A Call To Greatness – Revelation 3
- Genres:Bill Vest, Preaching & Teaching
A Call To Greatness – Revelation 3
Good morning, we’re coming to the last study of the call to greatness that God has for his people. Um we’ll return to our study of john uh in the following weeks. But I wanted to kind of summarize what we’ve been talking about these last five or six weeks and to get the whole picture together and call us to that pursuit of greatness, that pursuit of holiness, that pursuit of christ likeness that God calls us to. Now we have built this study around Um five different passages since christmas, the first of course being romans chapter 12 verses one and two, I beseech you therefore brothers by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy acceptable to the Lord which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you may prove, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. That transformed mind that can know the greatness of God, can know the need of man can can know and understand our call to greatness and when we have that transformed mind, when we are following the way of discipleship, that christ has called us to the denial of self, the following of him. The pursuit of understanding who he is so that we might reveal him in our lives. He tells us in Romans. Chapter 16 verse number 20, the second passage that we looked at that he will destroy satan under our feet shortly. That is the following christ part, satan cannot be crushed under our feet, the oppression, the the the lie, the error, The spirit of error in our age cannot be destroyed unless we are following christ, unless we are unless we know the truth and are revealing the truth by the way that we live and by the words that we say and by the witness that we give. And so we see that with our transformed minds, God then can use us and will use us for good in this world. Then we saw that for this to happen, we must live by truth rather than by our opinion or by what we experience. We saw this in job 19 when job says have pity on me, have pity upon me. I wish that my words were written that they were engraved in Iraq with an iron pin and filled with lead. That life is one of nothing but trouble, pain and misery. Oh! He goes on to say, I know my redeemer lives right. But as for me my heart faints within me. Job wanted his understanding of the world written permanently in in Iraq. And we saw that that is by no means the truth. And while it is how so many of us live it is what we must with our transformed minds, with our, with our lives committed to following after him, we must break, living by our own experience or by our own opinion and listen to what God has engraved in Iraq, What God has has written for us, what God has accomplished for us in the living stone. That is jesus christ to Peter right, and that we because Peter chapter two right and that we become living stones as well, the chief cornerstone And so we we we after examining that passage, moved on to to Matthew chapter 16 and saw the the the calling of Peter and the exchange of names that takes place on the way to caesarea philippi, he says who am I to men or who do men say that I am? What is the prevailing opinion of the day? And some say you’re elijah, some say you are Jeremiah or one of the other prophets and then jesus looks at Peter and says, but who am I to you? Who do you say that I am? And Peter speaking for the group says you are the christ, the son of the living god. And Peter says, blessed, are you Simon bar Jonah and then I’m gonna change your name, you’re no longer Simon now you are called Peter and upon this rock, I will build my church because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my father, which is in heaven when he is listening to the father, whenever he, when, whenever he is living by the truth that has been revealed to him, he becomes a stone something useful for building. And then immediately jesus says, I must go to Jerusalem and be abused by the leaders there and taken by evil hands and ultimately crucified and peter right after that great confession. Right after the reception of his new name stone, he responds with his own opinion. Not so Lord, this is not going to happen to you. And you remember that Jesus said, get behind me, satan because now you are a rock of stumbling, literally a hindrance to me because you have your mind on the things of man rather than the things of God. Just a few moments ago, you were listening to God and you are valuable and you were you were impermeable and you were you were useful for me. But now with your mind on the things of men rather than being a rock with that I can use to help build upon the foundation that I am laying, You have become a stone of hindrance. Get behind me satan. So we see how all of these things work together. