The Beginning of the End Message Series

THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Part 1 – Setting The Stage
Revelation 1:1-20

April 11, 2021
Dr. Mark S. Hartman

 

INTRODUCTION

John 1:10-11  He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.  11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. (NIV)

 

1. DON’T BE AFRAID FOR GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS WORLD.

A. God wants to build that instinct within us to realize that when everything seems to be falling apart around us that God is actually behind the scenes accomplishing His plan. 

B. Ephesians 1:9-10  God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure.  10 And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.  (NLT)

C. The premillennial view of the end times teaches that Jesus will literally and physically come back to the earth and He will reign on the earth for 1,000 years in a golden age of peace.  This will happen in accordance with several prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments.

Another view of the Second Coming is called Amillennialism which means there will be no millennial reign of Christ on the earth.

D. There are several reasons Pastor Mark holds to a Premillennial view of the Second Coming:

1. It is the most natural and literal way to read scripture.  The Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Zachariah, Ezekiel, and Daniel along with others spoke of an age to come in which there would be total peace on earth.  “The lion with lay down beside the lamb and war will be abolished on the earth.  The Lord will reign in Jerusalem.” The Jewish saints of the Old Testament fully believed these prophecies were to be taken literally.  Nothing that has happened in history since then has resembled what they described.  It is still to come.

2. Revelation 20 also teaches a literal 1,000 reign of Christ on the earth that would coincide with the OT prophecies.  That position would have been consistent with the Jewish view of end times.

3. Many of the earliest and most prominent Christian leaders were Premillennial.  The Apostle John, who wrote the Book of Revelation, discipled three men: Polycarp, Papias and Ignatius.  From their writings and comments about them it is evident at least two of those three men, Polycarp and Papias, held the premillennial view.  The third disciple, Ignatius, never addressed the issue in his writings so we don’t know his view. Polycarp discipled a man named Irenaeus, who was one of the first great apologists of the Christian faith.  Irenaeus was an outspoken premillennialist.

E. Though there were two views on the Second Coming in the 2nd Century, it seems like they all got along with each other even though they saw this issue differently.

F. There are 5 major sections that help us to keep the whole story of the Second Coming of Christ in perspective.

1. The world will grow progressively worse.  At God’s select time, Christ followers will be raptured away.

2. There will be seven years of tribulation in which the world will see the emergence of a great world leader the Bible calls the Antichrist.  While the tribulation is taking place on the earth, Christ followers will be in heaven and face our own time of judgment.  New believers will come to faith in Christ on earth during those seven years of tribulation.  (Revelation 6-18)

3. At the end of the 7 years, Christ will return with us, defeat the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon and set up a 1000 reign on this earth called the Millennial Reign of Christ.  (Revelation 19-20)

4. At the end of the thousand years, there will be the Great White Throne Judgment where everyone who does not know Christ will be judged.

5. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth and time shall be no more.  (Revelation 20-22)

G. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26  Then the end will come, when Christ hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power.  25 For Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under his feet.  26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

 

2. DON’T BE CONFUSED FOR GOD REVEALS TO US THE BEGINNING OF THE END.  (Revelation 1:1-3)

A. Revelation 1:1-2  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show His servants what must soon take place.  He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

B. Revelation 1:10   On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.  (NIV)

 C. Revelation 1:3  Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

 

3. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED FOR JESUS REVEALS HIS GLORY.  (Revelation 1:10-18)

A. Revelation 1:10-16  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…   I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned, I saw … someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest.   His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire.   His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.   In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

B. Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

C. Revelation 1:17  When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though I were dead.  (The Apostle John)

D. Philippians 2:9-11  Therefore God exalted Christ to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

E. Revelation 1:17-18  …Then Jesus placed His Right Hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  18 I am the Living One: I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.  And I hold the keys of death and hell.”