Gospel People 07 – The Kingdom

Revelation 21:1-8

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

 

“And they lived happily ever after.” Do you know how much money Disney make by making cartoons using this concept? Me neither. But all of us love the idea of happily ever after. I don’t think any of us watch a movie or read a book and expecting the world to collapse and everyone to die at the end of it. Well, every now and then you meet some people who love to watch horror movie. How many of you love horror movie? You are not biblical. I don’t understand you but Jesus loves you. But in general, we do not like sad ending. We love happy ending. We love to see a character who was rejected by people, who struggled in life, who was hated for doing the right things, who faced hardship after hardship, but finally manage to find his or her happy ending. That is why we love “Crazy Rich Asians.” By we, I mean you. I haven’t watch it. But I do not need to watch Crazy Rich Asians to know its storyline. Once you watch one Chick Flick movie, you watch all of them. But yet we continue to spend money every year to watch more of the same thing. Why? Because our hearts are drawn to happy ending. We want resolution. We want our lives to also have a happy ending. We want Simba to be king. We want Ariel to be part of our world. We want the shoes to fit Cinderella. We want the beast to turn into a prince. And for the guys, how many of you love the last Avengers? People raves about how amazing the last Avengers was. But let me tell you something. We love it because we know it is not the end. It is only the first part of the two. We are excited about the next upcoming Avengers. And let me give you spoiler about the next Avengers. You ready? Newsflash: Avengers will beat Thanos. You know that right? But all of us are still excited for watch the next Avengers. Now, imagine if Marvel is not making the next Avengers movie and concluded the movie with Thanos’ finger snap. It would be the worst Superhero movie ever. All of us desire a happy ending. We want the good guy to beat the bad guy. And let me tell you, this is biblical. C.S. Lewis writes that the reason why people are drawn to a story with a happy ending is because there is an innate desire in all of us that longs for a better place. We desire out true home. That is why we love Disney’s happily ever after. But Disney’s happily ever after is only a fairy tale. We have something better than fairy tale. Christians have a better reality that is waiting for us where everything wrong will be made right. Where we will finally be home. The Bible calls it heaven or to be exact, the new Jerusalem, the Kingdom.

Tonight, I want to talk to you about heaven. Let me make one disclaimer before I start and I know I may disappoint some of you. I have never been on a tourist trip to heaven or hell. I know there are lots of people out there who claim that they went to heaven and then came back to earth to write a best-selling Christian book on what heaven looks like. I am not one of them. Sorry to disappoint you. One of the question that I got a lot is, “Yos, can we trust the story of those people who have been to heaven and hell?” Because apparently, there are some people who travel back and forth between heaven and earth like Sydney and Melbourne. Sometime I wonder why they never invite me to go to heaven with them. I mean, I don’t want them to invite me when they visit hell. They can go on their own, thanks. But I sure do want them to invite me on their trip to heaven. Yet they never invited me. So I can’t really trust their stories. I’m not saying that their stories are false but I want you to know that whatever God wants us to know about heaven and hell is already written in the Bible. I don’t need a little kid to write a book and tell me what heaven and hell looks like. The Bible speaks about heaven and hell. All I need to know about heaven and hell is found in the Bible. That’s it. If God wants me to know more about heaven and hell, he would have written it down in the Bible. “So what should I do with all these fascinating books about heaven tourism?” I’m not going to tell you what to do but I will demonstrate to you what my friend did. I will not name him to protect his reputation. He send me the video when he found out that the kid who wrote one of heaven tourism book that he read confessed that he never went to heaven. *Take the book, lift it high, throw it to the ground and step on it multiple times.* Remember, this is not what I did but Jejep. I am only showing it to you. To be clear, the last part was my own addition. Okay, now let’s see what the Bible has to say about heaven.

 

As Christians, it is very important that we think a lot about heaven. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good”? People say that a lot but I think that is extremely wrong. The truth is the opposite. One of the main reason that Christians can be earthly good is because they are heavenly minded. Colossians 1:4-5 – since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Paul is saying that the reason that we can love one another radically is because of the hope we have in heaven. Imagine you are about to do sky diving with your spouse in your honeymoon. And now you are already up in the sky in a helicopter. But let’s say that your spouse accidentally slip out of the helicopter with no parachute on. What would you do? Let me tell you what I would do. I’ll check if I have my parachute on or not. Because if I don’t, it does not matter how much I love her, I am not jumping. Two deaths are not better than one. “Baby I love you. We’ll die together.” No that’s not true love. That’s stupid. This is what I love about being single. I can be honest in my illustration. If I am not single and I give this illustration, I’ll be single again as soon as I am done with this sermon. But if I have my parachute on, I might attempt to do Mission Impossible. I jump off the helicopter and try those in-air rescue attempt where I try to catch her and pull my parachute chord as soon as have her in my arm, and say “I got you Babe.” What enable me to jump off and try to be Tom Cruise is the parachute I have on my back. It is the future hope of safety that enables me to love sacrificially now. It is the same with Christian life. It is only those who know the hope that they have in heaven who is able to live sacrificially today.