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. The truths of God, active in our lives and when they are active in our lives, God will use us in useful ways to destroy the oppression and depression and and the spirit of the age of of, of satan in this world. But we cannot, by circumstance like job insert our opinion or our experience over the truth and the promises of God, nor can we like peter with our simple desire or or the the expectation of the age change the truth of God and where job wanted us to know that trouble and trial and burden was the way of man. He wanted that written in a stone. We moved to revelation chapter two verse number 17. Where God says and to us who overcome overcoming the power of christ and have become over comers in this world. He will write our name on a white stone and give it to us a name that no one knows save God that we are not merely a number to God. We are not merely an acquisition, were not merely a a piece on the chessboard to God. We are, we are his sons. He’s so intimately involved in our lives. He gives us a name in concert with our giftedness and our and our usefulness in his kingdom. The treasure that that that we are building up in heaven. That new name, that name of intimacy. That personal name. So that we know that when we walk in this world, whenever we are, we are we are sacrificing or whenever we are giving ourselves in ministry, we are not walking alone. God is with us and he is with us in a personal and special and and an intimate way and he is so intimately involved in our lives that that that he gives us a name that is that is in concert with our relationship with him, How awesome is that. And then we moved on and and we’ll we’ll spend a little bit of today on revelation. Chapter three verse number 12 where he says that he who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God and I will write upon him the name of my God and and the residence, the dwelling place of my God, the the new city, Jerusalem and my own new name, How cool is that? We may think that we are nobodies. We may think that our power is small, like the church at at philippi, but God is not ashamed to openly declare his allegiance to us. He writes his name on us, makes us a pillar in his temple. He writes his residence, his address. I dwell here in the name of the Savior who gave so much for us an amazing thing. But you see there’s a struggle. I make it all sound easy when I lay it out this way. But there’s a struggle. And after all of these weeks of of speaking about satan being crushed under our feet, the the ongoing call to greatness. We may think that there’s a struggle going on between good and evil between God and satan. That is by no means the case. That is no struggle at all. That is no fight at all. In fact, as we see in the battle of Armageddon when jesus shows up, it’s over just his arrival ends the war before it can even begin. So there is no struggle between God and satan. God is God is all powerful and Satan is already a defeated foe. There is no struggle between light and darkness. Light dispels darkness, darkness cannot overcome light. The struggle is a purely internal one. Will we believe? Or will we not, will we believe? Or will we not? Now with that in mind? Let us go to revelation. Chapter three verse number seven and to the Angel of the Church of philadelphia right, The words of the Holy one, the true one, he who has the key of David, who opens and no one shuts and who shuts and no one opens. I know your works behold. I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, but you have kept my word and you have not denied my name, The Holy One, the true one, Not just the holy and true, but the Holy one. The true one. The word Holy reminds us that christ is God. He is perfect in character and all of his actions are pure. Everything that he does is wholly good and nothing bad or evil can come from his character. The word true reminds us that he never lies, that he is the truth. That his promises are certain and what we can count upon. It’s why john says that he comes full of grace and truth. You see the world doesn’t like that, jesus came in grace and truth, because they do not think that they need the one grace. It’s the hardest part of evangelism is convincing men that they need salvation and they believe they already have the other truth. They are their own arbiters of what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false Here he comes. And he declares that he is the Holy one, the true one. And if anything holy or true is to proceed and to and to flow in this world, it must come from him. Nothing can be wholly or true except by relationship to him. Verse number eight, I know that you have but little power, but you believed my word. Perhaps the church considered itself week, perhaps they thought they had little power. Perhaps they thought in comparison to other churches. What could they do? And that was the church’s opinion about them. But he saw that they remained faithful to him and to the word and because they were trusting God so completely christ said, I will give you an open door that no man can shut right. It’s a word picture for great opportunity. The 1st Christians understood that and they understood just what could come of that. Look at verse number nine Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of satan who say that that that they are jews. But are not. But lie behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet. That they will learn. That I have loved you. What an expression of power, man! Those who once were part of this community, probably once those who worshiped God, but no longer do now disparage the name. Now. Now declare the truths of God. Ally, people you think could never be brought back to the fold. People you never think could be converted. Those people will come and and and and and they will bow down at your feet and they will know that I loved you. That’s incredible power. That open door has no restrictions believing the word, believing the truth, living by staying faithful and loyal to him. It includes incredible power. We all have people like that in our lives that have left the church and maybe even turned against the church. Do not give up on them, my friends, The Word of God can melt the heart of stone and return one from the synagogue of Satan to the temple of the living God. Because you have kept my word and patient