9
May
2016

Tree of Life

Sermon on Revelation 22:1-6,12-20, for the 7th Sunday of Easter, about the Tree of Life and the river of the water of life in the New Jerusalem. Why does the last chapter of the Bible bring us back to the Tree of Life, recalling the Garden of Eden? How is access to the Tree of Life restored? What does the image of the water of life communicate about Jesus? What is the role of truth and falsehood in relation to access to this Tree of Life?

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2
May
2016

New Jerusalem

Sermon on Revelation 21:9-27, for the 6th Sunday of Easter, about St. John's vision of the New Jerusalem, the city, the bride of Christ, the people of God. How does this imagery draw from many parts of the Bible, and what does it teach us? What is heaven like? How do we enter there? How is God's presence with His people shown?

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18
Apr
2016

The Lamb will be their Shepherd

Sermon on Revelation 7:9-17, for the 4th Sunday of Easter, about the multitude without number, worshipping before the Throne of God and of the Lamb. Who are they, and where are they from? Who are the 144,000 that come in the verses before? What is the Lutheran understanding of these two groups, and how they fit into the big picture of Revelation, and our own experience of persecution on the earth? What is our confidence in the midst of trial?

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11
Apr
2016

Worthy is the Lamb

Sermon on Revelation 5:1-14, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, about the heavenly scene of worship at the throne of God, in Revelation 5. What is the relation of God and the Lamb? Why is the Lamb worthy? What does Revelation teach us about who Jesus is and what worship is?

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11
Apr
2016

Risen Jesus Reigns from the Throne

Sermon on Revelation 1, for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, about how the book of Revelation shows the heavenly perspective of Jesus, and what the main theme of the book of Revelation is. How does it speak comfort to Christians in times of trouble and facing persecution?

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3
Nov
2014

Washed in the blood of the Lamb

Sermon on Revelation 7:9-17, for All Saints' Day. A sermon about the church triumphant, the saints in glory, who have passed through the great tribulation and are forgiven and made holy by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.

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30
Sep
2013

Angels: Ministering Spirits

Sermon teaching on angels, ending with a focus on Revelation 12:7-12, for the Festival of St. Michael and all angels. Who are the angels, and what do they do? What role do they play in God's service and plan of salvation? 

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7
Nov
2011

For All the Saints 2

Revelation 7:9-17. A sermon on the comfort and joys of heaven, and how that relates to our suffering and tribulation now. What is the measure of a saint? How do we become saints? Will heaven be boring? The music and joy of heaven.

(note: I am posting two recordings of this sermon preached on the same text, because they varied quite a bit, while on the same topics)

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7
Nov
2011

For All the Saints 1

Revelation 7:9-17. A sermon on the comfort and joys of heaven, and how that relates to our suffering and tribulation now. What is the measure of a saint? How do we become saints? Will heaven be boring? The music and joy of heaven.

(note: I am posting two recordings of this sermon preached on the same text, because they varied quite a bit, while on the same topics)

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24
May
2010

Easter Letters: Laodicea–I Counsel You to Buy…

Sermon on Revelation 3:14-22, the letter to the church of Laodicea. The seventh and final sermon in the series "Easter Letters."

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Laodicea was a crossroads city and a major banking center, and had a medical school. It was notable for lack of pure water supply. Nearby Hierapolis had medicinal hot springs and mineral waters, while neighboring Colossae had a cold, pure and refreshing water supply. Laodicea’s was believed to be lukewarm. See Colossians 2:1; 4:12-16

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Laodicea: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. How does Scripture warn against the danger of assuming our self-sufficiency without God? What things create the mindset that we have prospered and don’t need anything? Rev. 3:17; James 5:1-6; Eccles. 4:7-8; 5:10-12; What does Scripture teach us brings true satisfaction? Isaiah 55:1-3; Matt. 5:6; Psalm 65:4; 90:14; 103:5; 107:9

  1. How can a church or individuals become “lukewarm” or mediocre? What is Jesus’ diagnosis of their real spiritual condition? What is the cure He proposes they “buy”? What does this cost us? Isaiah 55:1-3; Rev. 22:17

  1. Why is discipline a sign of God’s love? What is the benefit of discipline? Hebrews 12:3-11; Prov. 3:11-12; 12:1; 13:24; 22:15.

  1. How does Christ come and eat with us, and us with Him? Luke 22:14-20; 24:28-35; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
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17
May
2010

Easter Letters: Philadelphia–An Open Door!

Sermon on Revelation 3:7-13, the letter to the church of Philadelphia. The 6th part in a sermon series on the 7 churches in Asia.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. The name Philadelphia means “brotherly love” and commemorated the loyalty of the two Greek brothers Eumenes and Attalus, who founded the city. Historians and leaders of that time held up these brothers as remarkable examples of loyalty and devotion that others should imitate. Philadelphia suffered devastation in the same 17 AD earthquake that struck Sardis. For many years later it continued to be weakened by earthquakes, and so had cautious and few residents.

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Sardis: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. Jesus has the “keys of David.” What “access” does He control? What does it mean that what He opens no one will shut, and what He shuts, no one will open? Isaiah 22:20-25; Matt. 16:19; John 20:22-23; Rev. 1:18. What door stands open to us because Christ holds these keys?

  1. What door was opened for the church of Philadelphia? Cf. Acts. 14:27; 1 Cor. 16:8-9; 2 Cor. 2:12. What door (of opportunity) is open to us at Emmanuel on Maui? What steps do we need to take to go through it?