The reason why many Christians are of no earthly good today is not because they think too much of heaven but they think too little of heaven. Rather than putting their hope in what is to come, they put their hope in here and now. We put out hope in our marriage, our kids, our careers etc. As long as we still put our hope in things of this world, we won’t find strength to live sacrificially for others. We will always think of our present safety. We will not jump off the helicopter. Only those who knows and understands the hope they have in heaven is able to jump off the helicopter and attempt to save other. It is only when you meditate on the future joy that you find strength to endure present suffering.

And this is the context of the book of Revelation. If you are my age and you grow up in church, you might find it hard to believe but the book of Revelation is not written to inspire the Left Behind series. If you have no idea what is Left Behind series, you are blessed. That series freaked me out when I was a kid. The book of Revelation is also not written primarily for us to decipher the future and try to fit every event in history of the world to the book. The book of Revelation is written for the purpose of giving hope to the people of God who are under intense persecution. Christians were being killed every day and many of them were tortured severely to abandon their faith in Christ. The audience of the book of Revelation did not know if they are going to be alive tomorrow. They were facing the risk of death every day. Their concern was not where they are going to eat after church. Their deepest concern was what is going to happen when they die. And to this people, God, through John, gives a beautiful picture of the hope that Christians have in heaven. So today, I want us to gaze our eyes to the future we have in heaven.

 

Three things that I want us to consider about heaven. Our Home; Our King; Our Reward.

 

 

Our Home

 

There are five things that mark our future home. First, a new heaven and earth. Revelation 21:1 – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. The word new here is the Greek word “kainos” which mean that it is not new in term of something different altogether but new in term of quality. With another word, we will still have everything we love about the old heaven and earth. They are not going anywhere. God is not destroying the old heaven and earth to create a brand new heaven and earth. Whatever you love about the old heaven and earth will remain but only so much better. If before you see in standard definition, the new heaven and earth will be in high definition. So if you love KFC, no need to worry. Heaven will have a glorified KFC for free. I don’t know how it’s going to taste like but I’m sure it is awesome. If the current Blue Mountain bores you, wait till heaven. We will have a glorified Blue Mountain, a glorified Grand Canyon, and a glorified Japan. Point is, heaven is not boring! Heaven is not a place where you play harp every day in clouds with eternal choir singing in the background. Heaven is everything you love but so much better. So there is no need of fear of missing out (FOMO). You do not live only once (YOLO). Get rid of your bucket list. You do not need it. You will have eternity to enjoy the new heaven and earth. But then it also says that the sea was no more. For those of you who love to go to the beach or if you love fishing, don’t panic. Heaven is not suck for you. The image of sea in the book of Revelation is used to depict the source of chaos. So if you read the earlier chapters, then you would realize that all those frightening monsters with many heads and horns came out of the sea. The sea is symbolic of evil and chaos. However, in the new heaven and earth, the sea was no more. There will be no more evil and chaos.

 

Second, there will be no more sin. Revelation 21:2 – And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Anyone else realize how weird this verse is? So we have a city called the new Jerusalem, wearing a wedding dress. City on a wedding dress. Good luck trying to picture that. This is most certainly a symbol for something else. Praise God we don’t have to guess. We know that the holy city is a picture of the people of God, you and me. So the new Jerusalem in here is not so much about a place but it is a picture of you and me. And what is cool about it is that we are called the holy city. It means that sin is completely destroyed. We are no longer struggling with sin. And not only that, we will also be prepared as a bride. We will wear our wedding dress. And here is something that I realize about wedding dress. Everyone looks gorgeous in wedding dress. Okay guys, bear with me for a bit. In this picture, we don’t get to be the groom. We are the bride of Christ. Jesus is the Groom. But don’t try to picture yourself in a wedding dress. It is not a pretty picture. Trust me. I tried. But imagine a girl in her wedding dress. Every girl in a wedding dress looks 10/10. And that is why many girls are obsess about wedding dress. They want to look good for their wedding. That is why not many people want to have their wedding underwater. Apparently it happens. So everyone puts on the googles and the scuba gear and goes underwater and they have the wedding underwater. But it is not popular. Do you know why? Because not many brides and grooms look good in a bathing suit. Only 0.001% of the population looks great in their bathing suit. Everyone wants to look good for their wedding and that is why they love wedding dress. Wedding dress cover flaws and makes the bride looks gorgeous. I’m not married but I love attending wedding because I get to dress up. What does it means for us? We know that the gospel makes us positionally holy. When we put our faith in Jesus, we are covered by his blood and righteousness. God sees us as holy because of Christ. But in heaven it will be more than that. We are not just positionally holy but we will be fully holy. Heaven is a place with no sin and we no longer struggle with sin. It is a holy city that wears a wedding dress. You and I will not just be holy but we will also be lovely. We will have no flaw.

