Sermon Starters

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Third-Last Sunday/
Festival Of All Saints
Series A

Option #1: "A Tour of the Holy City"
Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
Introduction: The captain of an airplane will sometimes point out places of note as you fly over the city. What would we see "on approach" to the Holy City and upon entering it?

I. A wedding celebration is taking place--text, v9; see also Matt 25:10ff; Rev 19:7-9; Rev 21:1-7; Matt 22:11-14

II. The banquet hall is glorious--text, vv22-26; Rev 21:11

    A. God Himself and The Lamb are the Temple--v22; John 17:24; John 1:14

    B. No artificial light is necessary--v23; Isa 60:19

    C. The light shining from God has brought the nations here, and they have brought their best--Zech 2:11

    D. There is no danger there--21:4 & 25

        1. The gates are always open--Ps 24:7-10

        2. There is no night there

III. No one enters without righteousness--v27

    A. Repentance is necessary--Lk 13:5-9, 15:7; Acts 2:38-39, 3:19, 17:30-31; Rev 3:19-22

    B. One must be "in Christ"--Rom 6:11 & 23, 8:1; 1 Cor 15:22; 2 Cor 5:17 & 19; Gal 2:15-16; Eph 2:10 & 13, 4:32

Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol 6: General Epistles & Revelation--Robertson, Archibald Thomas Revelation 21:27: There shall in no wise enter into it (ou me˘˘ eiselthe˘˘i eis aute˘˘n). Double negative again with the second aorist active subjunctive of eiserchomai with eis repeated. Like Isa 52:1; Ezek 44:9. Anything unclean (pa˘˘n koinon). Common use of pa˘˘n with negative like ouden, and the use of koinos for defiled or profane as in Mark 7:2; Acts 10:14, not just what is common to all (Titus 1:4). Or he that (kai ho). "And he that." Maketh an abomination and a lie (poio˘˘n bdelugma kai pseudos). Like Babylon (17:4 which see for bdelugma) and 21:8 for those in the lake of fire and brimstone, and 22:15 for "every one loving and doing a lie."

These recurrent glimpses of pagan life on earth and of hell in contrast to heaven in this picture raise the question already mentioned whether John is just running parallel pictures of heaven and hell after the judgment or whether, as Charles says: "The unclean and the abominable and the liars are still on earth, but, though the gates are open day and night, they cannot enter."

Only they which are written (ei me˘˘ hoi gegrammenoi). "Except those written." For "the book of life" see 3:5; 13:8; 20:15; cf Dan 12:1.

Here the angels bring us blessings, but we shall want no messengers from heaven then. They shall need no Gabriels there to bring their love-notes from God, for there they shall see him face to face. What a glorious hour when we see God, and not his creatures; the Lord, and not his works; these shall be our daily joy! Our souls shall then have attained the perfection of bliss.

+   +   +

Revelation 21:22ff
"The Won't-Be's in Heaven"
Object 1: a light bulb or a desk lamp

You won’t need one of these in heaven. The Bible tells us that Jesus himself will be the light of eternal life (v23). Remember a time when you were afraid of the dark? It will never happen again. There are many people who are still without electricity because of the last hurricane. There will always be light in our Father’s House in heaven.

Object 2: a set of keys) (Rev 21:25) On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

Why do we lock our doors? Because some bad people might steal our property. The gates will never be locked in heaven because there will be no criminals there.

Object 3: some liquid soap, anything that makes something dirty clean again) (Rev 21:27) Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This could be really scary if we didn’t have Jesus as our Savior. That’s true because I am impure, I still have a sinful nature; I still do bad things. The only way I can ever hope to see eternal life is to have Jesus take my sins away. The Bible says that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all our sins. To believe in Jesus means to have your name written in His Book of Life.

Make sure that’s true of you today and everyday until the very last day comes.

+   +   +
Option #2: "Saints Alive"
Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27, (22:1-5)
Rev. Mark Borchert, B.S., M.Div.

Sermon Starter for Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27, (22:1-5)


Thoughts are from Concordia Commentary: Revelation, by Dr. Louis A. Brighton



1. The woman of Revelation 12, the Bride, and the holy city Jerusalem are all representations of the church.
a. The woman is the church in the present time experiencing the pursuit of the beast, Satan, and the suffering that exists in this world due to sin.
b. The holy city Jerusalem is the church as it will be following the end of this world and the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth (21:1).
c. Both of the above are the Bride, which is the church.
2. Revelation 21:1-2 shows the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3. Again in 21:9-10, the angel says, “Come I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” John sees the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God adorned with the glory of God.
4. There is no temple in the city. The Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb is its temple.
a. “The saints of God in their state of righteousness and holiness and perfection after the resurrection can now look directly into the face of God.”
b. “No longer does God have to shield His people from the brilliance of His overpowering holiness and awesomeness.”
c. Sin and every evil have passed away, so there is no need for a temple or tabernacle to mediate God’s presence.
d. The city itself is the Holy of holies in which God dwells.
 i. The Holy of holies in Solomon’s temple was a perfect cube (1 Kings 6:20).
 ii.      The city is a perfect cube (21:16).
e. 2 Corinthians 6:16: “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’”
 i.      “The believers in Christ living in the present age are the temple of the living God.”
ii.      The complete fulfillment of God’s dwelling with His people will come in the holy city Jerusalem.
5. The glory of God gives the city its light, as does the Lamb which is its lamp.
a. Not dealing with whether or not there will be a sun or moon in the new creation. Rather, it is expressing the magnitude of the glory of God and of the Lamb.
b. "Jesus Christ is the light of the Christian’s life which illuminates his/her pilgrimage through this present earthly life.”
   i.      Jesus Christ is the true light (John 1:9).
 ii.      Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12).
 iii.      One can’t use the sun for spiritual guidance, light.
6. People and rulers of all nations will be a part of the holy city--all those who had not fallen prey to Satan but had been won by the Lamb.
7. The gates will never be closed.
a. The city is surrounded by God’s protective presence.
b. There is no night because of God’s presence, so sin and evil are kept away.
8. Only those written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter.
9. Revelation 22:14: The ones who may enter are those who have washed their robes.
a. Revelation 7:14: The great multitude from all nations standing before the throne and before the Lamb “are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” These are those who have given witness to the Lamb.
b. Revelation 1:5b: “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”
10. They also may eat of the tree of life (Revelation 22:14) which lines the banks of the river of the water of life (Revelation 22:1-5) (cf Ezekiel 47:1-12).


Point:        Death is not the end.

Problem:   Nothing unclean or detestable or false can enter the holy city Jerusalem.

Promise:    Those who give witness to Christ, that is, the saints of God, have had their robes washed in the blood of Christ. Therefore, they have entry into the holy city Jerusalem, where they will be able to live in the presence of God and of the Lamb forever with the nourishment of the river of life and the tree of life.



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