Sermon Starters

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Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost
All Saints
Series C

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Option #1: "The City of the Saints"
Revelation 21:9-11; 22:1-5
Rev. Wayne Dobratz

I. It is decorated for a wedding celebration (21:2)

    A. It comes from God (21:3)

    B. It is beautifully lighted (22:5)

    C. The mood is festive

        1. Pain and tears are gone (21:4)

        2. No need will be unfulfilled (21:6)

        3. They will see God (22:4-5)

II. There is no more danger

    A. There is no night (22:5)

    B. The gates will never be shut (21:25)

    C. There is no sin there (21:8)

III. The only way that sinners can enter

    A. To admit sin and to be washed in the blood of the Lamb (21:8; 7:14)

    B. To trust that the work of redemption is finished (21:6a)

    C. To be written in the Lamb’s book of life is to be "in Christ" (cf. Rom. 6:23, 8:1; I Cor. 15:22; Gal. 2:16)

    D. To walk in the Light (John 8:12; 1 John 1:7)

Albert Barnes writes on Rev. 22:5:

It will be a world of perfect light, Rev. 21:22-25; 22:5. There will be: 
    (a) Literally no night there. 
    (b) Spiritually and morally there will be no darkness—no error, no sin.

Light will be cast on a thousand subjects now obscure; and on numerous points pertaining to the divine government and dealings which now perplex the mind there will be poured the splendor of perfect day. All the darkness that exists here will be dissipated there; all that is now obscure will be made light. And in view of this fact, we may well submit for a little time to the mysteries which hang over the divine dealings here. 

The Christian is destined to live forever. He is capable of an eternal progression in knowledge. He is soon to be ushered into the splendors of that eternal abode where there is no need of the light of the sun or the moon, and where there is no night. In a little time by removal to that higher state of being, he will have made a degree of progress in true knowledge compared with which all that can be learned here is a nameless trifle. 

In that future abode he will be permitted to know all that is to be known in those worlds that shine upon his path by day or by night; all that is to be known in the character of their Maker, and the principles of his government; all that is to be known of the glorious plan of redemption; all that is to be known of the reasons why sin and woe were permitted to enter this beautiful world. 

There, too, he will be permitted to enjoy all that there is to be enjoyed in a world without a cloud and without a tear; all that is beatific in the friendship of God the Father, of the Ascended Redeemer, of the Sacred Spirit; all that is blessed in the goodly fellowship of the angels, of the apostles, of the prophets; all that is joyful in reunion with those that were loved on the earth. Well, then, may he bear with the darkness and endure the trials of this state a little longer.

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Option #2: "Heaven Here & Hereafter"
Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27, [22:1-5]
Rev. Kelly Bedard

A. A City on the Lam

     1. Impure, shameful, deceitful things and behaviors--foot-and-mouth, heart-and-mind diseases

     2. Dark and unclean, cursed and forsaken--absent of God's glory and faith in God

B. A City on the Lamb 

    1. Jesus' write-in and write-on "votes" cancel out ours--but not us!  

    2. Darkness into (Lamp/Lamb)Light--not God-forsaken but faithful and fruitful


1. "Nothing unclean will enter it" (21:27)! Or, as Lady Macbeth would say, "Out, damned spot!" Exclusion is damnation here. "Nothing accursed will be found there any more" (22:3)? That means anything accursed is lost--out. "Out, damned spot!" indeed (and "spot" is not a dog but is the place where God is not). As my mother would say, "You're not coming in here looking like that!" To put it plainly: the unclean and accursed are written off. (Marcus Felde)

2. The Lamb is the scribe, his blood the ink (I think). (First article, God spoke. Second article, God wrote?) Writing in those days signified a permanent word. (So: Write on, write on in majesty! Hear all the tribes hosanna cry!) (Felde)

3. Lamblight disposes of the need to bring your own "torch" (the British word for flashlight) to heaven. Here citizens recognize the light of the world, and here they no longer see anything dimly, through a glass, partially. In luce tua videmus lucem. Pack your shades. (Felde)

4. "Fruit-of-the-Month Club." The crystal river feeds a tree of life that bears 12 kinds of fruit--conveniently, one for each month of the year (22:2). Its nation-healing leaves look to me suspiciously like manna or communion wafers. This is one healthy environment! Peoples and kings will enter here by the always-open gate, and dwell secure forever. No more yo-yo empires, either--with the Lord God they will reign forever and ever (22:5). But do not take this prognosis as "pie in the sky in the sweet by and by." This vision is introduced as a picture of the bride of Christ, who already is. Upon earth, even now, we bear fruit. We bathe in that sparkling canal. We eat the leaves. And, in Christ, the nations are even now experiencing healing, not only from Foot-and-Mouth Disease but from Heart-and-Mind Disease and a host of other abominations. Before we are there in the heavenly city "for good," we are here "for good." (Felde)  

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