The Final Word
A journey through the book of Revelation
All Things New
May 1, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 21—22
There are a great many flawed ideas about heaven, and perhaps the most flawed is that the vast majority of people are sure they are going. Well, we need to know for sure what heaven is like, and we certainly need to know for sure who is going to be there.
What Happens After We Die?
April 24, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 20
The book of Revelation is a book for all time, not just the end of time. Its truth informs how we live today and helps us understand the battles that rage in our lives right now. But the book of Revelation is also very definitely a book about the end of time. History is moving toward a climax, and your history, your life, is moving toward a climax. You have a date to meet with God. It’s a frightening thought, but you will meet with God one day and how you think about that and how prepared you are for that determines how you live today, and it will also determine how that meeting goes.
The Blessed Invitation
April 17, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 19
The story of Easter is a story of hope, victory, and triumph over evil. Jesus was crucified. Jesus was buried. On Sunday morning, the tomb was empty, and Jesus was seen alive. The world is forever changed. Death is defeated, Jesus is alive, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. But soon enough, Jesus would be gone, and life would go on. It was different, of course; the first followers of Jesus could not “un-see” what they saw, could not “un-hear” what they had heard, but life did go on. Injustice was still here. Pain was still here. War was still here. Death was still here. Easter HAD happened, but then life in some ways continued as before. And in some sense, that is where we find ourselves. We who follow Jesus believe He is alive, BUT…pain, sickness, sorrow, injustice, evil, and death. We want to celebrate today and wear fine clothes, feast with our families, and snap the pictures. We will bask in the truth, and yet just as surely as Sunday follows Friday, Monday follows Sunday.
It Is Finished
April 3, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 15—16
As we look at Revelation 15-16, we see of the most terrifying chapters in the book. This is hard to read. At first glance this isn’t the week you want to invite a friend to come and hear how Jesus offers you the good life, but if you look closer you will actually see very good news in these terrifying chapters that deal with the wrath of God.
A Final Warning
March 27, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 14
There will be pain and suffering. For a time, the people of God and the work of God will seem far weaker than totalitarian political systems. For a time, the faithful adherence to the truth will seem to be losing ground to the deceptions of popular, apostate religious systems. The opinion polls will swing in the wrong direction. The rainbow flags will fly. What's up will seem down, and what's down will seem up, and the most basic observational realities will be called into question. For a time, the False Prophet, the Antichrist, and the Dragon will seem like an unbeatable team. But, as we have seen throughout this book, things are not what they seem. There is more going on than what meets the eye. Behind the veil of what we can see, there is a spiritual battle, but the end is in sight, and the victory is certain.
March 20, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 13
In warfare, armies and generals go to great lengths to anticipate how the enemy will attack. Where will he attack? What weapons will he use? How can we prepare? Countries use sophisticated espionage to crack codes, infiltrate security, and surveil the adversary, all in the hopes of getting inside information that can help prepare for the battle ahead and secure victory. In Revelation 13, we have a vision about how the enemy plans to attack and how he intends to make war against the followers of Jesus. In Chapter 13, we unlock the enemies' secret codes so that we can prepare for the battle and win the victory.
How Will It All End?
March 6, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 10—11
Why does the future matter? Why does it matter knowing how it will all end? How does it affect how I will live today? Knowing that the world is yet again poised on the edge of war, with the specter of nuclear weapons once again coming to the forefront, people are once again asking important questions about the future. Will we live in crippling anxiety, or is there a truth that can steady us in these uncertain times?
Before the Trumpets Sound
February 27, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 8—9
As we come to Revelation 8-9, the dark clouds on the horizon grow darker. It is difficult to even read through these chapters, more difficult to preach them, and more difficult still to contemplate their occurrence. We were introduced to a scroll in Revelation 4-5 that seems to represent the purposes and plans of God. That scroll is taken by the Lamb, Jesus, the only one worthy to open the scrolls. The scroll was sealed with 7 seals, and the first 6 were opened in Chapter 6. These seals were troubles on the earth as human conflicts, wars, famine, and death swept across the pages of human history. The 5th seal was the awful reality of believers martyred because of the word of God and the testimony they had given. The 6th seal was a variety of natural catastrophes as if creation itself was coming apart. After the interlude of Chapter 7, the vision comes back to the last seal, the 7th seal. The 7th seal introduces a new group of “7’s”, 7 trumpets, and these trumpets announce an escalation in the great convulsion of good versus evil.
Who Can Stand?
February 20, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 6—7
The Bible warns us of a time of trouble that will come. This should not surprise us. Jesus warned that in the world, we would have trouble. Nowhere, either in the Scripture or in the long history of Christian theology, is there a promise that God will remove us from all trouble, but there is a promise that He will deliver us through and ultimately to a victory on the other side.
Worthy of Worship
February 13, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 4—5
The only rational response to someone who understands the greatness of God's power and the goodness of God's love is to respond with awe and thanksgiving. Worship is the reality of eternity slicing into time and space, if only for a moment.
Things Are Not What They Seem
February 6, 2022 • Dr. Willy Rice • Revelation 1
The future can be scary. Like stumbling at night in an unfamiliar room, we fear what we can’t see. Our worst fears can actually cripple us. And there seems to be plenty to fear. There is an increasing distrust of government and institutional leaders. There is a fear of encroaching totalitarianism and decreasing freedoms and liberties that would have seemed unthinkable to us a short while ago but now seem like genuine possibilities. There are fears about the economy, fears about public health, wars, and rumors of wars, and beyond all of that, there is what we all know we will face in the end; death itself and whatever lies beyond that veil. It’s no wonder we fear the dark. It's no wonder the future seems frightening.