A couple days ago I realized that I don’t think I’ve heard anyone preach on Revelation 12 around Advent or Christmas time. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t present for such a sermon, but I don’t remember one, and I’ve been hearing sermons in Christmas for two and a half decades.
Have you ever heard someone preach on Revelation 12 with the woman, the dragon, and the male child? It seems like it would make for a great text for Advent/Christmas!
If you preach with any regularity would you use this text?
Actually used it as a text in an Advent series a few years back. It’s a great one!
The Bible has roughly 31,124 verses. Approximately 23,210 of those verses are OT (74.57%) while the remaining 7,914 verses are NT (25.42%).
Of the 23,210 or so OT verses, approximately 6,641 of them are prophetic (28.61% of the OT).
Of the 7,914 or so NT verses, approximately 1,711 of them are prophetic 1 (21.61% of the NT).
In total, about 8,352 of the bible’s 31,124 verses are prophetic; which is just under 27% (26.83% – just over a quarter and almost a third).
With just over a quarter of the bible being prophetic, should you use them? Yes – absolutely! They’re there to be used and understood. When is it appropriate to use them then?
A reasonable answer is when they are clearly understood by the teacher, and can be clearly communicated to the flock, since pastors are held accountable for what they say [James 3:1] and the authority they use when they say it [Acts 20:28][Heb 13:7,17][2 Tim 4:1-4][1 Peter 5:2]. This is why they merit extra honour [1 Tim 5:17].
I would not ever have considered it until this year. A professor I had in Seminary who sadly passed away this past Spring wrote about it in a denominational journal. He also mentioned it in a commentary he wrote on Revelation. A person also wrote an essay regarding this text in a book of essays written in the late professors honor. It would be a good text to use and get people thinking as it is not what one expects at Advent.
The late Ernest L. Martin wrote in “The Star That Astonished the World” that that passage was a hidden clue about the date of Jesus’ birth. He posited that the passage described an astrological convergence that occurred September 21 of 3 BC (something like that).
I put the chances of that being true as extrordinarily slim, but it was an entertaining book to read, a mix of interesting historical research with giant leaps of faith.
@Clayton: Did you make a series of it or do one sermon?
@Andrew: It would be interesting to discuss that nature of so-called “prophetic” passages some time, but that is for another day. There does seem to be several factors that would go into deciding whether or not to use this passage.
@Keith: Who is your former professor?
@Bond: I’ve never heard of that study.
I have used that text for a Christmas message. Sort of a behind the scenes look at the nativity.
Brian, my professor was the late Dr. Robert Lowery, Professor of NT at the Seminary at Lincoln Christian University. His book is “Revelation’s Rhapsody: Listening to the Lyrics of the Lamb” and the essays in his honor is “Dragon’s, John, and Every Grain of Sand” edited by Shane J. Wood.
Am planning on writing a Xmas sermon on Rev 12 on the weekend. Called: “The Nativity According to Stephen King”.
Brian. I was a guest preacher at my church last Sunday and I preached a Christmas sermon using this text. When it’s up online, I can send it to you. I did a little blog on the topic last night also. You know my blog by now I’m sure.
@Nick: Thanks for the heads up! Yes, I’d like to hear the sermon.
My pastor preached on this exact text for Advent a few years ago. Loved it.
Here are the sermon notes: http://www.fairviewpc.org/sermons/101003FPC_Sermonclub.pdf
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