 

Third, there will be no more separation. Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. How many of you ever experience the pain of separation with a loved ones? I have not live long enough to experience the pain of separation with loved ones by death. But I have experienced the pain of separation because of broken heart few times. And every time it is painful. It is a pain that makes KFC taste like congee. The good news for us is that in heaven, there will be no more separation. There will be no more separation because of death, divorce or tragedy. We will be with our loved ones forever and ever. In heaven, funeral home will be out of business.

 

Fourth, there will be no more pain. Few weeks ago, Josh Fernando shared in KM that he feel old. And I gave him the look that say, “What are you talking about? You are 22! You know nothing about feeling old. Say that again in 10 years’ time!” And he continued, “I wake up this morning and my body was in pain.” I thought only 30+ experienced this pain but apparently a 22 years old body already experienced it. If you have not, your time will come. A day will come where moving from one sleeping position to another position will strain your body and make you sore when you wake up. It does not matter how often you go to the gym, that day is coming for you. It’s a natural law of the universe that we cannot escape no matter how hard we try. It is called aging. But I have a good news for you. There will be a day where we can sleep and wake up with no pain. There will be a day where you can play soccer and don’t have to worry about slipping and dislocating your knee. A day will come where there will be no more back pain, aches, chemotherapy, AIDS or any diseases. Heaven is a place with no pain. We will have a new glorified body. For those who were born with disabilities, heaven will be different for you. First, let me say that God did not make a mistake when he formed a disabled person. The God of the Bible is the God who is sovereign over every single hair in your head. He does not make mistake. God has a good purpose with your disabilities. But he won’t leave you the same in the heaven. God will give you a glorified body. That day will come. But not yet. In this world, we experienced both physical pain and emotional pain. But a day is coming where God himself will be the one who wipes away all of our tears. Listen to this. In heaven, we do not need to hide and wipe away our own tears because God will be the one who wipe away our tears. Every tears of pain you experienced on earth will be wiped away by God.

 

Fifth, and this is the best of all – God will be with us. Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. This is the golden thread woven in the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, God had been working toward a day where he can dwell with his people. That is why God chose Abraham, that is why he formed Israel, that is why Jesus came and died, and that is why Jesus will return the second time. The climax of history is that God will be with his people. Lots of time when people ask about heaven, they ask about what heaven looks like, if their dog and cat will be in heaven, if they can play soccer or golf, or if their favourite food will be there. That is not a wrong question but it misses the essence of heaven. Revelation 21 describes heaven like a wedding party. Imagine the most glamorous wedding celebration you can think of. If you are from Surabaya, you don’t have to think hard. Okay to make it more personal, imagine my wedding celebration. Some of my friends said that when and if I do get married, it will the wedding of the century. I don’t think I can afford to pay for the wedding of the century but imagination is free. So imagine the wedding of the century. The invitation was sent, every members of the church are invited. There are many guest from overseas and of course there will be many pastors as well. There are tons of food ranging from lobsters and king prawns to fried chicken and Lestari fried rice. Whatever food you can think of, it’s there. No Alcohol though. Juices and sodas only. For the wedding band, Hillsong United and Passion Worship are performing. There is Eden, Taya, Chris Tomlin and also Kristian Stanfil. Matt Chandler flew all the way from Texas to preach in the wedding ceremony and Timothy Keller is the one who will bless the marriage. John Piper is the one who will do the closing prayer. Let’s not forget local product. Daniel Prajogo will be the one who bless the food. It is a super massive celebration. But here is the thing. In the midst of all this super grandiose celebration, no one see the bride. The bride is not present. It’s only me. So the E.O. comes up to me and say, “Not to make you worry, but we have not seen the bride. Where is she?” And I say, “You know, it does not really matter is she is here or not because this wedding is going to be the wedding of the century. Let’s start the party without her. Man, I don’t know if she will show up or not but I sure can’t wait to listen to Chandler’s sermon.” This is crazy. It does not matter how awesome the wedding celebration will be, you know that there will be no wedding celebration at all without the bride and the groom. We have many things to look forward to in heaven but let us not forget what makes heaven, heaven. Heaven is heaven because God will be with us. The God who created the universe will be with his people forever. The reason that there will be a new heaven and earth, there will be no sin, no separation and no pain is because God will be with us. John does not want you to miss this. In one verse, he repeats three times that God will be with his people. The presence of God is what makes heaven, heaven!

