Wade Allen on September 16

The deeper we get into the story, the more intriguing it becomes. The past two Sundays have been difficult chapters. The story lightens a bit this week as John comes down from heaven to experience the message of a powerful angel. This chapter is also shorter than previous chapters. Let me remind you to catch up on sermons you may have missed. You can reference all of the videos and podcast on the website. I have talked to many of you who have told me that you have been doing this. I hope it will make for a richer experience as you are able to hear the entire story. Let me encourage you to read Revelation 10 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will provide it below from the NTE version. (Revelation 10 NTE) Then I saw another strong angel coming down from heaven, dressed in a cloud. Over his head was a rainbow; his face was like the sun, and his feet were like fiery pillars. He was holding a small scroll, open, in his hand. Placing his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land, he shouted in a loud voice like a lion roaring. When he shouted, the seven thunders answered with their own voices. When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven. “Seal up what the seven thunders said,” instructed the voice. “Don”t write it down.” Then the angel whom I had seen standing on the sea and the land raised his right hand towards heaven and swore an oath by the One who lives for ever and ever, who made heaven and what it contains, the earth and what it contains, and the sea and what it contains. This was the... read more

Wade Allen on September 09

We find ourselves in interesting, yet terrifying section of the book of Revelation. Last week, we witnesses the opening of the seventh seal. I would encourage you to watch or listen online if you missed the sermon. A good portion of the sermon is a review of all that we have covered since July. If you have missed several weeks, this will serve you well. This week, we continue the opening of the seventh seal in Revelation 9. As usual, let me encourage you to read ahead as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include Revelation 9 from the NTE version in this entry. See you on Sunday. (Revelation 9 NIV) The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of... read more

Wade Allen on September 03

It was wonderful to gather together this past Sunday in a combined service. We celebrated God’s rescue of his people throughout history by engaging Revelation 7 and coming together around the Lord’s Table. This week, we continue in our study of Revelation. We come to the opening of the seventh seal. This chapter contains an interesting verse. (Revelation 8:1 NIV) When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Have you ever heard a song or encountered a piece of art where silence is the most appropriate response? What is about to happen in this narrative is so powerful that heaven stops for a full half hour. I hope you will join us on Sunday as we explore Revelation 8 together. Let me encourage you to read it as you prepare for worship. I will include Revelation 8 in the NTE translation in this entry. See you on Sunday. (Revelation 8 NTE) When the lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, lasting about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who were standing in front of God; they were given seven trumpets. Another angel came and stood before the altar. He was holding a golden censer, and he was given a large quantity of incense so that he could offer it, along with the prayers of all God’s holy people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose up from the hand of the angel in front of God. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were crashes of thunder, loud rumblings, lightning, and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven... read more

Wade Allen on August 26

Sunday was the first time that I had ever preached on Revelation 6. It may be the last. This is not an easy passage. Yet it is a part of the overall story and we cannot leave it out. If you were unable to attend worship this past week,let me encourage to you take about 30 minutes to watch or listen to this sermon. You can watch or listen here. As we move into Revelation 7 this week, we find a brighter message. Certainly God will need to deal with the evil our world. This evil was exposed in chapter 6. And when the seventh seal is opened, it will be quite the scene. In fact all of heaven will experience a dramatic silence. But in chapter 7 (not to be confused with the seventh seal, God pauses to mark his people. Let me encourage you to read this chapter as you prepare for worship on Sunday. Just a quick reminder that we will be gathered in a combined service at 10:45 AM this week. See you on Sunday. (Revelation 7 NTE) After this I saw four angels, standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to stop any wind from blowing on earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. And I saw another angel coming up from the east, holding the seal of the living God. He shouted out in a loud voice to the four angels who had responsibility for harming the earth and the sea. ‘Don’t harm the earth just yet,’ he shouted, ‘or the sea, or the trees. Don’t do it until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ I heard the number of the people who were sealed: it was a... read more

Wade Allen on August 19

This past week’s passage (Revelation 5) was an easy passage to preach. The narrative held enough dramatic tension to keep us on the edge of our seats. And then the tension was broken with a powerful scene of worship. The chapter ends with this massive heavenly audience all surrounding the once-slain lamb. If a preachers can’t get excited about Revelation 5, there’s a problem. This week, we flip over to Revelation 6. Let me warn you, this is not as easy passage. While we are glad of a worthy lamb who can open the scroll, the broken seals might surprise us. Instead of awe inspiring scenes of worship, we encounter the dreadful reality of evil. This is on the last time we will encounter such sinister creatures. In fact, we will experience the full display of evil before it is over. As we encounter this text, we will ask questions about the role of evil in the story of God. Let me encourage you to read the chapter as you prepare for worship on Sunday. This is not necessarily good bedtime reading. (Revelation 6 NTE) The next thing I saw was this. When the lamb had opened one of the seven seals, I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ And, as I watched, there was a white horse. Its rider was holding a bow. He was given a crown, and he went off winning victories, and to win more of them. When the lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ And another horse went out, fiery red this time. Its rider was given permission to take peace away from the earth, so that people would kill one another. He was given a great sword. When the... read more