  1. For those who have “little power”, of what comfort is it to know that we conquer together with Christ? That we are established and made firm as pillars in His temple? Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-10; 1 Cor. 6:19
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10
May
2010

Easter Letters: Sardis–Walk With Me

Sermon on Revelation 3:1-6, the letter to the church of Sardis. Part 5 of the sermon series "Easter Letters" based on the seven churches in Asia found in the book of Revelation.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Sardis was the capital of the Lydian kingdom, then was overthrown by the Persians. It had a long history of being a military stronghold due to its strategic location and steep cliffs. Yet it had been captured several times when the soldiers were caught off guard. How does this give insight into Jesus’ warnings here?

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Sardis: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. In the description of Christ, what do the seven stars He holds represent? Rev. 1:20. What might the seven spirits refer to? Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 5:6; cf. Isaiah 11:2; Zech. 4:1-4 (esp. v. 6).

  1. What are the dangers and costs of living off your reputation? How do we keep free of over-confidence or lack of vigilance? Prov. 11:2; 16:18; 29:23. How does humility serve us better in our growth and maturity? For what reason should we be watchful?

  1. Having faith in Christ grants us the clean garments of His righteousness (innocence). How do some “soil” their garments? Jude 23; Romans 12:2; 13:11-14; Ephesians 4:17-32. What does it mean for us to be clothed in white and walk with our Lord? How is this an image of final victory for the one who conquers? Revelation 7:9-14; Galatians 3:27
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3
May
2010

Easter Letters: Thyatira–Hold Fast!

Sermon on Revelation 2:18-29, for the 5th Sunday of Easter. This is part four of the sermon series "Easter Letters" and addresses the church of Thyatira.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Thyatira was an army post and center of commerce where vice and immorality were rampant. We know little from history or the Bible except that Lydia, a convert, was from there (Acts 16:14-15).

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Thyatira: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. Look at parallels to the image of Christ here. Daniel 10:6; Jer. 17:9-10; 11:20; Ps. 7:9ff; 2:8-9; Rev. 22:16; Num. 24:17; Dan. 12:3.

  1. Who was Jezebel in the Old Testament? 1 Kings 16:31-33; 21:25-26; How is she a fitting comparison to the “Jezebel” of Thyatira? What must all who are caught in sin do? How does God respond to the repentant? The unrepentant? Ezekiel 18:21-24; John 7:53-8:11.
  2. What should we “hold fast” to? Luke 8:15; 1 Cor. 15:2; Col. 2:19; 1 Thess. 5:21; Heb. 3:6; 10:23; Cf. Hosea 12:6; Psalm 46

  1. Who is the “morning star”? Cf. Rev. 22:16; 2 Peter 1:19; Num. 24:17; Daniel 12:3. How does the believer receive this?
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26
Apr
2010

Easter Letters: Pergamum–Hidden Manna

Sermon on Revelation 2:12-17, the letter to the church of Pergamum. The 3rd in a 7 part series on the letters to the churches of Asia found in the book of Revelation.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. The city of Pergamum is only mentioned here in the Bible. It was a city full of pagan temples that may explain the phrase “where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.” A throne-like temple to Zeus and a temple to the god Asclepios both had serpent-like artwork and sculptures, and the title “savior” was used of these false gods. Also, the strong emperor worship cult here set the sword of Caesar against the ‘sword’ of the Lord.

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Pergamum: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. What is the “sharp, two-edged sword” proceeding from the mouth of Jesus? Rev. 1:16; Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17. Cf. Isaiah 11:4; 49:2. How does the Word of God have “two edges?” What do they do?

  1. Why is it impossible for Christians to “divide their allegiance” between the ‘gods’ and immorality of the world, and the true God and His calling on our life? Matt. 6:24; Rom. 12:2. Where can false worship and false allegiances (faith) ultimately lead us? How can we find safety instead?

  1. What is the ‘hidden manna’ that Jesus gives to those who conquer with Him? Cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-4; 16; John 6:22ff. What do we receive in hand and in mouth? Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23. What heavenly banquet does this anticipate and join us to?
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19
Apr
2010

Easter Letters: Smyrna–Crown of Life

Sermon on Revelation 2:8-11, to the church of Smyrna. The second part of the seven part series "Easter Letters" to the 7 Churches of Asia in the book of Revelation.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. The city of Smyrna is only mentioned here in the Bible. Its citizens were proud of its beauty and architecture, and it’s thought that the shape of the city with a hilltop crest in the middle resembled a crown, which was a prominent symbol associated with Smyrna’s beauty. The city had dedicated a temple to Rome there in 195 BC. There was hostility between the Jewish and Christian communities there. In 156 AD, Polycarp, the aged Christian bishop of the city was martyred in the arena.

  1. Identify the following in the letter to Smyrna: (these basic features are repeated in each letter)

Image of Christ:

Local detail about the church:

What Christ sees: A) Good B) Bad

Call to Repent:

Promise to the One who Conquers:

  1. How does the title used for Jesus: “the first and the last” (2:8) show His divinity? Compare to who else receives this title in the following passages: Rev. 1:8, 17-18; 21:6; 22:13; Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12.

  1. What does it mean to be physically poor, but spiritually rich? How is this greater than all earthly treasure? Matthew 5:2-12; 6:19-24; James 5:1-5

  1. What persecution and slander do Christians face? What are some common slanders against the church? Against God or Christ?

  1. What is the reward for faithfulness in the midst of persecution—even to death? How was Polycarp an imitator of Christ? What is the second death that cannot harm us? Rev. 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8. Cf. John 5:19-30
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