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“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

John. John was a man who had walked with Jesus. Before Jesus died, he told John to take care of his mother. John was a man Jesus trusted with important things! He is also the author of the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. When John recorded the Revelation of Jesus Christ he was no longer the young fisherman we often picture, he was now an old man. John was being held as a prisoner in a Roman labor camp on the island of Patmos as punishment for preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. One evening, while resting in a cool damp cave, John heard a voice behind him. The voice said, “Write on a scroll what you are about to see.” John turned around to see the voice that was speaking to him, and he saw his Lord Jesus Christ, shining brighter than the sun in all its brilliance. Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid… I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever... Write, therefore what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” In that dark damp cave on the island of Patmos, Jesus showed John the fate of the world. He told John there is danger ahead. He told John to sound the alarm! Send out the warning because the time is near! Unlike Captain Smith of the Titanic, the Apostle John would not ignore the warning he was given. He recorded exactly what he saw, and the letter of Revelation was smuggled off the island and brought back to the seven churches of Asia, and it is here with us today. In the letter of Revelation, Jesus warns believers, “Do not forsake your first love!” His message is this: “Remember the moment you first believed! Remember

the moment when you first realized your sins had been wiped clean! Remember the moment you first tried to imagine heaven! Remember the moment, and know this: it will be far greater than you could ever imagine!” Jesus gives us this warning for good reason. Our memories are short. Our passion grows cold. Scripture warns those who are not filled with passion for what Jesus has done, that their faith will not survive the trouble ahead. Their faith will not survive the anti-Christian message they hear on television, the condescending remarks their co-workers make, the temptations of Satan, their own sinful desire to serve themselves rather than others. On April 14, 1912, approximately ten minutes before midnight, an iceberg cut a hole in the Titanic. It was below the water line and 299 feet long. The jolt woke Captain Smith from his sleep. He went to the bridge and asked for a full report on the damage, but it was too late. After 2-1/2 hours the Titanic sank. During those 2-1/2 hours that the Titanic still floated in the cold Atlantic Ocean, many of the passengers refused to believe the ship was sinking. The generators were still bringing electricity, the band continued to play, the ship was still afloat. The impending doom of the Titanic was not visible to the passengers on board. It was only visible below the waterline. If the passengers could have seen below the waterline, they would have seen that the ship was filling with water, and they would have realized the danger ahead. The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse below the waterline. Think of it like this: The moment when Adam and

Eve ate from the tree of knowledge is the moment when the Titanic struck the iceberg. The electricity is still on, and the band continues to play, but the ship is filling with water. As hopeless as that sounds, our story is not hopeless at all. For those who believe, for those who hear the warnings recorded in the book of Revelation, there is a beautiful promise. The promise is this: Jesus Christ was crucified for your sins, and he is coming again. All who believe will eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God. Grab hold of that truth, find your passion, picture heaven in your imagination, and know that – whatever you have pictured – it will be far better, and it will last forever! Amen! Troy Tysdal is Church Resource Coordinator for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren and serves as associate pastor at Stavanger Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN.

Footsteps in the Promise follows God’s promise of salvation from Genesis to Revelation, reaching young children, and equipping young parents as they teach their children about God’s mission, his Son, and the salvation of humankind. Footsteps in the Promise: Written by Troy Tysdal Illustrated by Megan Behrens



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