Go

Contact Us

  • Phone: (509) 747-3007
  • Email:
  • Meeting Address:
    115 E. Pacific Ave., Spokane, WA 99202
  • Office/Mailing Address:
  • 608 W. 2nd Ave, #101. Spokane, WA 99201

Service Times

  • Sunday: 10am
  • Infant through 8th grade Sunday School classes available
  • FREE Parking!

Sermons

FILTER BY:

Back To List

Feb 17, 2019

Sardis: A Wake-Up Call

Passage: Revelation 3:1-6

Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Churches of Revelation

Keywords: awakening, church, reality, reputation, revival, sardis

Summary:

Churches can be deceiving. They can appear to be doing well when, in fact, they are dying. Jesus' call to His people, the church, is to be in a constant state of reawakening spiritually. The church of Sardis gives the church in America some very timely counsel on what to do to be fully awake spiritually.

Detail:

Sardis: A Wake-Up Call

#6 in Churches of Revelation Series

Revelation 3:1-6

February 17, 2019

INTRO:  What do you like best about sleep?

  • Dreams
  • How the bed feels?
  • Escape from life’s problems/pains?
  • Rejuvenation sleep brings?
  • Feeling of rest

Sleep is a wonderful thing…most of the time.  When is sleep a problem?

  • When we have too much/not enough of it.
  • When we have insomnia.
  • When it leads to laziness.
  • When it is plagued by nightmares.
  • When it makes us vulnerable (think spaghetti western with cowboys sleeping by the fire with desperados waiting to ambush them in their sleep)
  • When it is painful
  • When it makes us miss our buss, appointments, work, school, meetings, breakfast,
  • When it’s a disease (narcolepsy)
  • When someone sleep-walks.
  • When it happens while driving
  • When it happens to you in church? J

Today we are in a passage about a church that had a sleeping problem.  It wasn’t that they weren’t getting enough sleep.  It was that they needed to WAKE UP!  Spiritually speaking, instead of being “dead to the world” they were “asleep at the switch.”  We’ll call them Sleepy Sardis.  Makes it a little easier to remember what their problem was. 

            Speaking of Sardis, here’s a church with plenty of problems.  In fact, there is only 1 thing Jesus semi-commends them for:  they has a few believers who hadn’t completely “soiled”/ruined their spiritual clothing.  Other than that, Sardis was in such danger from its spiritual sleep habit that it was in imminent danger of dying.  Oh, it didn’t look like it was dying, but it was actually on “life support” spiritually.  Its place as a force for God and good in this world was about to be taken away.  So Jesus tries to wake it up from its spiritual slumber…just like every one of us needs to be woken up from time to time in our journey with Jesus. 

Revelation 3:1-6—so let’s just work our way through these 6 verses.

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. 

            As we noted in most of these letters to churches, each one revisits some component of John’s initial vision of God and heaven in chapter 1, something about that awesome vision of Jesus that a particular church needed to hear.  Verse 1 says it to Sleepy Sardis:

Notice 2 important realities about God when it comes to churches that need awakening:

1.)  Jesus is speaking to His church, in every generation, in every type of church, strong or weak, sick or healthy.  Jesus speaks to His church…and He uses WORDS! 

There are many ways we communicate with each other, aren’t there.  While lots of communication is non-verbal, using words and language are one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Words are vital for detailed, specific and precise communication.  They are more efficient than playing 20 Questions or acting pantomime about something.

            We are SO blessed to have a Lord and Savior who has spoken, does speak and will speak.  When you want to check what someone claims to be a “word from the Lord”, we check it against the infallible and inerrant Word of God.  This WORD is the basis upon which we experience any “word from the Lord.”  Without this solid, written, handed-down, pure-truth Word of God, all other “words form God” are shifting sand. 

            I believe Jesus is constantly speaking to us, both individually and as churches.  But too much of the time, we not really listening…or trying to listen…or able to hear. 

ILL:  Just as it is very hard for me to listen to Sandy when I’m scrolling through the internet for news, it is very difficult to listen to God when we are constantly busy, in motion, doing something other than focusing on listening to God. 

Hearing God’s voice and really listening is a series of messages in themselves.  But for now, let’s just be happy that God has spoken and is still speaking, especially to those who want to listen. Be praying for your pastors and leaders to be hearing Jesus speak.  Be praying for your worship leaders and small group leaders to be hearing God speak.  I’m praying YOU will be hearing God speak daily and especially when we meet together as His Body.

