Sweet and Sour

These are the latest bible study notes for the home groups at Central Baptist Church, Dundee. For more about CBC click here.

Revelation Chapter 10: Sweet & Sour (word doc available here)

From observing the six trumpets as a bystander, suddenly John is caught up to participate in the unfolding revelation. A mighty angel arrives, ready to announce the unveiling of the mystery of God regarding the consummation of human history. John is invited to take the scroll and be the one to pronounce the message to the world.

  1. From your knowledge of our studies in Revelation so far, what do you think is the symbolic significance of the various images in v1 (i.e. cloud, rainbow, sun, fiery pillars)? What effect would these amazing images of mighty angels have had on the first readers of this letter? 
  2. Jim reminded us that, like John, we are not passengers on a spiritual train, our beliefs must form our being, our doctrine our doing. Share a personal testimony with the group of how God has used your beliefs to transform your behaviour. Why do you think are our actions so powerful? What practical things could you do to serve your fellow Christians & neighbours? 
  3. In v4 John is prevented from recording the message of the 7 thunders, Jim encouraged us that this was “to remind us that what we see is not all there is to see”. Why would God hide things from us? How did Satan manipulate our natural curiosity in the Garden of Eden? How does he still tempt us to doubt God’s care & wisdom? 
  4. In his sermon Jim encouraged us to move from “observing, absorbing and now participating” – are we coasting or climbing in our spiritual journey? Do we need to renew our devotion to Jesus? Are we participating in the life of the church and reaching our community? 
  5. V9, why is God’s message both sweet and sour (Ezekiel 2.9-3.3), why can’t it just be sweet? How do we maintain a proper balance between these two aspects of the gospel in our witness as individuals and as a church? How do grow in the courage required to share a sour message to a society that doesn’t want to hear it? 
  6. What does v11 say to those who believe Christians should mind their own business and leave other religions alone? Does scripture give us a mandate to approach people from other beliefs (Matthew 28.19)? If so, how do we respect other cultures but challenge their beliefs? 
  7. Jim remarked that “the message of judgement from the lips of a true prophet” will be characterised by weeping and mourning. Are you prepared to be used as a prophet by God? Are you willing to ask God to break you so that you would feel as he feels for the sin of his people and the lost?

Spend a few moments reflecting on your own spiritual journey and the calling of Christ to a sweet and sour ministry. “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” 2 Corinthians 2.15-16. May God grant us grace to strive for greater faithfulness.

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