 

 

Our King

 

Revelation 21:5-6a – And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

This is the second time God speaks in the book. The first one is in Revelation 1:8. After 20 chapters, God breaks the silence and he says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Notice he does not say “all new things” but “all things new.” God does not hit the reset button and start over from scratch. He takes the things from the old heaven and earth and make them new. It means this. Everything that you are going through will be worth it. All the pain, suffering, struggle, blessing, joy, God will take all of them and make them better than ever. You might not able to make sense of what you are going through today but one day it will be worth it. Does that mean we will forget all the pain and suffering of the past? I don’t think so. But God will make it new. It’s like the pain and the joy of giving birth. When you are in labour, you are in extreme pain. But once you give birth to your child, you experience tremendous joy. Did you forget the pain of labour after giving birth? Of course not. But it’s worth it. God himself will make all things new.

But pay attention to the grammar for a bit. Because the promise is indeed a future promise but it is one that has already begun. God says, “I am making all things new.” Not “will make” but “making.” Here is what it means. Right now, at this very moment, God is already working toward this end. It is a future promise that is happening now. In this very second, God is already working toward the fulfilment of his future promise. It simply means this. God does not waste a single moment of your life nor creation. There is a good and glorious purpose behind every single thing that is happening in your life and in the world right now. Joni Eareckson Tada puts it best. If you don’t know who she is, she is a famous Christian author. She broke her neck as a teenager in a diving accident and she is paralyse from her neck below. She is now in her 70’s. She experienced pains and sufferings that we can’t even begin to imagine. But she writes that she hope that one day she can take her wheelchair to heaven. With a new glorified body, she will stand up with new legs from her wheelchair and she will stand next to the Lord Jesus. She will feel those nail prints in his hands and she will thank Jesus for dying and saving her. And then she will say, “Lord Jesus, do you see that wheelchair over there? Well you were right. When you put me in it, it was a lot of trouble. But the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. I do not think I would ever have known the glory of your grace were it not for the weakness of that wheelchair. So, thank you Lord Jesus, for that… Now, if you like, you can send that thing off to hell.” This is the promise. God is making all things new. Not a single moment is wasted.

 

The question is, how do we know that we can trust everything God said about heaven? I’m glad you asked. Here is how. God commanded John to write down God’s word. “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” God wants John to record his words so that everyone who read the letter will know that God is accountable to make it happen. God says that his word is trustworthy and true. It is not empty. When God says it, it happens. If his word does not come to pass, it means that God is not trustworthy and true. It means that God ceases to be good and ceases to be God. Translation: It is impossible for God to cease to be God and therefore it is impossible for his words to not come true. God cannot lie. This is staggering. But what comes next blow my mind. God says, “It is done!” Now, this is God’s talk! From vantage point of history, this has yet to happen. It is still in the future. We are still in the old heaven and earth. But from God’s vantage point, the future is already determined before it even happen. It is done. The future is certain. It cannot be changed. God keeps his words. There is not even a slight hint of uncertainty in God.

But God is not finish. Here is why we can be sure that it is done. God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Okay, breathe. Alpha and Omega and the first and last Greek alphabet. Now, God is not teaching Greek alphabet lesson when he says he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. When God says that he is the Alpha, he is saying that he is the beginning. He is the one who began the beginning. All things came from him and all things are created through him. He is the uncreated one. The self-sufficient, self-existent God. He does not exist for anything and everything exist because of him. There was not a time when he was not. He is eternal. But God is not just the Alpha but he is also the Omega, the end. It means this. God is not only the one who began history, he is the goal of history. God himself is the purpose and end goal of everything. History is not aimless. God is working toward a goal which is himself. As awesome as Lion King is, Mufasa is wrong when he tells Simba that all of us are in circle of life. We will not become part of the universe that gives life to other things. History has an end and that end is God. The end of history has been written. Paul writes in Romans 11:36 – For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. At the end of history, God will receive all the glory. God stands at the beginning of history and God also stands at the end of history. But here is what I want you to get. If God is the beginning of all and he is the end of all, then he must rule over everything in between. He cannot be idle. He knows everything, he sees everything and he rules over everything from the beginning to the end to accomplish his end goal. That is why God boldly declares, “It is done!” Christians, our future in heaven is certain!

