Sermons

Thyatira—Finding Jesus (Revelation 2:18-29)

The church is a mess, but it’s where we find Jesus.

I.    THE CHURCH IS MESSY (VV. 19-24)
    A.    Jezebel (vv. 19-22)
    B.    Those Who Put Up With Her (vv. 20-23)
    C.    Those Who Resist Her (vv. 19, 24)

II.    JESUS IS FOUND IN THE MIDST OF A MESSY CHURCH (VV. 18-24; REVELATION 1:12-20)
    A.    Where Jesus is Found (v. 18; 1:12-13)
    B.    The Prophet Who Knows All and Speaks the Truth (v. 18-19, 23)
    C.    The King Who Conquers Enemies and Delivers His People (vv. 22-23, 26-28; cf. Numbers 24:17)
    D.    The Gentle Priest Who Listens to Repentance (v. 21, 24)

III.    OUR ONLY HOPE IS TO HOLD ON TO JESUS
    A.    Only… Hold On (v. 25)
    B.    By Surrendering…
        1.    Your Heart (Ephesus and Sardis)
        2.    Your Mind (Pergamum and Laodicea)
        3.    Your Life (Smyrna and Philadelphia)
    C.    Three Models for Holding On
        1.    Preaching of the Word (Mind)
        2.    Baptism (Life)
        3.    The Lord’s Supper (Heart)

Smyrna and Philadelphia: Keeping Faith (Revelation 2:8-11; 3:7-13)

Keep faith in the midst of your suffering and weakness.

I.       Keeping Faith is Learning to See (2:9; 3:8)
         A.     Poor Yet Rich (2:9)
         B.     Weak Yet Strong (3:8)

II.     Keeping Faith is Costly (2:9-11; 3:11)
         A.     Under Pressure (2:9-10a; 3:11)
         B.     Unto Death (2:10b)

III.    Keeping Faith is Worth it  (2:10b-11; 3:9-13)
         A.     An Open Door (3:8-9)
         B.     Solid Identity (3:12-13
         C.     Crown of Life (2:10-11; 3:11)

IV.    Keeping Faith is About Jesus (2:8; 3:7)
         A.     Keeping Faith in Jesus (2:8; 3:7)
         B.     Jesus Keeps Faith
         C.     Keeping Faith at the Table

Ephesus and Sardis—Love (Revelation 2:1-7; 3:1-6)

Because Jesus loves you, he calls you to love him (and others) in return.

I.       Jesus Knows What is in our Hearts (Revelation 2:1-4, 6; 3:1-4)
         A.     The Seven Churches (Revelation 2:1; 3:1)
         B.     Steadfast in Doctrine (Revelation 2:2-3, 6; 3:4)
         C.     But… (Revelation 2:4; 3:1-2)

II.     Jesus Calls us to Wake up and Repent (Revelation 2:5; 3:2-3)
         A.     The Warning (Revelation 2:5; 3:3)
         B.     The Command (Revelation 2:5; 3:2-3)

III.    Jesus Commands us to Demonstrate Love through Action (Revelation 2:7; 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 John 4:7-19)
         A.     What Life Looks Like (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 John 4:7-19)
         B.     Books and Trees, Bread, and Wine (Revelation 2:7; 3:5-6)

Love and Power (Revelation 1:9-20; Daniel 2:31-45; 7:9-14; 10:1-21)

You do not need to be afraid of trials and affliction in this life.

I.       Because Jesus is Powerful (vv. 9-16; Daniel 2:31-45; 7:9-14; 10:1-21)
         A.     A Heavenly Perspective (vv. 9-12)
         B.     A Portrait of a King (vv. 13-16; Daniel 7:9-14; 10:1-21)
         C.     A Kingdom without End (Daniel 2:31-45; 7:9-14)

II.     Because Jesus Loves You (vv. 12-18, 20)
         A.     A Present Shepherd (vv. 12-13, 16, 20)
         B.     A Portrait of a Priest (vv. 13-15)
         C.     Keys to Death and Hades (vv. 17-18)

III.    Because Jesus is Trustworthy (vv. 12, 15, 19)
         A.     A Visible Word (vv. 12, 15)
         B.     A Comforting Word (v. 19)
         C.     A Reliable Word (v. 19)

Tribulation and Kingdom (Revelation 1:1-11, 2 Kings 6:8-23)

In this world, God’s victorious kingdom is cloaked in tribulation.

