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Light Revelation 21:23-24 Thursday, 7 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly.

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Presentation on theme: "Light Revelation 21:23-24 Thursday, 7 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Light Revelation 21:23-24 Thursday, 7 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly

2 Revelation 21: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.

3 What the City Does Not Have I find it interesting how Revelation emphasizes what the city does not have: A Temple Sun or moon Why? Because it doesn’t need these things. The very presence of God and of the Lamb makes such things unnecessary. The whole city (i.e., the whole earth) is sufficient as a place to worship God when God is present. And the very presence of God and of the Lamb provides whatever light is needed (in the whole earth)!

4 A Vision for Now! That the New Jerusalem, the holy city, the Bride, the wife of the Lamb does not need a temple or sun or moon is a reminder that Revelation is not just a prediction of God’s future, or the end of time, but also a proclamation of the potential of God’s present! Ps 72 8 Blessed be the L ORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

5 A Vision for Now! In the Lord’s Prayer, Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven … are synonymous petitions: they mean the same thing. They are all about God’s kingdom, God’s reign on earth, now, not about some future consummation. In a similar way, Revelation envisions heaven and earth as renewed, and the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven to transform out present existence, not take us out of here to a heavenly one!

6 A Vision for Now! Isa 6 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; …. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the L ORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

7 Revelation 21:23-26; 22: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

8 The sea and night will be no more In Rev 21:1, the sea will be no more. In Rev 21:25 and 22:5, there will be no more night. Sea (Yam) in near Eastern mythology was a rival god. Night (Nyx) also was deified as a dreadful figure, a time for demons and for magic. So their demise may well be an expression of God’s final victory over the powers of evil.

9 The sea and night will be no more But John’s experiences on Patmos may also be in view here. The sea was John’s prisoner. Patmos was a small island surrounded by water. Night on Patmos must have been very dark and oppressive. In God’s future, neither will be present!

10 Light in Revelation In Revelation, light plays a consistently positive role: When John sees a vision of Jesus for the first time in chap. 1, he says that “his face was like the sun shining with full force” (1:16). When an angel with “great authority” announces the fall of Babylon, “the earth was made bright with his splendor” (18:1). The bride is clothed with “fine linen, bright and pure” (19:8). And Jesus himself is “the bright morning star” (22:16).

11 What about the nations? Interestingly, the text adds that “the nations will walk by its light [i.e., the light of the glory of God], and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it” (v. 24). What is Revelation’s understanding of “the nations”? (In biblical Greek, “the nations” and “the Gentiles” were expressed with the same words: ta ethnē.)

12 The Nations as God’s Enemies 3 26 To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end, I will give authority over the nations; 27 to rule them with an iron rod, as when clay pots are shattered— 28 even as I also received authority from my Father Do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months. … 17 “We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty, who are and who were, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18 The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for judging the dead, for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints and all who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

13 The Nations as God’s Enemies 18 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, 23 for your merchants were the magnates of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

14 The Nations Redeemed But that is not the whole story in Revelation. The nations are also redeemed! When the Lamb is revealed, the four living creations and 24 elders … 5 9 … sing a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;

15 The Nations Redeemed 10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.” In Rev 7 a great multitude “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” says, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (vv. 9-10).

16 The Nations Redeemed The Lord God Almighty is “king of the nations” (15:3). God is not willing to destroy them. Rather, “All nations will come and worship before you” (15:4). And in the climax of Revelation, … “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it [the new Jerusalem]. … 26 People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

17 Even God’s Enemies Enfolded In the end, even God’s enemies are brought into the glory of the new Jerusalem … and they bring their own glory into it as well.

18 Revelation is Missional, Even Evangelistic Revelation is a missional book. It concludes with an invitation to come, drink freely, and enjoy life. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations! Victory is not easy: “washing robes” in 22:14 probably refers to dying a martyr’s death (cf. 7:14). But all are invited.

19 Revelation 22: The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Here the Holy Spirit and the people of God join in extending an invitation to Jesus: “Come!” And let everyone who hears say, “Come” [come, Lord Jesus]. Here the invitation is extended to “everyone who hears” (everyone within earshot of Revelation): “Come” [come, Lord Jesus]. And let everyone who is thirsty come. Here we are shocked with yet another subtle twist. Here suddenly it is not Jesus who is invited to come, but “everyone who is thirsty.” Yes, Jesus will come, but the thirsty need not wait: they can come and drink now! Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. The water of life is available now. No one need wait around for it.

20 Revelation 22:17 Reading Together … The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

21 Revelation 21: And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.


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