 

 

Our Reward

 

However, this promise does not belong to everyone. God gives a description of two groups of people who receives reward. First, the thirsty. This is the one who will inherit all the promises of God. Revelation 21:6b-7 – To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. The one who gets into heaven are the thirsty. If you are thirsty after God, this promise belongs to you. God will give you water of life without payment. Thirst is not something that you do. Thirst is a condition. Those who are thirsty are those who know that they desperately need the grace of God. They need the free gift of God, the water without cost. They know that they are doomed without Jesus and they put their trust in Jesus alone. Their hope is not on what they can do but on what Jesus has done for them at the cross. They trust in the righteousness of Christ that is given to them by faith. They are those who thirst after Jesus and continue to pursue Jesus and trust in Jesus to fulfil their thirst. They are the one who feast on Jesus and satisfied in Jesus.

But they not only thirst, but they also conquer. It means that there is a battle to be fight. Unless you win this battle, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here is my pastoral concern. It is not a secret that I believe that you cannot lose your salvation. If you are never good enough to earn your salvation in the first place, you can never be bad enough to lose it. Once you are in grace, you are forever in grace. But here is what I also know about grace. Once you tasted the free water of life, you will continue to seek that water. You will not trade that water with any other water because only the water of life can satisfy your thirst. Grace will make you continue to thirst after Jesus. However, my concern is that many of us are too full with worldly pleasures to thirst after Jesus. And I’m not talking about sin. That’s next. I’m talking about many good gifts of God that distract you from thirsting after God. Many of us believe this idea that we can have faith in Christ without thirsting after Christ. So, you might be a good Christian. You go to church every Sunday without fail. You are a kind person. You serve in church. You give tithes. You are in KM. But here is the thing. You are not thirsty after Christ. You do not desire him. Why? Because you are too busy nibbling on other things. You are too busy thinking about the welfare of your family, the success of your business, the person you are dating. And they are not bad things. But you nibble too much at those things and you no longer hunger and thirst after Jesus because you are full already. Today I want you to see that there is an invitation from God to thirst after Christ. There is a feast that God has prepared for you. So stop nibbling at the worldly pleasures and start feasting on Christ. I’m not saying for you to neglect your family and your business but I am saying that those things will not be able to sustain you. Don’t put your hope in them. Put your hope in Christ and gaze your eyes unto heaven. We are not created for this world. We are created for the new heaven and the new earth. That is our home. Look to the coming Kingdom and find the strength to live sacrificially for the sake of Jesus today. Don’t settle for temporary joy when God offers you eternal joy.

 

I wish the verses end there but it does not. I’ll be unfaithful to the Scripture if I stop there. God mentions another group of people. The rebel also receives reward. Revelation 21:8 – But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” I know this is not popular in our culture but I need to say it. My friend, hell is real. For those who do not put their faith in Christ, for those who do not thirst after Christ, your future is certain. What is waiting for you at the end of this journey is not heaven but hell. If you continue to live in sin and refuse to trust Christ, you will be thrown into lake of fire and sulfur. And let me tell you something about this lake of fire and sulfur. It is eternal. It knows no end. You will be burned for eternity without a moment of break. One of the exercise that my physio gave me to train my knee is I have to squat at 90 degree angle and stay there for 45 seconds. It is extremely painful. But knowing that I only need to hold that painful position for 45 seconds helps me to go through the exercise. Basically in the last 10 seconds I start counting down toward the moment my leg won’t be in pain anymore. But hell is eternal. There won’t be a single second of break in your pain and suffering. You might think that hell is not real. You might think that your life is filled with joy right now. But unless you put your faith in Christ, a day is coming when that joy runs out and you will suffer for eternity.

However, it is still not too late for you to repent. It does not matter what have you done or who you are. There is an invitation from the King of Heaven today. Revelation 22:17 – The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

 

 

Discussion:

 

  1. “Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good” Agree or disagree? Explain.
  2. What is the purpose of the book of Revelation? How is it different from how we often times perceives the book of Revelation?
  3. What is the meaning of the phrase, “new heaven and new earth”? How does it suppose to change the way we perceives our lives today?
  4. Read Revelation 21:2. How does this verse encourage you in your daily battle with sin today?
  5. What is the golden thread woven in the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation? What does it tell us about the heaven?
  6. Read Revelation 21:5. Which part of God’s speech struck you the most and why?
  7. “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Explain and discuss the weight of this self-revealing statement from God. What effects would it have on the original audience of the book of Revelation? What effect does it have on you?
  8. What does it mean to thirst and to conquer? How would you apply it in your life?
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