endurance. I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole earth. And those who dwell upon the earth, you see trouble is going to be part of this world. Trouble is part of this world, but I’ll keep you from falling in it. You could stand firm. They obey his commands. They show endurance in christ declared that he would keep them safe during whatever trouble comes along. It doesn’t mean that christians won’t have trouble, Jesus said in this world, you will have trouble. What it means is that God says, I will keep you from trouble and and and any ending trouble that may come along to you. I will snatch you away that you might be where I am right. That’s awesome. One day we will be right now. We are. We are we are safe from falling to the troubles from being destroyed by the troubles. Yes, we still experience them not to the level of job for the most of us, but we still have those burdens, those trials, those heaviness in our lives. But God said, I will keep them from destroying you. And then one day you will be removed from all trouble to be in the place where I am the place that I have prepared for you. Not this place that you ruined with the curse of mankind, the actions of mankind and the conformity to that evil and the darkness of mankind. Christ is saying I will protect your relationship to God. No troubles can ever destroy God’s love for you. What shall separate us from the love of God. Peril nakedness, sword things present things to come. Nothing right? Nothing at all. If God loves me, he will forever love me behold, he says in verse number 11, I’m coming soon hold fast to what you have that no one may seize your crown christ spoke these words In a time when troubles would soon affect the whole world verse 10 However, he gives a message of hope to the Philippians and by extension to us christians, he will come soon. The trouble that christians suffer are not without an end. Not only will he come soon, until that time of his coming, he is already here with us. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Lo, I am with you always when we did this, when we understand it, when it becomes the experience of our lives that that that we want to write on a pen rather than the burdens and the troubles of life that’s transformative and it makes all of the difference in the world. He says, I’m coming to to rescue from this you from the world. I’ve rescued you from the darkness and eventually I’ve rescued you from the curse and eventually I will rescue you from the presence of evil. But until that time comes, hold true to me and to my word. And when you think you have little strength, understand just how powerful that little strength when it’s God’s cheers and until that time serve him loyally to the one who conquers I will make him a pillar in the Temple of my God and he shall never go out of it. And I will write upon him the name of my God. In the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven and my own new we talked about the private name that we have a few weeks ago and how wonderful and how precious that is. But here we see power of the names that we bear, we bear the very name of the overcome er right we we bear the name of the city of peace and we bear the name of the God who is never ashamed of us. He openly declares his eternal allegiance, His eternal love for us. I will put my name right across you. I will put that you dwell where I dwell right across you and I will put the name of the Savior that made all of this possible openly in your lives. Has power. That’s awesome revelation. Chapter two verse number 17. That white stone, that’s precious. And then because of that preciousness, we have the foundation upon which we we find the power that God has given us. I am not ashamed of you now. You don’t be ashamed of me. Don’t let anyone, don’t let anyone fool you to think that we do not have power. Worship is power. I mean, think about the destruction of the cities in the old testament. If just 10 people would have been worshiping Sodom and Gomorrah and the eight other cities of the plain would not have been destroyed. Think of Jericho. That that for six days in silence, nothing happened. But on the day of that great shout of the halal and the blowing of the trumpet. The city failed. Think of jesus whenever he is entering into Jerusalem, he says that the very thing that’s keeping the rocks from crying out from Jerusalem being destroyed right now that I just spoke about on the Mount of Olives is these people worshiping worship his power, But not only that the word of God lived out and revealed in our lives is power. Don’t think you have little power. You have the word. And while in our human eyes, that may seem little, it’s enough to open a door that no man can close and to keep even the least of us from falling. That Yes, awesome verse 24 he has an ear to hear. Let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. The invitation today is very simple. Are you listening to yourself or to the Spirit of God? Are you listening to the Spirit of the age or to the Word of God? What is the major motivating factor in your life? What is transforming you? What causes you to act to think to move the minister to show emotion of any kind action of any kind? That is anything less than the promises in the presence of God? It is not wholly or truth. It only has the facade of holiness and truth. Let us build our lives on the Word of God and the life of christ that dwells within us and see that power that he promises come to fruition individually court. He was here to here. Let him hear as the spirit speaks father, I think.