Speaking to an audience of seminary students, Alistair teaches from Revelation and emphasizes the importance of always drawing a congregation’s attention back to the Gospel. The Bible is about Jesus, from beginning to end, and the details found in the descriptive narrative of Revelation 7 can be expounded upon to ask listeners the poignant question, “Will you see your face among the multitudes in heaven?”
1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants1 of our God on their foreheads.” 4And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
512,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
612,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
712,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
812,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
The continuing challenge of preaching is to bring God’s divine content into the human context in which the message is delivered. For pastors, the key is to help their people understand that following death comes judgment and that the salvation God offers through Christ Jesus is the only deliverance from an eternal sentence. Pastors must make a clear, authoritative and urgent appeal to their congregations to make contact with Jesus Christ from all of Scripture. This is the danger of neglecting the Gospel.
Can the Good News, though, be preached from every book of the Bible? Teaching from Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Acts and Revelation, Alistair Begg shows how the story of redemption is revealed and brought forward. In this series, Alistair encourages pastors to structure their messages by looking to the biblical text and focusing on the details of a scene. Likewise, by searching for Jesus in all of Scripture, pastors will be able to affirm again and again that the only safe haven is in the mercy of God as manifested in Christ.
|Preaching the Gospel from Ruth||Ruth 1:1-22|
|Preaching the Gospel from Ecclesiastes||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Preaching the Gospel from Acts||Acts 25:23-26:32|
|Preaching the Gospel from Revelation||Revelation 7:1-17|