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Preaching on Patmos

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I… was on the island of Patmos…on the Lord’s Day, (Rev. 1:9).

First, let me wish all you dads out there a happy Father’s Day. All I want for Father’s Day is my suitcase. It is somewhere between Denver and Istanbul. This is what happens when you try to replicate the above text! Last Sunday, what John calls “the Lord’s Day”, I was on the island of Patmos. I had the wonderful experience of being part of a worship service our group held outside the cave where tradition tells us John received what we call the book of Revelation.

What do you preach about when you are on the island of Patmos on the Lord’s Day? I shared from my favorite chapters of Revelation. In this vision, Jesus caught John up “in the Spirit” to show him the real Heaven. His experience is recorded in chapters four and five of Revelation. I picked four items John saw in his experience as the heart of what I taught.

John saw a throne. I have written about this in a previous article. This is THE throne! It is the place of ultimate control, power, and authority in the seen and unseen universe. This throne is occupied. Someone sits on it. We call that person God. The universe is not a random product of time, chance, and matter (whose origin those who hold such a philosophy cannot explain). Life is purposeful. History is heading somewhere. There is a throne in heaven…and it is occupied!

John also saw a scroll in the right hand of the one seated on the throne. The events of the future of humanity and the universe are contained within this scroll. John says it was sealed with seven seals and had writing inside and on the outside. This scroll needs to be opened for the mess our world is in to be changed. Someone who is “worthy” needs to be found who can open the scroll. Because the throne is occupied, someone is going to open this scroll.

John saw a Lamb who had been slain but lives. This lamb is a lion. He is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. This is a vision of Jesus. In the vision, he takes the scroll and begins to open its seals. Ultimately, the message contained within includes the fact that he is coming again, and a new heaven and a new earth are coming. It is a reality where there will be no more pain, suffering, or death. It is a reality where God will no longer seem to be distant (he really never is!) but where all who love him will experience direct, full, and increasing relationship with the tri-une God who is. These three heavenly realities were the heart of what I felt led to speak about when “I was on the island of Patmos…on the Lord’s Day”.

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