The Story at the Centre
THE SATURDAY NIGHT CHALLENGE:
Guess the sermon content – fill in the blanks of the outline and email it to Pastor Jeff (email@example.com) by Sunday morning at 8:00 AM.
Two (2) categories: (1) actual, and (2) creative. A prize will be rewarded for each category. And yes, you can win both categories.
* This page will be updated Sunday afternoon with the answers.
I. Review: Jesus RULING in DIFFICULT times. (Rev. 1-11)
A. Pause #1 – Believers are SAFE on both sides of DEATH.
B. Pause #2 – Called to WITNESS in a BROKEN world. (Rev. 9-11)
C. Today – Three CHARACTERS in a COSMIC battle. (Rev. 12:1-17)
Once again we need to start with a quick review of what is happening in the whole of the Revelation. The individual scenes can be overwhelming if we lose the bigger picture. There is a message for the church during the regime change that is being brought about by the coming of the Kingdom of God.
1. If you had to sum up the message of Revelation thus far in one (or at most two) sentence(s), what would you say?
2. Kid’s question: What is your favourite story right now and why?
II. A very COMPLICATED WOMAN. (12:1-6, 13-17)
A. The woman as ISRAEL. (12:1-2; Gen. 37:9; Is. 26:16-18)
B. The woman as MARY. (12:5; Lk. 1:38)
C. The woman as the CHURCH. (12:6, 13-17; Gal. 4:19)
The first character we see in chapter 12 is a “great and wondrous sign…in heaven.” It’s a woman, a woman full of symbolic meaning on several levels. It’s important to be clear what or who she is intended to represent.
3. When have you had a “sign from heaven” in your own life? How did you know? What was that like?
4. What stands out to you about the description and/or the meaning of the woman? Why?
III. The COMING of the DRAGON. (12:3-4, 17)
A. A REVEALING DESCRIPTION.(12:3-4)
B. What the DRAGON WANTS. (9:11; 12:4, 17)
Before we can even take in all that is meant by the woman another sign appears in heaven. A dragon. An enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns. He is ominous in appearance to say the least, but his motivations are even darker than they way he looks.
5. What stands out to you about the description and/or the meaning of the dragon? Why?
IV. The CHILD is JESUS. (12:5; 19:15; Ps. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-11)
A. An UNDERWHELMING battle and the VICTORY. (12:7-8; 16:16-17)
B. The DEFEAT and RELOCATION of the dragon. (12:8-13)
C. A TWIST of IRONY. (Gen.3:15; 12:5, 7-10)
Who is the child? That’s the easy one. It’s Jesus. At this point everything begins to change. The Dragon is on his way down, and the great battle isn’t what Hollywood expected.
6. How does Jeff’s explanation of the “battle” square with your ideas about “Armageddon”? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
V. DEFEATED Dragons make life DIFFICULT. (12:17; 1 Pet.5:8)
A. He uses ACCUSATION, deception, and fear of DEATH.
(12:4, 9, 10, 15-17)
B. The PATH to OVERCOMING. (12:11)
1. BLOOD bought FORGIVENESS. (12:11a)
2. The TESTIMONY of what God has DONE. (12:11b)
3. A PROMISE greater than FEAR. (12:11c)
So how do we live today, facing a defeated dragon who despite his defeat, is determined “to make war against…those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus”? First we look at his methods, and then we let the gospel disarm him today, just as it always has.
7. When has the devil used those tactics against you? What did it look like specifically? How did you handle it?
8. Which of the three aspects of the “Path to Overcoming” is the most relevant to your situation right now? How do you need to appropriate that into your own life at the moment?