2.)  We have a God who can awaken us…which is precisely what sleeping churches need.

  “…him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.”

That phrase “seven spirits of God” can refer to the fullness of the godhead itself—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Or it can also be a focus upon the fullness, the completeness, the amplitude of the Spirit of God in particular. 

            Revelation 4:5 & 5:6 both speak of “the seven spirits of God”.  Look at 5:6--Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 

It is actually impossible to slice and dice the Trinity.  Here John “sees” “a Lamb” which we know is emblematic of Jesus, the 2nd member of the divine Trinity.  But it’s at “the center of the throne.”  That’s the Father’s place.  That’s God the Father’s seat of authority.  But that very Lamb has “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”  Who did Jesus “send” when he left this earth 2,000 years ago?  He sent the Holy Spirit “into all the earth”—every tribe, nation, tongue and person who receives Jesus by faith. 

APP:  Know what a sleeping, about-to-die church needs?  A fullness of the Holy Spirit…a fresh dose of Holy Spirit awakening and fire.  They don’t need another program, another seminar, another sermon.  They need a fresh and full encounter with the living, burning, blazing, powerful Holy Spirit! 

            So many worship songs today are written crying out today for the Holy Spirit to move in fresh ways.  That’s an appropriate prayer for the church today because, as we will see, we, God’s people, are in many ways terribly asleep today.  We’re in danger of being snuffed out of this nation, not in some sort of political or social backlash but because of our own failure, our own sleepy spiritual condition. 

            As the old hymn says, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me!  Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.”

What about “the seven stars”?  Rev. 1:20 tells us that the “seven stars” are the 7 churches and their leaders here in Rev. 2-3.  Jesus is saying that he not only holds the fullness of the Holy Spirit in His hands; He hold the church…all of them… in His hands too!  Yes, some will fall asleep and die.  Yes, some will become horribly stained and soiled by the world.  But HE holds us…even in our failures. 

APP:  And what do you suppose He, the Lord of the church, the Bride of the Church, wants to do with the fullness of the Holy Spirit in one hand and the churches in the other???  So press and mold and mesh us together that this world sees the life of the Lamb flowing powerfully and fully from His hands! 

            It is GOOD NEWS that Jesus holds the church and the fuel and fire of the church, the Holy Spirit, in His hands.  That is precisely the kind of exalted Savior the sleepy church of today needs! 

So let’s look at the DIAGNOSIS of the Problem in almost dead churches: 

Your reputation doesn’t match your reality!

Vs. 1--I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Ever done business with someone whose reputation didn’t match their reality?  Ever dated someone like that?

Reputation IS important…but actually not as important as reality.  Reality is what we are forced to LIVE WITH; reputation is simply what others say about someone.  I may not like it but I can put up with people saying a lot of untrue or even misleading things about someone I know and love.  If I know they are better than what someone else is saying, I can just chalk it up to ignorance.  They don’t really know the person like I do.  But if what people say about someone I love or work with or know is far better than the reality I’m living with, that is a recipe for trouble. 

            Here’s where we need to be very careful.  It’s easy to criticize everyone and everything, especially the church.  Church-bashing has become a U.S. Olympic sport in the last couple of decades.  Much of that criticism is probably warranted.  But we as Christ-followers must always remember that when we are talking about “the church,” we’re talking about ourselves.  We’re talking about our sisters and brothers.  We’re talking about the Bride of Christ.  And I don’t think Jesus likes any more than any of us would like it if your family started fault-finding and trash talking your fiancée. 

            But the other side of the equation is that we, the church, the Bride of Christ, must be able to take a good hard look at the “church culture” we are a part of, be it in a denomination or a region of the country or a nation itself.  And we must be able to acknowledge our sins, our failures, our blemishes, our faults so that we can confess them, repent of them and let the Holy Spirit wash us of them and replace them with the character of Christ.

APP:  What in our culture, our nation, our church(es) do people tend to think makes for an “alive” church that really may have nothing to do with the spiritual vitality of the people of God?