I.    YOU’RE GOING TO HATE THIS SERIES (VV. 1-4, 11)
    A.    Common Misconceptions
    B.    Audience(s) (vv. 4, 11)
    C.    Soon-to-be-Dashed Hopes (…or Not)

II.    WHAT KIND OF BOOK IS THIS? (VV. 4-11)
    A.    An Apocalypse (v. 1)
    B.    A Prophetic Letter (vv. 3-7, 10-11)

III.    A PRIESTLY KINGDOM (VV. 9-11)
    A.    Hearts not Charts
    B.    Tribulation and the Kingdom (v. 9)
    C.    Seeing the Unseen
    D.    The Lion is the Lamb

Admiring Jesus (Colossians 1:15-20; Psalm 33:4-8)

Admire Jesus for everything he is for us

I.    JESUS IS LORD OVER THE WORLD (VV. 15-17)
    A.    The Revealer of God (vv. 15, 17; cf. John 1:18, Genesis 1:27)
    B.    The Creator (v. 16; cf. Psalm 33:6)
    C.    The Sustainer (v. 17; cf. Hebrews 1:3)

II.    JESUS IS LORD OVER THE CHURCH (VV. 18-20)
    A.    The Head of the Church (v. 18)
    B.    The Peacemaker (vv. 19-20; cf. Isaiah 53:2)
    C.    Admiring at the Table

Fear (Psalm 56; Romans 8:31-39)

When you are afraid, you can trust in the God who hears you and will deliver you.

I.    GOD ALLOWS HIS CHILDREN TO WALK THROUGH THE WILDERNESS (VV. 1-7)
    A.    The Wilderness is the Place of Suffering (vv. 1-7)
    B.    The Wilderness is the Place of Dependence (Numbers 13-14; Romans 8)
    C.    The Wilderness is the Place of Instruction (Deuteronomy 8:3)

II.    GOD HEARS HIS CHILDREN WEEPING IN THE WILDERNESS (VV. 8-11)
    A.    Your Weeping does not Fall on Deaf Ears (vv. 8-11)
    B.    Your Weeping is not a Lack of Faith (John 11:36)

III.    GOD WALKS WITH HIS CHILDREN THROUGH THE WILDERNESS (VV. 12-13)
    A.    God is With You (vv. 12-13; Romans 8:9-11)
    B.    God is For You (vv. 12-13; Romans 8:31-39)
    C.    God Provides for You in the Wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 23:5)
 

Frauds (Psalm 55; John 13:21-30, 36-38; 21:15-19)

When all the world lets us down, we can take refuge in God, who never will.

I.    TAKE REFUGE IN GOD WHEN FRIENDS FORSAKE YOU (VV. 1-23)
    A.    The Danger of Placing our Trust in Men (vv. 4-16)
    B.    Beware Counsel that You Want to Hear (Proverbs 27:6; cf. Genesis 3:1-7)
    C.    Turn to the Only One Who Can Help (vv. 1-3, 17-23)

II.    TAKE REFUGE IN HIM WHO WAS FORSAKEN FOR YOU (LUKE 22:47-48; HEBREWS 4:14-16)
    A.    Jesus Knows what it is to be Betrayed by a Close Friend (Luke 22:47-48)
    B.    Jesus is Able to Sympathize (Hebrews 4:14-16)
    C.    Jesus will Never Leave You, Nor Forsake You (Hebrews 13:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:11-13)

III.    TAKE REFUGE IN GOD WHEN YOU ARE A FRAUD (JOHN 13:36-38; 21:1-17)
    A.    When the Fraud is in the Mirror (John 13:36-38; 21:1-17; Proverbs 24:16)
    B.    A Meal Shared with Frauds

Faith in the Fire (Psalm 54; 1 Samuel 23:13-25)

Faith in the midst of trials means trusting that God will set all things right, even if that means through death and resurrection.

I.    FAITH TESTED (VV. 1-3)
    A.    David Among the Ziphites (1 Samuel 23:13-25)
    B.    The Inner and Outer Struggles of Affliction
    C.    Crying Out for Deliverance (vv. 1-3; Exodus 20:2; 34:5-7)

II.    FAITH CONFESSED (VV. 4-5)
    A.    What God Has (and Hasn’t) Promised (v. 5)
    B.    The Difference Faces of Deliverance
    C.    Why God Allows Suffering and Affliction

III.    FAITH EXERCISED (VV. 6-7)
    A.    An Offering of Praise (vv. 6-7)
    B.    Preparing for Affliction (in Worship)
    C.    You Are What You Eat

When Being Tested Seems Impossible (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19)

Trust God in times of testing.

