Sunday, May 20, 2012

Revelation 8-9 and Old Testament imagery

I've been astonished in preaching through Revelation just how full of Old Testament imagery is the book of Revelation.Preaching on chapters 8 and 9 this morning it is easy to see how these chapters are fertile fields for nut-bars imagining that what John is describing is nuclear fallout, war planes and helicopters.
However, when one picks upon the OT imagery it is clear that the language is not so much John trying to put into words visions he sees of the 20th and 21st centuries, but John using Old testament language and categories to describe the visions of the state we have been and shall be experiencing from the resurrection of Christ until his return.
There are recapitulations of the 10 plagues of God's judgment against Egypt (Blood, locusts, hail, darkness, and stubborn unrepentance). There are undoings of Gen1-2 itself as there are attacks upon the earth, sea, springs of water, the very sky and ultimately God's image bearers themselves. And that is just scratching the surface, not to mention the use of imagery from Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, Joel, Psalms, Proverbs and more.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Drought or Deluge and a gospel of love

On Sunday morning, as I was welcoming people to church, it was tipping it down with rain, and a number 295 bus passed by with the words "we are in drought" emblazoned on the side of the bus. I'd wished I'd had a camera with me. The same irony has been caught by others.
I couldn't help but allow the irony enter the morning's sermon.  We were thinking about evangelism and the local church: when we seek to share the gospel and yet do not love one another within the church, there becomes a disconnect between the message we are seeking to share of the transforming love of Christ, and the lack of evidence within the community transformed by that love.
When brotherly love and a commitment to evangelism come together, the gospel we are sharing is made evident by the love that it has produced.
HT: Randomly London