  • Quality, vibrant, loud, upbeat, hip music.
  • New and attractive buildings.
  • Great technology, lighting, big screens, etc.
  • Entertaining services, preaching, youth groups.
  • Full pews and parking lots.
  • Lots of money flowing
  • Lots of “ministries” and programs
  • Attractive people
  • Famous pastor
  • Radio/TV/internet presence

ANY “alive” church will become a “dead” church over time unless the PEOPLE in those churches experience continual reawakening, continual reviving, continual growth in Jesus Christ. 

ILL:  Central United Methodist—was a very “alive” church for years.  Was one of the leading churches in our community for decades.  Slowly lost its zeal for the Gospel, slowly compromised the true message of the Gospel, slowly adopted other priorities for the church (like control, comfort, status quo, sacred cows, social justice.  And it died. 

            Oh, it was on “life support” for years.  (What that meant.) But the lamp of CUMC went out about 2 years ago…though it was barely flickering for probably the last 10-20 years. 

ILL:  I just came across this week a startling and frightening study that the Christian pollster and researcher, George Barna, has recently published.  It’s in a larger study called “Reviving Evangelism.”  Two startling facts from that study for today.

#1—Four out of five church goers don’t know what the “Great Commission” is in Scripture!  Half have never heard of it.  Only 17% can tell you what it means.  (Mt. 28:18-20)

#2.— “Almost half of practicing Christian Millennials say evangelism is wrong”!!!  That’s right, “WRONG!”  That single statistic spells the death of the church in the next generation unless something really dramatic changes. 

            Here’s the weird part.  While 95-97% of all generational groups (like Elders, Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials) believe that “part of their faith means being a witness about Jesus” and that the “best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus (94-97%), 47% of Millennials agree that “it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.”  How absolutely confusing is that???!!!

            Might that be because 40% of Millennials also responded that “if someone disagrees with you it means that they’re judging you”…and, of course, we know that being judgmental is the unpardonable sin in American culture today, right?  It’s true!  If making a judgment about someone else for what they believe is the one thing we must avoid in our human relationships with each other, then we must avoid anything that causes us to disagree with someone else. 

            Will the Gospel of Christ cause us to be in disagreement with other people?  Absolutely! 

Will simply stating that God created us male and female, not an infinite number of genders, be seen as judgmental in our culture?  Sure.

Will telling someone that the child they have conceived in their womb and are carrying is a living, fully-human being be considered a judgmental statement in our culture?  You bet.  And if you go participate in 40 Days for Life and just PRAY outside Planned Parenthood on the sidewalk…just PRAY…no signs, no shouting, no bothering people…you will have people drive by and swear at you, give you the finger, honk their horns, etc.  They will see you as “judgmental.” 

We could go on and on with marriage and sexual practices and addictions and types of speech, etc., etc.  Here is a truth you can go to the bank on:  The church of Jesus Christ is always just 1 generation away from extinction! 

I can guarantee you that if this mentality continues in the Millennial generation, the church in American will be dead within 50 years.  We may have the greatest buildings, the latest technology, the most entertaining preachers, the hippest music, the biggest crowds and the biggest budgets.  But we are dying! 

IF we are not spiritually wide awake in Jesus Christ, fully energized by the Holy Spirit, passionately dedicated to Jesus and His Gospel, our lamp will go out and this nation, this city, will languish in darkness just as dark as any tribal paganism or monolithic false religion. Our children and grandchildren will suffer in ways we have never seen because they will not know the King of Glory and the truth of Jesus Christ that liberates from sin. 

The reality is that the same will happen to Mosaic someday unless we are keeping each other spiritually awake. But, by the grace of God, not on my watch!  Not on your watch!  And not on our children’s watch…

But when we are listening to what Jesus says about us and pay more attention to doing what will awaken us spiritually over and over again, the church will be stronger than we’ve ever known it in our lifetime.   

The remainder of this passage gives us 5 remedies to spiritual sleepiness, a sort of “spiritual No-Doze” if you will.  But before we look at that, I want us to give some personal thought to the question: What should we be doing to wake each other up spiritually in Mosaic?   

APP:  [Think and talk about in small groups for 2-3 minutes.  Share thoughts.]

So let’s unpack those 5 No-Doze pills a bit.  They come in this letter from Jesus as 5 commands, or 5 prescriptions to deal with spiritual lethargy and apathy.

Vs. 2-3:  I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!

1.) Set your alarm! 