Wade Allen on August 12

We journeyed with John into God’s throne room this past Sunday. It was a strange and marvelous scene. We were reminded that God is on the throne. Even when it seems that creation is out of control, God is still in charge. This week, we continue the story. In the throne room of God, John is drawn into the question that has been asked throughout all of history. (Revelation 5:2 NIV) “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” Join us on Sunday as we consider the answer to this question. Let me encourage you to read Revelation 5 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will provide this chapter for you in the NTE (New Testament for Everyone) translation. See you on Sunday. (Revelation 5 NTE) I saw that there was a scroll in the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. The scroll was written on the inside and the outside, and it was sealed with seven seals. I saw a strong angel announcing in a loud voice, ‘Does anybody deserve to open the scroll, to undo its seals?’ And nobody in heaven or on the earth or under the earth could open the scroll or look at it. I burst into tears because it seemed that there was nobody who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. One of the elders, however, spoke to me. ‘Don’t cry,’ he said. ‘Look! The lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has won the victory! He can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a lamb. It was standing there as though it had been slaughtered;... read more

Wade Allen on August 05

For the last couple of weeks, we have been moving at neck break pace through the specific instructions to the seven churches (Revelation 2 and 3). If you were not able to join us for either of these sermons, let me encourage you to watch or listen online. We move this week to Revelation 4. This is a dramatic picture of God’s throne room. Let me warn you, there are strange images or representations in this chapter. But don’t worry, we will discuss all of this on Sunday. Let me encourage you to take a few minutes to read the chapter before coming to worship on Sunday. This is a rich chapter. I will provide Revelation 4 in the NTE translation for you to read in this entry. See you on Sunday. (Revelation 4 NTE) After this I looked – and there was a door in heaven, standing open! The voice like a trumpet, which I had heard speaking with me at the beginning, spoke again. ‘Come up here,’ it said, ‘and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ At once I was in the spirit. There in heaven stood a throne, and someone was sitting on it. The seated figure had the appearance of a jasper stone or a carnelian, and there was a rainbow around the throne, looking like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and sitting on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white robes, and with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning, rumblings and thunderclaps were coming from the throne, and in front of the throne seven lampstands, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning with fire. In front of the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. In the middle... read more

Wade Allen on July 29

We spent our time together yesterday in Revelation 2. This is a well known part of Revelation. This week, we will continue to discuss the specific words to the 7 churches in Revelation 3. This chapter is slightly more famous than the previous one. Almost all Christians have heard at least one sermon about the church at Laodicea. As I mentioned on Sunday, we are moving fairly quickly through these letters. While we are unable to cover every aspect of each letter, we recognize a consistent pattern. Let me invite you to read Revelation 3 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include the passage in the NTE (New Testament for Everyone) translation. (Revelation 3 NTE) ‘Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis. “These are the words of the one who has the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know what you have done. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen the things that remain – the things that are about to die – because I haven’t found your works to be complete in the sight of my God. So remember how you received the message, how you heard it and kept it – and repent! So if you don’t keep awake, I will come like a thief, and you won’t know what time I’m coming to you. You do, however, have a few people in Sardis who haven’t allowed their clothes to become dirty and polluted. They will be clothed in white and will walk with me, as they deserve. Anyone who conquers will be clothed like this in white robes, and I won’t blot their name out of the book of life. I will acknowledge their name in the presence of my father... read more

Wade Allen on July 22

I am grateful for the Joining God in the Neighborhood team who helped lead our worship yesterday. Let me encourage you to take a look at the remaining opportunities to be involved on the website. This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about all that God is doing within a few blocks from our church each and every week. This coming Sunday (July 28) we step back into our series on Revelation. We will venture together into chapter 2. Chapters 2 and 3 are perhaps the most familiar chapters of the letter. We often hear preachers admonish modern churches to avoid the fallacies of the seven churches and to live into the compliments that Jesus offers to them. We will be moving fairly quickly through these chapters. We will cover the second chapter this week and the third chapter the following week (August 4). As a general reminder, let me encourage you to take a listen or watch the first two sermons in the series if you were unable to join us in worship. And as you prepare for worship on Sunday, let me invite you to read Revelation 2. I will include it below. (Revelation 2 NIV) “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from... read more

Wade Allen on July 08

It was a joy to gather together in a combined worship service yesterday. We began our study of Revelation and came together around to the Lord’s table. If you were not able to be with us, I would encourage to you take the time to watch the video or listen to the podcast. It will be important to hear each sermon in this series in order to follow the narrative from week to week. If you miss a Sunday or two, you might feel lost when you return to worship. I would also like to encourage to you to watch a couple of short videos. The Bible Project is a fantastic way to learn more about the big picture of particular themes or books of the bible. They have two videos on Revelation. Explore the Bible Project’s Revelation Videos These videos are very helpful and may be something you want to come back to later in the study. We come to this week to the later part of chapter 1. I would encourage to to read Revelation 1:9-20 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include these verses from the NTE translation for you in this entry. (Revelation 1:9-20 NTE) I, John, your brother and your partner in the suffering, the kingdom, and the patient endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. ‘Write down what you see in a book,’ it said, ‘and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’ So I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. As I turned, I saw... read more

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Wade Allen will be preaching this week (September 22) from Revelation 10

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