The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Sunday, May 3, 1998
| Revelation 7:9-17

Although an "earnest" is a legal term denoting a deposit made that renders a contract binding, it is also a promise. And that is precisely what the church is: a promise which brings divine light into a darkened world.

I know some people -- maybe you do, too -- whose first priority in life should be to re-arrange their bedroom furniture. What else could explain the fact that they permanently seem to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed? It seems as if they misread the installation instructions on their beds and put them up wrong-side out.

Anybody here not know these people? They go through each day cranky and cantankerous, purveyors of doom and gloom. These are the folks that always know what new natural disaster has just struck, what local businesses are about to go bankrupt, whose marriages are on the rocks. How could we survive life without these wrong-side-of-the-bedders? How could we get around without the black clouds and gloomy forecasts. Without wrong-side-of-the-bedders, we would never fully appreciate how miserable life really is.

The book of Revelation is often perceived as sharing that same sort of bleak perspective -- a wrong-side-of-the-bed vision foretelling pestilence,...

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