I.    TEST PREPARATION (VV. 1-2)
    A.    A Reason for Testing (vv. 1-2; cf. Deuteronomy 8:2-5)
    B.    The Nature of the Test (v. 2)

II.    TEST TAKING (VV. 1, 3-10)
    A.    Being Present (vv. 1, 7, 11)
    B.    Answer 1: Faith (vv. 3-8)
    C.    Answer 2: Obedience (vv. 9-11

III.    TEST RESULTS (VV. 11-19)
    A.    The LORD Provides (vv. 11, 13)
    B.    A God-Fearer (v. 12; cf. Job 1:1, 9)
    C.    The LORD Blesses (vv. 15-18; cf. Hebrews 11:17-19)

IV.    TEST REFLECTIONS
    A.    Reflecting the Son
    B.    Testing that Changes (Cf. Exodus; 1 Peter 1:6-9)

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good (Psalm 53; Romans 3:9-26)

The bad news is that man’s moral condition is universally ugly, but the good news is that God has sent help from heaven in Jesus Christ to grant us salvation.

I.    THE UGLY (REALITY) (VV. 1-3)
    A.    The Popular View of Humanity
    B.    God’s View of Man (vv. 1-3)
    C.    To Err is Human… or Is It?

II.    THE BAD (NEWS) (VV. 4-5; ROMANS 3:9-20)
    A.    We Are in Need (of Salvation) (vv. 4-5; Romans 3:9-20)
    B.    We Cannot Save Ourselves (or Each Other)

III.    THE GOOD (NEWS) (V. 6)
    A.    The Prayer (v. 6; cf. Romans 3:21-26)
    B.    The Invitation (to Joy)
    C.    Help has Come (and is Coming Again!)

Why? (Psalm 52; 1 Samuel 21:1–9; 22:9–23)

Both pride and love can drive us to do things that don’t make sense, but in very different ways.

I.    WHEN YOU ARE YOUR OWN REFUGE (VV. 1-5, 7; 1 SAMUEL 21:1-9; 22:9-19)
    A.    King Saul’s Obsession
    B.    Doeg’s Deceit
    C.    Why? (v. 1)

II.    WHEN GOD IS YOUR REFUGE (VV. 6-9)
    A.    Making God His Refuge (v. 7)
    B.    Trusting the Steadfast Love of God (vv. 8-9; 1 Samuel 22:20-23)

III.    THREE (OR FOUR) IMPORTANT WHY’S (V. 1)
    A.    Why Choose Evil Over Mercy and Grace? (v. 1)
    B.    Why Offer Grace to Those Who Afflict You? (v. 1)
    C.    The Great Why (John 3:16)
    D.    Why We Eat (v. 8)

Only the Broken (Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12)

Those who admit that they are spiritually broken and ask for mercy find cleansing and are made whole.

I.    SIN DESTROYS LIVES AND RELATIONSHIPS (VV. 4, 8-11)
    A.    The Price of Sin (Leviticus 20:10; 24:17; Num 35:20-22, 30-31; Deuteronomy 19:11)
    B.    Broken Relationships and Hidden Faces (vv. 4, 8-11)
    C.    The Lost Son (2 Samuel 12:13-17)

II.    REPENTANCE EXPOSES ALL AND HIDES NOTHING (VV. 1-17)
    A.    I Am Wholly Sinful (v. 5)
    B.    I Will Not Hide it from Myself, God, or Others (vv. 3-6, 13-17)
    C.    I Need to Be Washed and Reconciled (vv. 1-2, 7-12)
    D.    Make Me Wholly New (v. 10; 2 Corinthians 5:7)

III.    RECONCILIATION COMES THROUGH DEATH (VV. 7-10, 18-19)
    A.    Purge Me with Hyssop (v. 7)
    B.    Only the Broken are Made New (vv. 8-9, 17-19)
    C.    The Given Son (v. 7)

When Unity Comes Down (Psalm 133, Acts 2:42-47)

God comes down to bless a community that lives to serve one another

I.    SEEING UNITY (V. 1)
    A.    Beholding Unity (v. 1)
    B.    Qualities of Unity (v. 1; cf. Genesis 2:18)
    C.    Unity Among Brothers (v. 1; cf. Genesis 4:9; 11:3)

II.    GROWING IN UNITY (VV. 2-3A)
    A.    Serving Like Priests (v. 2; cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5)
    B.    Finding Refreshment (v. 3a)

III.    BLESSING OF UNITY (V. 3B)
    A.    Blessing from God (v. 3b; cf. James 1:17)
    B.    Unity and Heaven (v. 3b; cf. Revelation 7:9-10; Matthew 6:8-13)
    C.    The God of Unity
    D.    The Unity of Jesus
    E.    United Around a Table

Going Up For Worship (Psalm 122, John 4:19-26 )

Life together must center around worshipping the LORD.

