realized I skipped part of that passage in chapter 4 when the kings got up from their throne and they laid their crowns at his feet. And their crowns were given to them in, I'm assuming, reward.

It was their glory, the symbol of their achievement and their success, and they took their crown and they laid it at his feet. And 1 Corinthians chapter 3 gives us the most interesting picture. It tells us, Paul says, that one day we're going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. And you'll never be judged for your sin.

Hear me. Jesus paid it all at the cross. But our lives, the way we've lived them from the moment we meet Jesus at the cross until the day we see him face to face, our lives are going to come under his judgment. Not that he's going to punish us, but that he's going to reward us. So the way we live our lives is going to pass through the fire of his holiness. And if you've lived your life according to the way you wanted, you never made time to read his word, you're saved. But you've really never made time to read his word so you really weren't obedient to what he said and you didn't do things his way because you weren't sure you wanted your way and didn't know what his will was because you weren't in your scripture.

Then your life is like wood, hay, and stubble. And Paul says you'll be saved, but as though by fire because your life's work is passed through the fire of God's holiness and it's burnt up. On the other hand, if you make the time, and don't worry about yesterday, from today forward, okay, that was then, this is now, so from today forward, you choose to live your life in obedience to God's word. You read it every day, you apply it to your life, you live it out. You've surrendered to his will, God, have your way in my life. Show me how I can do things, show me how I can bring you glory. And you live your life for him according to his will, obedience to his word, doing things his way. Your life is like gold, silver, precious stones. It passes through the fire of his holiness and it comes through and you're rewarded with a crown.

And this is something I've asked myself. On the day when I see Jesus face to face and he's surrounded by all of these angels and these crowds and singing his praises and I see him taking the scroll and he's going to come back and rule the world and I see the scars on his brow where the thorns have been, the nail prints in his hands, and I, for the first time, fully comprehend what it costs him to open heaven for me. I can tell you I'm going to want to give him something in return, something to show my gratitude. And there's nothing I can give him that would be enough, that's for sure. But maybe a crown that's been given to me as a result of my life's work would be something I could lay at his feet. And on the day when I see Jesus, will I have a crown that was given to me as a reward for my life's work? Will I have a crown to lay at his feet? Or will I have the ashes of a wasted life to press into his nail-scarred palm? That's a very solemn question. What about you when we see him face to face?

Will you have a crown to lay at his feet? And as the universe rocks in praise, and that praise, by the way, came from the throne, went through the four living creatures, through the 24 kings, through all the angels, until every creature was spread, it was contagious. Praise is contagious. And as you live your life in praise and thanksgiving to God for all of his goodness and what he's done for you, other people see that. Peter says don't be surprised at the fiery trial that you're going through because it's so that Jesus will be revealed. And Jesus is revealed in your life and my life and we go through some of those difficult things, the diseases and the disasters and the hard things and the death and the divorce and we're going through all of this and our neighbors look at us and they see our joy that we're still worshiping, that we still love Jesus, we're still telling people about him and they want to know our Jesus.

They see that hope, that living hope within us and they want to know how they can have it for themselves. So live your life in praise of the worthiness of Jesus. Live your life finding hope and looking forward to that day when we're standing around the throne in that glorious, majestic, exciting, electric throne room and he seizes the right to rule the world and we reign with him. Pray with me. Lord Jesus, we bow before you and we can hardly take in what Revelation 4 and 5 is revealing to us.

What an amazing scene you showed, John. And so, Lord, we look forward to that day when all the voices of opposition, rejection, rebellion are drowned out and our ears are filled with praise of the one who alone is worthy of all praise and honor and glory and power. We long to hear it reverberating throughout the universe and we know that it emanates from the throne. The praise was central. So until that day, we ask that you would make that praise central in our lives as we crown you king of our hearts. We accept that invitation. We place you on the throne of our hearts. You are absolutely supreme.

You have the right. You hold that position of greatness and glory and grace and your presence, your mercy, your authority, purity, activity and absolutely sufficient Islam, undisputed in your power, unequaled in who you are in your position and unrivaled in praise. Oh, Lord God, we pray that we would live our lives so that other people can get a glimpse of what it means to live under your authority. So I ask that you take this message and that you impress it on our hearts. Make it go deep, Lord, that this night would be the night that we would place you once and for all as not just king of kings but king of my heart. And we ask this in Jesus' name and for his glory. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 16:13:39 / 2023-04-16 16:22:53 / 9

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