ILL:  The past couple of weeks, I ran out of a medicine I’ve been taking for years to help me sleep better at night so I don’t get migraines.  So I thought I would try going without it.  Bad idea!  I’ve been sleeping not only poorly but only about 2/3rds of what I normally need.  As a result, I’ve had all kinds of unpleasant symptoms from facial to stomach pain.  So the first night I had the prescription refilled and took the medicine, it worked so sell I overslept my alarm.  I had the alarm radio set so low that I didn’t hear it in my deeper sleep.  I needed to turn up the volume not to miss it. 

            The command here is what is called a “present imperative”.  It means it is something we are to be continually doing.  This command could be stated, “Keep on continually watching…keep on being awake!” 

            We already talked about the things that help us wake up or stay awake spiritually. Those things are like turning on the alarm clock at night before you go to sleep.  If you don’t take steps to make them active and functional, you and I will fall asleep spiritually. 

APP:  Each one of us needs to figure out what sorts of spiritual activities wake us up.  What wakes me may not wake you?

  • Worship in song may wake your heart. Sitting quietly before the Lord daily may wake mine.
  • Reading inspiring and challenging Christian books may move your heart. Listening to a podcast or watching a spiritually moving video may wake me up.
  • Having regular fellowship with a group of committed spiritual men may wake me up spiritually. Praying with your spouse or a close friend may awaken spiritual life in you. 

Figure out what wakes you up spiritually by looking back over your experience and identifying the times you were “woke” to God…and try to fit more of those experiences into your life. 

Set your spiritual alarm clock to awaken your soul frequently. 

2.)  Rehab what you’ve got!  Vs. 2--“Strengthen what remains and is about to die….”

ILL:  Ever been through surgery?  Our brother, Aaron C., just had his knee replaced.  He was telling me that they cut both the top and bottom of the bones that comprise your knee, fit in new titanium joints and ball and reconnect the ligaments and muscles to get your leg to work right.

 But that’s just the beginning, right?  What do they require you to do to get use of the knee back?  A LOT of painful “rehabilitation.”  If you don’t “strengthen what remains,” you’re going to lose it! 

The old adage, “Use it or lose it” applies to the spiritual life too.  Whatever we don’t keep using, we keep losing.  Like everything else in life, if we’re not working hard to hang onto it, to manage it well, to strengthen it, to build more muscle, then we will be losing it.  Don’t think the spiritual life is something totally different when it comes to hard work. Just like staying in shape physically the older you get doesn’t necessarily get easier, neither does staying awake spiritually.   

APP:  Even when our spiritual life seem lifeless and dying, there are sparks there we can “fan into flame.”  There are muscles we can start strengthening.  There is truth we can keep guarding and rekindling.  Look for what still is bringing some glimmer of spiritual awareness and sensitivity to your life.  Start there.  Do more of it.  Don’t drop what little you may have. 

APP:  Pause and ask God what about your spiritual health and life does He want you to guard, strengthen or rehab?  [Silent prayer.]

3.)  Review what you knew!  Vs. 3—“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard….”

In our spiritual development, if we forget the things we’ve learned about how to grow in Christ, about spiritual truths that protect us from spiritual attack, about truth that triumphs in the battle…if we forget those things, just learning new spiritual truth won’t work.              So REVIEW is important to spiritual alertness.  It may be reviewing memory verses.  It may be reviewing a book you read once that really helped you grow.  It may be reviewing a message you heard somewhere that impacted you a while back…or a small group experience you need to reengage with. 

ILL:    We were visiting in the home of one of our children recently.  There were little notes all over the house…on the fridge, the mirror, the kitchen cabinets, the dining table.  Some of them were Bible verses.  Some were simple statements that reflected biblical truth like, “I’m a child of God himself, chosen and very valuable in His eyes.” They had put them up to remind themselves of truth that helped them fight negative self-thoughts.

ILL:  Isn’t that why we keep the Valentine’s cards our sweetheart has given us?  Sandy’s got some around the house I gave her years ago.  They remind her of how I feel towards her…for all those times when I simply forget to say so. 

APP:  What are we doing to remember things we’ve already learned in our faith? 

            One of the best ways to “remember” what we received and learned spiritually already is to share it/teach it to others.  This may be why the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 5:12—“…though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” 

ILL:  being challenged in H.S. to run the Children’s Church at 4th Memorial.  It was just me and another high school student for the year.  But there is nothing like weekly prep of a Bible lesson to solidify you in the truths of the faith. 

