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Sermon Outline - The Keys of Christ, Revelation ch.1 v.18

Date11/04/2004
Time18:30
PreacherRev. Maurice Roberts, Inverness
Sermon TitleThe Keys of Christ
TextRevelation ch.1 v.18
Sermon ID816

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Introduction

Christ is "Conqueror of Death". We should be profoundly thankful to have Bibles! How we need them! Where people have no Bibles, they have no sure knowledge re. the state of mankind after death. It is sad to see this ignorance in nations without Bibles: eg.

  1. Ancient Egypt - Pharaoh CHEOPS - burial-chamber discovered in 1954 - his SOLAR BOAT - travel in safety after death. Groping in the dark/hoping against hope....
  2. Ancient Greeks: silver coin in mouth to cross the Styx into shadowy land of Hades.
  3. American Indians: bow and arrows in grave for the hunt!
  4. Greenland Eskimos: given dog as guide!

    OBSERVE: They knew they had to die - but knew almost nothing re. what life-beyond-death is. They hoped..groped. It is all guess-work.
    * Little has changed in modern world when people refuse to read and believe Bible.

  5. Professor Huxley (Not a Christian - a man of science) - on his tomb:
    "And if there be no meeting past the grave
    If all is darkness, silence, yet 'tis rest.
    For God still giveth his beloved sleep
    And if an endless sleep he wills, so best".
  6. Count Tolstoy: "Good-bye for ever"

OBSERVE

I give you these references because they show how impossible it is to get any sure knowledge of life-after-death except from Bible. Let us turn from these dark gropings + forlorn hopes to our text:

  1. THE VISION OF CHRIST:

    very instructive

    1. A glorious Person: v.14-15. Christ = God:
      1. head and hair white = "Ancient of Days" (Daniel 7:9)
      2. "Fire" - "a consuming fire".
      3. Voice, "many waters" = greatness, fullness.
    2. It reminds us what Jesus is like: v.17
      No one so close to Jesus in this life as John ("-whom Jesus loved") -leaned head on Jesus' breast.
      But now - "fell..as dead". Christ in state of humiliation v. state of glory: "The Lord Jesus Christ".
    3. It shows us that Christ is still in the church: v.13
      The candlesticks = the seven churches (all the churches).
      They all belong to him. He has right to judge them and to speak to themto state what he has to say to them (chapter 2-3).
      OBSERVE: All the churches belong to Him.
      He is watching us all the time. Are we fruitful?
    4. The picture shows us Christ = God and Judge: v.16
      - Out of his mouth - sharp two-edged sword.
      OBSERVE: Here is the Judge of all the earth.
      APPLICATION: If we know Christ, we must never be afraid of man. The Saviour is with us.
    5. It shows us the tender love of Christ for Christians: v. 17
      "Fear not". Laid his right hand upon John - to encourage and comfort him.

      But more especially -
    6. It proves that Christ knows all about the after-life
      What Pharaoh did not know CHRIST knows + tells for our great comfort. "I
      was dead(!)
      am alive..evermore(!)"
      Not rumours or guess-work.
  2. CHRIST HAS THE KEYS! v.18

    1. Keys are for locking/unlocking a door;
      The doors of death, state of death. He can open/unopen those doors. No other can.
      OBSERVE: Not Peter. Those keys are church discipline. These are much more serious = of the grave itself / heaven itself / hell itself / death itself.
      OBSERVE: This is why Christ said: "Fear not him who...".
    2. Christ has entered the vaults of Death and he has come back to tell us that, as his people, we have nothing to fear. This is true of:
      1. Life after death for the Christian:
        "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth." It is a state in which the soul is at rest / in peace / holy / with Christ / 'unclothed' - because body not present as yet.
        DOCTRINE: How? (a) "present with Christ" (b) "made perfect" (c) "rest from their labours" (d) look for blessed resurrection
        APPLICATION: Be convinced of this great fact. "the keys.."
      2. Life after the judgement for the Christian.
        We can have no idea what our resurrected body will be like/look like.
        ILLUSTRATION: seed/plant. But who can imagine that an acorn -> oak / egg -> eagle? OBSERVE: Mistake: idea of a 'halo'. Christ says "like the angels". (No marriage/power, beauty/a body like Christ's body now - see v.14-15.
        APPLICATION: Picture yourself: Dead - in grave - in state of death - under lock and key. "I have the keys". "I am the RESURRECTION and the LIFE..".
  3. WHAT HAPPY THOUGHTS OUR TEXT GIVES US

    1. It makes us faithful + hard-working in life; because we are to be rewarded for it after death.
      1. "Whatsoever good thing..."
      2. "lay up for yourselves..."
      3. "...great will be your reward in heaven".
        APPLICATION: Do you work honestly and well? Do it "as unto the Lord".
    2. Our life here on earth is but a preparation
      "Teach us to number our days - wisdom".
      Psalm 90 - the shortness of our earthly life - the need we have of wisdom to get to heaven.
      Moses wrote that Psalm - his death on Mount Nebo, he got to glory.
      The wisdom" - to know Christ as Saviour.
      "Gospel - wisdom": to trust in the death of Christ for us at the cross.
    3. Every good thing we could wish for is soon to be ours - so we can be of good cheer no matter how sad our life at times:
      We shall not lose our fellow-Christians / our own souls / our worship / our Bible-knowledge/ our enjoyment of Christ / our prayers.
      APPLICATION: But the gates of brass will shut again - and forever on the wicked.

CONCLUSION

No hope in any other (Poor Pharaoh!).
You need to know the Saviour, who carries the keys!


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