LIFEGROUPS: DISCUSSION GUIDE
Week of January 9, 2022
SERIES: Revelation: A Message to the Churches
TITLE: Week #1: Apokalypsis
Happy New Year! We are kicking off a new series this weekend called Revelation: A Message to the Churches. Pastor Brian will begin this exciting and important series with the message, “Apokalypsis”. Here is a preview.
- Let’s look at three big ideas as we walk through this first chapter in Revelation.
#1: Apokalypsis (1:1)
- The “revelation” – a revealing of what was hidden.
- The book of Revelation is not a “code to be cracked” but a “revealing” to be understood.
#2: The Revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1-2)
- The Purpose: To show things that are to come in the future.
- To show and not to disguise.
- Doctrine of God (Trinitarian) – (1:4-11)
- Revelation 1:4 ESV “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne.”
- Revelation 1:5-7 ESV “…and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.”
- Holy Spirit:
- Revelation 1:10-11 ESV “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
- The Experience of Jesus (1:9-20)
- How John describes Jesus.
- Loud voice like a trumpet (1:10-11)
- Seven golden lampstands with one like a son of man in the midst. (Presence)
- Exodus 25:37 – Tabernacle.
- 2 Chronicles 4:20 – Temple.
- Zechariah 4:2 – Spirit.
- Long robe with golden sash – ancient and authoritative.
- Daniel 10:5 – vision of Jesus.
- Hair like wool – pure, righteous, and ancient.
- Daniel 7:9 – Ancient of Days.
- Feet like bronze
- Ezekiel 1:7, Daniel 10:6
- Voice like the roar of many waters.
- Ezekiel 43:2 – Glory coming to Israel from the East. (Glory of God)
- Seven stars in his right hand.
- Revelation 1:20 – angels, messengers, Spirit.
- Sharp two-edged sword coming from his mouth (Word of God)
- Hebrews 4:12
- Face shining like the sun in full strength. (Glory)
- Matthew 17:2 – the transfiguration. John was there.
- John’s response: to fall at Jesus’s feet as though he were dead. (1:17)
- Revelation 1:17 ESV “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”
- How does Jesus respond to John?
- Revelation 1:17-20 ESV “But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”
- How John describes Jesus.
#3: For the Servants of Jesus
- Blessing (1:3)
- Revelation 1:3 ESV “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”
- Grace and Peace (1:4-5)
- Revelation 1:4-5 ESV “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”
- Partnership in Tribulation, Kingdom, and Patient Endurance (1:9)
- Revelation 1:9 ESV “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”
- Three Experiences Inevitably Await the Servant of Jesus
- To share in the Kingdom now.
- A future manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
- Tribulation. (Expect to face these tribulations with patient endurance.)
- 2 Timothy 3:12 ESV “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
- As we approach the entirety of this letter in the weeks ahead, I suppose there is one question we must each answer personally at the onset:
- Are you a servant of Jesus?
- What does it mean to be a slave (doulos) to Christ?
- The true church is made up of those who are slaves to Christ. There is no other way to be in Christ. (Sonship and servanthood are bought with a price.)
- Consumer Christians in fact aren’t Christian as all – believing that God exists for them. In that case, we can take or leave him depending on how we feel about him.
- Being a servant of Jesus is different. It is to surrender your life and become a servant.
ICEBREAKER QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION
I hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year’s! As we gather for the first time in 2022, let’s begin by sharing God moments and prayer requests. The practice of sharing God moments provides for us a way to praise God by declaring His works, encourage one another, and thank God for what He is doing in and through our lives. This time also allows for us to know how we can be praying for one another this next week. Let’s share as we discuss the questions below.
- What are the “God moments” from these past few weeks? How have you seen God at work that is unmistakably Him?
- How has He been working not just in your life personally, but in the lives of your family (spouse, kids, grandkids)?
- How did God speak to you through His Word this past week?
- How are you hearing and obeying?
- How can we specifically pray for you and others this week?
Pray as a group – thanking God for how He is at work and asking Him to answer the requests that were mentioned.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss questions from the list below.
Q: What is an Apokalypsis? Define and explain this in your own words.
Q: How is the book of Revelation really a message to understand versus a code to be cracked? Is this how most people view the book?
Q: Read Revelation 1:1-20 again. What do you learn about Jesus from these verses? How does this affirm and/or challenge your picture of Jesus?
Q: What does it mean to be a servant of Jesus?
Q: What are three experiences that are inevitable for every servant of Jesus based on Revelation 1:9?
Q: What does it mean to share in the Kingdom of God now?
Q: How does the promise of a future manifestation of the Kingdom of God encourage us today?
Q: Read 2 Timothy 3:12. What does this verse tell us about what to expect when following Jesus? How are we to face times of tribulation? (Revelation 1:9)
The question we need to answer personally at the onset of this series is: Am I a servant of Jesus? The true church is made of those who live a life surrendered to Jesus.
Let’s discuss a few more questions as we end out time and look to living out what God has spoken to us this week.
- What did you hear?
- What is your one “take-away” from this week? How did God speak specifically to you through this week’s passage and study?
- What do you think?
- How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about God and the truths shared?
- What will you do?
- What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your life this week?
Close your session in prayer.
SCRIPTURES FROM THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE:
- Revelation 1:1-20, 2 Timothy 3:12
- Current Series: Revelation – A Message to the Churches
- January 9th: Apokalypsos (Revelation 1:1-20)
- January 16th: Smyrna: Persecution Comes (Revelation 2:8-11)
- January 23rd: Thyatira: Pressure to Conform (Revelation 2:18-29)
- January 30th: Laodocea: Loving Rebuke (Revelation 3:14-22)
- Next Series:
- Revelation – A New Exodus (Begins February 6th)
- Revelation – The Restoration of all Things (Begins March 27th)