Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sermon Audio: Revelation 21:1-7, May 19, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on May 19, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Revelation 21:1-7. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.

Sermon Text: Revelation 21:1-7, May 19, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The text this morning is from John’s Revelation, the twenty-first chapter:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 
Thus far the text.

My dear friends in Christ,
     He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia!  And there is great joy in that resurrection, for we share in it, together with Him.  The resurrection of Jesus is, for us, a promise of our own resurrection.  It is a down payment on what is to come for us and for all creation and that is a glorious thing.

     When I was a kid, I thought about heaven and just hated the idea.  I really did.  The thought of dying and then going to worship in heaven, sitting around and singing and praying as some kind of ephemeral spirit was killing me.  I didn’t like, I didn’t want it.  It sounded horrible.  I am a physical being, and I know physical things.  God made me physical; I cannot understand just the spiritual.  I am, absolutely, spiritual in my being as well; I am soul and body.  But I’m not one without the other.  And because of that, I need the physical.  So, when my pastors taught me that Christians go to heaven when they die, I took that very literally.  And because they only ever spoke about our souls, that’s all they ever taught me.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sermon Audio: Revelation 7:9-17, May 12, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on May 12, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Revelation 7:9-17. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.

Sermon Text: Revelation 7:9-17, May 12, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The text this morning is from John’s Revelation, the seventh chapter:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” 
Thus far the text.

My dear friends in Christ,
     He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia!  And He is the Good Shepherd, who guards over His own sheep, and He shall not lose one, not even of the great multitude.  Our Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for the sheep.  The sheep hear His voice and they follow Him, even unto the heavenly places.

     I mean, really, the picture is beautiful in John’s Revelation today.  It hearkens back to Palm Sunday, when the people of Jerusalem streamed out to meet Jesus and welcome Him with palms in the hands and their cloaks on the ground.  And what did they cry out?  Hosanna!  Hosanna is a Hebrew word that means save us now, or save us, please.  They cried out for the salvation of the Lamb and these John saw received it.  They, in fact, cry out the same thing, not that Jesus would save them now but that He has saved them!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sermon Audio: Revelation 5:1-14, May 5, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on May 5, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Revelation 5:1-14. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.

Sermon Text: Revelation 5:1-14, May 5, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The text this morning is from John’s Revelation, the fifth chapter:
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. 
Thus far the text.

My dear friends in Christ,
     He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia!  And He is risen and is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals.  But what is this scroll?  Why is it sealed?  What is its purpose?  The scroll today in the hand of God is the Old Testament.  Now, don’t get too caught up in this, but remember that this is the entirety of the Scripture for the apostles, and even for Jesus.  Later, as the Apostles’ writings were gathered together, and as they were attested to by the Church, did the writings of the New Testament come to be put into the same book as Scripture.  But, for most of Christian history, the Old Testament was it.

     And that’s enough.  In some ways, with the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord, that’s all you need for your doctrine and life.  Everything we know and believe can be found in the Old Testament.  And this whole book was written on a scroll that could be held in the hand of God.  It’s filled up, front and back, showing us that it is complete.  It’s filled all things.  And it’s sealed up, seven times, meaning that it’s perfectly set to be sent to its recipient.  But, who is that?  Who is worthy to receive the entirety of the word of God?  No one could be found anywhere who could receive this holy Word of God, because it is as if they are receiving Christ Himself.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sermon Audio: Revelation 1:4-18, April 28, 2019

A sermon preached by Pastor Lewis Polzin on April 28, 2019 at St. Peter–Immanuel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, on Revelation 1:4-18. The text of this sermon may be found by clicking this link and you may play the audio of the sermon here.