This is lesson 1 of 9 in the Warning Signs sermonlink series.
Sometimes in life we come across warning signs that tell us we need to make a change. These can be literal warnings, like “Do Not Enter.” Or, they can be more personal, such as bad habits that will have future consequences. In the first chapters of Revelation we find several warning signs that we might encounter in our lives.
God Wants to Help When We’re in Trouble
The book of Revelation was written in response to the needs of God’s people. More than anything, God knew that his people needed a fresh vision of Jesus, and that’s what we find in chapter 1.
Revelation 1:9 I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus.
John was exiled on the island of Patmos for telling people about Jesus. It was during this exile that he received the visions of Revelation. In these visions, God identified some warning signs that he saw in his people: persecution, the acceptance of false teaching, compromise with the world, love of pleasure, spiritual apathy, and habitual sin. These problems had the power to derail God’s people.
[Related: The Person of Jesus]
Jesus Has Unique Authority In Your Life
God’s people needed to know that Jesus was greater than these threats. So, John received a vision of the resurrected Lord that demonstrated his glory.
Revelation 1:13-16 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.
This vision of Jesus demonstrated his authority, dignity, power, glory, and deity. This vision also demonstrated that Jesus is the true Lord of the universe. This is why Jesus has authority over every life. Whether you accept Jesus or not, he is the king and he will one day judge the world. Also, Jesus is the authority over his church.
[Related: Did Jesus Ever Claim to Be God?]
[Related: Make Sure You Get Jesus Right]
Jesus’s Authority Is For Our Good
If Jesus were a despot, then his authority would have tragic implications for us. However, Jesus is good and works for the good of his people.
Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
God’s people don’t need to be afraid of him. Although Jesus deserves our respect and reverence, he is also kind to us. Jesus is the eternal ruler of the world. He has even overcome death through his resurrection. This means that those who follow him will receive a wonderful reward in the future. This also means that we can repent now of our sins so that we don’t have to face Jesus as judge.
[Related: Evidence of the Resurrection]
[Related: 5 Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus]
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- Describe a time when you ignored a warning and had to pay the consequences.
- Read Revelation 1:9-11. Why does John call himself a “partner in suffering…in the patient endurance?” What does this tell us about the situation of the Christians in Revelation?
- Read Revelation 1:12-16. What do you think Jesus would find if he walked around your church?
- What is your overall impression of Jesus in this passage? How would you summarize the description of him?
- How is the picture of Jesus here different than the picture of Jesus we see in the Gospels?
- Why is it important to understand Jesus’s authority?
- Read Revelation 1:17-18. How are Jesus’s words an encouragement to Christians?
- What does it mean that Jesus is “the First and the Last”? What are the implications about the identity of Jesus?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.