Four Terrible Excuses To Avoid Doctrinal Preaching

Sound doctrine is gravely important for the church.  The apostle Paul wrote,

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. . . . For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (2 Tim. 2:15; 4:3-4).

Paul’s admonition to his protégée in ministry remains applicable for the twenty-first century preacher as well.  Paul seemed to peer through the corridor of time and see doctrinal decline in the church.  Doctrine is important for the church, yet it is often absent from the pulpit.

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What Happens Next? Revelation 10, The Angel With A Little Scroll

Although God has hidden some of the future from us, a mighty angel reveals that the sounding of the seventh trumpet will bring about the full completion of his plan. God’s word is both sweet and bitter to those for whom he gives it. – Kendell H. Easley

  • Although one would expect John to move directly into the 7th and final trumpet, chapter 10 serves as an interlude of sorts – to build anticipation and ensure us that God has a plan and he is working it to perfection. It will be completed in His way and on His timetable.

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What Happens Next? Revelation 8, The 7th Seal/4 Trumpet Blasts

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

  • After the intermission of chapter 7, we return to the opening of the 7 seals mentioned back in chapter 5.
  • John’s report of the events continues from a heavenly perspective.
  • Chapter 8 is largely a display of God’s judgment on sin through a series of trumpet blasts.
  • “When the Lamb” – John reminds us briefly of what was stated in 5.6-10, that Christ is the only one worthy to open the seals.
  • “silence in heaven for about half an hour” – until now, John’s description of heavenly events largely revolves around continual worship of the godhead…”day and night they never stop, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was , who is, and who is to come” (4.8). This is no doubt a signal that something big is about to happen.
  • The opening of the 7th seal is really the continuing of the unfolding of the judgment scroll of chapter 5. A telescoping of sorts.
  • “What he sees and hears better described as angels blowing trumpets rather than as reading the contents of a scroll. Another way to think about this is that the seven trumpet judgments (and seven bowl judgments of chapter 16) are what is written on the scroll. After the seventh seal is broken, the scroll unrolls to reveal its contents.” – Kendell H. Easley, Revelation, vol. 12, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 142.

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What Happens Next? Revelation 7: Sealed, Standing, & Saved

  • Revelation 7 gives us a picture of believers just before God’s final judgment(s) in verses 1-8, and after the judgment(s) are completed in verses 9-17.
  • Chapter 7 reminds us that God is in the saving business from start to finish. It has major implications on the doctrines of eternal security and election (see verses 3-4).
  • Chapter 7 reminds us that everyone that is sealed by God will, no doubt, receive the promise of eternal life.

More than once in Revelation an interlude halts the flow of an unfolding series. The events of chapter 7 fall between the breaking of the sixth and seventh seals. The events of chapter 10 and most of 11 fall between the blowing of the sixth and seventh trumpets. If Revelation was intended as a strict chronological composition, this would be distressing, but this is a literary masterpiece that communicates through sight and sound, so the interludes heighten our anticipation. We will be very anxious to find out what happens when the seventh seal is broken and the seventh trumpet is blown. – Kendell H. Easley, Revelation, vol. 12, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 124.

  • Chapter 7 gives us a glimpse of what heaven will be like for those who trust in Jesus.

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What Happens Next? Revelation 6: Six Seals of Seven

  • After visions of the worship of God and the worthiness of Christ in the previous two chapters, we are now drawn down to see the rebellion of the earth.
  • Revelation contains 3 different series of God’s judgments – the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls. – John Phillips has said:
    • The seals – the world is ruined by man
    • The trumpets – the world is ruined by Satan
    • The bowls – the world is rescued by God (Exploring Revelation, 95)
  • Chapter six contains six of the seven seals mentioned earlier in chapter 5.2. If you remember, the seals are representative of God’s judgment, thus in this chapter, we will begin to see and understand what that looks like.
  • As a reminder, depending on one’s end times view, some may see these as specific future events and others may see these as general descriptions which happen throughout the course of history until the return of Christ. Regardless, many of the conclusions of these seals have large agreement among various scholars.
  • The seals seem to progressively increase in intensity as the Holy Spirit’s restraint is removed from the earth.

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What Happens Next? Revelation 5, Jesus Is Worthy

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

  • “In the right hand” – a position of prestige, importance, or honor.
  • “right hand of him” – God, for the first time in Revelation is described in human-like terms.
  • Scholars have debated the nature of this unnamed scroll, but this most likely a scroll of judgment when you look at it’s placement within the context of Revelation. This scroll was probably originally mentioned in Ezekiel 2.9-10

And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

 

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