Community Groups 2/10/13

community-groupsAmerica and Armageddon – Pastor Greg Laurie 2/10/13

This week, we were in chapters 15-16 in Pastor Greg’s series in Revelation. The book of Revelation is the unveiling – God revealing what is to come at the end of the world.

Chapter 15 removes our attention from the judgment on earth (Rev 14) and elevates us to a marvelous scene in Heaven: a sea of people over a sea of glass. And just who are these people? They are those who died a martyr’s death in the Great Tribulation. They did not succumb to the beast by possessing his image or his number. What were they doing in heaven? They were worshipping the Lord for his righteous deeds in the tribulation.

What is unfortunate about Christians today is that few of us worship God through tribulation. James says in Chapter 1 for us to count it all joy when we fall into various trials. For most Christians they want to cherish the promise of blessings and prosperity not the promise that we get in 1 Peter that, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

The words, “suffering,” “persecution” and “trial” aren’t words we tend to cling to as promises – we certainly don’t tend to SING through trials with praise.

1. Revelation 15 contains the incredible Song of Moses. This side of eternity makes it difficult to worship God in light of judgment, but what about having an eternal perspective helps us worship God more in light of his righteous justice?
2. How do you feel when you hear that God’s word promises suffering and persecution? Do you welcome it the way that you welcome blessings? How does the gospel inform our view of suffering?

Great lessons are learned from history. Pastor Greg drew some strong correlations between the moral decay of Rome leading up to their downfall and the current climate of the United States. A Roman historian had cited that the people of Rome compromised on all levels in the name of satisfaction and entertainment.

The Gladiatorial games at the Coliseum in Rome were filled with people who basked in the entertainment of the circus and were appeased with the bread that was thrown out. The people numbed themselves to the realities of moral corruption by being filled with bread and circus’.

It isn’t hard to see that the people of the Unites States today are in a similar condition. As Pastor Greg pointed out there are really only two options left for the U.S. – Judgment or Revival.

1. What is it that we learn about God in this passage? What attributes or characteristics stand out? In what ways do you see these?
2. Our view of the future always determines how we live in the present. In light of this, how does this passage’s grand view of the end help us live in the “in between” stage of this fallen world and God’s coming kingdom?
3. How can you as a Community Group and as an individual seek to pursue spiritual revival that impacts a society that is “entertaining itself to death” with bread and circus’?