New study in LifeMattersJuly 14, 2008
The Beast from the Sea. 666. The Antichrist. The Rider on the White Horse. That’s right – get ready for a series in Revelation. Though it might appear we saved our Revelation study for the summer months because the attendance is lower than at any other time, it’s not true – I promise! I do know that studying Revelation can be a daunting task but do not pass up this study in favor of a book study or something else just yet. While this study is not going to walk through the whole book (Revelation in four weeks?), we are going to hit a few hot areas throughout this book. The deal with the title is that we wanted to explore the end times(eschatology) and see what the Bible teaches and compare it with what we see around us presented by pop culture. On your drive to work alone you may run across one or all of the sayings we chose as lesson titles. I assure none were made up by us, they are all actual bumper stickers or billboards or slogans. The idea being that every day pop culture tries to teach us about the end times and often gets pieces of it right, but they miss so much of the story. So this month, fasten your seat-belt, ok I admit that was cheesy but I couldn’t help it, and lets take a look at what the Bible says about the end times.
This week we’re going to take a closer look at Jesus. Of all the titles this month, this one bothers me the most and also expresses how so many people truly feel. Guess what? Jesus is absolutely not the copilot. In our culture we’ve relegated Him to that seat, the seat where we ask Him to take over so we can take a bathroom break or grab a cup of coffee. Or maybe if things are going bad we may ask for a bit of help, but overall, we are OK if He just sits there until we need Him. It’s this view of Christ I don’t understand. If He is not THE pilot, we are all in trouble. The fact that He allows us into the cockpit at all is truly amazing. I remember my first time on a plane and the pilot letting me see the inside of the cockpit and then giving me those cheap plastic wings. I felt privileged that the pilot had let me in to see what the others were not allowed to see. How crazy would it have been for me to say, OK Capt. Bob, thanks for the tour. I think I can handle it now. I’ll let you know if I need anything. But how often do we see that taking place in our lives and in the lives of other Christians around us. I could teach a whole lesson just on the title alone!
These verses in Revelation show the glory and majesty of Christ. They depict thousands and thousands of thousands bowing before His throne worshiping Him. They reveal Him to be the only One worthy to open the scrolls and turn us, Christ followers, into royalty. He is the One who created the universe. He is the One who died and rose again, and He is the One who allows us to have life. Where in there did we get the idea that He would be OK with the copilot’s seat? I can only truthfully speak for myself, but as I survey the state of the church around the country, I don’t think I am wrong in this. We need to take our relationship with Christ very seriously. It is not a casual fling, a summer romance, or a childhood friend type relationship. It is the Creator and createe (I just made that word up), the King and the servant, the Father and the child type relationship. The imagery of Him being worshiped by “every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them” truly boggles my mind. And to think He, the One worshiped by everything, wants to know and relate to me—that’s a very humbling thought. It is even more humbling when I think of all the times I relegated Him to the passenger’s seat. This week just focus on the idea of Him being who these verses describe, because He is. It’s time we started responding accordingly. It may begin with a bowed knee and a quiet prayer, or it may be a beautiful song sung along with the countless choir in heaven. I’m not sure what the response will look like for you, I just know this lesson has definitely reminded me of who He really is and who I am, and I don’t want to fly the plane anymore!