- Sermon Notes
We have now come to the last chapter in Revelation. At this point, the seven-year tribulation of God’s wrath poured out on the earth is completed, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and even Satan himself have all been cast into the Lake of Fire.
There was a thousand-year millennial reign of Christ, where He ruled, or more literally, shepherded the nations from Jerusalem where He established His throne. It will be a time of peace. As Isaiah the prophet describes it, they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. The nations will come into Jerusalem to give Him honor. The earth itself will be changed; the wolf will lie down with the lamb; the leopard will lie down with the young goat and a little boy will lead them.The cow and the bear will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox.The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand into the viper's den.In that day the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
After the millennial reign of Christ, the earth as we know it today will pass away; it will be burned up with fire. Even the current heaven will pass away.
There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth and there will be the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven upon the New Earth. That will be the place of our eternal home!!
In chapter 22, John reveals what will happen inside the city of the New Jerusalem…
I. It Will Flow with the
- In Chapter 21 God said, “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life.”
- In chapter 22 we understand that the spring flows into a river of the water of life.
- However, these truths should be applied to our lives right now. He gives Living Water to anyone who receives Christ into his heart as Lord and Savior.
A. Go farther and deeper into the river of life
- Last week we read Jesus’ words in John 7…
John 7:37-39, Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” By this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.
- The point is that the Holy Spirit that flows as the river of life in heaven is the same Holy Spirit that flows as a river of life in our hearts now.
- The question is how much of us will we surrender to God? How deep and how far will we move with the Holy Spirit? That’s the image we see in Ezekiel
47 that describes the river that will flow from Jerusalem in the Millennium…
Ezekiel 47:1-12 The River that flows in the Millennium
B. Choose what you will drink
- In eternity, we drink of the water of life without cost.
Illus – We’ve come to understand there is value in good water. We’ll pay more for water than for gasoline. I was at an airport once where bottled water was more expensive than grapefruit juice!!
- What you take into your soul has a great impact on what happens in your life.
Ephesians 5:15-16, 18, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil… Do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit.
- And though we have the same Holy Spirit now, we also have our flesh; and as a result, there is a battle between our flesh and our spirit.
Illus – the battle within us is to see what will control us, our flesh or our spirit. The body says ‘eat whatever looks or sounds good…’ if the flesh is in charge it will actually destroy itself because it doesn’t care about the consequences, it’s only thinks about the pleasure of the moment.
Romans 7:15, 18, For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate…. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
Galatians 5:16-17, Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another.
App – What that means is that sometimes God will fight against our flesh in order to help our spirit. We sometimes lay the ax at our own tree and God must resist and intervene to help us.
Illus – When I was 14 years old and recovering from appendix surgery in the hospital, I didn’t feel like doing anything. The nurses had to struggle with me to help me get better.
- We won’t have this battle in heaven, but now, in this life, there needs to be a denial of the things that will hurt us.
Romans 12:1, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
- Our flesh doesn’t want spiritual things, but our soul knows it will bring life.
Galatians 6:8-9, The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
- If only we could settle this in our hearts; that in the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy.
Psalm 16:11, You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.II. There Shall No Longer Be Any Curse
- This reminds us of the beginning of creation when Adam and Eve lived before the curse.
- Here in Revelation 22, the New Heaven and New Earth are being revealed and we read that once again there will no longer be any curse from the original
sin of Adam.
- As a result of their sin, Adam and Eve could not eat of the Tree of Life and were cast out of Eden.
A. The Tree of Life will bear fruit
- The history of man could actually be seen through an account of three trees.
- The trouble for man began with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the one and only tree from which Adam and Eve were not allowed to eat.
- ‘Why did God place it there in the first place?’ many have asked.
Love is a choice and every one of us must choose to love God and choose to obey God of our own free will.
Reliance on God is also a choice. When Adam walked with God he could ask whatever he wished. But when Adam and Eve chose their own way, they became independent of God. They knew good and evil apart from Him.
App – God wants us to rely on Him by walking with Him in constant fellowship. There are many things that happen in life that cannot be fixed in a moment and we must walk with Him step by step.
Illus – When I had to fly to speak at a stockholders’ meeting of a company that was helping us in missions and I missed the flight, I learned that walking with God is step by step…
- The second tree in the history of man is the cross of Calvary. It was there that Jesus paid for the sins of our lives, redeeming the lives of those
carrying the consequences of Adam’s sin.
- But the fullness of the curse will not be removed until the day when the last believer has come to faith in Jesus and God establishes the New Heaven
and the New Earth.
Romans 8:19-21, The anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him was subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
- Finally, we see the Tree of Life in all its fullness in Revelation 22. It yields its fruit every month of the year with twelve different kinds of fruit.
Illus – Fruit trees are awesome. Growing up we had many fruit trees on our farm; cherries, apples, and plums. But I had no idea what other kinds of fruit God had created.
It wasn’t until I was older did I discover mangoes, kiwi, durian, star fruit, papaya, and who knows how many more that God has created.
Illus – God longs to show us the riches of His glory that He has prepared for us. We’ve experienced only part of what God has created and He longs to show us riches of His glory.
We’re experienced just a taste of that when we eagerly wait for our kids to wake up on Christmas morning and discover what we’ve prepared for them.
Ephesians 2:4-7, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
A. We shall see His face
- Verse 4 – the bond-servants will see His face.
- The scripture tells us that we cannot see His face now.
Exodus 33:20, But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
- In this life we see as through a glass darkly.
1 Corinthians 13:12, For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Illus – There should be a longing for the presence of God and seeing Him face to face. I remember when the kids were young how excited they would be when I came home.
C. Blessed is the one who heeds these words
- Verse 7, “Blessed is the one who heeds the words of this prophecy.”
- Interestingly, the book of Revelation is the only biblical book that is not read liturgically by the Orthodox Church.
- Some avoid the book considering it to be too difficult, but not only are we to study and understand these words; we are to heed them, or literally
to guard them in our hearts.
App – But those who will not hear, those who will not heed, those who do not want Jesus will get their wish. But those who heed, even it’s late, will come.
Illus – I had an early morning talk with my dad where he said, “I’ve wasted most of my life… I want to make something of what I have left… will you help me?”
Matthew 25:21-22, His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
Revelation 22:17, The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Revelation 22:1-7 NASB