Sunday School Material 5-15-11: Thankful Worship
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material lesson is that there is great worship of our great God in Heaven. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure we are saved and worshipping God.
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Read Revelation 7:9-12
I. Thankful Worship Expressed. There is a worship scene in this portion of the Sunday School material. A multitude beyond numbering is standing and worshipping.
There are angels who are worshipping. There is great enthusiasm in the air, as evidenced by the loud voice of vs. 10 and vocal worship of vs. 12.
- A great and diverse multitude. Notice in vs. 9 of the Sunday School material that there was a great and diverse multitude before the Lord.
There will be much more than Black urban Baptist in Heaven. There are people who we never knew existed who will be at the throne.
Let's be careful about thinking that we have a monopoly on being right with God. Whoever accepts Jesus as savior by faith shall be saved. There are many who accept Jesus but don't accept our traditions and methods of doing things.
- Heavenly worship. Notice in vss. 9-10 of the Sunday School material that the worship will be noted for loudness, white robes, and palms.
For those of us who are becoming more and more dissatisfied with loudness, we may have to take something for our nerves (smile). Heaven will be known for an enthusiastic loudness. The white robes are thought to symbolize purity.
And the palms were signs of victory over the enemies of God. In summary, there will be an enthusiastic worshipping by those who are considered pure and who acknowledge the victory of Christ.
Let's work on enthusiastic worship as those who are pure through the same Jesus who has victory over all that is before Him and us.
- Worshipping our great God. Notice in vss. 11-12 of the Sunday School material that the angels ascribe eternal worshipful expressions towards God.
The angels who are above humanity (see Heb. 2:5-8), worship God in light of His blessings, glory, wisdom, honor, and more. If they worship eternally, then surely we should be able to worship for two hours a week.
When we think about all that God has done, is doing, and will do for His people, we should have more enthusiasm about regular great worship.
Let's work on worshipping God like we really understand how great and worthy He is. We can at least say "amen" (i.e., expression of support – "so be it").
Read Revelation 7:13-17
II. Thankful Worshippers Indentified. In this section of the Sunday School material John is asked by one of the elders about what is going on. John did not know, so the elder helped him understand.
Those in the worship experience came out of the Great Tribulation. They are praising God. The Lamb will feed and lead the people, and God will wipe all tears away.
- Questions. Notice in vs. 13 that the elder used questions as a means of teaching John about what was going on.
Not only should teachers and preachers be skilled in using questions to transition into teaching moments, but every believer should work on being skilled in using questions to transition into sharing about Jesus' being the Savior and Lord.
Some questions that come to mind are "If you died tonight are you sure you are going to Heaven?" "Why do you think God should let you into Heaven?" "Do you think church is important?"
Let's work on being skilled in using questions to help us share the good news about Jesus.
- "I don't know." Notice in vs. 14 of the Sunday School material that John knew that he did not know. There are too many people who talk too much about things they don't know about.
No matter what title or credentials we may have, no one knows everything. When we are asked something that we don't know, it is better to admit our lack of knowledge than pretending that we know something that we obviously don't know.
For example, there are some occasions of suffering in this world that don't make sense to us (e.g., the baby born with AIDS, the thousands of deaths in Japan, etc.). Let's work on being humble enough to say "I don't know."
- The Great Tribulation. Notice in vs. 14 of the Sunday School material the mention of the Great Tribulation. Many conservative scholars believe this is a reference to the seven years of tribulation that is ruled by the anti-Christ.
The Pastor believes that those who are saved now will be raptured before this period. However, if he is wrong, the best thing to do is to make sure you are saved, so you can endure the great tribulation.
Let's make sure we are saved, instead of being overly concerned with when the Great Tribulation will be. God will handle the timing of the Great Tribulation. Our task is to be saved and help others get saved.
- A marvelous situation after death. Notice in vss. 16-17 of the Sunday School material that God will provide for the feeding, leading, and wiping away of tears for His people.
In other words, even after death, God will continue to take care of His own. Let's make sure we are one of His – make sure we are saved.
When we are saved then we don't have to fear death like others. We have a marvelous situation waiting on us because of our relationship with the Father through the Son.
Conclusion: Let's work on making sure we are saved and worshipping God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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