I.    GLADNESS OF WORSHIP (VV. 1-2)
    A.    A Cause for Joy (v. 1)
    B.    The House of the LORD (v. 2)

II.    UNITY IN WORSHIP (VV. 3-4A)
    A.    A Firm City (v. 3)
    B.    The Ascending Tribes (v. 4a)

III.    CALL TO WORSHIP (VV. 4B-5))
    A.    Praising in the House (v. 4b)
    B.    Thrones for Judgment (v. 5)

IV.    PEACE OF WORSHIP (vv. 6-9)
    A.    Extending Peace (vv. 6-9)
    B.    Worshipping Jesus (John 4:19-26)
    C.    Praise During Supper

The God Who Dwells with the Lowly (Isaiah 57:14-15; John 14:1-6)

The God who is high and lifted stoops down to your lowliness

I.    PREPARING THE WAY (V. 14)
    A.    Building Up and Preparing the Way (v. 14; cf. Isaiah 62:10)
    B.    Removing our Stumbling Blocks (v. 14; cf. Leviticus 4:8-10)

II.    HIGH AND LIFTED UP (V. 15)
    A.    He is High and Lifted Up (v. 15; cf. Isaiah 6:1)
    B.    He Dwells Eternally(v. 15)
    C.    The is the Holy Lord (v. 15; cf. Exodus 20:7; Isaiah 8:11-15)

III.    CONTRITE AND LOWLY (V. 15)
    A.    God is with the Contrite (v. 15; cf. Isaiah 57:1)
    B.    God is with the Lowly of Spirit (v. 15; Proverbs 29:23)
    C.    The God who Revives (v. 15; Ezekiel 37:1-14)
    D.    Jesus Dwells with the Lowly (Isaiah 53:10; cf. John 14:6)
    E.    A Table for the Lowly

Wounds of Forgiveness (John 20:19-31)

The crucified and resurrected life is shaped by forgiveness.

I.    JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES (VV. 19-23)
    A.    Peace Behind Closed Doors (v. 19; cf. John 10; 1 John 3:17)
    B.    When Seeing Leads to Joy (v. 20)
    C.    Forgiveness and the New Creation (vv. 21-23; cf. John 17:18; Genesis 2:7)

II.    JESUS AND THOMAS (VV. 24-29)

    A.    Doubting Thomas (vv. 24-25)
    B.    When Seeing Leads to Confession (vv. 26-29; cf. Genesis 2:22-23)

III.    JESUS AND OTHER BELIEVERS (V. 31)

    A.    The Word and Believing (v. 31)
    B.    The Word and Forgiveness
    C.    A Table of Forgiveness

Quid Pro Quo? (Psalm 50; Romans 2:1-5)

God cannot be bought or bargained with and wants only one thing from us, sincere dependence upon his mercy and grace.

I.    GOD CANNOT BE BOUGHT (VV. 1-13)
    A.    Bargaining with God
    B.    Modern Examples

II.    GOD IS NOT FOOLED BY HYPOCRITICAL SPEECH (VV. 16-21)
    A.    The Art of “God-Talk” (vv. 16-20)
    B.    When God Breaks His Silence (vv. 3-4, 21)

III.    GOD OFFERS MERCY AND GRACE TO THE HUMBLE AND GRATEFUL (VV. 14-15, 22-23; ROMANS 2:1-5)
    A.    Naked and Ashamed
    B.    Quid pro nihilo? (vv. 14-15)
    C.    When God is Silent (vv. 3, 21-23; Romans 2:1-5)
    D.    Receiving without Giving

The Bully's Bluff (Psalm 49; 2 Corinthians 8:9)

You need not fear the rich of this world, for the wealth of this life has no benefit in the life to come.

I.    WHAT RICH MEN CAN AND CANNOT DO (VV. 3-12)
    A.    They Can Boast (vv. 3-4, 11, 18)
    B.    They Cannot Cheat Death (vv. 7-10, 12, 20)
    C.    They Cannot Determine Your Eternity (vv. 5-6)

II.    WHAT GOD ALONE CAN DO (VV. 13-20)
    A.    He Can See Through Empty Boasts (vv. 10, 13)
    B.    He Can Judge the Wicked (vv. 14, 17-20)
    C.    He Can Ransom Your Soul (vv. 15-16; 2 Corinthians 8:9)

III.    A LIFE FREE FROM THE LOVE OF MONEY
    A.    Free from Fear (vv. 5-6; 16)
    B.    Free to be Generous (Ephesian 4:28; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
    C.    The True Division (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)