APP:  Some of YOU need to start teaching…whether a Bible study or a Children’s S.S. class or a one-on-one mentoring relationship. 

4.)  DO what you know!  “Hold it fast….” 

That phrase can give the wrong impression.  It doesn’t just mean to hang onto something.  To “hold fast” means to actually DO IT, actually put it into practice. 

ILL:  The word of God is like a football in a game.  We’re each the quarterback.  Our job is to take it from the “center”/God and get it across the goal line of life.  Yes, we’ve got to “hold onto it” but not in a passive sort of way.  You’ve got to run with or pass the ball to win.  Same with the Word of truth—we must DO something with it.

            As I’ve mentioned before, sadly, much of the way we’ve learned to “do church” is nothing more than learned disobedience.  Without actually acting upon the word of God, we are just teaching each other to listen, learn and disobey. 

What a difference it would make if every week we were somehow in the habit of sharing what we did with last week’s truth and challenge? 

ILL:  For instance, Andrew’s closing point last week was something like, “A life marked by holiness steadfastly plods in righteousness.”  I know that phrase is something God has been using in my life and some of yours.  So let me hear what God spoke to some of you about in “steadfast plodding”.  What kinds of things or relationships or experiences did God say, “Keep plodding”?  (Plodding may not be something you see immediate results in like other acts of obedience…or you may not see the rewards for plodding until heaven.)

APP:  This is why every one of us should be asking the question whenever we read the Bible or hear a message, “O.K., Lord, what do you want me to DO with this?”  Then wait until He puts something useful in your mind…or keep asking Him all day long for an answer. 

5.)  Really Change Direction!  (Repent)

Again, this parallels Andrew’s point last week for Thyatira that holy living demands fast and full repentance. 

  • FAST: not hurried “fast” but immediate “fast”.  The longer we sit on sin, the more corrosive it becomes.  The quicker we turn from it, the less power it has. ILL:  Being wounded by someone and starting to nurse a grudge.  The longer we go without letting go of those wounds through forgiveness, the more power those abusers, those people, have over us.  Choosing forgiveness breaks the power of those abuses over us and opens our hearts to the healing work of the Holy Spirit.
  • FULL: The construction of this verb “repent” (an aorist active imperative) implies a complete repentance. This kind of waking up spiritually can’t be done by hitting the “snooze” button on the Holy Spirit. 

ILL:  If I really want to wake up and be fully awake as soon as possible in the morning, I have to get OUT of bed!  Waking up has to involve movement of my whole body.  Either I have to go running or get in the shower and really wake up. 

APP:  Genuine, deep repentance will produce genuine, deep change.  If really becoming fully functioning, fully alive spiritually is my desire, then I’ll need to actually move away from what I’m in or doing now (spiritual slumber), get up and move into some new experience or spiritual conditioning that wakes me up more.

  • Fellowship: if you want to experience the spiritual life that can come from regularly being with and challenged by other on-fire believers, you will have to make the time every week.
  • Addiction/besetting sin: If I’m continually tripping over some sin in my life, I will probably have to change where I go, what I do, who I hang out with, how I spend my free time, etc.  It may also involve developing a safe but serious relationship with a spiritual mentor who will guide me and with whom I’ll be honest, transparent, confessing sins and working out a different way of living. 

As the Holy Spirit points out things that are not wholesome, godly, holy in our lives, we can either just shrug them off OR we can thank God for pointing out the stinky dog poop of sin on our spiritual shoes and ask God to help me get washed off. 

Failure to repent, to simply obey, to remember what we already understand, to rehab what may be weak and to set the spiritual alarm clock of our souls regularly to wake up…failing to heed these commands, according to the last half of verse 3, puts us in a disciplinary position with God.  “But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” 

ILL:  I remember getting a phone call from a couple of our children one summer when Sandy and I were away on vacation for a bit.  They had stopped over to our house to pick something up and stumbled in on a rather wild party put on, in our absence of course, by one of our other children.  They showed up completely unexpectedly…and life changed rather dramatically for their errant sibling on the spot. 

            One of the more sobering truths about God’s family is that God is harder on His own kids than those who have rejected him.  It’s the same reason I was “harder on” my own kids when they were in my house than the neighbor kids who often fill our cul-de-saq.  God disciplines his own kids in ways he doesn’t discipline those outside his family.  We are His responsibility and He always does what is best for us…even when that involves discipline. 

The final section of this passage is really meant to encourage those who keep fighting for an alive church.  Jesus gives four promises for awakened saints.  These are good to remember, especially when you may feel stuck in a church experience that isn’t as sold-out as you know it can be.  Jesus still has great blessings for anyone who will overcome spiritual lethargy and sleepiness: 

  1. Jesus will walk with you constantly. Those who step away from the sins of their culture, their church and their own lives will have a walk with Jesus that is renewing. 

Rev. 3:Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.  When we are fully awake to Christ, we will have a daily experience with HIM…not with just a church, or with some Christians…with HIM!  Freedom from sin brings us a Christ-experiencing life where He is everything our hearts long for daily. 

  1. Jesus will take away our shame and clothe us with beauty, with that which is glorious. Clothing is used as a symbol of purity or victory in Revelation (vv. 4,5,18; 6:11; 7:9,13-14; 19:14).

ILL:  When was the last time you spilled some food all over yourself?  If you’re in the school cafeteria…and they are serving spaghetti for lunch…and some kid gets pushed and comes crashing into you…and your plate of spaghetti goes flying all over your front, how do you feel the rest of the day walking to classes and hanging out with friends? You can’t wait to get home and change clothes, right?  Soiled clothes makes us all self-conscious, even though we’re all people who get our clothes dirty.  But imagine how you would feel if you were invited to dine with the President & his wife (all politics aside) and had spilled food all over your front? 

      Jesus promises you and I will never feel that kind of shame in His presence.  Being fully alive to Christ now will enable us to fully enjoy His presence forever.  If we don’t enjoy Him and His life at work within us, we will certainly not enjoy forever in His holy presence. 

  1. Our names will be forever in His Book of Life, (3:5). Jesus will guard us eternally!

 “I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life….”

In other words, our future with Christ is absolutely secure.  Jesus speaks what is called a strong double negative here. He will “not ever”, “no never” remove our name from the book of life. 

We’re familiar with this concept having to have your name on the list, right? 

  • When you fly anywhere these days, your name better show up with a reservation on the computer screen when you check in or you’re not leaving town.
  • When you try to enter any other country of the world, you better be sure your name is on the U.S. Passport file…or you won’t be leaving the U.S. of A.

HISTORY:  When citizens died in the ancient Roman world, their names would be erased from the rolls of their city…sort of like purging the voter rolls…except accurate (unlike 462 U.S. counties that each have more registered voters than adults living there…3.5 million more!).

But the point here is that God will never remove believers from His rolls, NEVER! 

FYI, God has a dual database of every human life. 

In Rev. 20:12-15, there are two books mentioned:

  • First, the book of life which is made up of the names of all God's people who have put their faith and life in Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with your works and everything to do with your response to God’s work for you, Jesus.  (cf.  32:32-33; Ps. 69:28; Isa. 4:3; Dan. 12:1; Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27)
  • Second, the books of deeds or remembrances which records the deeds of both the wicked and righteous (cf.  56:8, 139:16; Isa. 65:6; Mal. 3:16; Rev. 20:12, 13). In some way, everyone’s life deeds will matter in eternity, in both heaven and in hell.  But that truth is for another day.

4.)  But as comforting as it is to know that one’s eternity is as secure as heaven and God’s forever word is, the last promise of Jesus is a clincher.  Vs. 5--“I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” 

Jesus will cherish you publically!

When you get to heaven, Jesus isn’t going to be staring at the floor, kicking the dust, embarrassed to say that He knows you or that, “Yes, she/he belong to Me.”  You and I are going to be introduced in THE most important and beautiful PLACE ever to exist (heaven) by THE most important BEING ever to exist to THE most amazing ASSEMBLY of creatures ever to exist—divine, angelic or human…as someone deeply loved and cherished.

That is going to be an amazing experience, especially for those of us who may never have been applauded by parents or teachers or peers.  For those who have always felt that they don’t measure up, imagine God himself being delighted to acknowledge you as His very own deeply loved child before everyone and everything that has ever existed in this universe…and He’ll do it with great joy!   

Benediction: Jude 1:  24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.